The Book of the Final Frontier

01. The Book of Souls
02. Mother of Mercy
03. The Alchemist
04. Isle of Avalon
05. Starblind

06. Death or Glory
07. Tears of a Clown
08. The Man of Sorrows
09. Empire of the Clouds
 
These are two albums that I didn't much appreciate at first but have risen heavily in my favorites.
At this point The Final Frontier for me is definitely Top 5 and Book of Souls is definitely more appreciated now.

Funny thing, when you really like a band you will exhibit patience. My favorite 3 bands are Rush / Yes / Iron Maiden in that order.
One thing these bands have in common is that they have very complex - I'd rather say brilliant- concepts that don't necessarily translate to one easy listen.
But when you give them a fair listen you can appreciate brilliance.
My annoying flaw is that I have no patience for new bands. I should give them a fair listen, but most often I don't. Mia Culpa.
 
„The Book of final frontier souls”
  1. Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
  2. El Dorado
  3. The Alchemist
  4. The Book of souls
  5. Speed of light
  6. Coming Home
  7. If Eternity Should Fail
Disc 2
  1. Isle Of Avalon
  2. Death or Glory
  3. The Talisman
  4. When the wild wind blows
  5. Empire of a clouds
 
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Just noticed I haven't done this before. I think you could actually take both albums and make the reunion era's greatest album by far, although the albums are pretty different from each other. What it comes down to for me is that 75% of The Final Frontier is GOAT Maiden, but it has a couple clunkers. Book of Souls is a consistent listen, but very rarely reaches the stratosphere. So if you replace the Final Frontier fillers with Book of Souls classics, you've got a pretty excellent album.

I gave myself a couple of additional challenges:
1 - No double album.
2 - It has to follow the general "rules" for Maiden. In other words, The Talisman and The Book of Souls can't both be on there, only one acoustic Janick epic. Killing The Talisman was brutal, but The Book of Souls might be the best song in the reunion era.

1: If Eternity Should Fail
2: El Dorado
3: Mother of Mercy
4: Coming Home
5: The Alchemist
6: Isle of Avalon
7: Starblind
8: The Book of Souls
9: The Man of Sorrows (yes, really)
10: When the Wild Wind Blows
 
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1. If Eternity Should Fail
2. The Alchemist
3. The Great Unknown
4. The Red And The Black
5. When The River Runs Deep
6. The Book Of Souls
7. Starblind
8. Shadows Of The Valley
9. Tears Of A Clown
10. Empire Of The Clouds

This was pretty easy for me. TFF has the better production and performances, but it's in my least favorite Maiden albums. TBOS has relatively weak shorter tracks (with Speed Of Light being one of the worst songs in Maiden's entire catalogue for me) but the overall quality is consistent, with some really high points (the latter half of TRATB for example). So, I simply switched SOL with The Alchemist, which is a hell of a rocker and unfortunately super underrated, and changed the rather forgettable (to me) Death Or Glory with Starblind. The latter is not a short rocker either, but it's a magnificent song nonetheless and couldn't skip such an exercise. The Talisman and WTWWB are great too, but they are already covered by TBOS and TRATB respectively.
 
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