I actually really like this song. The happier tone fits well this time, the singing is good, Clive sounds great and powers up the song, making this a very enjoyable rocker. I think it’s a shame Bruce couldn’t sing this song. 9/10
An interesting opening riff shifts to a more typical guitar harmony bit that alternates with a speedy rhythm section under the verse. The vocals are OK here, in the same punk style Paul typically used.
This breaks into a rousing pre-chorus whose music influenced every power metal band ever. From here we get a pretty sweet solo, then a nice interlude with what I suppose is the chorus, which is only semi-catchy and ends on an awkward wail.
Another round of verse, pre-chorus, and chorus with another iffy wail, and we're done.
The vocals on this song are a bit weaker than most of the rest of the album, and there are some other weaker aspects, but this is pretty good overall. 7/10.
For the record: Maiden have never released a bad song. Except for More Tea Vicar. But that's another story.
Purgatory isn't terrible, but in comparison to the rest of Maiden's material it's very meh. The whole album suffers from the production, and this one gets the brunt of it. The polished style doesn't accurately represent the band at this period of time, which I why I like the debut's much better.
Production isn't everything, though - this song just isn't very good. Yeah, it's fast. Maiden have made better fast songs (Be Quick Or Be Dead, anyone?). The guitar bits aren't all that great, the riff is very cheesy, and the solo is... meh. Paul sounds much worse on Killers than he does on the debut. Is he experimenting? Why? He doesn't have a great falsetto, jeez.
And of course - the lyrics. What the fuck are these lyrics? I want a song called "Purgatory" to be badass, dripping with imagery and souls and y'know, Divine Comedy stuff. This song is... let's see... clunky. Very, very clunky. Far too overstuffed for the pace. And I wouldn't mind the lyrics so much if they rest of the song was good, but it isn't, so! "I split my brain melt through the floor" is the only line I like in this travesty because it's so weird and unexpected. The rest is just yadda-yadda-yadda, random stuff to invoke non-existant imagery or some shit like that. Killers mostly sounds burnt-out as a record.
"Oh, another time, another place
Another smile on another face
When you see me floating up beside you
You get the feeling that all my love's inside of yoooooouuuuu!!!"
Pardon me but what the fuck is this? I thought we were talking about Purgatory? If I were there I think I'd be worried more about MY IMMORTAL SOUL than all my love's inside of youuuuuu!!
I could try figuring out how this all pertains to Purgatory but it would take too long and I don't have time for trivialities, unless they involve an actually good song often unjustly criticized (cough cough The Angel and the Gambler cough). There's a lot of stupidity here that just does not gel with me whatsoever. At least Steve was trying something with VXI, and I certainly can tell he's proud of what he's doing there. Maybe he's proud of Killers too, but it feels more like he's just half-assing it for the most part.
And do we really need to run through the whole thing again? Thank fuck it's only three minutes long.
Again, this isn't terrible, but since we're talking Maiden here and 99% of their material are masterpieces, I can't help being very critical with their slip-ups. Purgatory is a slip-up. People go, "Just listen to how amazing they sound here compared to the rest of their stuff!" Um, no. Maiden have succeeded primarily because of their intelligent lyrics and their intelligent mindset. This song has neither of those things. It's just stupid shit thrown together to make a song. I will not endorse it.
Look, '90s Maiden failed in a lot of ways, but they feel more real than this record. They may not have produced the finest lyrical content, but at least they were attempting something. Not all of TXF has the band's best songwriting, but it feels very real and showcases them at a time when they weren't masters of the world, and I love it for that. This album showcases a rising band doing some of the dumbest things they'd ever go on to do. Thank god it's mostly contained to this one album.
So, in other words: Better lyrics, less repetition, better music, and more interesting songwriting is the key here. Thank god they figured that out with The Number of the Beast and just about every album that followed this. Sophomore slump? Pretty much Killers.
Purgatory basically sums-up everything I dislike about Killers. The album has its moments of brilliance, but for the most part is bogged-down by half-assed writing, sleezy productions, stupid lyrics, and repetition far worse than anything VXI hit us with. Truly the low-end of Maiden, and if it weren't for the fact that again, no Maiden song is actually terrible, I'd give this a 1.* Consider your 2/10 a blessing, Purgatory, because all my love is not in you.
I think the best thing that sums up this song is actually a line from it:
Take me away
Take me away
So far awaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!"
*Only More Tea Vicar deserves a 1/10. Seriously, fuck that song.