Your Maiden blasphemy

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
See this chat about a 4 or 5 or 6 song run, its Piece of Mind or 7th Son and thats a fact.
In terms of BNW, I bought it and anticipated it at the time, so maybe Im biased, having lived through the Blaze years but for me, at the time, it was phenomenal, like nothing they had ever done, so much more energy than anything since the 80s, finally some good production. I find it weak as a whole album now, but not at the time, Dream of Mirrors, Mercenary, Fallen Angel, all decent songs but its a real Powerslave-type album for me, great songs at the start and the end but a dip in the middle. But Im splittin hairs, the middle songs are still grand, on their own. And this is why I dont really like gettin involved in Maiden survivour games. Trying to decide if Gangland is worse than The Pilgrim has no value for me. It is what it is, you know?


Meme Only Account
I tend to think that lots of people who were really "into" Maiden circa late-90's/early-00's' were so enthused by Bruce & Adrian's return that they looked past (at the time) the deficiencies of BNW (& maybe DoD too) in all the excitement; the two main creative members returning, that guy who couldn't sing gone, subsequent touring, and just generally Maiden being "back". And that view has lingered on. I'm sure the same can be said for those who were around when some other earlier album came out; it makes an impression for many of the same reasons. You were in that moment. For me, that album(s) is NPftD/FotD. But I like to think I don't view those albums through rose-tinted glasses. I like 'em, but I can perfectly understand why others think they totally suck & are full of filler.

[EDIT: Kinda what NK has just said actually]
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Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
[EDIT: Kinda what NK has just said actually]
Yellow card for repetition.
No Prayer was the first album I was aware of but X Factor was the first one that I criticly evaluated. I was shocked. And VXI just pissed me off. Maiden had become a bag of pish, shit artwork and shitty tunes. I still think VXI is Maidens most immature or cheesy album. Theres good moments but singin about the fuckin declination? Fuck off. All that said, songs like When Two Worlds Collide could be great in the right hands. The hands of Dickinson and Smith. When they rejoined and released an album I was in cloud 9, I had loved Maiden for years before and seen them live with Blaze and I thought I would never see the real thing in my life. So aye, maybe theres a rose tinted glass over the reunion but, for me , the first 4 tunes on BNW are the 80s that I never got to experience. I wasnt lookin back, I was lovin it, they were a vibrant band with great songs. Better tjan Buckethead at least


Ancient Mariner
And this is why I dont really like gettin involved in Maiden survivour games. Trying to decide if Gangland is worse than The Pilgrim has no value for me. It is what it is, you know?

Exactly, it only turns people off stuff they previously liked.

Same sort of effect as people moaning about Wrathchild being in the set list, people keep reading it on here and get conditioned into thinking Wrathchild is some terrible, weak song.
BNW is the best reunion era album.

First four songs are classics, OOTSP and Dream Of Mirrors are gems, The Mercenary and The Fallen Angel are great short rockers, The Nomad is great and the closing song is good.

BNW is best vocally

DoD best guitar work

AMOLAD best unifying concept

The Final Frontier - still hasn't made its way into the "great" top-tier Maiden albums for me yet

The Book of Souls has the best songwriting


Ancient Mariner
AMOLAD maybe - gushing praise at the time of its release.

It's a good album, but those who give it gushing praise are rarely (if ever) able to describe why it's more worthy of praise than the other reunion era albums.
AMOLAD is easily the most consistent Reunion era album quality wise - It flows remarkably well. It's just a perpetuate stream of top level tracks. Its lowpoint is The Pilgrim which in itself is a really good track. The verse is crushing.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
AMOLAD is easily the most consistent Reunion era album quality wise - It flows remarkably well. It's just a perpetuate stream of top level tracks. Its lowpoint is The Pilgrim which in itself is a really good track. The verse is crushing.
I disagree. Low point is Out Of The Shadows, which straight-up Halts that great stream of top level tracks. BNW, TBOS, even DOD Flow better IMO.


