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Dance of Death

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★★★★☆
(507 Reviews)

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  • Okay, from what I’ve seen over 160+ people have commented on Iron Maiden’s new album Dance of Death analysing the new release from the band’s songwriting to the lyrics to the guys’ performance on their instruments to Bruce’s vocals to the mix to the artwork to the production to this to that… etc. All that’s necessary to say has already been said. So I’ll keep it simple: This is IRON MAIDEN, one of the most important Heavy Metal bands on the planet. One of the handful of bands that has never forgotten where they’re coming from, never abandoned their roots and musical vision in hopes of reaching to bigger audiences. They’re still what they were back in 1988. Most complaints seem to be about the band’s repetitious songwriting. About Harris’ overuse of his galloping bass lines. Is there any truth to this? Maybe. I’m not a blinded fan, but at least I know what to expect from my Maiden when they put out a new record. At least it doesn’t turn out to be a terrible pop-disco-rap thing that totally bombs and then every band member defends it giving out cliche statements such as “Well we’re a band that always progresses. We wanted to try something different on our last album and somehow it didn’t work out. We’re gonna go back to our roots on the next release, don’t worry, keep supporting us blah blah blah” kind of thing. Come to think about it, when was the last time you bought a Maiden album and were so very disappointed with it because Harris & co. had gone disco or had tried to incorporate rap vocals to the music going for a ‘modern approach’? But people are still whining out there. This is Maiden. They’re doing what they do the best and let me tell you something they’re still one of a kind. If you don’t like this type of music, well fine. But there’s no need to complain. It won’t do any good. Maiden has always sounded this way. I myself am a big prog metal fan, but I know what to expect from these guys. I don’t go like “They keep repeating themselves over and over again, they’re so boring”. Iron Maiden is Iron Maiden. They’ve been this way the last 25 years, so don’t expect them to come out playing something absolutely different all of sudden. Metallica changed after 1991. How many of us still like them? Megadeth changed in 1997 only to ‘return to their roots’ on their next release. Do you want the same thing to happen to Maiden? I certainly don’t.Furthermore, Brave New World was a great step in the right direction. The band acually did push the envelope and try to cover some new ground. While some fans were pleased by it, those Powerslave-era fans kept complaining. So here we have a new record that picks up where BNW left off. Apart from the first two songs, the record contains quite a fe 7+ minute songs. “Wildest Dreams”, while not as good as BNW’s “Wickerman”, opens the album with total energy and this is continued on the second track “Rainmaker”. Both below the 4-minute mark still manage to set the mood. With songs like “No More Lies”, “Dance of Death” and “Paschendale” we get our old Maiden with their traditional riffs, rich melodies, long but, in my opinion, fitting guitar solos from Gers, Smith and Murray as well as galloping bass lines from Mr Harris. Nicko has always done a great job in Maiden. His drumming is good. I know he’s done better before but give these guys a break. They’re aging. Still they’re pulling it off. They’re no longer in their 30’s.The sound on Dance of Death is crystal clear, just the way a Maiden album should sound. Kevin Shirley’s done an awesome job as a producer. Bruce is as good as always. I know there are nitpickers out there waiting for the guy to accidentally not be able to hit the highest of notes, but no, not on Dance of Death. Cause he pulls it off. He’s just one of a kind, a real frontman and the perfect singer for Iron Maiden. I am personally proud to have supported this band ever since I started listening to music at the age of 12, and I will continue to do so forever. Maiden makes me proud to be a fan of Heavy Metal. Period.

    Posted on March 11, 2010