I make no secret of the fact that I feel "The Final Frontier" is an overrated album, and overall, quite far off from Maiden's best. However, this song is one of 3 on the album that I absolutely adore. It reminds me a lot of the amazing "The Longest Day" from the previous album, with it's grim and ominous war themed lyrics and dark sonic qualities..The only slight downside of the song for me, is the solo. Which I feel is neither dynamic or dramatic, which is really what this amazing song deserved and needed to make it perfect. However, overall, this is an awesome song that drips with tension, which reaches a crescendo near the end where the pace picks up, and Bruce sounding as impassioned as ever. Frightening stuff indeed! xD
This one gets 9/10 from me, only the lack of a truly killer solo prevents it from getting a 10. It's definitely one of the stand-out cuts from Maiden's latest.
While the lyrics are quite usual for Maiden, the music is quite different.
This song is good, and the vocals lines go very good together with the music. The build up through the whole song is well done, and the song never seems repetitive, it's progressing all the time. There are several great melodies here. The first melody of course, but also the one at 1:32 and 3:12 is great.
I've seen some complaints on the chorus, but I think the chorus is brilliant. It's very unusual for the band, as it is very disharmonic and have a strange melody.
A good song, and it feels like this song is going to be the forgotten gem on his album. Not up there with the best songs on the album, but still great.
Agree with Ironbaz, this is a song that doesnt have parts of that feels like it could have been cut out. There is a couple of songs of TFF that are better, but this the best "shortish" of the album. 8/10
Actually when I listen to the whole TFF album, its on a whole a bit better than I thought of it a few years ago. It have bits and parts of that is, I dont know, off key or doesnt fit or too slow that put its down, but on a whole it's a good album.
So OK, Bruce strains a bit and this sounds like a leftover from AMOLAD. But you know what? I love AMOLAD and I openly welcomed a "bonus" song from it. It's not dark and grimy like AMOLAD though, it has a different tone to it despite having similar structure and subject matter as the stuff on that album. Particularly in the sound of the guitars. We get a slowed down, more "reunion era friendly" version of the gallop that really paints a picture of soldiers marching to the battlefield and screaming guitars in the chorus that recall the chaos of war. The chorus could be better, but otherwise I really have no qualms. Adrian's solo on this song is masterful, from the tone to the licks he plays. It feels like he went back to Somewhere In Time when coming up with ideas for his guitar sound. It's one thing that TFF has that TBOS doesn't. Another song I have fond memories of when listening to this for the first time. Satellite 15 wasn't really a song in the traditional sense and El Dorado/TFF were both well known before the album dropped. Mother of Mercy was the first truly new song and it blew me away.
The outro of this is one of Maiden's best IMO. It builds up really amazingly and contributes to the cinematic nature of this song.
To be honest, I was quite surprised to see such positive reaction in the previous posts on this one. All this year I thought this one was buried between the singles, epics and progressives.
As @Mosh said, this one was first truly new song when I started listening to album and it also blew me away. Hearing the snippet before I've listened to album, I've only knew "I'm a soldier of war" part so I was quite pleased with slow melodic intro in which Bruce perfectly flows picturing another Maiden war portrait. But, in a ways which AMOLAD disapointed me, this Maiden war song just gets better and better as it progresses.
So we follow Bruce throught warfare when a beautiful melodic bridge comes uplifting the song and bringing it a certain level of epicness. Now comes the part where I was sold to TFF as an album. Instead a crash-and-burn chorus, this songs chorus (like El Dorado) is again series of 2 jabs and an uppercut. No excessive repeating, no break-downs, no melodies that are unrelated to the rest of the song. Pure Maiden verse-bridge-chorus kick in which every part is melodic and related to one another.
After solo there is a break in which lyrical goofines is just the right amount (of that I'm certain of), and again powerful verse-bridge-chorus kick. End of the song seems a little abrupt, but in this case works just fine. Although this is a war song, it doesn't have dark heaviness as a lot of songs in AMOLAD do, but has perfect melody and song structure that lot of songs on AMOLAD didn't have.
