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A Matter of Life and Death

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(80 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • this album is a supreme metal outfit. the progressivness shown is amazing with heavy riffs and solos, this may be one of maiden’s greatest album yet. (The epic track “The reincarnation of Benjamin breeg” will blow your brains out). Of course, there are some down points. one would be the length of some songs. which may not be a problem with all of you, but for people like me, who are used to 5- 7 minute songs usually (for i always listen to piece of mind and number of the beast), it gets tedious. But with soon to be classic epics like “Lord of light” and “the legacy”, i won’t complain that much. Oh and if you think that “reincarnation” is an epic, you really won’t believe the 9+ minute song, “For the greater good of god”. Simply mind blowing. the drum fills and complex basslines played, are really mind boggoling. Of course there are some tracks that are hard to remember like Out of the shadows, and the pilgrim. and while i’m talking about these 2, i’d like to say that “out of the shadows” is one HEAVY BALLAD!! The pilgrim also has a great riff to it, and is one of the true classics that i thank janick for. And don’t think that i forgot about the strong opener, “different world” (litterally out of this world!), the 8 minute epic, “brighter than a thousand suns (a great song about a nuclear bomb), and “these colours don’t run” ( i think that this song is either an anti war song or about sharon osbourne at ozzfest).

    in the end, this album will eventually climb to the top of the iron maiden heap. a True 5 star album with long epics, heavy riffs, incredible solos, excelent drumfills, complex basslines, and Bruces amazing voice! Get this album if you liked “seventh son of a seventh son”, “brave new world” “the x factor” (similar dark material shown here), and….well actually you just have to be an iron maiden fan to enjoy this. Up the irons. Rock On iron maiden rock on.

    Posted on March 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve read a lot of dumb reviews for this album. One criticized the fact that many of the songs on here begin with a quiet sort of guitar or bass stumming and concluded that all the songs therefore sound the same (because the reviewer was too dumb to listen to each track for more than fifteen seconds). Another said (and I quote), “After many sub-par albums and the horrors of Bruce’s solo career, they’re back.” Firstly, what kind of idiot thinks sub-par is bad? Anyone who’s ever played golf knows that below par is a good thing, not that this has anything to do with music (and also ignoring the inaccuracy of the quote). Secondly, there’s not a single Iron Maiden fan alive who will tell you that Bruce’s solo career was anything but “great” or “excellent.” I seriously think that most of the people dishing out bad reviews are just punks who’ve heard Number of The Beast and think that makes them true fans. Like the guy who wrote the “So You’d Like To” guide about Iron Maiden. He’s all too quick to tell us that the X Factor and Fear of the Dark tanked, but Dance of Death was awesome (anybody who has actually heard these albums knows better).

    The truth is that ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ is Iron Maiden’s best album in years, but that’s not a direct slam against the band’s other recent stuff, it’s praise for this particular disc. The fact that the band committed to playing the entire album live during this season’s tour is a further testament to the strength of this material. Of the band’s last three albums, this is the best, but only because they have finally eschewed that copy and paste chorus construction that flawed BNW. I’m tempted to say that ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ is Iron Maiden’s best album since Somewhere In Time, but, I don’t think you’d believe me. Just buy it and listen to the music a few times. Figure that out for yourself. Just don’t listen to reviewers who mark a star off their review because they were listening to the album through computer speakers.

    Pros: Just as good as and better than anything Iron Maiden has put out since Seventh Son of A Seventh Son. Heavier bass than the previous two albums. Almost every song on ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ is epic, and there’s only like one or two tracks that clock in at less than seven minutes. Better lyric writing than Brave New World and Dance of Death.

    Cons: It’s no Powerslave Pt 2, if that’s what you were expecting. The band has changed their sound since that album and if you’re the kind of person who thinks that a band should just recycle the same riffs and song structures over and over again with every album, then you may not ‘get’ this disc.

    Conclusion: Buy this CD if you want proof that Iron Maiden are still great.

    Posted on March 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I bought this record because my 6 years old son likes the picture of Eddie. I already have the classical albums from Iron Maiden’s first album to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. I didn’t expect much because of the 3 or 4 albums before this one, but I am very glad of this acquisition; this a classic Maiden’s album, strong, sharp and vigourous !!!. Take the risk, go for it BUY IT is really good !!!

