Revelations

How good is Revelations on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    72

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I still think it’s overrated, at least in studio. I don’t think it’s one of Bruce's finest moments. I prefer humming it than listening to it, truth be told.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Revelations... ah yes... is this Bruce's masterpiece? Short answer: No. Both Empire of the Clouds and The Chemical Wedding vie for that title.

Long answer: Ok, look, I get it, this is a popular song, and I want to really love it but... but...

The opening comes in and I'm all there. The song picks up. Bruce comes in, and that's where everything falls apart. He may have wrote this song, but somehow he isn't singing it right. Sound confusing? I agree, but that's about as close as I can get to explaining my feelings on this song. Bruce holds it back because his voice is off somehow. Yeah, he's singing with a lot of emotion, but there's just something off, and try as I might I really can't explain it.

The music is great, though. The lyrics are spectacular. The usage of Chesterton is a marvelous idea that pays off in tenfold. The opening line is absolutely perfect when coupled to the music; it's nearly a Top 10 Maiden moment.

"Oh God of earth and altar, bow down and hear our cry
Our earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die
The walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide
Take not thy thunder from us
But take away our pride.
"

I'm not much of a religious man - I follow Anton LaVey's ideology for the most part, after all - but I have a deep rooted respect for religion, or at least the core of what religion is. Religion has produced some of the greatest works ever created by mankind. There are many beautiful hymns out there, including Chesterton's, and Maiden have often helped showcase what makes some hymns great - wisdom, talent, beauty. Just look at Bruce's solo masterpiece "Jerusalem", taking one of the most famous British songs ever and rearranging it into a beautiful, beautiful track. 15 years earlier, though, he gave us Revelations, and already proved how great of a songwriter he was, by coming up with his own lyrics but also figuring out the best way to utilize ones already in existence to better help the track.

So yes, Bruce wrote what could've been a masterpiece... but there's something lacking here, and again, it's likely the way he sings it. I'm not sure if it sounds better live or not; the LAD version is far too fast to work well. And it's not really something I could outright state. I couldn't tell him to "change this" and it'd all be perfect because it just needs to be natural, and that's not what I hear anyway.

Which is why, perhaps, Revelations is one of my favorite songs to sing. Straight-up, I love singing this song. Putting my own pipes to work - as shitty as they probably are - brings out something in this track which I can't hear in the released versions. I can get closer to the heart of the song this way. I'm not trying to sound vain; I just much prefer singing it than listening to it. Singing it yourself makes it seem more personal, I guess. Plus you automatically can correct anything you dislike in the original. I guess.

So yeah, really weird song for me. On the one hand, I love it... on the other hand, there's just something holding it back for me. Great song to sing, not so great to listen to. I guess I'll go with an 8/10 for it. Is it overrated? Yes, but it shouldn't have to be. With but a change of singing this song could in fact be Bruce's masterpiece.

...if EOTC and TCW didn't exist, of course. :ok:
 

Jer

My sins are many
A simple riff with some nice bass accents gives way to an unusually slow and simple groove. Bruce delivers a soaring verse 1 while the guitar and bass trade off underneath him. This fades into a beautifully arpeggiated clean guitar part with a great bass lead and sweet harmonized guitars on top of it.

This is suddenly blasted away by a sparse, aggressive guitar and drum break which kicks into a more driving version with harmonized guitars. This leads back into the clean guitar and bass bit from before, but instead of guitars we get another soaring vocal and realize we're now in verse 2.

The heaviness kicks back in for a brief chorus. Another round of verse 2 and chorus and we return to the sparse guitar and drum break from before. Bruce offers an out of place "go!" and the pace picks up slightly before an excellent pair of solos and a nice harmonized section. The guitar and drum break returns, but now driving instead of sparse. We return to verse 1 and a brief reprise of verse 2 before finishing on a gentle vocal.

Lots of great, emotional material here, and a neat song structure. It feels too slow at the beginning, and the whole section around the "go!" is kind of anemic, but the rest is pretty brilliant. 9/10.
 

Daedalus

Educated Fool
As far as the Murray/Smith solos library goes, Revelations is, without question, my all time, #1 favorite Maiden cut.

Every time, and I mean every time, I hear Revelations, I listen to the solos twice.

I mean, that song is 35 years old and I still get goosebumps.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Revelations was surprisingly one of the highlights of the LOTB tour. Never liked it that much before I saw it live.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
A song I've often derided - but no longer. "Revelations" is a perfect theatrical take on religion penned by one Bruce Dickinson. Great live, and great in studio, there's little wonder it's a classic. Excellent performances from all involved send it straight to top marks, and it's one of the finest showings of how great Maiden are at crafting great lyrics together with great music. 10
 

Stardust

A Blue Sector Mirage
Luckily, the next song is quite a bit better. And by that, I mean this is a song that is in my top 10 from the band. I kinda love it a lot.

So, Bruce has the solo credit here and y'know, he does a pretty phenomenal job with it. The vocals here are absolutely stunning, amongst his very, very best. And Bruce's lyrics are intriguing if nothing else and they're excellent as well. As for the rest of the band, well...that second instrumental section is simply great and I'll leave it at that.

I wish I had more to say about this fantastic song, but I don't. At least now. Just go listen to it, man! It gets a 10/10, of course. And yeah, it is indeed my favourite song on the album.
 

Luisma

Years Wasted
Well... Since I have my book to sell (http://subscribepage.com/luisma666) for supporting my old folks in Venezuela, this kind of post will be one of the lasts...

