Unfavorable Iron Maiden album reviews

Yax

Ancient Mariner
This thread is a place to post unfavorable Iron Maiden reviews. I came across this gem on Allmusic, regarding Rock in Rio, by Brian On'Neill.

"With the reunion studio disc Brave New World failing to recapture the imagination and intensity of Iron Maiden in America and even in many places in the band's European homeland, going to Brazil seemed like a smart move. It was one of the few places that a quarter of a million people would turn up to see the act in 2001, and judging from the audience response, the band's set list didn't bother them much either. At times, you had to be wondering what they were listening to. Sure, the band's energy is in abundance here (it's hard to mail in a performance in front of so many people who seem to scream at every single move the band makes), but an entire disc's worth of material of the two here is wasted. What is the point of doing not one, but two songs from the black hole that sucked the will to live from metal fans the world over (aka "the Blaze Bayley period")? When Kiss re-formed, they were smart enough to not play the crap that made everyone want them to re-form in the first place, and nobody wants to see David Lee Roth get back with Van Halen to sing "Without You"; whatever possessed Steve Harris and company to even approach Bruce Dickinson and suggest he go along with it is almost as perplexing as Dickinson agreeing to it, yet here it is -- "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman" in all their boring anti-splendor. The inclusion of some of Dickinson's CMC solo stuff would have been ten times better if peripheral material they must. Not as unexpected, but only slightly less dismal, is the inclusion of six tracks off the aforementioned Brave New World, which was neither brave nor new. There might be one good song between the sextet that was presented if you look real hard.

The majesty of the classic material saves the day, and even though they had a sympathetic foreign crowd by the short and curlies, the band was smart enough to close the set with the classic material. Simply put, you can't go wrong with a closing volley of three tracks from Number of the Beast and a couple more from the band's eponymous debut. The likes of "The Trooper" and "Wrathchild" sound even better next to anything the band recorded after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, but that's faint praise. At the end of the day, Rock in Rio won't make you wish you were there, the barometer of what a great concert recording should do, but it will make fans nostalgic for the time that Iron Maiden was a creative force. Sadly, that time seems to have eclipsed years before the band took the stage in Brazil that evening."
 
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Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
Yes I read that long ago. Via links from Wikipedia I believe.

The guy's an idiot. Is he the Roman Emperor to have that kind of a sure grasp over European audience? A man that's obviously a hair metal asshat, writing about the band that he doesn't understand. What kind of a moron would single out the 'fact' that Maiden closed show with classics? Always has been you ignorant fuck.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
Maybe it was kinda fashionable to put down this band in those times? I don't really recall
 
I think that a lot of the negative reviews of Iron Maiden tend to be by people who just don't understand the band or the aim of the album. Out of 17 studio albums, the vast majority is albums that most bands could only dream of. Having said that, Maiden have had one or two lemons along the way. No Prayer for the Dying was an embarrassingly weak album, and the only reason Fear of the Dark was a small step up was the title song. The rest of the album was very poor. I thought the Blaze albums were an improvement in many ways. The more I listened to X-Factor, the more I liked it. I actually found a lot of the songs on Virtual XI to be really good, but they were way too long and repetitive so I never listen to the album anymore. In comparison to those four, Brave New World was a masterpiece. The only other albums I never listen to are Final Frontier and Book of Souls, and that is only because Bruce's voice sounds far too strained.

Despite these wobbles, Maiden remain the greatest band I have ever heard, and certainly the most consistently good.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Mat Snow was subsequently sent to an asylum. What's interesting here is that Harris and Riggs met up with Dr Who in 1983, who travelled with them through time to 1989. Dr Who then took them to the asylum to meet with Snow in his padded room, who was screaming away in his straightjacket about live spectacles and Wagner. They knew right then and there what Piece of Minds artwork would look like. The adventure also planted a seed of thought in Harris' mind which resulted in the title for the 1986 album Somewhere in Time.

Thank you, Mat Snow.
 
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Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
Maybe it was kinda fashionable to put down this band in those times? I don't really recall
Yes it very much was, even in the metal press. Kerrang and Metal Hammer both took turns at tearing into Maiden throughout the 90's and some of that spew even bled into the early 00's.

The American press were even worse but fundamentally the arguments were the same. "Play more classics!" "Make the new album sound like Powerslave!" "Get rid of Janick, we want the classic line-up!"

It's actually funny when you look back at these magazines who at the time were busy slating Maiden but at the same time were praising shite like Coal Chamber and Puddle of Mudd as the next big thing.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Mat Snow was subsequently sent to an asylum. What's interesting here is that Harris and Riggs met up with Dr Who in 1983, who travelled with them through time to 1989. Dr Who then took them to the asylum to meet with Snow in his padded room, who was screaming away in his straightjacket about live spectacles and Wagner. They knew right then and there what Piece of Minds artwork would look like. The adventure also planted a seed of thought in Harris' mind which resulted in the title for the 1986 album Somewhere in Time.
And years later, a track for Senjutsu, no doubt
 
Maybe it was kinda fashionable to put down this band in those times? I don't really recall
Very much so- this review of 'Brave New World' is very indicative of the mainstream music press view of Maiden circa 2000. There used to be a selection of similarly sneering live reviews from the same era on their website. Funnily enough, they've changed their tune a bit these days!

 

UpTheIrons

Educated Fool
The thing to understand with many of these low-quality publications slating Maiden circa the BNW era is that they are trend jumpers rather than trend setters. Because it became fashionable to hate Maiden (and all old school metal for that matter) in the mid to late 90s, of course they had already decided they would trash the new album in 2000 regardless of it's quality.

Now that the mainstream have shifted their stance and now consider bands like Maiden and Priest to be respected elder statesmen, they give them good reviews. See the NME (National Music Enema as Bruce once called it) calling Senjutsu an instant classic.
 
The thing to understand with many of these low-quality publications slating Maiden circa the BNW era is that they are trend jumpers rather than trend setters. Because it became fashionable to hate Maiden (and all old school metal for that matter) in the mid to late 90s, of course they had already decided they would trash the new album in 2000 regardless of it's quality.

Now that the mainstream have shifted their stance and now consider bands like Maiden and Priest to be respected elder statesmen, they give them good reviews. See the NME (National Music Enema as Bruce once called it) calling Senjutsu an instant classic.
Most, if not all, of these publications are gone or are on their absolute last legs now, whilst Maiden stand stronger than ever. As you say, their editorial attitude towards the band has begrudgingly changed over the years as they're forced to acknowledge the enduring popularity and integrity of classic metal acts.

I recall one NME live review circa 2000 which described Maiden as an 'anachronism' , and expressed horror at the amount of younger people in the audience, hoping that they were nu-metal fans attending solely out of sheer curiosity. Two decades on and those same fans are now bringing their own kids :lol:
 
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