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The Red And The Black

Discussion in 'The Book of Souls' started by SinisterMinisterX, Aug 22, 2015.


How good is The Red and the Black on a scale of 1-10?

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    0 vote(s)
  9. 2

  10. 1

  1. eddienephwrack

    eddienephwrack Invader

    Anyone else grin like a fool the first time they heard that pentatonic riff at around the 12 minute mark?
    Niall Kielt likes this.
  2. NocturnalQuill

    NocturnalQuill Prowler

    This song sounds like a really neat mess, if that makes any sense. It's quite cluttered and drawn out, but it just works somehow. After several relistens, it's pretty clear that the song's structure was very deliberate. Chaotic songs can work if you do them right.
    Brigantium and Mosh like this.
  3. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    That's one of the better descriptions, actually. It took me the longest time to get used to this one, but it's gone from being my least favourite on the album to one I listen to regularly.
    Shavasku likes this.
  4. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Man, I wish it was chaotic.

    I don't see it as a mess or as chaotic since it is so predictable and repetitive. It is a very safe song, for very patient and tolerant people.
  5. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    Not sure about that. The instrumental part could be accused of being repetitive, but the rest lurches along, hinting at a loss of control. It's not until the instrumental that the song finds its footing in that regularity and rebalances itself. And I agree with Quill, I think that was very deliberate. On first listen I thought it was just a one take song created on the spot in the studio, that was still very rough, but in retrospect, I think there was a bit more planning here.
  6. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    That instrumental part is around 70% of the song.
  7. Niall Kielt

    Niall Kielt Pulled Her At The Bottle Top

    This is a weird song for me, I find it amazing and irritating in different places. I, like others here, am not a fan of the vocal/lead guitar following each other. But even that wouldn't be so bad for me if it was shorter.

    I love the pentatonic riffy bits in the last 2 or 3 minutes. Someone above mentioned it putting a smile on their face and i feel the same, a great release and focusing of the music after the previous few meandering minutes.

    To me theres just too many sections in the middle that dont really warrant being there. However, I feel that the great end section might not have the same power without the section that comes before. Maybe.

    Overall, im undecided, I could gice it anything between 6 and 9 out of 10 depending on the time of day or the part of the song. Anyway, I like that after all these years maiden can still wreck my head!


    After 6 months, this song is still my least favourite song on the album. I just can't get into it, I don't know why. I think it's just the jam that goes nowhere after the vocals, and the god damn unnecessary length.

    The Red and the Black is the only song that I haven't grown to like since first listening to the album. When I first listened to the album, the three songs that didn't sit with me was this song, The Book of Souls and Shadows of the Valley, but the latter two I grew to love (the title track being the song I'm most excited to hear live).

    But who knows? Maybe the song will work incredibly well when it comes to the live environment, but at the moment I have feeling that it's going to be a dull 13 minutes during the concerts.
  9. NocturnalQuill

    NocturnalQuill Prowler

    It's definitely a risky song. The tempo changes constantly, the riffs are all over the place, and it has a rather unusual feel altogether. Maybe it's just personal taste, but I tend to prefer risky songs that can be hit-and-miss like this one to safe and consistent songs like Speed of Light.
    eddienephwrack and Shavasku like this.
  10. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    It worked its way up in my book and although it's definitely a mess, it's a mess I love. Just like with Rime or SSOASS - the second half brings me nearly to tears. But I like this one in its entirety. Currenty it's sharing my #1 spot of TBOS with the title track. In the end, I've decided to give it a 10/10, one of the reasons being the fact the vocals in the beginning are the melody that's been stuck in my head the most in the last few months (since September, actually). I couldn't even begin to count all the occasions when I was doing something and my head kept repeating the "The morals of life and the perils of death" and the riff underneath it over and over and over... that has to mean something.
  11. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    This is a weird song. I think it's definitely a spiritual successor to Angel and the Gambler, not just with its lyrical theme but also how this song has a classic rock jam feel to it with a lot of singalong choruses. I think it executes the idea a lot better than Angel though by never getting too repetitive or predictable. I like that it's mostly instrumental, especially compared to the last Harris penned epic which was mostly vocal and lyric driven. It shows that not everything Steve does is going to be predictable. He still has some new tricks up his sleeve. The "whoa oh oh" chorus is definitely one of the highlights of the album for me and one of the best singalong choruses they have done. I also love the moment where the song shifts to a major key for the main chorus. Steve is actually really good at doing key changes that sound really natural. It isn't jarring at all, which is pretty impressive IMO.

