The Clansman

How good is The Clansman on a scale of 1-10?

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The Clansman is a brilliant epic in the vein of Sign of the Cross, moody and atmospheric with haunting Celtic melodies. Inspired by Braveheart (or some guy named William Wallace), The Clansman brings to life the determination and strength of the Scottish clans of old. Blaze sounds soulful as he belts out chants for freedom. The guitars are on fire throughout the song, especially during the harmonized unison sections and stellar guitar solos. Janick Gers finally sounds like he has found his footing next to Dave Murray. The Clansman is another track that stayed in rotation during the “reunion era” and Bruce’s version on Rock in Rio is absolutely phenomenal.

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Another one of Steve's masterpieces. By far the best song on the album, and Blaze sings it beautifully (strangely enough, this is the only Blaze-era song in which I liked Bruce's performance, although I still prefer Blaze's). I love the melodies Steve went with here, and the solos really fit accordingly. A 10.
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Number 6

Ancient Mariner
So... apparently, back in 2004, pop singer Brandy sampled "Clansman" in her own song "I Tried", but I only ever knew about this today.

Like... okay, I heard about this and went straight into Spotify to check it out. Just another Maiden fan checking out a Maiden sample in pop music; I know, it sounds weird, and I wasn't really expecting much, nor thinking it could work out (I really just wanted to hear the sample).

Thing is, I was actually left surprisingly satisfied. The song was seriously, almost completely built around the sample, it wasn't just for publicity ("hey, I sampled an Iron Maiden song") or any shit like that, it actually worked! And it worked beautifully, like... I'm genuinely very surprised right now, I still don't quite know what to make of it all, and I'm curious to know your thoughts. Did you know about this? Have you heard "I Tried"? If so, what did you think?

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Have you heard "I Tried"? If so, what did you think?
I read about this but I never actually listened to the song. I did so just now and while I wasn't impressed at first, by the end of it I had gotten into it. Not going to be a favorite of mine, but it's definitely a great usage of a rather weird Iron Maiden sound.


The only real saving grace of this album. If The Clansman never existed, Virtual XI would be a completely average album, definitely not worthy of putting out, especially for a band like the Maiden we all know and love. Don’t ge me wrong, there are some good moments on other tracks too, but this is the only great song.
I feel like during the Blaze era Steve’s songwriting had gone down too, but this is a great recovery, as the song as a whole works out very well. The riffs are very nice, and solos are great too. I also have to compliment Blaze’s singing, despite the fact that I don’t generally like it so much, because he did a great job on this one. Bruce sang it very well too, and I think they might want to bring it back before they retire, since it doesn’t look as demanding as other songs on the vocals.
Anyway, a rare 90’s masterpiece (maybe the only one along with FOTD). 10/10


Love in anger
An uninspiring intro leads into a disconnected, staccato mess of a verse. Blaze is back to his half-asleep, horribly off-key soft delivery. This gets better when the verse gets louder, but then he's trying to double the guitar melody while being out of sync with the guitar's timing. Ouch.

This makes a very sloppy transition into the chorus (the guitars, drums, and vocals arrive at different times), which is a literal one-note, one-word affair. So lackluster.

The peppier verses that follow are pretty decent, but then we're back to that sad excuse for a chorus. A boring, simplistic interlude follows, eventually leading into a nice pair of solos. Then we get another disconnected, staccato mess of a bass line and a terribly delivered vocal on the bridge, complete with Blaze's trademark out of key whoah-oh-ohs.

Another boring interlude follows, followed by the lame chorus, this time with obvious sound quality problems while someone plays "Losfer Words" on top of it. Back to the pre-chorus, then the production-challenged chorus again.

More staccato bass with horribly delivered soft vocals that try to double the guitar line while being out of sync with them. Terrible.

A lot of people seem to like this song a lot, and even consider it a latter-era classic; but I think it's a complete mess in terms of songwriting, production, and vocal performance. There are some worthwhile parts hiding in there, but it's probably not worth the effort to try to enjoy them. 4/10.


Let's Get Volatile
This is tough, because the song on its own is very strong, but as @Jer highlighted so well, there are a lot of issues with the production and performances that bring it down. Does Steve cock up the bass line during the intro? He sounds much tighter on the RiR version. I really don't like the delivery of the lyrics in the intro, Blaze is not softly singing, just whispering. The (very loud) transition to the FREEDOM part is jarring, but I do like that section. The steady rhythm in the verses is good, Blaze sounds much better here. I like all that follows: another round of FREEDOMs, some nice guitar melodies, one of Janick's best solos and a nice, if too short, Dave solo. The clean mid section does go on a little, and I don't love the gratuitous Whoa-Ohs. A few repeats of what came before and we're done, but not before a reprise of the intro, again Blaze sounds like hes struggling badly with this.

Any live version, Bruce or Blaze, would probably be a ten and the song was a real highlight of the LOTB tour, but I'm judging the studio version alone here. I don't like it, but I think I'm going with a seven...
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Let's Get Volatile
It's funny... it doesn't sound like an obvious mistake but also doesn't sound right, that's why I'm so uncertain.


Barbed Wire Hen
It's an obvious rhythm mistake. Try to count (or use metronome etc), he lingers on that last part longer than he should. Doesn't happen on repeats.

Not that it matters, just sayin

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
An atypical opening moves steadily into a cool piece with a quiet Blaze setting the scene for the song: the Scottish Highlands. Slowly building up until it breaks open into a pummeling epic, "The Clansman" is for many the definitive Blaze era song. Not for me, but it's very good nonetheless. The instrumental section is the best part of the song, with all sorts of great stuff going on in there. I like this song both live and in studio, but I think the performance on here is a little bit better than that on RiR. As a whole, it's just a great song. 10


Out of the Silent Planet
Amazing Celtic intro starts this epic - beautiful melodies from Janick and bass line from Steve. With this intro I can imagine that I'm on a hill and the wind ruffle my hair.... The calm part at the start is very good - and then explodes to a pure greatness. I quite like the lyrics. Fantastic verses, pre-chorus and the actual chorus is great for a live environment. The twin-lead guitar harmonies through the whole song are brutally amazing! Both solos are super. The second calm part in the middle is a nice addition too. And the ''oh-oh'' part fits just great. Great vocals by Blaze! I like Dave guitar's slide at the end of the song under the chorus. Great calm end to the song as well. The song is an instant classic - even the people which do not like the Blaze era have to admit that this song is amazing. I like how on RIR 2001 concert Bruce dance kozachok during the second twin-lead guitar harmony :lol: (I think he do that dance during ME tour rehearsals on Running Free too).



Ancient Mariner
I remember when I heard this song for first time and to be honest I didn't like it too much because the begining of the song reminded me to the begining of Infinite Dreams.
I think the song is very very good with all that vibe, but the production on it is so weak…The fact that they played in Rock in Rio with all that energy and it was inmortalised in a DVD made of it an epic classic.
8/10 (8 for the bad production)