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Discussion in 'Dance Of Death' started by LooseCannon, Sep 27, 2003.


How good is Montsegur on a scale 1-10?

  1. 10

  2. 9

  3. 8

  4. 7

  5. 6

  6. 5

  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
  8. 3

    0 vote(s)
  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
  10. 1

    0 vote(s)
  1. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    I have always been under the impression that "Manichean" was a charge made by the church against heretic movements in the Middle Ages to discredit them. There was a serious rivalry between Christianity and Manicheism in Late Antiquity. The Christians found it particularly objectionable that the Manicheans would use elements of Christian doctrine and re-interpret them. Hence, calling someone "Manichean" was a serious offence from the Christian point of view, and if something even remotely resembled Manicheism on the surface, that was enough to cast them in the deepest pits of hell. So if the Cathars or Bogomils are called "Manichean", that is just following medieval polemics.
  2. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    Oh, very likely. The Church was good at raising the spectre of old enemies when it felt threatened or wanted to stir up general paranoia in support of its rulings.

    I didn't pay all that much attention first time around to the parallels being drawn by modern writers between Occitan Cathar beliefs and older faiths, because it veered into theological analysis and comparison for its own sake, rather than strictly contributing to the understanding of society in the South of France in the 12th-13th Century.

    A few historians were keen on playing up this link between Bogomils and Occitan Cathars, though, because they were convinced it was a direct result of people returning from the Crusades, bringing ideas back with them. There's just a shortage of evidence.
  3. Eddieson

    Eddieson Nomad

    A song with really great potential but a few flaws as well. The riff is heavy, and the verse is good. The lyrics are interesting and performed with power and a lot of grit. The chorus is cool but repeated a tad to much. Then comes the post chorus that is to happy, almost silly, and it irritates me as the song should be really strong if they just removed it. The heavy riff comes in again, and the extra layer in 3:05 gives an extra dimension. Great solos and great melodies follows and the song feels epic, really like the melody at 4:05. Then comes the awful post chorus again and destroys the feeling that is so carefully built up.

    A hard song to rank. With some minor changes this would be a 8 or maybe even a 9, but because of the silly post chorus and poor arrangement at a few places I want to give it a 6 or maybe even a 5. So I decided to compromise and give it 7.

  4. Liveone

    Liveone Nomad

    I really like the subject matter and general feel of this song.
  5. Seems there was a mass discussion of the atrocities referenced in this song during the Crusades, not to mention other sins of Catholicism and Christianity's past. And yeah, the subject is worthy of a power rock angry rant, if one considers Montsegur leaning that way.

    All that aside, friends, this is the first song that came on my phone's playlist this morning as I hopped in the car to head to work. My volume was accidentally left too high from a video watched the night before, so I was suddenly blasted by this wall of guitar and percussion before my first coffee was even finished.

    It was awesome.
    BeThyJames and Viperlord like this.
  6. Caveman Ninja

    Caveman Ninja The Titanic doesn't fit inside

    I hate this song. They stole the riff from Fallen Angel and used it in a worse way and I don't like the happy clappy crappy harmonies. It's the worst song of the reunion era.
  7. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    I've given up tiptoeing around perceived shortcomings in this song and I'm going to re-rank it with a 10. It's stuck ever since I first heard it and shows no signs of going away.

    I'm not one to go looking for full-on 'heaviness' or speed in a song, but Montsegur really does have some clout. There's a few aspects musically that particularly appeal. The ascending patterns in the guitar parts, which then switch to patterns of descending notes in the chorus, at a time when Bruce's voice is soaring high and stretching his ability, stand out. It gives me the impression of toiling uphill, but also faltering or slipping back, too. To me, it fits the image of fanatically striving to ascend to an impossible ideal, as per the Cathar martyrs. I can also visualise an image of wave after wave of beseigers striving to take the mountain top fortress. The overall heaviness suggests an unstoppable onslaught, be it the attackers, or the course of time sweeping along and wearing down the ideals of any given period, rendering them worthless eventually.

    Secondly, the instrumental part in the middle is incredibly effective, and other than the chorus, was my biggest hook into this song. The solo itself is a fairly standard offering of the 'messy Janick' chaotic variety, although it also spirals up before crashing down, but is followed by what I can only think to describe as a double bridge. The first one alone would be sufficient to lead very nicely back into a verse or chorus (not sure if it's long enough, though), but they then build the song up into a second bridge, increasing anticipation for the chorus. This itself swells in magnitude with the harmony in the second half. That's a big-impact buildup in a comparatively short song, it's more the sort of device you'd expect in a longer epic.

