The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg

How good is The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg


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Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Hehe, a great thing anyway. I think Benjamin's story spiced up things and I think this answers why this song was released as a single. A good way to increase an interest this kind of promotion is.

When I first heard this song I thought it is not very interesting and not that good as from songs from older albums and I was a bit afraid of a new album after that, but I am now satisfied with how it fits right after the Out of the Shadows. But still, there are better pieces, yes. I can't get last triplet out of my head. Even the Legacy (with too long intro some people say) is great. In fact, briliant album closer. It seems to me that when The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg reaches its end I almost feel the nearing end of things with fast and deep finish of the three remaining.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Mr. St-Cyr said:
This is my least favourite song off the album.  The riff is just too simple, basic.  I get tired with the power chords in this song very quickly too.  It took me 3 listens to get into it but then I got tired of it and as this was the first single to the new album (Why oh why did they choose this one as their first single??) I thought the album was going to be a drag.  Fortunately when my friends and I bought the album the day it was out, we were relieved to find out that this song was the only "bad" one present.  Many of you will probably diss me for it but taste is not something thats debatable, we all thought the same thing about it and now I'm very surprised so many people like it.  Would this be because its Maiden and you automatically love any Maiden song?  *Ducks for cover*

I admit there are good parts to it.  (The solo is the only part I actually like).  I find the lyrics too repetitive and the guitar work itself just too easy for artists of Maiden's caliber.  My friend played this song on the guitar for me the other day and I wasn't surprised to see he wasn't doing much very often.  I mean ten seconds of extremely basic riff then power chords, he even found the time to smoke a cigar while playing it.  Quite the show indeed.

Now that I've probably made a lot of you hard-core fans mad, I am ready to take on the full wrath of your murderous rants.  Let me put my tin hat on first!
You're entitled to your opinion, of course :) Me, I think this is a great song, but I've always liked AC/DC and those acts and as Albie said, they're easy but fun. The drive in the chords in Breeg makes it very un-maidenlike to me so I don't like it because it's Maiden...I think one reason I like it is that it's not like Maiden, if you know what I mean (I'm not sure I know, but still, maybe someone can explain to me...hehe). Basically it's a great song and I think it beats "For the Greater good..." by a mile (*crouching low*).
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Anomica said:
You're entitled to your opinion, of course :) Me, I think this is a great song, but I've always liked AC/DC and those acts and as Albie said, they're easy but fun. The drive in the chords in Breeg makes it very un-maidenlike to me so I don't like it because it's Maiden...I think one reason I like it is that it's not like Maiden, if you know what I mean (I'm not sure I know, but still, maybe someone can explain to me...hehe). Basically it's a great song and I think it beats "For the Greater good..." by a mile (*crouching low*).

:bigsmile:.  Everyone's duckin'.  So far this song places very high on my AMOLAD list, right after FTGGOG, The Longest Day and BTATS.  Anomica has a point.  IM does not need to make every song sound like they're trying to imitate their golden years, not that I'm implying IM have done that... Oops I've said too much, now I'm ducking low.  :bigsmile:
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Argh!  You guys confuse me with your BTATS and your FTGGOG!  :S

I gave it another chance, it is kinda good.  I'm going to see them October 9th in Quebec City, they'll probably play it.  I'm sure it will sound better live. 
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Mr. St-Cyr said:
Argh!  You guys confuse me with your BTATS and your FTGGOG!  :S
Indeed. A bone of contention for a certain mod. :innocent:
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Albie said:
Indeed. A bone of contention for a certain mod. :innocent:

Indeed. A warning has already been issued and some posts deleted.  <_<
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

This I found a little interesting: I was reading this journal on last.fm where the author claimed that between the date of the disappearance of B. Breeg (18/06/1978) and the release of Iron Maidens debut (14/04/1980) is 666 days. Now, this is assuming that the authors release date was correct - this is certainly a Monday - and if it is, it works.

I subsequently checked with the date given on the Best of the Beast booklet and with the official site and they both give this date, so...

