No Prayer for the Dying: individual album judgement by yours truly

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
1. Tailgunner - 10/10
2. Mother Russia - 10/10

3. Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter - 9/10
4. Holy Smoke - 9/10
5. Public Enema Number One - 9/10

6. No Prayer For The Dying - 8.9/10
7. Hooks In You - 8/10
8. Run Silent Run Deep - 8/10

9. The Assassin - 7/10

10. Fates Warning - 6/10

Total: 8.5/10

Great album, way better than Killers.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
  1. "Mother Russia" - 10
  2. "Run Silent Run Deep" - 9
  3. "Bring Your Daughter...To the Slaughter" - 8
  4. "Holy Smoke" - 8
  5. "Public Enema Number One" - 8
  6. "Tailgunner" - 8
  7. "No Prayer For the Dying" - 7
  8. "Hooks In You" - 7
  9. "Fates Warning" - 6
  10. "The Assassin" - 5
No Prayer For the Dying: 7,6
 
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NPFTD

Invader
Tailgunner: 9
Holy Smoke: 7
No Prayer For The Dying: 10
Public Enema Number One: 8
Fates Warning: 8
The Assassin: 5
Run Silent, Run Deep: 8
Hooks In You: 7
Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter: 7
Mother Russia: 8
 

Jer

Love in anger
Just went through this myself on the individual track threads.

Tailgunner - 8/10 >
Holy Smoke - 7/10 >
No Prayer For The Dying - 7/10 >
Public Enema Number One - 7/10 >
Fates Warning - 8/10 >
The Assassin - 5/10 >
Run Silent Run Deep - 8/10 >
Hooks In You - 6/10 >
Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter - 7/10 >
Mother Russia - 7/10 >

Average: 7.0/10

An underrated album for sure, probably due to people's reactions to the change in tone from Seventh Son, the loss of Adrian Smith, and Bruce's at times absurdly growly vocals.

Those are all valid concerns, but there's still a lot of very good to great stuff on here, and the closest the album comes to a clunker is "The Assassin", which if we're being honest with ourselves is only really shitty on the chorus.

(Album rankings by person post >)
 
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Number 6

Ancient Mariner
"The Assassin", which if we're being honest with ourselves is only really shitty on the chorus.
That song should have been an instrumental. It doesn't need any more than a title to evoke the creepy atmosphere and feel of being chased by a psychotic killer.
 
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Shmoolikipod

Stranger to the Light
Update 22/7/2018

Tailgunner: 6/10 +1
Holy Smoke: 8/10 +1
No Prayer for the Dying: 9/10 +2
Public Enema Number One: 9/10 +1
Fates Warning: 8/10 ±0
The Assassin: 3/10 -2
Run Silent Run Deep: 10/10 +3
Hooks in You: 2/10 -1
Bring Your Daughter...To the Slaughter: 3/10 -3
Mother Russia: 9/10 +1

Average: 6.7 +0.3
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
An underrated album for sure, probably due to people's reactions to the change in tone from Seventh Son, the loss of Adrian Smith, and Bruce's at times absurdly growly vocals.

Those are all valid concerns, but there's still a lot of very good to great stuff on here
:notworthy:
 
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Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
NPFTD - good album, very underrated, some really good songs on it !

Tailgunner - 8/10
Holy Smoke - 7/10
No Prayer For The Dying - 10/10
Public Enema Number One - 6/10
Fates Warning - 8/10
The Assassin - 9/10
Run Silent Run Deep - 9/10
Hooks In You - 8/10
Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter - 10/10
Mother Russia - 9/10
--------------------------------------------------------------
Average album score: 8,40
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Tailgunner - 9 >
Holy Smoke - 6 >
No Prayer For The Dying - 6 >
Public Enema Number One - 7 >
Fates Warning - 5 >
The Assassin - 5 >
Run Silent Run Deep - 7 >
Hooks In You - 7 >
Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter - 7 >
Mother Russia - 8 >

Average Score: 6.7/10
Actual Score: 8.0/10

No Prayer For The Dying is a really interesting album for me, because while I don't think the individual songs are as good as a lot of the other ones from the band, as a part of the album, they manage to create a really rocking vibe with a lot of might and bite, and I'd even say it's stronger than The Number of the Beast. Just a really good, underrated release.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
The reason why this album did not shined IMO, was because it followed such a masterpiece of a album which is SSOASS.

