It is a pity that Bruce managed to create two or three amazing acoustic songs during his solo career. It makes it even more difficult to like this extra long and boring arrangement. Good melodies for sure but that is all there is.
The closing track, Journeyman, treads completely new ground for Iron Maiden: it is entirely acoustic. The lyrics tell the tale of someone making decisions regardless of the outcome, always looking forward with positivity and ignorance, for better or worse. Despite a chorus that grows tiresome rather quickly, Journeyman is a solid song. The band has finally gelled together completely and it’s a breath of fresh air to hear the guys play with such restraint. Even with all the power stripped away, Iron Maiden is capable of delivering an emotionally resonant song. Overall, it’s a nice way to end an album that feels rather bloated and disjointed.
This does not feel like a true Maiden song. It feels like the ending to Dance of Death. That's all. It might be seven minutes but it just feels like the ending. But don't think that this is a bad thing. Actually, this is by far one of Maiden's most beautiful tracks, and is a perfect ending to such an album. It's acoustic too, so next time someone says 'Empire is completely different,' show them this song. I'm actually not sure I'm making any sense at this point, but suffice it to say that I'm giving this song a 10 out of fucking 10. One of the best things they've made in the 21st century.
I was trying to figure out whether I'd give this an 8 or a 9, but ended up giving it a 10 because it just sounds fucking awesome. It's the perfect ending to a great, but very experimental record: an acoustic song. Maiden couldn't have made a better choice than this, the electric version of the song completely butchers the atmosphere lifted from the perfect lyrics. It's not a proper epic per se, but it sounds as epic as Maiden gets.
Lyrics are great, although they might be slightly too repetitive towards the end. The acoustic guitars create an atmosphere that is completely different from any other Maiden song, but at the same time it still feels like Iron Maiden, as is usually the case when they experiment a bit. In this case I would say it’s a very successful experiment overall, and live the song becomes much more emotional. 8/10
This is a really cool idea, but somewhat botched execution. I love the idea of Maiden doing a wholly acoustic track and there's certainly something to be said about the atmosphere. The melody is also rather sweet. But 7 minutes is overkill. Especially the chorus gets on my nerves even after one listen and seriously lowers the replay value for the whole album (remember - it's always important how does your album begin and end - DOD has it rather hard in that regard, because it begins with a completely unmemorable and bland song - one of their dullest ever, in fact - and ends with "I know what I want // And I say what I want" repeatedly hammered into your brain).
If they only managed to curb their megalomania a bit, it'd go much higher than a measly five.
A nice acoustic intro with string accompaniment builds to a sweet, gentle verse and pre-chorus that sound great. Then...WTF? This chorus is terrible! Bruce is straining, the lyrics are lame, and the strings become too overblown. The "oh-oh-oh" at the end of the chorus is nice, though.
Another round of verse and pre-chorus, and then we're back to the shitty chorus. A very nice soft interlude follows (still with overblown strings, unfortunately), with some occasional whispering.
More verse and pre-chorus, then a strained "uhh" leads into the crummy chorus again, before finishing off softly.
This song proves two things: 1) Maiden is capable of making a great acoustic-only ballad, and 2) "Journeyman" is definitely not that song. I honestly don't know what they were thinking with that chorus. The rest of the song is pretty good, minus the overblown strings.
This one just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Bad way to end the album. 5/10.
The only all-acoustic song from Maiden. It's a beautiful song. Very melodic with great lyrics. The chorus is wonderful. Awesome verses too. Nice orchestral parts. The only missing thing in the song is a solo (Adrian do one in the live version, which is short but great). The electric version of the song is also good, but the acoustic one is better, I think. This song is awesome and sounds better live with the participation from the crowd. 9/10.