The commentary, however, gives a date of 11/04/1980 - which doesn't work.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Albie said:
This I found a little interesting: I was reading //www.last.fm/user/Dynanium/journal/2006/09/28/235820/#c595311]this journal on last.fm where the author claimed that between the date of the disappearance of B. Breeg (18/06/1978) and the release of Iron Maidens debut (14/04/1980) is 666 days. Now, this is assuming that the authors release date was correct - this is certainly a Monday - and if it is, it works.

I subsequently checked with the date given on the Best of the Beast booklet and with the official site and they both give this date, so...

The commentary, however, gives a date of 11/04/1980 - which doesn't work.

So...  Benjamin Breeg is the Prince of Darkness, himself.  Since he has been resurrected, I wonder if Charlotte is represented in this CD as well. :whogivesafuck:
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Genghis Khan said:
So...  Benjamin Breeg is the Prince of Darkness, himself.  Since he has been resurrected, I wonder if Charlotte is represented in this CD as well.
No... the dates used in the Benjamin Breeg marketing campaign have been chosen very carefully to come up with scenarios as mentioned and to get people talking - they have not been plucked out of thin air. Read the commentary which gives more cases such as these.

I'm not trying to suggest at all that Breeg is this or that, I'm merely pointing out yet another finding within these dates. ::)
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Genghis Khan said:
I wonder if Charlotte is represented in this CD as well.
Charlotte, in fact, is still around, my friend. :innocent:
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Countering many of the opinions stated here, I'll say that The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg is a masterpiece. I find that it is in fact one of the best songs on the album, and I'm going to explain why... but one thing first. Have you listened to this song really LOUD? I mean, have you turned up the volume knob just in the pause after the intro and before the song gets going, and then been blasted away by those powerful riffs that drive this song? In fact, this and the guitar solo are the parts that make this song so great to me.

Of course it's a simple song. The riffs can easily be replayed by any hobby guitarist, the groove is extremely straightforward, there is no definitive chorus in the song. When I first heard it before the album, I wasn't sure what to think. But it takes time, and in the flow of the album it fits perfectly and feels like it belongs there. It doesn't give me a feeling like, "this is not Maiden". In fact, I think this is how I wish Maiden to write more songs in the future (only a few, but some). It's refreshing because it's different, and just because it's simple doesn't mean that it is easy to create such a song! I'm a drummer myself and yes, I can play the drums of Breeg after a few runthroughs, they're not complex. But it's tough work to keep the drive. It requires skill and finesse to get a song going like this, and keeping it on the track like this. The drums are extremely powerful, they push the song forward and at the same time lay back with some hits on the bass and snare drum, which makes it feel all the more "live" and natural, and adds pressure. This is a feeling that is hard to reproduce when anyone plays drums. Furthermore, Nicko adds some very fitting and enhancing fills, starting with little double strokes on the hihat and breaking up the song with nice quick tom rolls. It's little detail, but it makes the otherwise straight groove even more interesting.
Same goes for guitars; I don't think that the song would have such a drive if the guitars did not repeat the riff throughout the song, only changing harmonies and varying the riffs in parts. But it doesn't feel repetitive to me at all, it feels ambitious. Of course many Maiden songs have been written with more complex guitar work (more like melodies as the lead instead of riffs) and I love them just like I love this song. But discrediting Breeg just because of a different guitar style isn't the right approach in my eyes. Looking at the whole purpose of the song, it tries to represent aggression, fear, suppression and sadness, and the guitars, including the solo, convey these feelings a lot. They leave a lot of room for the vocals to unfold on top of them and these are powerful too, expressing stress and anger with long tones rather than many words in a line.

