recommended newer albums for an old Maiden fan??

rocket_man

mess with me and i'll pull out my rocket on you
This may sound stupid to alot of you, but i sort of had a "fall out" with Maiden around No Prayer for the Dying........I basically left em behind and moved on........Now i was (like so many) a self professed Maiden Maniac, but that album left me sorely disapointed, so i bailed on the band that I loved...then of course Adrian bailed and then Bruce bailed.......I love the new line up and was fortunate to see the North American tour opener in Charlotte, it was the greatest show i have ever seen period and i had seen Maiden twice before in the 80's..........i would like some input on where to start with the newer stuff with the new and refreshing line up........I love the Wicker Man, but the rest of that album has not really grown on me to great yet.........suggestions please!!
 

Demigod_Tyek

Powerslave
I would just listen to them in chronological order... Brave New World, Dance of Death, A Matter of Life And Death, and The Final Frontier. I love every Iron Maiden album, and I understand everyone has their different opinions, but I will say some of their post-2000 material is just as great, if not better, than some of their 80's material.

Also, try giving No Prayer For The Dying and Fear of the Dark another listen? Maybe it just takes a few listens to settle in.

As for the two Blaze albums, I'll leave them up to you. The songs are great lyric and instrument-wise, but I just was not a fan of Blaze's voice. The good thing is, you can usually find the majority of the popular "X Factor" and "Virtual XI" songs played live with Bruce singing since his return.
 

rocket_man

mess with me and i'll pull out my rocket on you
well i forgot that i do have Dance of Death, that was when i realized "hey! they are back together!"........to me half of that album is pretty good, i really like Paschendale!...........and i just now got into Fear of the Dark a little more......they played a song i had never heard live in Charlotte and i really liked it.......not sure if i am supposed to say which one (spoiler), but i purchased the album because of it and i believe it will grow on me. As for Blaze, man i dunno, he just doesnt sound too good to me, i will give em another try tho. Thanks
 

425

Starblind
So, you do have Brave New World? That's what I was going to recommend having seen the title of this thread, it's a great introduction to the modern lineup. But since you say you have it…

The other three albums with this lineup are, in my opinion, all excellent, and I would say that you can't go wrong with any of them. However, the general consensus is that Dance of Death is of a lower grade than the other albums with the lineup, so you'll probably be told by most to get that one last (though I'm a fan of it, and it has one of the best songs ever in Paschendale, and other great ones in Dance of Death, Rainmaker, and Face in the Sand).


A Matter of Life and Death and The Final Frontier are both truly great albums, and it's truly a matter of preference between the two of them (as I see it). The main difference between them is that A Matter of Life and Death is a distinctively darker album. Its themes mostly center around war and religion. The Final Frontier is an album that is more neutral in mood (there are dark songs, but there are also songs that are not so dark), and the themes are more varied.

A Matter of Life and Death has the least similarities to the 80s era of any of the 4 reunion albums. It is also in addition to Maiden's darkest album, probably their most progressive album. It features very long songs (only 4 songs are below 7 minutes, and one of these is 6:52! meanwhile, 3 songs top 8 minutes). This is probably a very difficult album to get into if you are not already into progressive music (like Rush or Dream Theater), so if you are not and do not have a preference for darker subject matter, I would recommend that you get…

The Final Frontier. This album also has quite a few long progressive numbers, though it is not quite as long-winded as AMoLaD (4 songs are under 7 minutes, but one of the long tracks, Satellite 15…The Final Frontier is essentially two 4-5 minute songs, the former half being a very strange song by Maiden standards, the latter being a standard one). This one also has more noticeable similarities to the 80s material than AMoLaD does, with El Dorado and The Alchemist especially carrying the 80s vibe. Coming Home is ballad-like, but still very Maiden. Mother of Mercy is a song that is somewhat similar to what is on AMoLaD, though I think the songs from that album are mostly better than it. The last 5 tracks are all epics clocking in longer than 7 minutes, but if you take the time to listen to them, they are very rewarding experiences, with standouts being Isle of Avalon, Starblind, and When the Wild Wind Blows (which at 11 minutes is Maiden's third longest song after Rime and the Blaze-era Sign of the Cross).


