The Evil That Men Do

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'the Evil That Men Do'

And another review by yours truly.

Well, the song starts out quite harmless. The slow and powerful guitar intro reminds of the progressive element present in many songs from the previous album, "Somewhere In Time", and this one, "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". The synthesizers in the background work just fine and add to the feeling -a rarity for synths, in my opinion.
Then, after half a minute, there's a bang of sorts, and the fast, loud guitar riff kicks in. The bass is also very present, as are the drums; this song has everything in it. And once Bruce starts singing, the song has caught you. There is much true emotion in the vocals, something which is very rare.
Lyrically, this song can be interpeted in many ways, depending on whether you see it in the context of the album or not. In the album, it is a part of the story which is being told. It is hard to treat a song of a concept album as stand-alone, but considering the fact that this one was also released as a single, it probably is fair.
If you regard it as a song in it's own right, then this might very well be the only love song Maiden have ever done.
Love, in this context, is a dangerous thing which should not be played with, as you are likely to fall deep- losing your loved one, in this case. The narrator has done so and now remembers how it was -"slept in the dust with his daughter..." and is alone now alone wishing to see his loved one again- "if I could only see her now", and offer everything for her ("I would bleed for her").
In the end, there is no other choice for him than to realize that this love has passed (" baptism of joy at an end it seems"); but all is not lost, and he still harbours some hope ("some day I may return"). He still loves this girl (as implied by the line "I would die for you", which -though far superior in my opinion- only appears in the booklet, Bruce sang "Don't you cry for me", and, live, "I would cry for you") and wants to return to her.
The "evil" may be the mistake the narrator has made by playing with love; and this mistake was so grave that it "lives on and on".
Of course this song could be interpreted in a whole different way. In the context of the album, it seems to be more about the temptation the main character of the story -the seventh son of a seventh son- is faced with.

The guitar solo in this song is surprisingly diverse. I only think that it is not represented the way it should be; the bass gets into the way too much (it is too loud). This is, however, the only point in this song that can be criticized in this song, in my opinion- and that is even pushing it!
In fact, I personally think that this song is the finest moment in the history of Heavy Metal. Metal never got any better than this song, with the brilliant vocals, the wonderful guitar work, and the presence of every single musician, playing their thing individually and yet acting together as a team.

Rating: 5 (and anything beyond!)
'the Evil That Men Do'

This is another great song from Seventh Son. It has a lot of feeling which is very important for a love type of song. The solo complements the music and the lyrics so well that it's one of the best songs the album has to offer.

Stranger's definitive rating: 5 stars.
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]What about wasting love?[/quote]

I forgot about that one, but I don't know if I would call it a straightforward love song. The things written in the commentary pretty much sums it up for me on that one too.

I just noticed that my review can not comprehend my feelings about this song. I'm listening to it on a bootleg of the 13 May '88 gig in New Brunswick right now, and I just asked myself why the hell I love this song so much. It just has something which I can't name.

Anyway, I noticed that there is an incomprehensible amount of aspects to this song. Yesterday, I visited an art exhibition in Nuremberg, and when I saw a picture there, I immediately had to think of this song.
Luckily, I've been able to find it on the internet:


Judith mit dem Haupt des Holofernes, Hans Baldung, genannt Grien (1484/85-1545) 1525  (Judith with the head of Holofernes)

Doesn't this painting just scream Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade...?
'the Evil That Men Do'

I tottaly agree with Perun on the explanation. It's the only logical explanation for the lyrics, if you take the song out of the context. If you put it in context, you could interpretate "The Evil That Man do Lives on and on" from a different point of view. It could be that, after sleeping, the child is conceived, and all of his life he'll be an object of power that'll be hunted down by both good and evil for all his life
Dumb, i know and maybe inane, but that's my oppinion [!--emo&:blush:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/blush.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'blush.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

PS-Perun, when i see that picture, i think that she should go to the gym. But beauty standrads modify over the years, so i take it that the one who made the picture thought the woman was beautifull, so judging from his point of view, i see what you can mean
'the Evil That Men Do'

A great song and one of the best singles they ever did. Thoughtful lyrics, great chorus, nice solo. However, they somehow manage to screw up the intro bit on every live recording, it just doesn't sound right to me.
'the Evil That Men Do'

Sorry, I can't help it. The lyrics of this song completely riddle me.
I attempted to unsolve the song's mysteries by going with the "Book of Life" part of the lyrics. It is very obviously a biblical reference (together with the Seventh Lamb).
This is just throwing it in the room for others to make up their thoughts about this, but, according to Christian mythology, the Book of Life is basically a list of names of those who will go to Heaven. All other names are written in other books. God will open these books at Judgement Day, and those who are not mentioned in the Book of Life are going to purgatory (incidentally referred to as the "Lake of Fire" in the book of Revelations).
I wonder: Does the line "The Book of Life opens before me" refer to the narrator being tried at Judgement Day? Or does it possibly refer to the narrator being the judge?
'the Evil That Men Do'

Well, I have put a lot of thought into the meaning of this song. And I would like to offer my own interpretation.