The solo feels thrilling to me. It's not much like what we expect from Maiden since it is rather slow and concentrated (one could say "simple" here too), but it hits the right tones to produce a feeling of sadness and depression, someone being lost and desperate, and for this purpose the solo is perfect. It seems to me that many of you miss the fast and beautiful solo work of Dave that we are used to, and many say that this solo does not mean much or that it is the "weakest solo on the album", but it has a purpose and musical message. In fact the usage of the word "weak" to describe the solo or the whole song is wrong to me. The song is not weak at all, it is powerful and emotional, and I wonder why people who dislike it cannot find more appropriate words such as "uninteresting", "unfitting", "unspectacular". Of course Breeg is not comparable to For The Greater Good Of God, but the two songs have different purposes. One describes a state we have in our world that lead to catastrophic results while the other explores the psyche of a mysterious character. Put the songs in perspective and compare them, and you cannot have ten Greater Goods on an album. This should not make songs like Breeg seem "weak" or inferiour.

Of course there is personal taste over anything. If you don't like the song, that's your entitled opinion which is most probably based on intuition. But I have found that by examining songs, especially their construction, feeling and lyrics, they can become much more interesting and enjoyable whereas you might have found them unspectacular before.

Just something to think about.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

some other Breeg facts :

his Romanian decent plus his tomb writting "Aici zace un om despre care nu se ştie prea mult" plus his name "Bnjamin" hint jew origins

the date 18 of June (dissapearing of Breeg) during the years:

1429 - French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc crush the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turns the tide of the Hundred Years' War.
1815  the Waterloo battle
1940 - Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle.
1967 - Jimi Hendrix burns his guitar on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival.
1979 - SALT II is signed by the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

there is also someone Benjamin S. Briggs who was navigator

[Benjamin S. Briggs was the American sailor and captain of the Mary Celeste when it was discovered, apparently abandoned, in December 1872. He, his wife and daughter Sophia Matilda, along with the crew, were lost]

as we see from the above extract, this navigator got lost just like Breeg (and obviously became the ghost of navigator !!!)

the date 3 of September during the years:

1189 - Richard I of England (a.k.a. Richard "the Lionhearted") is crowned at Westminster.
1895 - The first professional American football game is played, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, between the Latrobe YMCA and the Jeannette Athletic Club. (Latrobe won the contest 12-0).
1939 - World War II: France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia declare war on Germany this is also the day that Breeg was born
1942 - World War II: Uprising of the Jewish ghetto in Lakhva occurs
1984 -Powerslave

as far as of the song itself:

music is genarally ok for me, I like it more and more, especially this awesome solo by Dave
also when the first verse hits with "Why should these curses be laid upon me" is an awesome moment....I would have prefered this song less repetitive (for example it could end after the solo etc)

now the lyrics: well we have here some -few- samples of bad Steve lyric,with this so banal and boring style which he adopts sometimes.
Fortunately this typical Steve lyric isn't applied everywhere (to destoy the song) but in these cases below

this "let me tell you" which is repeted endlessly
"My sins are many, my guilt is too heavy " it doesn't convince me at all

"Someone to save me
Something to save me from myself
To bring salvation
To exorcise this hell "  well, I find it so banal, so deja-vu-like

the rest of the song is ok lyrically, in my opinion
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Perun said:
Most of us are, at one point in our lives, confronted with situations we feel, to say the very least, very uncomfortable with. There are situations that touch us deeply, and may as well wound us very deeply. When we are finally out of this situation, the memory may still be so unbearable that the common belief that time is a perfect healer proves to be wrong. Even years later, we look back and still feel the same pain or insecurity -to name but these two sentiments- as we did back then. Depending on how cutting the experience was, the memories return more or less frequently to haunt us, be it in our dreams or be it in situations when some sort of impulse brings us back all the memories...

The things that happen may be those incidents that inflict in him/her the burden (s)he carries the rest of his/her life...

It is possible, though not likely, that a person is simply confronted with a situation which is simply impossible to resolve without getting yourself or somebody else hurt; likewise, such situations can simply appear without anyone consciously or unconsciously contributing to it. Yet, in the aftermath, the "victim" of this situation can feel guilty for all the pain (s)he inflicted on him/herself and possibly on others...
The reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, in that case, is not a literal reincarnation, but a metaphorical one. Out of the ashes of a person who lost -in this case- his dreams and hopes (which he said he'd tell you of in the song's introduction), who lost the life he was leading to that point. He started a "new life" (a term that is very overused, in my opinion) and became the reincarnation of his former self- Benjamin Breeg.
Yet, there are moments when memories of Ben Breeg's former life come back to him and haunt him still. Whatever it was that he did or that happened to him, he wants to rid himself of the memory. He is able to see things that happened in his/her past ...

