Yes, maybe there was some perhaps "ground breaking-ness" to it, IDKYou’re probably going to take a lot of crap for that opinion, but I agree with you. The thing is, when that came out metal bands weren’t doing songs of that length. The hard rock magazines and press at the time made a huge deal over it and the fans often looked to it a source of pride, like, “name another band that could do this”. But in the progressive rock world, Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, etc had been releasing longer, more complex, epic material for years at that point.
The impact it had on the metal community was important though, as I think it played a huge role in more bands trying lengthier and more complex songs. Helloween‘s songs “Halloween“ and ”Keeper Of The Seven Keys” come to mind as songs that I think Rime opened the gates for.
With Maiden and metal in general there is a fair bit of "folklaw" or "urband lengend" or "old wive's tales" going on to make things more than they are.
Many old school maiden fans talk up how intelligent Maiden are, that they write songs about poems, history, movies, war and whot not, that they don't write about sex or romance like many pop songs, hard rock or american glam, and hair metal.
Other "old wives tales" are about how metal music has classical influence how some singers are operatic. (people hear a acoustic appegiation and tout, "look they are classical" - OH BOY. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Some people talk of Empire of the Cloud about being a master piece. (It's a very simple song, especially the piano part)
In my view Heavy metal has a bit of a conundrum. The distortion is great, gives a lot of sustain, give a feeling of power and aggression. But, power chords aren't really chords. They have two notes to them, the root and the fifth. Maiden it seems almost always write their songs in Em and almost always use the same three chords throughout most of every song.
Their strength is their melodies, and guitar solos. (if you are into solos and guitar melodies).
There are far more musically complex bands out there, far better singers out there. Nightwish for example beat Maiden hands down in both these departments. Metal has gone in so many directions, Maiden are still just doing what Maiden do. It works for them, the music is very enjoyable. They don't tend to follow trends (double bass anyone), they aren't particularly great at music theory, they aren't overly progressive (Thankfully). They do have some formulas they use as they are just 5 of 6 blokes that write all these songs. They have limited musical knowledge and capability.
But hey, I really like their music. They don't have to be complex, they don't have to be trendy, they don't have to have the best singer, they don't have to be hard and fast.
Just enjoy them for what they are.
If you want hard and fast, there are bands doing that, if you want complex, there are bands doing that, if you want progressive, there are bands doing that. Maiden don't have to.
It's pretty typical to pine over days past. Almost always bands are boxed into a Classic line up or the classics or the classic period. People tend to pine over that and it stops them enjoying fully the new stuff. - Sad but true!