Love is a razor, and I walked the line on that silver blade

Simple enough. My love with this woman is dangerous - to me, and possibly her. But she is worth the risk.

Slept in the dust with his daughter, her eyes red with the slaughter of innocence

This seems self-explanatory, but let me explain my interpretation. "Slept in the dust", refering to the death ritual of Christianity...dust to dust. I slept with her when she was dead. "Eyes red with the slaughter of innocence". Perhaps this is not meant to be a metaphor. Perhaps it is meant to be taken literally - she was killed. Or killed herself. Finally, "his daughter". Well, who is he? The pursuer, the man who hates the narrator?

Can anyone see where I'm going yet?

Just to deal with it, skip ahead to the second verse. I believe this is mostly symbolic, dealing with death and heaven and the ascention therein. "Someday I may return" may deal with the promised rapture.

Now, to head back to the first verse...

But I will pray for her, I will call her name out loud

"Ah! dear Juliet, why art thou yet so fair?" [William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene 3]

I would bleed for her, if I could only see her now

"O! here will I set up my everlasting rest, and shake the yoke of inauspicious stars from tis world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace! and lips, O you, the doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss, a dateless bargain to engrossing death! Come bitter conduct, come unsavoury guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on the dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark! Here's to my love! [Romeo drinks poison] O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die." [William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene 3]

Could not "the evil that men do" be a simple clue, to say..."Here, look, we got this from 'kin Shakespeare!" Of course, it could also point out the irony - suicide is a mortal sin, that would keep these two from ever meeting in the afterlife...
'the Evil That Men Do'

Interesting thought, LC. In this case, the title would be a hint that is so obvious that people just don't consider it.
Still, the second verse is very mysterious to me. Why would Maiden combine Shakespeare with the book of Revelations?
'the Evil That Men Do'

Why wouldn't they? It could be a commentary on the arrogance of youth - we'll get what we want in the next world, if we can't have it here.
'the Evil That Men Do'

My interpretation is simple. The song is about what the title suggests - if you're good you'll get afterlife, if you're evil, you'll be damned.

The focus of the lyrics is on the Narrator. The beginning and chorus tell all: I like to walk the edge and take risks. Very appealing lines by the way, from a female point of view.

Strong sexual or sinful imagery - Eyes red with the slaughter of innocence. It's male or devilish passion I see in this. But also a Biblical image.
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Daniel 12:2

And in comes feeling and the consequence of blind passion: I would bleed for her, a power-male emotional statement. If I could see her now, that is, she's gone.

More Biblical imagery. The circle of fire has burned out, and the Narrator is coming close to Judgement Day. He sees the Book of Life:
"And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Revelation 20:12

He hopes for eternal life, but is not sure - Beyond is where I learn.
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the Beast), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8

A powerful song, a turn-on tune [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--] , four and a half from me, almost five.
'the Evil That Men Do'

This is a fantastic song, it has a great intro and a great riff in the song, i just love all of it. It is interesting though that this song is so underrated, like i never even heard of it until i started getting hardcore into Maiden, but o well now that i know it i love it. 5 stars!!
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--QuoteBegin-Canadianmaiden+Sep 17 2005, 02:50 AM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Canadianmaiden @ Sep 17 2005, 02:50 AM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]This is a fantastic song, it has a great intro and a great riff in the song, i just love all of it. It is interesting though that this song is so underrated, like i never even heard of it until i started getting hardcore into Maiden, but o well now that i know it i love it. 5 stars!!


Albums "The Evil That Men Do" in its studio or live renditions has appeared on:

-Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
-Maiden England (Yeah, OK, it was a video)
-A Real Live/Dead One
-Live At Donignton
-Raising Hell (Yeah, OK, it was a video)
-Best Of The Beast 2 CD Edition
-Best Of The Beast 1 CD Edition
-Ed Hunter
-Rock In Rio
-Edward The Great
-The Essential Iron Maiden

Furthermore, "Evil" has been released as a single (which reached no. 5 in the UK charts), re-released as a single in "The First Ten Years", and a live version has been a B-Side to "Futureal" (and can therefore also be found in "Eddie's Archive"). The video is available on three compilations. It has been on the setlist of technically speaking seven tours .
It has also been the victim of a cover version by Naglfar, as well as appearing on the "Somewhere In Hungary", "Anton Maiden", "Transylvania 666", "Slave To The Power" and "666- The Number One Beast" tribute albums.