Hmm, everyone seems to have ignored these comments and gone back to wondering who Benjamin Breeg is as though he were a real person. I like the idea that he is a metephor. Perun describes, I think, something we can surely all relate to, or am I just an unlucky person who stumbled into an impossible situation that I still feel regret over handling the wrong way. In all conceivable outcomes someone somehow would have and did get wounded. Sometimes the most random things bring the memories back and I have to stop and take a deep breath before I can go on. I don't know how you got this idea from the words of the song, I wouldn't have seen it in a million years. I like this forum, the song made me feel as though I was putting on an old, comfy pair of threadbare socks anyway, but I wouldn't have found this theme to relate to if I hadn't read your comments. The song has new meaning for me. Music is an amazing medium, the way we can all find something to relate to in the voice of another, even though those things may be different and personal to each one of us. And probably, not what the writer was thinking of at all.

Oddly enough, this seems to tie in with your comments on the lyrics to Different World. The starting a new life, whilst pining after the old one. Some memories die hard. But then, they make us who we are... Deep stuff. Emotions are immense waves; the sea is turbulent.

I like studying faces in the parking lot
cause it doesn't remind me of anything
I like driving backwards in the fog
cause it doesn't remind me of anything
- Doesn't remind me by Audioslave.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Let me be the first to say welcome aboard, Ophelia!

I apologize for noone responding quickly.  We generally lurk over in the Maiden Chat and General Discussion forums.

I think for a lot of fans, it is hard to equate Benjamin Breeg with a concept instead of with a person or a real experience.  The nature of people is to look for meaning, and to assume that all stories come from a start.  Of course, Perun is quite unique in his ability to find insight into anything, and we're quite lucky to have him.

Hope you keep posting!
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

Welcome aboard, Ophelia!

I'm glad that you liked my post and found it, in a way, helpful for approaching the song. All I can say about how I got those ideas is that I approached the lyrics from a certain point of view. As you said, this is a theme everyone can relate to, and the things I read from the lyrics of course were what I'd been dealing with at that time. I believe that a song with good lyrics is like a good piece of poetry- it is open to numerous sorts of interpretations, depending on what is on your mind.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

I keep changing my mind on Ben Breeg.  I mean, he's got an awesome first name.  Let's face it.  Everyone knows that people named "Benjamin" are superior human beings.  Maverick wrote some interesting stuff in the IMC but I dunno.  I think it's bumpkas.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

char_da_harlot said:
O.K. now..Perun thinks Breeg is a real person.  Ophelia thinks a metephor. I'd say based on lyrics and posts Breeg would make a great video game character.  I'd buy it!! 

I don't think that any of us are saying that we really know what any of these songs are about, all we are doing is expressing our emotional response to them. Is that not what songs are for?

I wouldn't buy that game. Benjamin Breeg sounds like a guy who just sits in the dark crying, bemoaning his life, but not actually doing anything about it. I don't think he's a scary character at all, he just sounds like he made some mistakes and is making a big fuss about it, the sort of thing anyone would do in the dark, early morning hours when you can't sleep and can't stop your mind churning over your regrets and failures. The man conjoured up in my mind is an ordinary man colouring his words with flourishes of drama to turn it into a good song... and it does make a rather good song.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

When Brave New World came out, i was so thrilled because of Bruce and Adrian, i was inspired by the drumming and the overall production, and i overrated that album. Still, i think it's a very very good one (beats all '90s stuff), but back in the day, it was a true masterpiece for me.

When Dance Of Death came out, it just didn't fit at all. To tell you the truth, at that moment i started active listening of Dream Theater, Symphony X, and some other non-metal material. Maiden was and always will be my favourite band, but it wasn't on top of the playlist any more.