Now that I've talked your ear off (I'm quite long-winded, quite like AMoLaD), here's the short version of what I have to say:

Brave New World - the choice for first reunion album to get, you said you already had it and hadn't gotten into it yet, keep listening though

Dance of Death - most people's least favorite reunion album (though I think it's on par with BNW). most would say it's inconsistent, but it has some of Maiden's finest moments. I would say get this now or after TFF, others will say get it last. has some 80s-esque songs

A Matter of Life and Death - most progressive, long-winded, and difficult to get into reunion album. excellent album, but I would get it last because it'll be easier to get into after TFF

The Final Frontier - has some long, proggy tracks but also some 80s-style tracks. I would recommend that you get it next since you already have BNW.

EDIT: Since you do have Dance of Death, I would definitely say get TFF next.

As for the Blaze Bayley albums, I don't have one I'd recommend getting first. The X Factor is IMO the better album, but Virtual XI may be easier to get into. I would say to save TXF for a rainy day, in the sense that it's good to listen to when you're feeling down. It's great, but you have to get into it. As for VXI, it has it's moments, but it also has moments of mediocrity (Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger (as the forum so kindly reminded me the other day), The Angel and the Gambler, When Two Worlds Collide). Blaze's voice is a matter of taste, but I'm personally a fan of it. Just give those albums a few listens and see how you feel.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
As for Blaze, check out his solo album Blood and Belief. His early solo work is by far the best Maiden solo effort. I'm not that fond of his work with Maiden (I do like most of X factor, first half is great, and a couple of Virtual XI tracks but they enver really clicked with me), but Blood and Belief is nothing short of amazing - Silicon Messiah is awesome as well and Tenth Dimension is really good.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
Since you seem to be into Adrian (from what I read so far) :p , you should definitely go for The Final Frontier - it is where his influence is most prominent, I think. It's not that AMOLAD is worse, to me both TFF and AMOLAD are great, but they are kind of different. In my opinion, they are both better than Brave New World and Dance of Death, so you should absolutely try them out!
 

Kill Devil Hill

westwards the tide
Brave New World, A Matter of Life and Death, and The Final Frontier don't have a single bad song on them. They don't even have a mediocre song on them, actually.

As for Blaze, Yax is right. Blaze's solo efforts are mind-blowing. The albums that you said were weird for you (the '90s albums) are unpopular because, well, they were quite a departure form the Maiden everyone knew and loved. But those albums are all great in their own right. It just takes some getting used to. They clicked for me after many, many listens.
 

Natalie

Insect of Terror
Staff member
Another Blaze album that I really enjoy is The Man Who Would Not Die. And from all of his earlier solo efforts I like The 10th Dimension best.

But as far as Maiden album goes, I'd recommend The Final Frontier because it has a mix of Maiden styles on it (I call it the kaleidoscope album). AMOLAD almost needs to be regarded as one complete work and is an insanely good album as a whole, but can be difficult to get into I think.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I still think Silicon Messiah is Blaze's best solo effort, and one of my top 10 albums, easily. A great album. The Man Who Would Not Die is also quite good, probably my second favourite of his albums.

I'd, obviously, recommend Brave New World next, which sounds the most like "old" Maiden, in terms of what you were into. The stuff from between Number of the Beast and Powerslave, with The Thin Line Between Love and Hate tossed in for people missing Somewhere in Time.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Bruce Dickinson (w/Adrian Smith) - Accident of Birth
Bruce Dickinson (w/Adrian Smith) - Chemical Wedding
Blaze - Silicon Messiah (still Blaze Bayley's best and some songs are pretty Maidenish)
Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death (best Maiden album since Bruce and Adrian returned)

I also hope you give Maiden's nineties another chance. No Prayer was rough compared to Seventh Son when it came out, but now you might stand it better. It's a consistent, fresh and in your face metal album and the most live sounding they ever did.
 

Rotam

Night and day I scan horizon, sea and sky
You need to really listen the X-Factor. It was quite probably one of the earliest records i bought, and took me a while to get into it. But that dark athmosphere, the slow intros and the lyrics are the best from the NPFTD-VXI period.


Recommended. B)
 

Perun

In the labyrinth of eternity
Staff member
And to add in yet another take on this:

I think most people here will know that my favourite album is The X Factor. But I do not think it is a very good album to start with. It took me about half a year or longer to get into it. In fact, I got into Virtual XI before The X Factor clicked with me. The X Factor is an album that, for the lack of a better word, takes a lot of intimacy to get into. By that I mean, it does not do for casual listening or putting it on five or six times and wait for it to open up. It takes effort to get into it. Listen to it closely, and try to actively discover what it has to offer. Maybe you even need to suffer through some hard times, as I did when I started to like it. I can only say that, although I have listened to it hundreds of times, and I mean really listened to it and not just put it on for background noise, I still tend to discover new facets.

