It has been interesting to read the disparity of opinions held about this album. I bought this CD when it was released and have always enjoyed listening to it, but for some reason I have not yet familiarized myself with this band’s other work. Thus, I can’t put this particular album in any context when it comes to the history and evolution of Iron Maiden. All I can do is to comment on my own appreciation of each of the eight songs collected here in and of themselves. By my count, there are five really good songs and three absolutely great songs on this album; you won’t have to go reaching across the dash to find the Next Track button when you have this CD rocking you down the road. My favorite has always been Can I Play With Madness. The band jumps right out at you from the very start with an a cappella delivery of the question at hand before proceeding with the heavy rock instrumentation. The lyrics are quite catchy, and the idea of playing with madness is not a novel concept to my somewhat abnormal mind. Infinite Dreams may really be the most impressive track here, however. The words of this song really carry a deep if not philosophical meaning, as the subject at hand deals with life’s ultimate meaning. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the third true standout track on the album; it is a lengthy musical tour de force that conveys the image of the ultimate archetypal battle between good and evil, helped immeasurably by a segment in which the lead singer speaks as if he is reading from some ancient tome of sinister origins. The remaining five songs, as I said, are all keepers as well. Moonchild gets the album off to a terrific start, giving us none other than Lucifer himself making threats of Biblical proportions while conjuring up the musical accompaniment of screaming mandrakes. The Evil That Men Do has the listener balancing on that razor’s edge and taunted by the inevitable truth that the evil that men do lives on and on. The Prophecy warms the cockles of evil’s black heart, while The Clairvoyant’s metaphysically potent chorus takes the listener to a plateau inhabited only by the most psychically formidable (or disturbed) of minds. Only the Good Die Young is probably the weakest song on the album, but its seemingly endless refrain that only the good die young while the evil seem to live forever stays with you as you go out to interact with the denizens of an increasingly bewildering world. I don’t know where the music on this album stands in terms of Iron Maiden’s formidable musical discography, but I do know that these eight tracks are certainly most agreeable to my dark soul.