It's got one of the best endings to a Maiden song ever. Absolutely love it. Good song, but the chorus is annoying. It's a good chorus, but Bruce strains all over the place, and the copy-paste approach is terrible.
Mother of Mercy is a killer heavy track that starts slow with a groovy melody and some strummed chords. Bruce lulls you in during a quiet verse that immediately picks up with a brilliant drum flare. It's one of my favorite Maiden crescendos purely because of its immediacy. Mother of Mercy is easily the heaviest song on the album. Steve really should have trimmed some of the lyrics, as Bruce is struggling to breathe on certain lines (which certainly fits the lyric, but still). The immediacy carries through to the very end, which abandons the listener at an emotional high.
I love the build up and the main riff - this song screams '80s' to me (and that's a good thing). The heavy riff is a nice counterbalance to some of the other noodly/proggier moments throughout the album. The chorus, while not exactly the most original thing I've ever heard, is catchy and begs for audience participation. Completely agree about the immediacy observations. All in all, this is a great reunion era rocker.
My only frustration is the lyrics - the "war is hell" motif has been tread many, many times by Maiden (made worse by the fact that they just came off of the 'war album' with AMOLAD. I would have really preferred something else (perhaps some science fiction literature to tie in with the overarching album theme?) - if the band is dead set on the war theme, then I'd like them to go the 'history lesson' route and describe a particular battle instead of something generic.
This is a very good song for sure, but I do find it a little overrated. Great lyrics (even though they can be very awkwardly phrased sometimes), but the instrumental melodies could've been better, especially in comparison to Maiden's previous works. The solo, though, is among the best from the album and really helps hold the song together. 8.
Not the first reunion era song to be let down by the chorus. In this case, though, instead of repetition or lyrics, Bruce’s voice is the real problem. I’ll still give it a 7 because all the rest is very good and I feel like the song could have been much better if recorded in a better moment for Bruce’s voice
A nice melodic lead kicks off a softer uptempo verse. Bruce sounds pretty good here. The pre-chorus takes things up a notch, though Bruce sounds a little shakier in this part.
Another verse, and then the guitars kick in harder. More verse leads into a poorly phrased and shakily delivered pre-chorus, before breaking into a reasonably catchy but unsingable chorus, where Bruce strains the whole time to hit the notes as he gets spliced in on top of himself because there's no time to breathe.
This cuts directly into a pretty good vocal bridge and a great solo. Another verse and horribly phrased pre-chorus, and then we're back to the straining, duct-taped chorus. Some descending guitars lead into a decent second vocal bridge and an abrupt percussive ending.
A few good ideas here, but the performance and phrasing problems combined with the obvious splicing in the chorus make this one a bust for me. 4/10.
"Mother of Mercy"... hoo-boy. Not sure what everyone sees in this song, because it's never been a favorite of mine, and I'd argue it's one of the band's worst songs nowadays. There's some nice build-up before it breaks into heaviness, but the chorus is pretty bland and Bruce is straining heavily. My biggest issue aside from the vocals are the lyrics - they're pretty weak. Really, really weak. Sure, after coming off an album almost purely dedicated to songs about war, the topic might seem kinda stale, but I mean... these lyrics are just bad no matter how you slice it:
Killing on a scale to comprehend...
Within the truth that lies
Within the only thing
Bleh. But the one that takes the cake:
I don't hold with bad religion
Understand what's beneath it
Now I come to think of it
I just don't hold at all, you know it
After expertly tackling war and religion with "For the Greater Good of God", this song feels like a shitty undoing of it. Cheap anti-war song that's very bland. The only thing that saves it is the build-up and some of the guitar parts. Other than that, it's a poor showing. 3
''Cosmic'' intro starts this great song. The calm part at the begining is awesome, great riff and you can also hear Steve's bass (it's like a rhythm guitar). I really like the verses, pre-chorus and the chorus - Bruce strains a bit on it. The part before the solo is top-notch and the solo is very good (though being short).... futuristic feel to it. The song has a nice tempo/groove. This part: ''I'm a soldier of war'' is done superb by Bruce. I like the fast brutal end of the song. Heavy repetition of the chorus, no second solo and my mark will be 9/10.