Possibly the best example of Maiden’s twin guitar attack. It’s an exercise in pure energy from the opening riff to the closing note. Bruce’s vocals feel rushed throughout and the chorus is a bit screechy, but the guitars make it all worthwhile. Murray and H harmonize throughout a bridge that evokes the image of two swordsmen trading equal blows before Dave blazes through an extended, furious guitar solo. The harmony in between feels like another parry, before Adrian lands a brutal blow with a calculated and precise solo. Their final harmony must imply that neither man has won and a truce has been called: because this is Maiden after all, and neither man is expendable. I know I’m getting far too ridiculous with the imagery, but the song simply is that evocative: a brilliant synergy of sound and theme.
Good song. Another one that really captures the loose vibe of this album. Steve has a reputation for writing more introspective and dark songs. You would never know by listening to something like this. It's hard to be in a bad mood while listening to this song.
Love the interaction between the guitars and bass on this, both during the instrumental section and the parts with vocals. Some really great harmonies throughout and some awesome soloing. Just when you think the instrumental section is over, Steve throws another great twin harmony at you. This band knows how to have fun, but they're also competent players and writers. The end of the instrumental section is stunning.
The only real flaw here is that the vocal parts leave a bit left to be desired. It's part of the reason why I am ok with Losfer Words being an instrumental. There are several songs in the 80s that feel like the vocals were an afterthought, this was one of them. Fun chorus though.
This is one of those songs that, for me, is so underrated it's overrated. Every list of underrated Maiden songs includes it, and I have to ask, why? There's so many other songs to choose instead - any of the other three so-called 'filler tracks' (if those are filler, then I'd love to see what people define as not filler!) could be used instead. But don't get me wrong, it's a good song and doesn't bring the album down at all. Still, take Losfer Words and Where Eagles Dare and mashing them together makes for a song which feels more filler-ish than the rest of the 'fillers', and I disagree with statements that say it's the band's best example of duel guitar. Still, it gets a 7/10, and a strong one at that, because despite all reservations I may have about it, The Duellists remains a good song.
After Losfer Words, this is the weakest track on the album. The main riff is nice, but not actually memorable (which is something, being a song from Powerslave), although the chorus is catchy as fuck. An 8.
Another one that is quite underrated. The instrumental section is brilliant, but maybe it’s a bit too long for the length of the song. The chorus is a weird combination of kinda annoying and very catchy, but I like it this way. 8/10
I really can't make up my mind here, sometimes it's a great song but quite often I find my mind wandering off when listening to it. Also suffers a bit for being the second of two fencing songs in a row.
I have a feeling this is a song that I suddenly will "get" and start loving. But for now I'm a bit ambivalent.
A straightforward groove leads into a vocally busy but appealing verse, a very brief descending pre-chorus, and a soaring, catchy chorus.
Another round of verse through chorus and we enter an extended interlude with some nice muted harmonized guitars and bass fills. A melodic lead joins for a bit, leading into a great solo and a somewhat more boring interlude.
Another great solo breaks things up, followed by a pleasant harmonized section, then a more sparse lead / rhythm tradeoff section before returning to the intro groove. Another round of verse through chorus, and things wrap up on a long vocal note and a big rock ending.
I don't really like calling any Maiden song overlong, but the middle section of The Duelists just feels never-ending. Really, why is there a 3 and a half-minute instrumental section in a 6-minute song? Fortunately Bruce manages to save the song with a fantastic performance. 8
What a grower. At one point my least favorite song on the album, now one of my favorites. "The Duellists" not only manages to steal the style of verse straight from "Where Eagles Dare", but it does so better than the previous one. Two songs dedicated to sword-fighting on the same album may have been overkill for many bands, but not this one. The real highlight is the three-part instrumental section, featuring trade-offs between Dave and Adrian and showcasing how deadly Maiden's dual axemen truly were. 10