The Development Continues

BNW was a fantastic return to form for Iron Maiden, and Dance of Death is arguably even better. Other than the disappointing album cover, it's hard to find fault with this offering from 2003. Unusually, every member of the band was involved with the song writing, and I think that helps to give the album a fresh feel while also continuing the 'Maiden' sound and developing their Prog influences, that would become a feature of this era of Iron Maiden. Steve is involved in the writing of all but one song, and I guess that helps to give it the distinctive sound we all love, but Adrian and Bruce are also heavily involved in the songwriting here and I think the album benefits from such strength in depth. I really like every single song here. The guitars are sounding incredible, the drumming is superb, Steve is as awesome as ever and Bruce is on fine form. I thought they had incorporated three guitars really well on BNW, but on DOD it felt more like they were exploiting that facet of the band more consciously and more effectively.

There's a real energy to this album and impressive diversity. You get the short barnstormers in the form of Wildest Dreams and you also get the epics like Paschendale and then to top it off, they throw in Journeyman! This is my eldest son's favourite Iron Maiden album and I can certainly see why that is the case. It was also significant because it was the first Iron Maiden tour I took my son's to see. They were still in primary school, so very young, but I remember they were very excited about going and they were bouncing for days afterwards with their excitement at having seen the band live. My youngest son, Blayze, was so captivated by the live show and what he heard on this album, he decided to grow his hair long and would only wear his Rock and Metal clothes. Despite a lot of teasing from other kids, he had hair down to his elbows throughout secondary school and I've always been really proud of how he ignored the teasing and did what he wanted to do. It's safe to say that Iron Maiden is a major part of our family and I will always love this album because it gave me a real bond with my sons that I will always cherish. Dance of Death is a real highlight of Iron Maiden in any incarnation, not just the post-reunion.