Shadows Of The Valley

How good is Shadows of the Valley on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    67

Eddieson

Nomad
This song doesn't do that much for me. I hear a lot of great parts, chorus and solos are great, but the songs doesn't leave a lasting impression on me, and would probably be the 2nd song I would cut of the album to make it more consistent.

6/10
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
9/10

The intro to Shadows of the Valley…is the main riff of Wasted Years. I mean, it still sounds good and it was apparently written by Janick Gers, but it’s virtually identical in almost every way. I don’t know how this song ended up making it to the record without Adrian saying, “Hey, you know I wrote that 30 years ago, right?” The intro lyrics even namecheck Sea of Madness, another Adrian tune from the Somewhere in Time album. Odd choices all around, especially considering H had nothing to do with this song. Once the song picks up, though, it’s awesome. The rollicking pace brings to mind Janick’s favorite sea-shanty style, a la Ghost of the Navigator or The Talisman (always a welcome sound in my opinion). Bruce slays on this track, as well, and the main unison is haunting in it’s jauntiness. The solo section is once again stellar, especially Janick and Adrian’s leads, and the post-solo vocal segment (“Into the valley of death…”) is one of the catchiest moments on the album.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Very pleasantly surprised by this one. I was expecting a slower, more acoustic track, yet this is a seven minute rocker, plain and simple. The intro is a pleasant callback to Wasted Years, and the entire song is an enjoyable experience. One of the greats of the album. A strong 8/10, possibly a 9 later on.
 

Dentura

Invader
The introduction sounds a little too close to Wasted Years for my comfort, but it doesn't last long and when the song really gets going, the band fires on all cylinders and take no prisoners. The music sounds very tight and there is a great sense of synergy between the instrumentalists. Bruce Dickinson gives a very passionate performance as well. One of the most enjoyable songs on the album in my opinion. 8.75/10 (which i'll round up to a 9)
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
This song draws heavily on the suspenseful atmosphere built up by "The Book of Souls". It's like "Death or Glory" never existed. Anyway, I particularly love the intro! It's very heavily influenced by "Wasted Years", and sounds very well done to my ears (it completely twists the uplifting tone heard in the former into a far creepier one). The song is very consistent throughout, doesn't change much, and it's a very enjoyable listen. Not among the best on the album, but still very good. The chorus is great, but not very memorable. Overall, I think it deserves an 8.
 

GiovaOfficial

Powerslave
The intro, despite being basically copied from Wasted Years, works pretty well. The chorus is very good and the rest of the song goes by pretty smoothly without many remarkable moments, even though 7 minutes might be a bit too much for this song. 7/10
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
Nice guitar intro, but I liked it better on "Wasted Years". Bruce delivers an oddly phrased intro vocal that breaks into an uptempo verse that works much better. A nice pre-chorus leads into a bright chorus that sounds more like something you'd hear from Bruce's solo work. Bruce strains a bit in places.

A brief instrumental break and we get another round of verse through chorus. Another interlude follows with a tasteful melodic lead, falling back into the pre-chorus and chorus. This leads into another interlude with another nice melodic lead and a cool, tasteful solo. A great vocal bridge follows, first in lyrics and then in "whoah-ohs". Another brief solo and we return to the pre-chorus before a final instrumental break closes things down.

This song is actually stronger than I'd remembered, with most of it being great, though it's hampered by some vocal straining and the odd phrasing on the intro. I think I have to round it down to 7/10.
 

MW564

Ancient Mariner
It took a looonnnggg old time but this is finally starting to grow on me, mainly thanks to the whoah-oh's and preceding part.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
The intro, despite being basically copied from Wasted Years, works pretty well. The chorus is very good and the rest of the song goes by pretty smoothly without many remarkable moments, even though 7 minutes might be a bit too much for this song.
I pretty much agree. It doesn't feel stretched to a point where it bores the hell out of me and I quite enjoy it to the end, but I also think that the song doesn't really grow anymore afther the "whoah-oh" part, which is pretty great! It doesn't fall flat either, but I just think that the song reaches it peak in the brilliant whoah-ooh moment and after that the one last chorus repeat and somewhat forgettable (I mean, I wouldn't miss that part too much if it wasn't there, as much as I enjoy it anyway) instrumental section don't really add anything to the whole thing.
 

Gk1

Ancient Mariner
I think this song demonstrates the way Maiden compose these days. They got some great ideas but it mostly ends up in Steve doing the structures. Then they do not spend time playing the songs.They don't really explore the dynamics. Steve is composing and adding parts according to his experience and the band does not play the songs enough before they are recorded.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
Then they do not spend time playing the songs.They don't really explore the dynamics.
I might disagree with you about many things considering the recent material, but you're making an excellent point here. I actually love the vibe they captured with TBOS and I think the whole album sounds a lot more inspired and energetic than The Final Frontier, but the thing you mentioned is clearly the downside of recording material pretty straight after writing and rehearsing it a few times. I wonder, would Shadows of the Valley, for example, been a bit more cleaned up if they did explore it a bit longer and further?

Anyway, I think that in TBOS, they really managed to capture the great vibe they had while writing and recording and this is one of those instances where the "live feel" they've talked for ages now really works to it's advantage, even with it's occasional problems, but it really wouldn't hurt to explore some things a bit more next time.

That all being said, I still think it's pretty awesome how great - in my opinion - things have turned out even with their recent approach to the studio work, which naturally has it's flaws as well as it's benefits, but yes, I think you have a good point there. :)
 

Black Abyss Babe

Quantum weather butterfly
Why is everyone making such a big deal about the similarity to Wasted Years? Only the first two or three notes are really similar - after that it goes off in a completely different direction. And I'm sure H accepted it as a compliment and moved on, much the same as Janick did with 2 Minutes to Midnight Chaser ...
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
Why is everyone making such a big deal about the similarity to Wasted Years?
Probably because the melody has been used in at least 4 different tracks now ("Losfer Words", "Wasted Years", "The Clansman", and "Shadows Of The Valley"), and the guitar tone in "Shadows..." seems to directly mimic the tone from "Wasted Years", and Janick has a terrible habit of self-plagiarism and band self-plagiarism.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Compare it to that section of "Losfer Words" and see if you still believe that.
The "Clansman" bit is very similar to that "Losfer Words" bit indeed (I can also see where the "Book of Souls" claim is coming from as well), but neither have anything to do with "Wasted Years" or "Shadows of the Valley".
 
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