I really like this one as an opener, great energy to start the show and the ohhhh-ohhh-ohhhhhhhhhhhhs towards the end. Best since either Moonchild or Aces High and better IMO than what followed (though I have not seen the TFF opener live yet, but I sense Wicker Man will still be better).
Remember, only a decent review will count towards the contest.
Today's song: The Wicker Man
Yesterday's song remains open for voting! You can find it here.
Bruce and Adrian are back! Y2K just passed! It's time for The Wicker Man! Best fast opener since Moonchild drops here. A classic, timeless, H/Bruce style rocker with some similar feelings to 23:58, that just kicks ass. This is either a very high 9, or a low 10 in my book, but after some long, careful consideration, I am giving it a 10.
This is where the best ride in Maiden's discography starts for me. Expect to see a plethora of 10s.
What a way to come back, Adrian! Fucking awesome in every way. It would've been a 10 if the studio version had the awesome call and answer chorus thing that they had in the special rare edition, but it's a 9 as it is.
That solo is awesome as hell. Not a single tab for that diminished run in the middle so I just improvise something when I play it.
Great opener, this. Maybe a bit too simple and straight-forward for me to give out a 10, and a little minus for the fact that the opening riff sounds exactly like Running Wild from Judas Priest. But a very good return song for Bruce and H. The solo is a damn fine introduction to the soloing style H adapted during the 90s.
I know the similarity ends quickly, but in the first few seconds it's really identical. It's not just that the picking pattern is the same, but the fact that it starts out with a single guitar, without drums and bass - it just sounds like the same song with a fuller production for those few seconds.
But don't exaggerate how much weight I put on this. It's not as if this brings the song down from a rock solid 10. It doesn't. But when I was doubting whether it was a 9 or a 10, things like this have a little say. Just a little.
This was the main song that got me into Maiden! One day I was listening to it and the chorus just clicked for me. Still one of my Maiden favourites, and the chorus is one of my fave ever! A classic song, the way it is sung is just incredible. 10/10 with ease.
I saw promo video on TV before i got my hands on Brave New World. Maybe that was even before BNW was officially released. With all the buzz after Ed Hunter tour, having Adrian and Bruce back in top form, the only question i had was about Nicko's drumming - i was afraid that he would continue with style (or lack of same) presented on Virtual XI.
So the promo video starts, and there i see the drums with only one mounted tom and couple of cymbals. Said to myself - oh shit, not again! But as the song went on, i heard Nicko banging in full regime, plus the new drums sounded excellent! Complete production was a refreshment from previous album, but also a refreshment from too raw Chemical Wedding.
Anyways, banging return of Adrian and Bruce in their songwriting, and performing power. I don't like the chorus. I don't feel like i need to point out the epicness of H's solo. However, he does that chromatic run in lower register, and it sounds very muddy. Live, he always did it in high register, perhaps he intentionally went low in studio because that part resembles first part of his Road To Hell solo.
Therefore, taking into account that i don't usually give full score to short rockers, i could go for a 9 - but that would fit in, if it had extended chorus and Adrian's live solo. Since it doesn't, it's a fat eight.
I go for a fat 8 as well. I don't have much energy to explain it well, other than that I don't find it as special as most songs I've given a nine. Ah: I like Zare, I want to point out Nicko's drumming. That "double" bass (which is a single bass) in the chorus is awesome. Lots of subtle accents as well, throughout the whole song. I had to get used to the sharp snare drum sound, which is pretty dominant in the production.
Gave it a 9, I was wondering what we would see with Bruce and Adrian back, would it be more along the lines of Bruce's solo stuff, continue from Virtual XI, go back to FOD, go back to SSOSS, back to Powerslave, etc. Wicker Man pretty much removed any concerns I had when I first heard it. This song just kicks ass and is one of the top 2 or 3 openers. Most importantly, I think the song made a statement that Maiden was back and was ready to kick some ass.