    The happy clappy version of the chorus at the end really does sound overly cheery and badly misplaced, especially with the accompanying lyrics, but then I think that's the point. It's like a glorious, triumphant fanfare, celebrating...the completely pointless, horrific deaths of 200 people. Hurrah! To followers of the Cathar faith, the martyrdom may have been achieving their ultimate goal. To the present-day thinker it was a needless atrocity and tragedy.

    Subject wise, Montsegur isn't limited to a rant about the stupidity of the past. 'Still burning heretics under our skies' compares atrocities of the past to the present. Personally, it gets me thinking about other strong beliefs and doctrines, in addition to religion, that people will cling to to the extreme of harming others.

    I actually feel quite a lot went into this song. Rather than it cribbing the riff from Fallen Angel, it takes an incomplete idea further. Then there's the harmony in the second part of the bridge, which sounds not at all unlike a melody from a song by White Spirit, Janick's old band. Plus we have what I assume is Bruce's historical input.
    Forostar likes this.
  8. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Well described imagery. Interesting what music and vocals can evoke in combination, without even taking the (form of the) lyrics into account. I'll pay more attention to the ascending and descending next time I put it on.
  9. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    This song is awesome. It's classic Maiden in every way. Energetic riffing with great melodies and catchy vocal lines. As a young Maidenfan this was one of my favorites.

    I get some of it sounds overly happy to a lot of people, but that honestly doesn't bother me. I don't think the music clashes with the lyrics that much at all. The guitar solo from Janick is fantastic and I love the harmony that follows, even if it came from Bruce's first solo album. This is one where you really hear the advantage of three guitarists.

    It blows my mind that they never played this live. This would be perfect on stage. I also really enjoyed watching them work this out in the studio on the DOTR doc.

  10. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    Heavy, strong, quick. I enjoy it, but I've always felt there's something missing. 7/10.
  11. BeThyJames

    BeThyJames Trooper

    Underated this one. Absolute blistering pace and awesome heaviness. Isn't that what heavy metal is supposed to sound like? There is a certain sarcasm to the tempo when compared to the subject but I think that's cool. The chorus vocals come slightly close to being too high though, I prefer Bruce in lower registers normally. Easily the best rocker on the album.

  12. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands


    Montsegur recalls the heaviness of The Fallen Angel from the previous album, with a rollicking riff that pushes the limits of Maiden’s bottom end. Bruce returns to much of the rasp he used on the early 90s albums, spitting out some ferocious verses, but traditionally belts the throat-stretching chorus. The biggest fault in this song is the horrible, cheery post-chorus. The guitar riff and vocal line play along with each other nicely, but the melody is completely mismatched with the dark tone of the song. Had it only been a bridge it might have been fine. Unfortunately, the same section is repeated three times throughout the song. It's a real shame, because of the rest of the tune is pretty cool.
  13. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 Gott Mit Uns

    I think the heavy opening is the best part of the song, but otherwise, it's only an okay Maiden song. If it had been done by another band, say, Metallica or another thrash group, it might have come out better, because while it's alright the heaviness doesn't fit Maiden's guitarists that well, certainly not with their 21st century sound. The chorus is alright, it's the guitar in the chorus that's just... eh. Not bad but I'm not surprised that it's overlooked by many people in Maiden's catalogue. Low 7/10.
  14. Poto

    Poto Ancient Mariner

    As heavy as Maiden get, but I'm not sure the different parts work together. The guitar melody in the chorus is distracting, should have had only Bruce's vocals. His singing is really powerful here.

  15. Has anybody noticed a massively similar guitar part in this and Bruce's Born in'58?
    frus and Black Bart like this.
  16. Magnus

    Magnus Ancient Mariner

    Bugger this for a Lars
    Navigators Ghost likes this.
  17. GhostofCain

    GhostofCain Ancient Mariner

    Yes, I have.

    Great heavy song, one of the highlights of an otherwise patchy album (not on par with the superb Paschendale though).

    A few years after the release of the album I went to explore the Cathar region and Cathar castles in France. Visiting the ruins of Montsegur made the lyrics of catholic mass murder even more poignant.
    Navigators Ghost and Brigantium like this.

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