It is by no means a bad album (FOTD, too), more rock type of songs, but they are full of melodies too. I like that era (1990-1993) of the band.

NPFTD is a very underrated album and I think it is more strong album than Killers.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
It is by no means a bad album (FOTD, too), more rock type of songs, but they are full of melodies too. I like that era (1990-1993) of the band.

NPFTD is a very underrated album and I think it is more strong album than Killers.

Not bad, but I think that the execution of the whole record is rather lacking nonetheless; there are some great songs and good vibe overall, but whether it's actually better or worse than this or that album is always debatable. :p I'd agree with you, Jer and others about it being underrated though; many seem to consider it much more garbage than it actually is. I mean, looking at those songs, most of them are actually good, not always that brilliant, but good, solid rockers that are enjoyable to listen with occasional great hooks here and there.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
  1. Tailgunner - 9/10
  2. Holy Smoke - 7.5/10
  3. No Prayer For The Dying - 6.75/10
  4. Public Enema Number One - 7/10
  5. Fates Warning - 8.5/10
  6. The Assassin - 7/10
  7. Run Silent Run Deep - 8/10
  8. Hooks In You - 5/10
  9. Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter - 9.25/10
  10. Mother Russia - 7.75/10
Average: 7.62/10
 
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The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
1. Tailgunner 9
2. Holy Smoke 9,5
3. No Prayer for the Dying 8,5
4. Public enema number one 5
5. Fates Warning 5
6. The Assassin 8,5
7. Run silent run deep 8
8. Hooks in You 7,5
9. Bring your daughter to the slaughter 8,5
10. Mother Russia 9

7,8

VERY GOOD
 
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KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Tailgunner 8/10
Holy Smoke 8/10
No Prayer For The Dying 9/10
Public Enema Number One 9/10
Fates Warning 8/10
The Assassin 8/10
Run Silent Run Deep - 7/10
Hooks In You 8/10
Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter 8/10
Mother Russia - 8/10

Average song rating 8,1
Album overall rating 81%
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING (1990)

1. Tailgunner - 10/10
The engine thunders into life, and we take off, in this little trip back through time, to the days when war ruled the heavens and the skies were filled with the dead. Bruce is killing it in that chorus and this is still the best song on the album.

2. Holy Smoke - 9/10
A lot of fun but doesn’t quite match the previous song.

3. No Prayer For The Dying - 8/10
In some ways I feel like this was an attempt to recreate the magic of Hallowed. It’s a good song, but nothing compared to that other one.

4. Public Enema Number One - 9/10
A ripping vocal performance and a catchy chorus make this more memorable than some would argue.

5. Fates Warning - 6/10
Whew, big step down here. Bruce sounds pretty bad on the verses and the chorus is bland. What saves the song is that amazing instrumental section, but it’s not quite enough to prop it up more.

6. The Assassin - 6/10
Fun and catchy, but also definitely not top tier Maiden.

7. Run Silent Run Deep - 10/10
A storming submariner tale with a lot of kick to it.

8. Hooks In You - 10/10
An underrated little song. This one is just so much fun and has a lot of great moments throughout.

9. Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter - 9/10
Catchy chorus but I don’t think the verses are quite as good as they could be.

10. Mother Russia - 10/10
The most epic five minute song you’ll ever hear.

A step down for sure, but there’s still a lot to like from this album.