AMOLAD is Iron Maiden's finest album since BNW, to me anyway, but it took me a solid five years to get into it. Only after Final Frontier, I could gel with it. Now, I appreciate the overall structure, the song writing, the themes, the cover, the solo's and its length. For sure one of my favorite Maiden albums.


The resident saudade aficionado
It's a good album, but those who give it gushing praise are rarely (if ever) able to describe why it's more worthy of praise than the other reunion era albums.

I have, repeatedly, many times over on this forum.

[...] It just fits together so nicely. The themes and everything... I like the fact it's mostly about war - I don't believe many bands would and could handle it with such grace as Maiden have. The cover fits too - I like the style and I like the way it really compliments the essence of the album. Also - and this is the first time I've written about this and I've never read any opinion regarding this, but it's very important to me - I can't help but to hear connections in the music contained within. Listen to the riff on BTATS, at around 3:35 (under the solo). Doesn't it remind you of the chorus of LOL? And now, please, listen to the riff in FTGGOG, at about 6:57. Isn't it really similar to These Colours Don't Run? I think so. Maybe I'm wrong, but it helps me to appreciate the album more, so you won't convince me so easily otherwise. :)

The strength of the material is another aspect. I mean, the songs are just amazing. Both DW and The Pilgrim are fast and incredibly catchy rockers, the like of which I can't help but to adore. We have the "dark" epics, BTATS and LOL, both of which contain great riffs and they sound complex and creative [...] We have The Longest Day, which is the small climax of the album. From the ominous beginning, it gains momentum, it raises higher... and it culminates in a perfect way, again being very emotional and - in a way - tear-jerking. It tells the tale of the D-Day... and it tells it in an excellent way. You are there. Really.

Of course, The Legacy is the climax, the masterpiece. From the "lullaby" beginning, to the scary 8-note riff (reocurring throughout the song), after which it gets mysterious and Oldfieldish, then it's time for some slow'n'heavy mudwalk, which works as a tension-raiser, then Janick's greatest solo of the album (and one of the best overall) and then the finish, which concludes the album in a nice way - a hope and a frustration present at the same time, the nice guitar work supports the lament of the common decency, as it says goodbye to us and closes the album, nicely finishing the overall theme.

Even Out of the Shadows, undisputely the song I like the least here, fits. BTW, I belive the only reason I doesn't like it that much is it reminds me of Wasting Love. Well, no. It doesn't remind me of it; it's a pure rip-off. But it isn't an offensive one and like I've said - it fits the album. I can't imagine the transition between TLD and TROBB without this one.

And the production. I mean - as I've already mentioned earlier here on this forum, I know jacksh** about production. But this album just sounds great. Nicko's drums, Bruce's vocals, 'Arry's base is just high enough in the mix to be noticeable but not overbearing... And the guitars are just perfect. In fact, thanks to the guitars this album is quite heavy, too. Breeg and BTATS in particular - I don't remember Maiden being quite this heavy before or after.

[...] it showed me that the band after nearly thirty years of existence can release its masterpiece and reach its peak. It's like a movie - it's a almost a blasphemy to dissect it into its songs, just as is a blasphemy to dissect a movie into various scenes. Judas out.

I really understand why people don't like the chorus [of The Longest Day] (I prefer to concentrate on the guitars there, I don't know, they just make the chorus feel really alive for me), but it's the awesome triumphant harmony that kicks in at about 5:33. I mean, that's one of the pinnacles of the album for me. The song is very much like "dragging through the mud" while the enemy keeps shooting us... and this is like you finally break free and run and you know the day is going to be yours. And the way Davey's solo just finishes it off and brings it up to another level entirely...

