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Band – Iron Maiden

Album – The Final Frontier

The 15th work of art from one of the best in the business, The Final Frontier is something different from what we’ve seen from the boys from England.  It’s definitely more aggressive when compared to A Matter of Life and Death, but then again, what’s music without improvisation and experimentation.

Ever heard of that feeling where you might be sitting there wondering, “What the heck is this? Where on earth are they going with this??” half the times you don’t get an answer, but sometimes, when that sort of a reaction is brought about, it leaves you perplexed and fascinated. That’s what this is about.

Song Rating
Satellite 15… The Final Frontier ★★★★☆
El Dorado ★★★½☆
Mother of Mercy ★★★☆☆
Coming Home ★★★★☆
The Alchemist ★★★☆☆
Isle of Avalon ★★★½☆
Starblind ★★★½☆
The Talisman ★★★½☆
The Man who would be king ★★★½☆
When the wild wind blows ★★★★½

1. Satellite 15… The Final Frontier

The opener of the album; possibly one of the most intense, momentum building intros ever! A weird sounding first verse, comprising of echo-laden guitar and ghostly vocals, makes way to a rapid succession of rhythmic jabs.

All of a sudden, the song explodes into a power packed rocker, with two of the craziest solos I’ve ever heard. It’s like putting 2 songs together, and it’s been done brilliantly.

2. El Dorado

When you listen to Steve Harris’s bass (without mentioning what you’re gonna listen to of course), you know you’re listening to Iron Maiden. The song starts off in a very promising fashion, a driving rhythmic riff. Heavy bass and drum beats. But it isn’t until the chorus that Bruce Dickinson’s rises into his trademark tone and Dave Murray is as always awesome with his solo.

3. Mother of Mary

A Progressive metal sounding intro, it sort of makes you to expect something different from the song. The expressiveness and passion with which Bruce Dickinson sings about the atrocities of war, will make you go “What the heck?” as the band rips into the second verse. Dave Murray’s solo is just magnificent.

4. Coming Home

A catchy guitar melody gently shifts into a dramatic power chord filled verse and chorus. The words Iron Maiden and Ballad seem to go hand in hand I must say; the song is a genuine anthem. Yet another solo that will grab you by the balls and squeeze them gently till you don’t know whether to scream in pain or pass out in pleasure.

5. The Alchemist

If you’re looking for old school Iron Maiden, this is the place for you to be. At the intro, you can figure out this can only be the Dave Murray – Adrian Smith duo. Probably not their best, but the dual guitar riff pattern before the ending chorus is just plain awesome.

6. The Isle of Avalon

An intro with spooky bass and effects filled guitar riffs play as Dickinson whispers the first verse. After an extended interlude, the band breaks into wild random progressive rock pieces. A scorching lead guitar, a remarkable final chorus, an stunning blows from McBrain make this a winner.

7. Starblind

Ok the first thing that struck me was how they managed to get into a psychedelic piece after having avoided it for so long. A calm and cozy sounding intro explodes into metal. The song is like a roller coaster ride, with the guitars building up intensely.

8. The Talisman

A folk-ish sounding intro, Dickinson goes into his story telling mode, which is soon taken over by the bands pulverizing force. Here, Dickinson shreds his vocal chords. The combination of a go-for-all solo followed by a second run steeped in melodic blues works splendidly.

9. The Man who would be king

A mysterious acoustic and electric opening similar to Metallica’s One, opens into a stampede of thunderous riffs. Yet another classic Maiden style solo.

10. When the wild wind blows

I must say, this is quite a musical adventure Maiden has cooked up. At first, a military tempo, grim and evil, it has a driving effect to it. Each guitar does a solo, with new tones and melodies popping out of nowhere into a smooth flow with perfect transition. For those who love the six-string (or 18 strings here :P) this is a sumptuous feast.

Album ★★★★☆

Buy the CD? Duh! What a dimwit!  Go get it already. The veteran band, 35 years into their career have pulled off something extra-ordinary. Iron Maiden marches on.

– Reviewed by Shashank, Music Perk Team