Starblind and The Alchemist


Hey everyone, I'm pretty new here, but I'm a die-hard maiden fan.
Have been listening to them for only 3-4 years now, and I actually hated them once thinking they were satanic and stuff but now I'm a complete fan, and they're my Gods.

So just as a first poll, after listening to the newest album TFF, I was wondering, is there something I'm missing about the songs Starblind and The Alchemist?
I do like Starblind a lot, but I've seen people comparing it to Pacshendale or HBTN or ROTAM.. I don't see why. I love the lyrics and musicianship in Starblind though.
I just didn't get to it I guess but what is so awesome about it?
I actually pretty dislike the Alchemist, I skip it. Again, what is it I'm missing there?
I'm sure I'll love the tracks, if explanation is provided.

To me, Starblind is the breakout track of the album. It's like the album has this song, and then the rest. I wish I could explain it to you... it's the lyrics and that beautiful guitar playing. The song is just unlike anything else I know.

I'm with you on The Alchemist. though. I don't dislike it, but it is my least favourite track off the album.
The Alchemist took me a long time to really love, but I do love it.

But  That song is just the pinnacle of everything Maiden have done since their inception.
I think The Alchemist is there simply as a token fast song.  It's sorta there to vary up the tempo and moods a bit.  A more old school number.  And while I like it, it's another example to me as to why the newer version of Maiden just can't or shouldn't return to writing these sort of songs anymore.  It's OK but a bit nondescript and derivative.  Nothing special.

Starblind to me is just genius from start to finish.  The odd meter, the different kind of rhythms, the potent lyrics, the reprise of Infinite Dreams.  It's the most 80's sounding non rocker that they've done in a long time.  And while there are sections that borrow from the past, the arrangement as a whole is pretty new and fresh sounding.
I can honestly say that I love The Alchemist. Yes, it is a simple basic rock track. But it's got some great guitar work from Janick, and Bruce wrote some killer lyrics for it. Put this song on Piece of Mind and it'd be played at every concert today. It's a throwback, but that doesn't make it bad, far from it. It is the same formula that yet sounds fresh.
Starblind remains pretty average for me. I've never understood why it gets so much love. I'd say Isle Of Avalon is the album's high point.
So would I, but Starblind is still a great song.
The Alchemist was the first song on TFF that I really liked.
These are my two favorite tracks on the album. Starblind represents the greatest lyrical achievement of all of Iron Maiden's music. It's fucking brilliant. The musicianship is superb, the tune itself kicks ass, but Bruce and his lyrics are the real show here. The Alchemist is a very different song. As much as I love the epics, Iron Maiden is, was and will always be about flat out rock n roll. The Alchemist represents some of the best of that in the band's history. The uptempo tunes are much more than "token" songs, they're an integral part of who Iron Maiden is. Janick has become masterful with them...
Perun said:
To me, Starblind is the breakout track of the album. It's like the album has this song, and then the rest. I wish I could explain it to you... it's the lyrics and that beautiful guitar playing. The song is just unlike anything else I know.

I think that this song might also stand above the others on this album, because of (one of) Maiden's most important factor(s):


Despite its deep lyrics, some complicated rhythms, this song is very melodic as well. Maybe it's this mighty combination that does it...
The Alchemist was an instant favourite for me and the more I hear it the more I love it, I really do hope they play it live when I see them later in the year. The Alchemist for me is a bit of an anomoly on this album though!... meaning that within the context of TFF it sounds somewhat... old school maiden, on an otherwise contemporary sounding album. AMOLAD has got a more homogeneous sound and style to it, everything fits perfectly in place, Nonetheless I'm happy that TFF is as it is and I wouldn't change a thing about it. 
Starblind is so melodic, it has seven solos but the best thing about Starblind is changing melodies and rhythms of the guitar. Especially on the chorus, I love that guitar work.

The Alchemist is a spot on for the album, it prepares us to hear the epics of the album with its tempo and energy. It's my least favorite song of the album but still is a good song.
I can't comment on The Alchemist, my moods about it have been mixed. Starblind, however, is perfect because of how disarming it is, in multiple senses. It has complex rhythms and harmonies, lyrics which beg to be interpreted, and profound melodies which are in astounding contrast to the somewhat chaotic whole of the song without them. It possesses the same quality that Paschendale possessed, in that it does more than just prove that Maiden is brilliant musically and that Bruce, though H in the case of Paschendale, can write poignant lyrics. It does so because it has an atmosphere, one that is developed by and enhances the said truths. That is why Starblind is pure magic to me; the effect of it transcends the notes, rhythms, and tones. Quite frankly, it is a musical Gestalt of the highest order that is complete in itself. Starblind is a complete song.
Check out guy's profile, he has whole album 8-bit style (which is trivial to do once some good soul makes MIDI tracks...). Isle Of Avalon is great, albeit without solos...
Well... If you don't like Starblind, I don't think you're actually missing anything. It's just your take on it, I guess. But IMO it's the best song on the album. I love everything in it, from those crazy lyrics to the instrumental sections to the calmest parts. That said, I do believe it's a bit strange that you don't like it that much.

I didn't like The Alchemist that much at first. It took me a while, but when I started loving most of the album (excluding The Talisman, which I have serious trouble listening to) it sounded pretty good to me. The lyrics are good on this one too. I think TFF needed a track like The Alchemist, among the proggy, slower and moodier songs.
I cant get Starblind either, I cant pull the guitar rythyms together, to me its messy and all over, there is no set melody to the tune.
I learned it on guitar and there is so much going on in that song. And I like that song. Getting the sheet music for it showed me things that I never would've noticed before hand. Very complex tune.