    Posted on March 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The greatness of this album is not really the songs, although all of them are no doubt high-quality rockers. It’s rather the fact that this is serious metal again with no filler, an album you can listen to from beginning to end and fully enjoy it. Although I do believe that Bruce’s voice has deteriorated with age, plus there’s been a departure from his operatic singing style, on the positive side it’s still great to hear a screaming Bruce Dickinson with his voice full of passion, accompanied by heavy riffing, great solos, and a return to using harmonies in songs. There are signs to me that this album is a work of brilliance because of the fact that this album feels almost like a full-blown concept album, simply because often the same melody recurrs in differnt songs under differnt disguises, which is evidence of the fact that the band knew exactly what they were doing this time and were all on the same page. The heavy, dark riffs and an uncompromised devotion to emotion give the whole thing that special magic, the feeling that you had when you first listened to Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Although Bruce’s singing is not as operatic as on the classic albums, Kevin Shirley was finally smart enough to put much more echo on the vocals than was the case in the last two releases, so the whole doesn’t sound dry and flat and gives it that certain “je ne sais quoi.” It’s a joy to listen to this output and it doesn’t really bother me this time that some of the songs got quite lengthy. Somehow it just all makes sense. Just like the rest of the band, Adrian Smith, too, and maybe the most, seems to have found himself again on this record by going back to the modern Jackson guitars he used on Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and getting heavily involved in the songwriting process again. This is certainly another shining moment of his talent and shows what he means to the band and what the Murray/Gers duo was missing in all those wasted years. If the guys can keep the momentum going, I am 100% positive that the next record will be an absolute and undisputed masterpiece. Not to say that this one isn’t. Just listen to it. Then open the booklet and look at the pictures of the band members and how calm and confident they look this time, how they, just like good wine, have ripened, come full circle and found themselves again at a stage in their carreer when everybody believed it was all over and time for them to resign with dignity.

    Posted on March 10, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Iron Maiden originally formed in 1975 and despite a brief departure of long tenured front man Bruce Dickinson in 1993, has continued to stay appealing to a strong fan base. Its good to see Dickinson back in the lineup, as it wasn’t the same without him. Iron Maiden is known for screaming guitars and vast, epic themes ranging from Arthurian lore to WWII era battlefronts. On this, their 14th studio album, the formula has not changed much, but if anything the record seems slightly more mature in structure when it comes to the arrangements of the slower parts as well as the crescendos.

    “A matter of Life and Death” features several great songs, and overall is an extremely solid album.

    Track five is one to remember: “Longest Day” has a great guitar intro that sets the song up for some powerful tempo. The song is about a soldier’s experience in Normandy on D-Day in WWII. A powerful, driving song that never tires and also features some great percussion. Tracks “These colours don’t run” and “Out of the shadows” are also notable and seem to sound a bit more reminiscent of the band’s sound from earlier albums like “No prayer for the dying”.

    Track eight is “For the greater good of god” and again has a very memorable opening guitar piece before breaking into a melodic and almost soothing (in a dark, heavy metal way) sound to it as the vocals come through loud and clear. The song vamps up and takes off and we’re off in a flurry of drums as Dickinson keeps up with the message. The song is about religion in general and the deaths that have come from the disagreements, wars and such throughout time. Leave it to Maiden to cover every action filled event in a timeline!

    Clocking in at over nine minutes long, the last track “The Legacy” is very deep and moody. Unlike a lot of the older Dickinson songs from the 80’s, “Legacy” starts out slow but does not get overbearing with energy. Some extremely soft, beautiful guitar work is heard here and helps evoke the deep themes that the bands song delves into. Don’t worry, it gets heavier, and the signature chops are not to be left out on this one. Dickinson’s vocals don’t seem as much in the forefront as usual, and it really makes the band seem to have a bit more balance in the overall execution and structure of the songs. The overall sound seems to be a bit more symphonic instead of metallic, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “A Matter of Life and Death” was a refreshing reunion for this maiden fan from back in the day.

    Posted on March 9, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now