Rating: 87%
 

Poteitos

Prowler
My ratings:

Tailgunner - 8
Holy Smoke - 8
No Prayer For The Dying - 10
Public Enema Number One - 10
Fates Warning - 9
The Assassin - 8
Run Silent Run Deep - 7,5
Hooks In You - 6,5
Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter - 6
Mother Russia - 9


Score : 8,2
 

Arturo_J

Prowler
Tailgunner - 6
Holy Smoke - 6
No Prayer For The Dying - 7
Public Enema Number One - 8
Fates Warning - 7
The Assassin - 6
Run Silent Run Deep - 7
Hooks In You - 6
Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter - 5
Mother Russia - 6
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
On towards the sea we go - once again.

Done with my one of my... or actually, more than just likely THE favourite album of mine, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, it is time to take a look at the next chapter.

Adrian Smith out, Janick Gers in. Martin Birch is still there, but instead of high-end studios of Compass Point or Musicland, the magic of Maiden is captured at Steve's barn. While that actually sounds kinda cool and very rock'n roll, in a very down to earth and maideny way and is one of the defining factors of the album, it's also what drags it down.

It's always debatable how much the production really affects the score and overall quality of the songs, but it definitely has a huge role on how the songs present themselves. I think that the problems of the infamous No Prayer for the Producer sound are rather easily outlined when looking at the live performances of these songs. It's tighter, more aggressive and intense. Of course, the album versions have a lot of nuances and it's exaggerated to say that the recording, mixing and producing conditions manages to completely kill them off, but as the band members, especially Bruce, have been pretty vocal about, the intended roughness, edginess and heaviness does not come through as it should. The most recent remaster is, in my opinion, giving it some appropriate polish, but the greasy, thin, arguably too loose and laid back sound is there nonetheless.

What about the songs? If the approach to recording was a bit different, would the album be a classic? Well, not quite, but the songs aren't - in my opinion anyway - that bad at what they're aiming for. Sure, the simpler, back-to-basics approach and attempts at killer(s) riffs, edginess and powerful, catchy choruses comes through well enough and most of the songs succeed at their initial purpose: Tailgunner is a catchy, powerful opener that retains some of the dynamic and rounded sound of their previous, golden decade. Public Enema Number One gets the message through with the dark, outrageous performance; it's not the most beloved song out there, but I admit being rather fond of it. Fates Warning has some exploding transitions, big chorus and overall, it manages to hold up very well. Holy Smoke and Hooks in You manage in their "fun little rockers" category and the title track is your typical quality mid-tempo masterpiece. The challenge and, in lack of a better word, problem here is that even the strongest songs on the record don't really add up to similar type of tracks on their previous records. In songs like The Assassin, or the previously mentioned rockers, there's some attempts for fresh sound and distinctive style that differs not only from the previous two, very melodic and somewhat proggy records, but also from their older discography, but these songs don't end up being entirely triumphant either.

That is not to say that the songs are bad, but out of ten songs on the album there is not much depth and undying brilliancy to discover. Tailgunner, No Prayer for the Dying and Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter are often mentioned as the standout tracks from this lot, and it's not too hard to see why. Tailgunner is a very solid song and also one of the more successful outcomes of the "laid-back and loose" sound the album more or (probably) less deliberately offers, while retaining some of the power and dynamics of their previous work. The title track has beautiful melodies and overall, there's really nothing to complain about, even if it's not quite another Revelations/Infinite Dreams. The power of the song really shines through when listening to the live performances, where Bruce's powerful performance really adds a lot to if; a bit similar case is how the opening verse of Revelations really kicks when Bruce delivers it live. You all know the story behind Bring Your Daughter.... to the Slaughter and how the original soundtrack version was withdrawn from the market etc. when it suddenly became part of the Maiden album and granted, in all of it's silliness it's probably the one of the more successful songs on the record when it comes to delivering that rough, aggressive in-your-face approach that the album unashamedly attempts, but not entirely succeeds at. There's a small piece of irony in that, considering that it was not written to be a Maiden song in the first place. An effective live track that holds up very well on the album and has become bit of a "second class classic", but hardly one of their best efforts and it's status as number one single (thanks to the "clever" release strategy) has probably glorified the song a bit too much for what it's actually worth.