"When I was at school they used to make me go to church on every Sunday … and they used to make you sing on all the hymns and things and occasionally you find the odd good tune amongst all this bullshit, so I nicked one of the hymns for the album Piece Of Mind and it starts 'O God of Earth and Altar, bow down and hear our cry.' Revelations this one!" (Bruce Dickinson introducing the song at the Hammersmith Odeon - October 12, 1984)

"I have a fondness for hymns. I love some of the ritual, the beautiful words, Jerusalem and there was another one, with words by G.K Chesterton O God of Earth and Altar-ver firte and brimstone: 'Bow down and hear our cry.' I used that for an Iron Maiden song, 'Revelations'. In my strange and clumsy way I was trying to say look its all the same stuff." (Bruce quote taken from The G.K Chesterton Collection 50 Books published by Catholic Way Publishing 2014)

"The idea of 'Revelations' was to tie together lots of imagery from different religious systems. The stuff I dug out on that song, about Egypt and the Osiris cult especially, I thought, Well, this is weird, it's like a dead ringer for Christ – the death and resurrection bit. And I went back and found out that virtually every religion has exactly the same thing going through it." (Bruce Dickinson for Martin Strickland – Sounds Magazine – October 4, 1986)

Live History

World Piece Tour – UK & Europe (4); World Piece Tour – North America & Europe (2nd Leg) (5); World Slavery Tour 1984 (4); World Slavery Tour 1984 – North America (December 15) (5); Rock In Rio ’85 (4); World Slavery Tour 1985 – Japan (2 last Dates in Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka & Osaka) (5); Give Me Ed… 'Til I'm Dead Tour (4); Eddie Rips Up The World Tour (First 2 Dates) (8); Eddie Rips Up The World Tour – Europe (9); Ozzfest 2005 (Supporting Act) (3); Ozzfest 2005 (Headlining Performance) (5); Eddie Rips Up The World Tour – North America, UK & Ireland (8); Clive Burr MS Trust Fund 2005 (8); Somewhere Back In Time World Tour ’08 (3); Maiden England World Tour 2014 (5); Legacy Of The Beast European Tour (6) & Legacy Of The Beast 2019 Tour (6).

If you like this info, please buy my book where you get loads of more info about each song AND help me raise money to help my old folks in Venezuela
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Bombastic intro starts this classic. Awesome riff and amazing verses. The twin-lead guitar harmonies through the song are essential Maiden. Bruce shines. Great solos and lyrics. The song is even better live (with the participation from the audience). I like how the song has slow passages, then the fast part with the solos and then ends calmly. This song is a diamond. 10/10
 

-Westy-

Prowler
One of the best songs of the album, and Bruce's singing is fantastic (9/10).

One thing I've always noticed though - and I can't see where anyone else has mentioned it - is at around 3:34 in the middle of singing the line "And I watched and I waited for the dawn", after he sings "watched" he takes quite an audible breath and continues singing.

It's just become part of the sound of the song for me, but it's always seemed a bit out of place. What do other's think? I gather he needs to take a breath here - when recording the album did they decide it wasn't an issue and left it in? It's not a big deal for me, just noticeable.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I always thought that gasp was intentional. Bruce does a fairly long and powerful run without taking a breath, and when he finally does it makes it seem like the narrator is exasperated or something similar. I think it fits the lyrics because of the lines “she came to me with a serpent’s kiss” (snakes are metaphorically tricksters and liars, thanks to the Adam and Eve story), “moonlight catches silver tears I cry,” and “so we lay in a black embrace”.

Basically the line seems to be that what he did (sexually, given that “the seed [was] sown”) was possibly damning, and it makes sense that he takes the breath where he does there, at a point where one wouldn’t expect it, because he’s scared (or some other emotion).
 

-Westy-

Prowler
I always thought that gasp was intentional. Bruce does a fairly long and powerful run without taking a breath, and when he finally does it makes it seem like the narrator is exasperated or something similar. I think it fits the lyrics because of the lines “she came to me with a serpent’s kiss” (snakes are metaphorically tricksters and liars, thanks to the Adam and Eve story), “moonlight catches silver tears I cry,” and “so we lay in a black embrace”.

Basically the line seems to be that what he did (sexually, given that “the seed [was] sown”) was possibly damning, and it makes sense that he takes the breath where he does there, at a point where one wouldn’t expect it, because he’s scared (or some other emotion).
Thanks, makes sense. Maybe also I was first listening to that songs in my teens and thought it was an unintentional audible breathe then, and that's been set with me all these years.
 

lovey

Prowler
I love all this so i love your explanation, gor!!

Bowel-loosening intro; love it. Also love the poem it comes from
I also love your word “disformed
Maybe the hanged man is smiling due to relief. He’s dead, he doesn’t have to live in this horrible world that he hates anymore. I reckon it is mediaeval. I wish I could live there.

The hanged man doesn’t have any worries, unlike the man who’s had the succubus after him. He thinks said tarot-readers are “fools”. The watcher in the ring” sounds like LoTR.
"...it is you” @ the end means you don’t need tarot cards etc. to feel/be important.

10 isn’t high enough xx
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
The hanged man doesn’t have any worries, unlike the man who’s had the succubus after him. He thinks said tarot-readers are “fools”. The watcher in the ring” sounds like LoTR.
"...it is you” @ the end means you don’t need tarot cards etc. to feel/be important.

I think the Tarot-references are generally representing religion(s) passing responsibility and weight of decision to something representing some power seemingly out there, while it should be the individual and humankind itself ("for the one who will be king - it is you") taking the responsibility and control of their actions and challenging the beliefs, instead of blindly following and obeying rules and superstitious claims or whatever based on the religious control of the masses, or whatever.

I've understood that some inspiration for that came from how The Number of the Beast was received, judged and banned in some more fundamental and strict religious communities.
 
Top