Then, the three songs from AMOLAD "leaked". Ben Breeg was the first one i got, and i was - quite dissapointed. I thought it was boring, repetive, mediocre at best. I remember that one of my friends asked me (she isn't a Maiden "fan", altrough she likes and respects them), "have you bought the new album". My reply was something in the lines of - i'll buy it simply to have them all in collection, but i won't rush it...it's simply non par with the earlier material, but it's good that the guys are still playing!

The whole period had a big relation to my "musician" part of life. Basically, when i started active exploration of other bands and other genres of music, i did that because i wanted to improve my guitar playing influences. I have quitted band-playing some time ago, from that moment in time, i got my self some computer based gear so i can do stuff alone at home.

Somehow, something didn't feel right back then.

Basically, i was capable of employing different techniques, to play really fast, and so on...but at that moment, i realised that the style and the sound is the main thing. So i went on with practices in that direction, not technique any more, to develop the "feeling", and express myself with playing.

Then, most of the non-Maiden stuff i discovered in those years, became rather boring. Soulless. I began listening to Maiden all day long again, just as i had 16 again. But this time, it wasn't just about energy, it was about the sound, the lyrics, the arrangement, about various guitar parts working as a functional piece of music.

Now, i totally forgot about AMOLAD. I saw on the net the positive critics, the good words that people are spreading about the album, and that forced me to listen to it properly.

Back to Ben Breeg...pure coincidence, but i copied the directory with songs on my cellphone, went out and started playing the album. I forgot that shuffle was on, and Ben Breeg was playing first.

This time, it felt phenomenal! The headbanging riff, the solo, the emotional lyrics, the drumming. Everything. Basically, it took more time for AMOLAD to grew on me, but i was prepared to let it grow. Now, i think that Ben Breeg is one hell of a song, and that AMOLAD is the best record outside of the classic 1983-1988 years.

Just recently, i gave a proper shot to Dance Of Death too. And, not a suprise, it rocks also  :D

What triggered me to write this semi-long text, is someone's reply about the intro melody of Ben Breeg, like an old friend approaching. I get shivers and melancholy every damn time i hear that melody!

In my case, that was the song that dissapointed me and focused my music interests away from Maiden. After a rather short journey, this person discovered that there is only one Maiden, only one band. There are a lot of other bands and artists of all sorts of music that i admire, but Maiden is indeed one and only. After realising that, i saw the true beauty of this song.

Every time i hear that melody, i feel something deep down, and a thought..."this is Iron Maiden".
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

I recently heard one story that opened another perspective of this song.

This whole album has a theme of war going through it. Benjamin Breeg was a cleverly designed little fictional story for us fans to get intrigued. However, Maiden do not write pointless songs. By the dates associated with this fictional character, we can see that it has to do something with war.

Now, about the story. One of my neighbours went into war here in early '90s. When the shit finally got over, he came home, only to stay briefly. Guy packed his stuff and went away, abandoning his family. I don't know do they have contact with him, but we haven't seen him since. Just recently i was talking with other friend who was also a neighbour back then, and we recalled some stuff 15 years in past, and i brought the topic about that soldier on. He said - didn't you know, he was leading a group of 20-25 men deep into hostile lands when they got ambushed by enemy snipers. All of them, except him and this other bloke were shot in a matter of seconds. He just couldn't take it, and obviously went crazy. It's a common fact that the worse thing you can do to a military commander is to kill his troops and leave him to live.

Now take a look at the Benjamin Breeg lyrics, and take look at all the dates pointing to war, and the theme of the whole record. Maybe Benjamin Breeg repesents an army officer who lost all his troops and remained to live, and can't fight his inner demons.
 
Re: 'The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg'

That would be in keeping with the theme of many other war-related Maiden songs, who focus on the soldier's state of mind before, during or after combat (like Afraid to shoot strangers, Paschendale, Fortunes of War - the two latter being among my favorite songs regarding lyrics).

Of course, the song is quite open for interpretation since the lyrics never state what the person's inner demons actually are. But your interpretation is surely the one which fits best with the rest of the album. And an interesting story as well. Have a praise.
 
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