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New album review in Kerrang

on August 16, 2006 @ 20:42

Iron Maiden
A Matter Of Life And Death
KKKKK

“Nothing is gonna come between us and our fans, and it will be death before dishonour - this is Iron Fucking Maiden!” That was Bruce Dickinson, speaking out under a hail of eggs and detritus at last years’s Ozzfest isn San Bernardino, California, during one of the most controversial and infamous incidents in recent rock history. That, my friends, is a frontman.

While Maiden have respectfully distanced themselves from the alleged sabotage of their set that night, they have remained in combative mood ever since. If you thought new music from these veteran standard-bearers of British Metal might see them cooling down in any respect, ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’ will answer as Maiden know best - loudly, aggressively and memorably. Although not a concept album, war and the missuse of religion to justify conflict is a near constant, from artwork to lyrics to all-out musical attack. War is a theme Maiden have tackled many times before, but never with such purpose, such tenacious realism and, yes, thoughtfulness, as they do here.

Forget wildly inappropriate single ‘The Reincarnation oF Bejamin Breeg’ - this album is about tracks like ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘These Colours Don’t Run’, the latter a sly reference to another of Bruce’s comments on that fateful evening in San Bernardino. The former develops gradually into a chorus fit for arena chanting and fist-pumping, one that is succeeded by a martial battering of drums and an evolving six-string showdown.

‘For The Greater Good Of God’ bleeds into another big hook, unfurling its banner amid epic orchestration. Time changes and three-part guitar solos hurtle from ear to ear, and vary in speed, tone and intensity. It’s another Maiden classic that does not compromise heaviness in achieving its nine-minute span. ‘The Pilgrim’ and opener ‘Different World’ are immediate if relatively standardised rockers, while the balladic ‘Out Of The Shadows’ draws yet another untouchable vocal performance from Dickinson, redolent of his solo hit ‘Tears Of The Dragon’.

Maiden fans will revel in the gallop and surge of ‘Brighter Than A Thousand Suns’, Steve Harris’ bass twanging high in the mix, while closer ‘The Legacy’ - concluding the theme of war breeding more war - features a call-to-arms fanfare of electric guitars blaring intermittently through movie soundtrack ambience and acoustics.

Although ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’ perhaps may be too ambitious for some palates, this album keeps everything longtime fans loved about Iron Maiden alive. The bristling heaviness, the time changes, the astonishing musicalilty, the filmic grandeur. Hoist your flag high.”

Steve Beebee

Thanks to Twisted Wings from MFU

18 Comments


Anonymous said:

Ow, by the way this was submitted by me...

#12512, August 16, 2006 @ 21:52


Anonymous said:

Can't wait now!

#12514, August 16, 2006 @ 23:54


Anonymous said:

Let's hope it's true.....reviews tell of the reviewers thoughts. I enjoy reading them but don't bank on alot of what is said. The best review will be my own, when the new disc is played at my house the day of release.

#12515, August 16, 2006 @ 23:59


Anonymous said:

the only review that matters is your own....

#12519, August 17, 2006 @ 04:11


Anonymous said:

Brighter than a Thousand Suns is unbelievable, modern and HEAVY. Just what Maiden should be. Cant wait to get the album.

#12520, August 17, 2006 @ 12:01


Anonymous said:

HAIL...I AM FROM HELLAS AND I THINK THAT MAIDEN OUGHT TO PLAY ONCE OR TWICE THE TRACK "ALEXANDER THE GREAT" LIVE IN GREECE!!!!HAIL TO HELLAS!!!!!

#12522, August 18, 2006 @ 00:17


Anonymous said:

alxander was a fine dude but the song is not that great

#12523, August 18, 2006 @ 01:45


Anonymous said:

Alexander The Great is a masterpiece!! Up The Irons!

#12524, August 18, 2006 @ 01:50


Anonymous said:

Alexander the Great is the 'kin epic of the SIT-album! I could cry to make them play that one in Oslo, Norway! -Sodda

#12541, August 18, 2006 @ 20:54


Anonymous said:

"Maiden fans will revel in the gallop and surge of 'Brighter Than A Thousand Suns'"

Hmmm. There's only a short burst of the classic gallop. I hope that's not as good as it gets.

#12572, August 19, 2006 @ 21:05


Anonymous said:

Didn't Kerrang also give a KKKKK rating to DOD? That album hardly warranted such high praise. - No. 4

#12573, August 19, 2006 @ 21:08


Anonymous said:

I'd cry if Maiden played Alexander live, and not tears of joy. It's highly over-rated. One of S. Harris' many failed epics.

#12575, August 19, 2006 @ 21:10


Anonymous said:

"ALEXANDER THE GREAT" IS GREAT SONG(NOT JUST ONE OF THEIR MOST BEAUTIFUL)AND MAIDEN HAVE TO PLAY IT LIVE IN GREECE AT LEAST!(TSALA FROM GREECE)

#12577, August 19, 2006 @ 23:25


Anonymous said:

alexander the great is for me the 2nd best song they ever composed after TROTAM.It's as good as any classical composition.those who say not don't appreciate real complex music.as for AMOLAD,i've heard snips of every song and it sounds like being up thier with powerslave and POM if not better.long tracks great guitar solos and complexity all over the place.maiden at thier very best.

#12586, August 20, 2006 @ 11:44


Anonymous said:

Alexander ‘the Great’. An ever so slightly psychotic imperialist; instrumental in the defeat of the free Greeks at Chaeronea; raised Thebes to the ground etc. Yeah, a great hero for modern Greece. Also a crap Maiden song.

BTW Maiden’s music has not become more intricate, it’s become more repetitive

#12589, August 20, 2006 @ 13:45


Anonymous said:

you above,you don't understand good music so go back to your rap crap cause that's probably all you can appreciate

#12600, August 20, 2006 @ 20:25


Anonymous said:

well said guy above me

#12705, August 25, 2006 @ 13:26


Anonymous said:

I have Just LIstened to Breeg about 10 times in a row. Not sure what gets me more, the Shiver up my spine when the first chord is RIPPED or the Brilliant Changes Steve has Ingeniously placed throught the song.


Based on the Teasers "The Boys" have put on the Maiden Site, and Based on what Reviews I have seen on the Web This album appearse to have the Creativity of DOD but in Epic proportion. I Cant Wait.
Up the Irons

Drock

#12722, August 25, 2006 @ 21:11

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