    As for the instrumental section, it's awesome. I think the only thing I could do without is the synthesizer, it's a bit artificial sounding and doesn't really add anything to the song that the guitarists already added. Otherwise I really enjoy it. There are a lot of jarring shifts but I think that works fine sometimes. There's a nice blend of solos, melodies, and riffs. It doesn't stay in one place too long and stays unpredictable. It's definitely chaotic in structure, even if the melodies being played are fairly simple. Plus there's a tempo change that really comes out of nowhere.

    Overall, a fun jam that really highlights Steve's love for 70s prog rock. Given the length of this album, I'm glad not every song was written the same. This song isn't dramatic, it doesn't tell an epic story, and it isn't that complex but it doesn't need to have any of that. There are other songs on this album that have those qualities, including a much longer epic that does 2 out of 3 of those things. I'm glad this song is different. Plus it has some of the catchiest and most enjoyable melodies that I've ever heard on a Maiden song.

    Also, more bass intros!

  12. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    This song features some of the tastiest riffs and irresistible guitar melodies of any song ever. It's been eight months and I comfortable that's not hyberbole
    It's got so many staple Maiden hooks but laced together in such a way that it doesn't sound like any other Maiden song.
    And they are all tossed together into some kind unconventional mad concoction that constantly challenges the listener.
    It doesn't always work, but it keeps you engaged and the payoffs are worth the wait.

    It's a mess, but a glorious mess.
    harrisdevot, Mosh and Brigantium like this.
  13. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    I have to say, I find myself very much in agreement with all the TBOS song reviews you've posted so far. Well worded. ;)
  14. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Mckindog, you word it well, from your point of view, but I find that view a little... hmm, how shall I word it... incomplete.
    I can't emphasize enough the problem of the instrumental part, which lots of people don't seem to hear. At least, people still leave this out (odd!), so I am urged to criticize this aspect once again.
    So, once again, I disagree with the term mess. This song is not messy enough, because how can so much repetition be a mess? This is indeed a challenging song but not because it has a lot of different stuff going on. It is challenging for people who do not like Maiden to be so utterly unimaginative.
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  15. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    When I say the song is messyits because it doesn't follow any conventional structure.

    It definitely has repeating parts. But it also appears (haven't actually broken it down) to not sequence those parts in conventional patterns. Three repeats instead of four; vocals this time, guitars the next, vocals mirroring guitars this time; six bars of this, then 10 of that.
    And then it lurches off unexpectedly in bizarre directions. And doesn't reprise themes in the expected Steve Harris times and places. It lacks symmetry. There's no ABABCB or any other easily discernible pattern to its structure. In fact it seems almost random.

    I happen to like it when a part gets repeated with a different nuance added, at least if it's a part I particularly like; to me that's an interesting variation, not a weakly disguised repetition. And, with all due respect, I think you are under rating the power of the melodies: the first two riffs, the whoa oh and the chorus are all strong, but the guitar parts in the final three or four minutes are some of the most emotionally stirring moments in Maiden.

    That said I agree the part you single out is the weakest part of the song for me.

    And Brigs, thanks for the kind words.
    harrisdevot, Shavasku and Forostar like this.
  16. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Thanks for this addition!
  17. harrisdevot

    harrisdevot Ancient Mariner

    Perfectly said. In general, Harris is far superior to the other writers (not only in Maiden) in terms of melody, but this time he has surpassed himself. I don't care about the lack of variety in the chords: this song developps different atmospheres, and the melodies are driving, exiting. In any album, even very good ones, there are very few of these moments, that make you want to listen to a song again and again, and then give it a break because you don't want to lose the magic of it.
  18. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    This song is like a treasure chest. It's just 13 minutes of music I love.
  19. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    I would agree, if only Janick weren't playing during the verses.
  20. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    I'd agree if I were a pirate.

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