The Duellists

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


  • Total voters
    58

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
9, and a strong 9 at that. Like this entire album, the performance sounds effortlessly precise. Steve Harris lays down one of his best lines.
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
The instrumental part lifts it from eight to nine. Adrian and Dave on top of their game as a duo.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Steve is incredibly strong on this track, and so is Nicko, pounding out some killer fills and keeping a strident, strong beat.

Bruce is not so great here, the speed of the lyrics seem to challenge him. This song should have been done live when Blaze was in the band.

8/10
 

DJMayes

Educated Fool
5. A painfully average song.

Ranking:

Rankings:

Previous Albums:

1980 - Iron Maiden - 6.67

8 - Prowler
6 - Sanctuary
7 - Remember Tomorrow
6 - Running Free
9 - Phantom Of The Opera
7 - Transylvania
4 - Strange World
6 - Charlotte The Harlot
7 - Iron Maiden

1981 - Killers - 5.91

6 - The Ides Of March
6 - Wrathchild
6 - Murders In The Rue Morgue
5 - Another Life
5 - Genghis Khan
5 - Innocent Exile
8 - Killers
5 - Prodigal Son
8 - Purgatory
6 - Twilight Zone
5 - Drifter

1982 - The Number Of The Beast - 7.56

6 - Invaders
7 - Children Of The Damned
8 - The Prisoner
7 - 22 Acacia Avenue
9 - The Number Of The Beast
10 - Run To The Hills
6 - Gangland
5 - Total Eclipse
10 - Hallowed Be Thy Name

1983 - Piece Of Mind - 7.44

8 - Where Eagles Dare
9 - Revelations
9 - Flight Of Icarus
7 - Die With Your Boots On
8 - The Trooper
7 - Still Life
6 - Quest For Fire
6 - Sun And Steel
7 - To Tame A Land

1984 - Powerslave

8 - Aces High
7 - 2 Minutes To Midnight
3 - Loss Fer Words
7 - Flash Of The Blade
5 - The Duellists
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
9/10

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.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
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.

9
 

BeThyJames

Trooper
Not sure why majority prefer Flash of the Blade to this. I think the melodies, vocals, guitarwork on this are slightly better and the instrumental is superb. Still not a favourite though

6
 
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Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
I like the music quite a lot (especially the instrumental part) but the vocal melodies represent Harris at his most uninspired, in my opinion. (6/10)
 

matic22

Ancient Mariner
Slightly better track than Flash Of The Blade. Nice chorus. Great guitar work. Good track.

7/10
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
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.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
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.
 

GiovaOfficial

Powerslave
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.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I used to think this was the weakest song on the album. How can it be, when there are no weak songs on the album to be found?

Guitars are incredible. 10/10.
 

Jer

The Living Flame
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.

Great stuff with a few weaker parts. 8/10.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
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
 
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
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
 
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