Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year.
After Seventh Son of a Seventh Son expanded on a new direction for Maiden, this album took them in a different direction too. It introduced Janick Gers, who I think has some fine work on the album. This is another album that I often see Maiden fans hate, but I enjoy. It’s certainly not a masterpiece of an album, but it’s an album that has three tracks that I really love. The title track has a really catchy riff, and some great, emotional Bruce vocals. It also does a great job going from slow to quickening up the pace. The closer, “Mother Russia,” is one of Iron Maiden’s all time most beautiful and melodic songs in my opinion. It has a great solo section to boot. The album is worth it just for that track. The opener, “Tailgunner,” has an addicting chorus. It always gets stuck in my head.
This is most certainly a tired, energy-less Maiden album. A lot of the songs on this album are just bland as can be. Any track on this album that just has any bit of energy in it just seems like a watered-down version of plenty of Maiden songs you’ve heard in the past. The riffs, in general, are weaker in my opinion, too. While I don’t think this is the worst album in Maiden’s catalog, I do that just a small handful of tracks make up everything good about it. Besides those few, it’s stale, for sure.
Favorite Tracks: “Mother Russia,” “No Prayer for the Dying,” “Tailgunner.”
While I certainly wouldn’t call it a masterpiece of an album, I certainly don’t think it’s quite as bad as a lot of people I hear say it is. This is an album that, if you’re an Iron Maiden fan, you should at least listen to from front to back once. I’m not sure this album would require anything more than that, but it’s worth at least one listen. This is another case of an album that generally isn’t that great, but it DOES have some real gems, and beautiful tracks on it. Give it a shot before you write it off.