Unnecessary. @GhostSword is welcome to share his opinions politely, and we're willing to listen. Let's set an example.Oh great, another thread for GhostSword to bash Blaze in!
I like Virtual XI. Is it a flawed album, one of the more flawed in the Iron Maiden catalogue? Absolutely, and I fully admit that some of my delight in the album lies in nostalgia. I got into Iron Maiden in 2001, and I didn't live near a record store - getting to one was difficult for me. So I turned to the delight of all teenagers in 2001 - I dialed up to the internet and turned to Napster to download songs, 52 kbps at a time. I'd heard Alexander the Great and The Clansman in my first go around. Napster delivered a few tracks - Fear of the Dark from ARDO, Running Free from ARLO, The Trooper, and Lightning Strikes Twice. Of all the tracks I had after that first go, I thought Lightning Strikes Twice was the best (now, obviously, I have a different opinion). Other early songs were Tailgunner, Futureal, Sign of the Cross, and The Angel and the Gambler.I don't care for the term "Blaze era" as the two albums are radically different to my ears. TXF was a gloomy, slightly different, masterpiece. VXI was...crap.
It was exactly the same for me too (except I heard TXF when it came out). Didn't sound like Maiden (and it's still the least-Maiden-sounding album of all). Sounded like a cheap Maiden rip off, to be blunt. More because of the overall sound than Blaze. Also, after SOTC there are several (for me) weaker tracks in a row, so it was kinda hard to focus my attention and listen (it gets much better towards the end, but I'd usually quit by then). Tried listening several times during the years until at one moment it really clickedi didn't like it all, it didn't sound like Maiden to me, and it wasn't because of Blaze and his voice only, it was something else i couldn't explain. They call it vibe, i guess.