Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988). Iron Maiden’s seventh studio album.From their debut all the way up to Powerslave(1984), Iron Maiden successfully showcased that they were on top of the NWOBHM scene, rocking hard and riding free, with few bands able to rival them. Come 1986, Maiden decided to experiment with guitar synthesizers and bass synths and managed to create the moody masterpiece progressive album, Somewhere In Time (IMHO, one of my two favorite Maiden albums). Now we arrive in 1988 when Maiden decided to take the progressiveness even further to an epic level. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son takes its style from Hemispheres and AFTTK era Rush (back in 77-78) and fuses it with Iron Maiden’s early sound creating a masterful concept album. It follows the story of a cursed child who is born with special powers and it tempted by the side of both good and evil. Whether you understand the concept story or not, all fans must agree that SSOASS has excellent musicianship by the band, and the chemistry of the “perfect 5″ Maiden lineup is completely intact. Unfortunately, this is the last time that they play this well for a good twelve years, as the classic lineup is shattered. But for the rest of the 80s, Iron Maiden managed to stay on top of the game and gave the fans an album to remember them by. Let’s take a look at this album:1) Moonchild- Starts off with an accoustic passage giving this album’s theme and then it builds into a fast rocker. Great usage of keyboards in the background. Bruce’s vocals are very aggressive here. 10/102) Infinite Dreams- This one may take time for fans to get used to as it alternates between a softer and harder section. Great song though. 9/103) Can I Play With Madness- A short commercial rocker similar to the previous album’s Wasted Years. I understand that this track was played to death back in the day (though I’m much more inclined to believe that # Of The Beast and 2 Minutes To Midnight got overplayed if anything), but it’s still an excellent song nonetheless. I like it. 9/104) The Evil That Men Do- Another phenomenal rocker. I didn’t like it at first because the chorus got rather tedious to listen to, but it does grow on you. A noteworthy gem. 10/105) Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son- IRON MAIDEN TACKLES THE 10-MINUTE PROGRESSIVE EPIC CHALLENGE, and succeeds! They’ve done it before with Rhime Of The Ancient Mariner and Alexander The Great, but this is the first time in which they create the story themselves. Wonderful musicianship throughout. 10/106) The Prophecy- Some say that this track is the worst on the album, but I have to disagree. While it’s certainly not one of the best Maiden songs, it does stand out quite a bit, as the band has never done anything that sounds quite like it up to this album, and for that the song deserves credit. Bruce’s vocal ability shines here. 8/107) The Clairvoyant- A MASTERPIECE! Of the more commercial progressive styled rockers on the album, this track shines far above the rest. My favorite track on here. 10/108) Only The Good Die Young- This song would tie with The Prophecy as far as good songs on the album go, but unfortunately unlike The Prophecy, this one fails to really stand out at all. Still decent though. It ends with the same accoustic passage as the intro of Moonchild. 7/10So how will fans judge SSOASS? It really depends on how much you enjoy progressive rock music. If you’ve got a short attention span and you’re a fan who can’t sit through any song longer than four minutes, then you may not like SSOASS much. Give it time and it should grow on you. I on the other hand have come to appreciate more complicated works in the past year, and I enjoy hearing the different guitar parts, time-change signatures, and concept story SSOASS has to offer. Therefore I give it five stars. Also, hardcore fans shouldn’t be stringent on their usage of keyboards. They are used as a nice background texture, which has very little presence. Cripes people, if you think that the keyboards are dominating here then you need to actually LISTEN to the music. There are certainly no shortages of guitar parts here. Dave and Adrian are playing dual guitar solos as great as ever, but unfortunately Adrian departs after this album, which started a chain of progressively worse Maiden albums until the dawn of the new millenium arrived. Don’t hesitate to pick this up if you are already a fan. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.The Evil That Men Do lives on and on, and so does Iron Maiden! They still have it in them as proven by their new album, Dance Of Death(2003). For that and their devotion to true heavy metal, I salute them. Keep on rocking forever guys.