I got into Iron Maiden around the time Brave New World came out, and it was the second album I knew, after Number of the Beast. So it is quite special to me, and of course I was the rebellious teenager back then, so it appealed to me for numerous reasons. Nevertheless, it is probably a good starting point because it comes closer to the classic eighties sound than most other releases. Next in line would probably be Dance of Death and then Virtual XI. But honestly, once you've gotten into one of them, the order really doesn't matter. Here again, I would like to state that A Matter of Life and Death is probably my favourite album overall after The X Factor - although I wish to emphasise at this point that I love all the classic eighties albums with all my heart! Without wanting to get into the tedious trench war that you can observe in many threads here, I think that No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark are sub-par albums by Maiden standards, but I would never say they are bad. The latter has some brilliant songs (Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Judas Be My Guide and Fear of the Dark to name but a few), and No Prayer is a fairly consistent album which has a lot of good songs and only two I really dislike (as opposed to Fear of the Dark, which has four or five). I just personally do not think it has very much material that sticks out when compared with the rest of the Maiden discography.

Maybe it would be recommendable to listen to one of the live albums released since the 'reunion'. En Vivo!, which was released only this year, offers a good selection of post-eighties material intermingled with some of the old classics we love so much. It could serve as a nice introduction to what the band has been up to for the past twenty years. The same goes for Death on the Road and Rock in Rio, but they obviously omit some of the more recent material.

And since everybody started talking about the solo albums, Bruce's Chemical Wedding and Blaze's Silicon Messiah rank as two of the best metal albums ever for me. All of Bruce's albums are great, although some take a lot of time getting into, and Blaze's early releases are amazing also. I guess I'm starting to like Promise and Terror a bit more than I used to, but King of Metal strikes me as quite bad. That may change over time, however. Again, maybe go for the live albums first - in this case Scream for me Brazil and As Live as it Gets respectively.

Just as a friendly moderator request, I would like to ask you to go easy on the full stops please. Ending each sentence with "......" is quite difficult to read.

Happy listening! :)
 
Well put about The X Factor Perun! It takes effort to get into, but when it clickes it's amazing!

But I would have to agree with most. Start with Brave New World, and go in chronological order. If your a big fan of the 80's stuff, you will probably have no problem getting into the 00's stuff.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I also like what Perun wrote, but it went different with me.

To be honest, the only effort I needed to get into The X-Factor was pushing the play button. I still remember the moment when that happened (headphones, secluded myself in my room) and I was enchanted from the first second I heard the Gregorian choir. I don't find every song great but I certainly appreciated the whole album from the word go. The atmosphere and the melodies really grabbed me instantly. (In the preceding years I went through some hard times but I am not sure if that is a must.)
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
It almost seems to be. Pretty much a prerequisite for enjoying the X Factor is "being in the proper mood".
 

rocket_man

mess with me and i'll pull out my rocket on you
many thanks for all the advice here, i will definitely take all this into consideration - - especially with the "Blade" material........i own DOD already, i had bought it when i finally learned of the new line up........and have listened to many tracks on all the other newer material........going to go ahead and make sure i purchase all the albums that are missing and listen in depth.........i have so much more extra time nowadays because of my cancer, since i dont work anymore.........I am learning that Iron Maiden music can be very therapeutic............Thanks again to all!
 
Unfortunately... If you don't enjoy the overall vibe of the BRAVE NEW WORLD album,
then you'll probably have a difficult time enjoying any of the post-FEAR albums.
 

denglongfist

Prowler
I personally like Brave New World better than any of the modern releases, but I understand that technically and musically, The Final Frontier and A Matter of Life and Death may be superior. I would personally start with the newest and then go back.
 

MaidenCanada

Trooper
The X Factor is an album that, for the lack of a better word, takes a lot of intimacy to get into.

I agree. I first heard The X Factor in 1995 and after several listens I decided that I didn't care for it.

However, one cold winter night in 2006, while I was waiting for the bus in the pitch black I played The X Factor that I had on my mp3 player (I was bored of all the other music I had on there), and the entire album suddenly sounded good. I don't know why, but for some reason I suddenly really liked the album, and since then I have listened to it fairly regularly and with a lot of enjoyment. The album seems to need a lot of attention to get into for most people. And when it finally "clicks", The X Factor is like the "secret handshake" album for many Iron Maiden fans.


As for the newer Iron Maiden albums, I say listen to: Brave New World, Dance of Death, A Matter of Life and Death, and The Final Frontier in that order. If you find yourself craving more, try the Blaze albums. That's just my opinion, though.
 
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