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Iron Maiden - Brave New World CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.97 | 523 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Brave new maiden!

I remember hearing The Wicker Man on the radio around the time of the release of this album. I instantly liked it and rushed out to buy the album. In those days I was not too familiar with Iron Maiden even if I had heard some of their most popular 80's songs as well as the Fear Of The Dark album which I had listened to a lot some years previously. But by this time I had not listened to anything by Iron Maiden for several years. I also remember a talk show appearance by Bruce Dickinson on Swedish national television, where the interviewer commented on the metal singer now having short hair, and of course, on the reunion of Dickinson and the rest of the band. I also remember him saying on this show that the new album (this was before it's release) might not have an Eddie on the cover. It was clear that they had something special coming out.

I certainly wouldn't call myself an Iron Maiden fan - not then, and not now - and also not really a metal fan in general, but this album holds a very special place in my collection. I was impressed with this album when I first heard it and I still am today! Since then I have heard the band's entire discography and I still think that Brave New World is one of the very best Iron Maiden albums of all time. Indeed, only Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - to which it bears a significant resemblance - is better. These two albums clearly are the two most progressive albums by this band.

The progressiveness of Brave New World is strongly apparent in the arrangements and in the many interesting tempo changes and mood changes within the same song. Like on Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son there are discrete keyboards in the background on several songs that adds a greater depth to the music. The Prog fan probably notices immediately that most of the songs are over six minutes in length and three songs are over eight minutes. Song length is never a guarantee for progressive music, but here is can be taken as a strong hint as to the nature of the album.

By this time Iron Maiden became a larger band with as many as three guitarists! This is very interesting and they utilize it to the maximum - there are loads of great guitar solos. There are no ballads as such here, but there are many quieter sections and ballady moments within these songs, making for a diverse and very dynamic set. This is especially true of the excellent The Thin Line Between Love And Hate - which I love and not hate at all!

Brave New World is that kind of album that while playing it appears as if every new song is better than the previous one. There is just one great melody after another. It is hard to pick out favourites, since while listening to it every song is greater than the others. The music of Brave New World is highly melodic with very strong and memorable melodies and riffs. Indeed, the title track and Blood Brothers might have the most melodic choruses the band had ever made, which might turn some people off perhaps. In my view, however, there is not one weak song on this album. It would be useless to list my favourite tracks because I would end up listing most, or even all of them. But I would like to give special mention to the far eastern-flavoured The Nomad - brilliant song! Generally, I would say that the second half of the album is stronger than the first half.

This is simply an excellent addition to any Prog collection!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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