While I agree that this song cannot be rated highly enough, I would never, ever claim that it is underrated.
'the Evil That Men Do'

i'm going to throw in my unwelcome 2 cents on the meaning of this song, since there's no point in telling people who great it is. preaching to the choir; or however that one goes. well to be honest its not even the entire song, but i realized the third book in the Alvin Maker series was published (in the copy i have anyway) in 1989, so this is probably an impossible connection, but in the second verse "circle of fire, my baptism of joy at an end it seems" well in the book Alvin(the 7th son) basically sits in a ring of fire, a smith's forge thing to bring a plow to life, and when he does he actually becomes a Maker, and so he has to set out on his journey, which is pretty much the end of his joy because he wont be able to live a normal life anymore. i don't know about the seventh lamb slain thing, but a few people are killed in that part of the book..and he promises Peggy, who he's in love with (another connection could be made but i can't see any) that someday he'll return to her, he wanted to bring her with him to help teach him but her mother was killed and she stayed with her maybe that's the beyond where he learns...but then again, maybe i'm totally wrong and look like a complete douchebag [!--emo&:unsure:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/unsure.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'unsure.gif\' /][!--endemo--] you never know.
'the Evil That Men Do'

5/5 stars from me! I love this song. I love the vocals, especially the chorus... True emotion, like Perun said. Also, it is an excellent display of Bruce's range. But what really gets me is Adrian's solo... It's simple, yet melodic, emotional, and dramatic! Beautiful! Absolutely perfect, in my opinion. And the mysterious, romatic lyrics make the song even better.
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--quoteo(post=118788:date=Sep 19 2005, 04:15 AM:name=Perun)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Perun @ Sep 19 2005, 04:15 AM) [snapback]118788[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
While I agree that this song cannot be rated highly enough, I would never, ever claim that it is underrated.

Well, it has an average rating of 3.5 on this board. [img src=\"style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/sad.gif\" style=\"vertical-align:middle\" emoid=\":(\" border=\"0\" alt=\"sad.gif\" /] I would certainly say that it is underrated.
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--quoteo(post=128919:date=Feb 13 2006, 01:40 PM:name=macunaima)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(macunaima @ Feb 13 2006, 01:40 PM) [snapback]128919[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]I would certainly say that it is underrated.[/quote]Good pun. I gave the song four and a half [img src=\"style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\" style=\"vertical-align:middle\" emoid=\":)\" border=\"0\" alt=\"smile.gif\" /]
(Of course, it all depends on how you define "underrated". For example, the rating on this forum has nothing to do with the number of times this song has been re-released.)

The song has fantastic poetic lyrics - they stand out even within the concept of the whole album. Lines like
Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade
are among the best Maiden has to offer.

The singing, especially in the chorus, is excellent, as is the chorus itself. I also love Adrian's solo. All in all, this song is among the best on the album.
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--quoteo(post=128929:date=Feb 13 2006, 10:53 AM:name=SilentLucidity)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(SilentLucidity @ Feb 13 2006, 10:53 AM) [snapback]128929[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
(Of course, it all depends on how you define "underrated". For example, the rating on this forum has nothing to do with the number of times this song has been re-released.)

Indeed! That's why, whenever someone starts a thread about the most overrated/underrated song/album etc., I always have to ask: under/over-rated by whom?

The readers of this board (at least those who've recorded their ratings for this song) clearly underrate this fantastic song. But you're right, the band seems to more properly appreciate the song since they've re-released it so many times in various versions.
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--quoteo(post=128929:date=Feb 13 2006, 04:53 PM:name=SilentLucidity)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(SilentLucidity @ Feb 13 2006, 04:53 PM) [snapback]128929[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade
Maiden are extremely good at expressing feelings, mostly strong ones such as love, with a lot of poetry and vivid images. A razor can indeed be a dangerous thing when used inappropriately, like love can also hurt, but all you need is a steady hand and everything will be alright, like you need steady feelings to make love the wonderful thing it is.

I thought I'd add my little comment, as it's Valentine's day tomorrow.  [img src=\"style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\" style=\"vertical-align:middle\" emoid=\"^_^\" border=\"0\" alt=\"happy.gif\" /]

As another band once wrote:

Love is danger, love is pleasure
Love is pure - the only treasure

Blimey, I can get soooo cheesy!
'the Evil That Men Do'

[!--quoteo(post=98865:date=Mar 1 2005, 08:30 AM:name=Perun)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Perun @ Mar 1 2005, 08:30 AM) [snapback]98865[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]

I wonder: Does the line "The Book of Life opens before me" refer to the narrator being tried at Judgement Day? Or does it possibly refer to the narrator being the judge?

Interesting thought, but I always took that line as describing the narrator's end of innocence. Don't forget, many bands talk about life being a book (look at the Educated Fool)-perhaps with his loss of his love the narrator has had his eyes opened to the reality of the world.