Yeah, I guess you could say it's your run-of-the-mill Maiden reunion song... But then again, you could say that the Beatles were a bunch of dorks whose best songs on their debut are covers (Anna, Baby It's You, Twist and Shout)... :D

Also, completely off topic (at least Longest Day-wise) - although I've never been an h fan, his Different World solo is one of the best Maiden solos ever. Ever. I've been saying it for quite some time, but it needs to be said again. It's soaring, melodic, emotional, lively... and it single-handedly turns one of the weaker tracks on the album into an absolute classic by itself.

Man, this album rocks so much. I haven't had a proper "Maiden mood" for quite some time now, but I still give AMOLAD a spin from time to time. My love for it hasn't diminished in the slightest over the last fourteen years since it came out. Yeah, it's really been that long. Huh.

Also, it's the heaviest one, which some may like. It has a thematic, rather than narrative concept, which isn't really overbearing and it can take a clichéd point of view (from the artistic sense) "war is bad" and actually do something interesting with that. Many of those songs are like ruminations of different people, with very different personalities, sort of like this metal-musical version of The Thin Red Line.

I already talked above how the melodies sometimes feel connected, thus strengthening the "conceptuality" of the album, but also this is one of the albums where the darned repetition that has always been problematic with them actually kinda works - it gives weight to the desperate questions of the narrator of FTGGOG, it accentuates the strain and dreariness of trying to desperately break through on TLD, it expresses the quiet disbelief of the observer of "crossing the line" on BTATS, it lends a certain hypnotic charm to the mysterious rambling of the LoL protagonist.

Already mentioned, but The Legacy might be one of the most unique tracks in Maiden catalogue - very experimental in both sound and structure, yet cohesive, emotionally resonant (and working wonderfully as the wrap-up song - its effect is halved when listened to on its own) and majestic. In general, for such a heavy-sounding album (Breeg?) nearly every song is very catchy. And it's the catchiness that doesn't wash away with repeated listens.

I admit as much:
So... It's been my first Maiden album I've experienced as a fan. I mean, my first (?) experience with Maiden was the FotD album, which my father played to me when I was about four, then it was BNW/Rock in Rio, which was again my father trying to hook me on to the music he listened to at the time... And then I remember Rainmaker in the radio and listening to the whole of DOD some time later (and thinking the beginning of Paschendale sounds like a 90's mobile phone ringtone... oh, silly me :facepalm: ). Then something clicked and I've decided to listen to Maiden more seriously... And right after that, a new album has been announced and I could eagerly wait for it, enjoy it, listen to Benjamin Breeg with anticipation on the radio... Listen to the album secretly in school during the boring lessons... This "nostalgia factor" is unfair, but it can't be beat.

but it can't be just that - I am not alone in that regard:

Still A Matter of Life and Death which I believe is their most consistent album song for song, and also the most focused in terms of atmosphere. I have individual songs I rate higher from The Final Frontier, but as a complete album A Matter of Life and Death takes the cake. (And to be honest "The Legacy", "For the Greater Good of God" and "Lord of Light" are resting firmly in my top 10 in any case.) It's one of those rare albums where specific songs are lifted because they are part of a greater whole - would I listen to "Out of the Shadows" and love it if it had been on No Prayer for the Dying? Probably not! But here it fits perfectly in the flow of the album, and I couldn't imagine skipping it. As for production & playing on the record, I think everyone did a tremendous job on it. The drum sound is a particular highlight for me, and especially Nicko's old snare.

For the record, The Final Frontier and The X Factor are the runners-up.

It's definitely an example of an album that works not only as a set of individual songs, but also as a cohesive whole, which is not given, not with Maiden, not with metal in general. And definitely the only reunion album that works in that regard.

Fabio Maiden

Educated Fool
My favourite Maiden album keeps switching between the three blue albums.

Currently, it's TFF.

Brave New World, The Final Frontier and Seventh Son, right? :) I must say that The Final Frontier is easily in my top 3. Maiden's most underrated album, imho.. There's not a single thing I would change, on that record.