Virtual XI - Song quality

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
Yeah but I like how the record sounds. They also have layered guitars in some songs, I can't say from top of my head now.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Yea the electric/acoustic thing is a nice touch. It's in almost every song I think. I liked when Maiden did that for TFF too.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
I would love for someone to ask Nicko in an interview someday about the reason behind the massive stylistic change for those albums.

I don't think he would ever say anything beyond what he said back when the album came out, and that was that he wanted to let the others more room for their playing.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Virtual XI on the whole sounds better suited for Bruce's voice than TXF was.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
I remember Nicko saying that they were looking for a big drum sound since FOTD (at least). Then again he claimed that Steve wanted him to play simpler and with a more rock groove. So we got the triggered sound in TXF followed by the almost completely void of drum fills VXI. I still find it.hard to think of another group that went so downhill musicaly...and it has nothing to do with Blaze.
 
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Wally Swift

Invader
So my question is: Do you think, looking at the album with some objectivity, it could have been a much more loved album had it been recorded with Bruce on vocals, a more "traditional" Nicko drumming and, of course, a "normal" Maiden energy level? Just focus on the songs with those circumstances.... What do you think?

I like both of the Blaze albums a lot. The Clansman is my favorite IM song and X Factor is actually my favorite album by them period. I'm not a Bruce fanboy so I wouldn't substitute him for Blaze on these albums especially X Factor. The only song I don't like on Virtual XI is the last song, whatever it's called.

That said Bruce is perfect for the albums he sings on. Final Frontier has been a real grower for me. It's nice that IM had ideal singers for the respective albums. I wouldn't change anything on Virtual XI except that terrible last track.
 

Operations666

Educated Fool
I like both of the Blaze albums a lot. The Clansman is my favorite IM song and X Factor is actually my favorite album by them period. I'm not a Bruce fanboy so I wouldn't substitute him for Blaze on these albums especially X Factor. The only song I don't like on Virtual XI is the last song, whatever it's called.

That said Bruce is perfect for the albums he sings on. Final Frontier has been a real grower for me. It's nice that IM had ideal singers for the respective albums. I wouldn't change anything on Virtual XI except that terrible last track.

I agree. The last song on Virtual XI (Como Estais Amigos) is my least favorite Maiden song. I also don't really like Don't Look To the Eyes of a Stranger too much. Otherwise I like Virtual XI. It's not a great album by Maiden standards, but it's a pretty rocking overall. I enjoy it more than The X Factor, actually.
 

fekso2017

Invader
I always felt this should av been an live album (5-6 songs from the Gothenburg show for example) with a few studio tracks Futureal, The Clansman and The Educated Fool. However, this is not how Iron Maiden works. I never liked the other songs on the album. I would have liked Janick and Dave do have contributed a bit more. I'm sure the standard would have been higher.
 

Vantage Point

Educated Fool
I really like Virtual XI, though it of course isn’t without its flaws. The production could be a bit better and some more work could have been done on the lyrics to rid the endless repetition on a couple of tracks. Where I do love the album as it is, I do think that if Bruce was in the band then it would have sounded better, even if he only contributed to it vocally. But I don’t have a problem with Blaze’s voice when I listen to it.


As for the songs, what seems to be against general consenus, I really don’t like Futureal, just grates with me. When Two Worlds Collide is my favourite and I’d love to hear them do that one in concert again. Como Estais Amigos has losts of emotion in it and is a definite highlight.
 
IMHO FOTD is an immense album. Production could have been better. Wasn't it recorded in Steve's barn? However the last few albums could have sounded more polished. Not sure why they are obsessed with this live feel on albums. Especially when each tour usually has a live dvd/cd. Back to Bruce's vocals on FOTD I thought it worked. Nothing wrong with trying something different. I'd love to hear be quick, childhood end, Fugitive live.
 

Frosst

Prowler
I

I don't think so, Forostar... For instance, i truly think the Paul songs sound better with Paul than with Bruce. Not everything Bruce sings on sounds better strictly because of him. But of course, considering overall he's a much better singer, pretty much everything he sings has the potential to be better, but it's not a written rule...

I agree, although some Paul songs (esp Wrathchild) sounds better with Bruce, but for the most part the songs from the first two albums sounds much better with Paul. Hell, I actually like Dianno a lot and consider him to be a pretty good singer, not on Bruce's level but still.
 
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Black Abyss Babe

Quantum weather butterfly
I've been listening to Virtual XI a lot over the last two weeks. When I heard it for the first time the only song that stood out to me was Como Estais Amigos - I didn't dislike the rest exactly, I just didn't know what to make of it at all. It seemed like all the songs started out sounding like they were going to develop into something fantastic, but then ran out of steam very quickly and got repetitive. So I put it aside and listened to the earlier ones (particularly Somewhere In Time) a few more times, by which time I understood Maiden a bit better, and then went back to give Virtual XI another go.

It was the album I found the hardest to get into, but I'm really glad I persevered. It's now one of my favourites.
 

ghkghk

Trooper
It's a poor album. We don't need to discuss if it was that the material was poor ot that the production ando sound ruined all.... Everything is subpar.
 

TAC

Nomad
Definitely agree that Virtual's main problem is the production. The songs are fine. Just poorly arranged, recorded, and performed.

That's really the issue with both Blaze albums. It's too bad because both of these albums are really frozen in time, never to truly mature.
 
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