The Red And The Black

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

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The Nomad

Just listened to this song. At first I was feeling a bit of Fear of the Dark era style to the song and towards the middle and end a Brave New World album type of feel emerged for me. Very good. So far this is the only song I listened to and I can already tell this song has more balls than the entire Final Frontier album. A big, big step up.


Ancient Mariner
I like it a lot. It wins the duel of epics with Empire of the Clouds for me not because it's some kind of an ultimate masterpiece, but because all the Empire's flaws I listed in its thread. I didn't expect that, so it's a big surprise for me in that sense.

Bass intro is cool and the first proper part of the song is my favourite (first 5 minutes). It sounds much different than a typical Steve's epic (which I hoped it's not). Unfortunately it changes a bit later. It doesn't change into anything bad, but I really enjoyed the beginning. I wished the whole song was like that. The guitar lick at 1:15 (and the way it's used) is amazing.

Later the song turns all cheerful and stuff. It reminded me of Virtual XI a lot. It has a strange, almost dance-along (lol) and laid back atmosphere. The melodies are just so happy :p I like them, though. Totally unexpected mood. Woo-oh is nice but Heaven Can Wait remains the best one.

Despite its length I think it's cohesive and flows nicely. I think it's probably the best crafted song on the record. Cheers, Mr Harris!


Ancient Mariner
One of the major issues with this song for me is the guitar dubling the vocal line... I think it would be 50% better without it.


One of the major issues with this song for me is the guitar dubling the vocal line... I think it would be 50% better without it.

I seem to remember somebody on here saying the same about WTWWB not long after TFF was released. Personally, I like it in both cases.

The Nomad

One thought that occured to me when I heard the numerous changes in melodies and tempo shifts was that it was just a bunch of different harmonies and ideas pasted together in a long row, that gave me a smile. Oh and the obligatory 'ooh-ooh' insertion was just extra cheese on the cake haha.


It's the cheery, happy bit I still can't reconcile with the rest of the song, unfortunately.
This. For me it's especially the 2-3 minute long part (a bit before the chorus and the chorus itself) and the who-ho that kills this otherwise perfectly good song.


Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
He is knocking the strings (stretching the fingers over the strings) as an acoustic flamenco player does. No plectrum.
I just assumed that it was that his fingertips are now so calloused and hard they sound like picks.

The Nomad

I really like the way Bruce sings the verses, normal and high, normal and high. And the similar guitar melody underneath (and after it?). Catchy and it's looping in my thoughts now.


Back From The Edge

Oh, my God, what a boooring, embarassing, dreadful song, this is. A serious candidate for one of Maiden's very worst compositions, surely Steve's worst epic ever. Sadly, Bruce sounds like crap here and everything else is just so bland. I cannot believe this. I have no urge to listen to this song ever again and I pray to the Gods that they don't play it live.


Sound of distant drums
Strange song, for me it's worst on album and yet if I could play on bass one song - it would be this one.

Cody Cameron

Godzilla Freak
"Worst song ever?" Come on guys you're being a bit too harsh on this one. It's not that bad. Just a bit long. I'd rather listen to this song than most songs from "Dance of Death" and "AMOLAD" any day.

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
First part of the song (or the "vocal" part) is awesome. Guitar leads being played alongside Bruce's singing is something they never did before as far as I know and it works perfectly. I don't mind the "whoah-oh" parts, though I think they'd work better live. There's this weird loose note right before the vocals kick in, should've cleaned that up, but it's not a big problem.

Now, the second part definitely isn't as good. There are some great riffs in it, but it should've been way shorter, 3-4 minutes at most instead of 8 or so. Pretty much brings the whole song down, hope they won't play it live, or they'll skip the 2nd part at least.
The boredom of the 2nd part of the song pretty much brought this song to the bottom of the album for me, definitely the worst one on the album. Also, there's enough evidence to say that this song is a sequel to The Angel & The Gambler... which isn't a bad thing really, but c'mon Steve, out of all Maiden songs, you do a sequel to that one? I don't even know which one is better of the two... both have too much repetition, one has a repetitive chorus, one has repetitive instrumentals. Again, I really hope they won't play this one live. Oh yeah, while I don't mind the "whoah-oh" parts, I think there's a lack of breathing space between verses and those parts.


Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I don't understand how people find the lengthy instrumental boring. I think it's exceptional. Interesting touches on Maiden's history with some new interesting pieces. I also don't think they should play it live, but that's only because I think it would be not very enjoyable with the long instrumental in a live situation - I hope they play The Book of Souls instead as the album's long song.


I still dont like this song. For me its one of the weakest things Harris has done.
The song starts of very promising. The bass intro, and also some of the instrumental parts are pretty decent, but I can't stand that vocal guitar doubling part.
I could have been a great song, but I feel like it derails in the middle.

Shame that they are going to waste 13 minutes of the setlist on this song.


Ancient Mariner
This one is a huge mixed bag for me. The intro is totally not necessary and probably could have been dropped. I don't like the vocal melody much here, especially since it follows the guitars. I basically see this one as two songs, the first 7 or so minutes and the last 6 or so.

The melody parts that pop up from around the 9 minute mark onward are my favorite melodies on the entire album. I could listen to that section over and over again forever it's so amazing. But then it goes back to the awkward vocal melody and 'ooohs' before it ends.

That being said, it at least feels a bit different from Harris' other more recent songs that all sounded very similar (Clansman, Blood Brothers, No More Lies in particular) but just manages to be ok when it could have been outstanding.