The Red And The Black

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

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Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
I see your points, but at the same time, to me, it does feel like all those things you are wishing it to be. I've already learned the guitar to this one sans the solos and it just gets better and more goosebump enducing with each listen.

Certainly the highlight of the album for me. It's just great the rest of the songs are all 9s or 10s as well. What a record!

That's fine. Ultimately, I think TRatB and Empire are going to be the two divisive songs off the album. A lot of fans of TRatB don't seem to be as keen for Empire, while a lot of fans of Empire don't seem fond of TRatB either. Then there's others like Travis, who think that both songs are incredible. It's the nature of music.

Personally, I think this is Steve's weakest epic in quite awhile. At least since 2003, maybe even longer. But hey, it could click with me one day. I don't want to hate this song. It just doesn't work for me so far, despite my multiple attempts at trying to "get it."


Insect of Terror
Staff member
Gosh, there's a lot going on in this song. My first thought with the whoo hoo parts is that it'll be a concert staple but then there's these lengthy instrumental bits and now I'm not so sure. But anyway, there's so many rhythm changes and great riffs, it's hard to take it all in. To me it's like Dance of Death and something from The X Factor had a baby. Maybe this is what The Angel and the Gambler should have been considering the theme? There was some discussion earlier about whether this should have been an instrumental and I'm kinda leaning towards that, not that the whoo hoo bits aren't great.

Last first thought: the acoustic on the intro and outro brings me straight back to The Legacy.


Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
The first two verses are the high point of the song for me. Bruce's vocals, and the lead guitar line of that section are awesome. I think this song would have worked much better as a shorter song, with all the needless excess stripped away. It's as if Steve made it an epic length song, simply because he could. It feels very forced, not natural.

I think the flow of the song is great. It's atypical in many ways and I enjoy that it is different but still works brilliantly.

For me, Maiden has always had songs that grab you and roughly jerk you from one tempo to another. Infinite Dreams is the one that immediately pops to mind.

At first this is jarring and off-putting because it is unexpected. On repeat listens it becomes an enjoyable well-anticipated roller-coaster curve. There are a handful of motifs that make up this song that are stitched together in an unconventional pattern. Because they are unfamiliar, you first have to learn them. Once you learn them, they work.

Beyond that, so many great melodies and tempos — particularly in the back half of the song — that I want it be longer, not shorter.
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Barbed Wire Hen
So true, it was so-so for me after first few listens, but when you wrap your brain around it, it actually sounds very logical and even spontaneous
And the atmosphere is great, like only Steve knows how to create :ok:


Ancient Mariner
The first two verses are the high point of the song for me. Bruce's vocals, and the lead guitar line of that section are awesome. I think this song would have worked much better as a shorter song, with all the needless excess stripped away. It's as if Steve made it an epic length song, simply because he could. It feels very forced, not natural.
Well worded. Exactly how it felt for me when I heard it.


Educated Fool
This is the first time that I didn't like a 'Arry epic at first listen. But it's growing on me at each listen, as I'm still getting used to the rhythm changes.

Brave New Pilgrim

What not to do if your bird sh#$% on you....
This song is actually starting to dip a bit for me. Loved it when I first heard it, but it's a bit repetitive. It could have been trimmed a bit. I find myself wanting to fast forward to my favorite parts of the song.
Absolutely love it. Probably my two favorite back to back tracks are The Red And The Black on the heels of The Great Unknown.

I have a bit of a personal bias given my dogs are a Black Lab named Maiden and two Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers named Trooper and Rime. This breed of dog is known as the "Little Red River Dog". So we refer to them as our Red and Black dogs.:) Driving in the car yesterday with Maiden & Trooper sitting side by side in my front seat listening to the Red and the Black was too funny.

Also coupled with the fact that When The River Runs Deep is the very next song, my wife and I knew straight away when the track listing was released how amazing this album was going to be...and it certainly is!
Initial impression was not good. After repeat listens, hands down 1 of the 3 best along with the opener & TBOS. And imho, ranks up there with the best ever.
The initial listen, I hated the wooo's. But, after repeat listens, it's not as annoying as it seemed initially.
It has that Maiden grind for the verses. I liked Montsegur a lot so I enjoy the guitar under bruce.

Yes, it's a long instrumental piece but, I find these 3 guitarist to be the best in the biz as a unit so I have no issues what so ever listening to them jam, rip solos & harmonies.
With every listen I'm more and more convinced that this song is a masterpiece.

It isn't conventional Harris. He has absolutely succeeded in making something slightly different and yet retaining the typical quality of beauty of his songwriting.

I don't want to rank songs in the album but this is one of the best in it.


The Guide
So much energy in the first 2 verses, then the 3rd and 4th get a different melody but are equally impressive. Then the monster sounding chorus and triumphant riffage to close it. I think masterpiece is right... wow can't get enough.

See myself in a hall of mirrors a different shape every step I take. A different mind, every step of the line, but in the end I won't mind.

Not sure if that is right, but the way Bruce sings that gets me EVERY time.
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Ancient Mariner
My favorite part is when Bruce sings "be here all night" (?) in that frustrated, impatient way. It is almost as if you can just see the guy rolling his eyes in the context of the story.


Stranger in a Strange Board
I have a hard time understanding Bruce here. Nearly not a single lyric I can't make out
Awesome song! great solos and cool whoa whoa whoa part! One of the songs i think they going to play live.
Strange synth thing at 2:47 - 2:51. The volume on that last note is to high imo.Not a big problem lol but it is kind of strange ...
i don't hate it but dont like it either :confused:. Anyway it's a classic Maiden song for sure.


Official Lyrics:

The morals of life and the perils of death
Take the wrong way out running out of breath
Meet my match in the afterlife
Suppress the demons that plague the night
A tortured mind is a safe place to go
But the truth lurks down in the dark below
Step inside my inquisitive mind
Are you scared at what you just might find

See myself in the hall of mirrors
A different shape every step I take
A different mind every step of the line
But in the end they are all mine
Laughing sorrow inside your head
Can’t get out just a feeling of dread
I know this burden's a heavy load
A dark mistake never ending road

The black jack king and the red queen clash
The artful dodger he counts his stash
The joker’s wild like an impish child
While madame fortune she waits inside
The good luck charm is overkill
The tired old soldier says fire at will
Planes overhead go search destroy
The ones below human decoy

I need somebody to save me

Meanwhile we play the waiting game
The clock is struck the horse is lame
And when we think that this is done
Chance your luck a four leafed one
You hedge your bets the battle lost
To wait in vain and count the cost
The thin edged line
Between good and bad
And cast the luck be happy sad

I need somebody to save me

The red and the black
People don’t want the truth
Look in their eyes and you send them away
The red and the black
Fate and hypocrisy
Burden’s a heavy load there is no doubt
The red and the black
All out of luck again
How many chances can anyone have
The red and the black
Treachery out to win
There in the wrong place and at the wrong time

I need somebody to save me