Other highlights include Fates Warning, that I've always loved and I actually like the chorus quite a lot, but it could have been much more powerful with a better production. White Death by Sabaton shares a riff with this one, almost. It's not quite a hidden gem that has been wrongly forgotten, but granted, the song would hold up well enough in many other, more appreciated Maiden albums too. Run Silent, Run Deep is another song that I've been rather fond of, but it admittedly falls into strange category, being somewhat dark and sinister, but at the same time it's far from being the strongest lyrics effort by Bruce Dickinson and therefore it doesn't quite grip you the way it should. The lyrics deal with a movie (1958) that shares the title of the song and Dive! Dive! Dive! from Bruce's solo album Tattooed Millionaire was also inspired by the same source. Run Silent, Run Deep indeed sounds like it would work well enough there as well, but Steve has brought some more Maidenish elements to it and while the lyrics are what they are, I like the sinister sound and dramatic feel of the song quite a lot. It's just another song that doesn't really add up anything to Maiden sound and discography that I'd terribly miss if it was suddenly taken away. As much as I actually like it anyway.

The Assassin is an interesting one, since it's a song that many find as one of the saving graces of the album and others can't really stand at all. I've always found hard time getting into it. It's another song that strangely balances between tongue-in-cheek and heavy, dark and sinister approach and doesn't really end up succeeding at either one, but still manages to be an interesting song. But, once again, it's nothing that'd really draw me listening to the record.

See the pattern here? Yeah.

Another song worth highlighting is the album closer, Mother Russia. It's dramatic, it draws a lot from the title track of their previous album and overall holds up well. But, once again, doesn't really manage to stand out as anything else than a very decent song on a contradictory record. As much as it draws from previous Harris' songs without adding too much new, it has very distinctive parts and certain originality some of Steve's following attempts every now and then lack.

So, No Prayer for the Dying. Verdict...

Unsuccessful record at what it attempted to be, but still providing certain freshness and fair bunch of nice songs. Looking at all of them together, it's probably not their worst record per se, but at the same time it's a record I don't fancy listening to that much. It's easy to give a spin or two every now and then and most of the songs are actually pretty good, some even great, and I do have a huge soft spot for the title track. It has few curiosities and oddities that draw your interest every once in a while, but whatever freshness that provies also wores off quickly and leaves you with a lackluster Maiden record that is still an "ok" album. One of the saving graces here is the length; while there's a bunch of weaker songs that fail at delivering that dirty in-your-face experience, they don't really drag too much either and there's a fair amount of good melodies, parts and enjoyable stuff altogether.
Good-but-not-good. It's a bit like those "2/5" movies that can have some absolutely amazing parts in them, but they fundamentally fail at delivering either the vision or the attempted appearance to the audience, while being relatively entertaining and enjoyable in their own right.

The average score seems to be somewhere around 6 and 7, depending on how I end up landing the scores for the more contradictory stuff like The Assassin, Holy Smoke and Hooks in You which are a bit hard to decide whether they're somewhere around 5,6 or 7, but I'd say that 6.5 is more than fair score for this album. It does not glorify lackluster nature of some of these songs and the overall product, but neither does it weight down the value of the many really good songs that you can find on this record. It's a mixed bag. Enjoyable one, but I'd say that that it's failure at properly executing it's own purpose, and the approach they took, drags the score down a little bit.

No Prayer for the Dying - 6.5
Enjoyable album that has just enough saving graces to keep it interesting regardless some of their most lackluster songs and poor production, but overall the whole package doesn't really hold up well enough with most of the discography and even the very best songs have plenty of better equivalents in previous and later records.

Previous scores:

Randalf said:
Iron Maiden: still to come...
Killers: around 7.5
The Number of the Beast:
around 8
Piece of Mind:
around 9 or even above?
Powerslave: Another 9? I just hate 1-10 and how hard it is to properly score these masterpieces.. :D
Somewhere in Time: 9 (A BLASPHEMY?)
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son: 10
 
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