Album Reviews

Iron Maiden – Dance Of Death

UK release date: 8 September 2003


You can buy Iron Maiden golfclubs, Iron Maiden bed sheets, and I’m sure if yousearched hard enough you could find Maiden pyjamastoo. With 13 studio albums and countless live and specialedition releases to their name, Iron Maiden epitomszethe dictionary definition of “legends”.

If you were ever into the bandas a youngster, you will remember the shock andhorror that Iron Maiden brought to many British homesin the ’80s, through their artwork, song titles (themost amusing being the number one single, Bring YourDaughter To The Slaughter) and a strangezombie-like mascot named Eddie.

The truth be known however, S Clubwere probably more “in league with the Devil”than the London sextet could ever hope to be. For aband with such shocking “METAL” (said in deepthroaty voice) artwork and imagery, I don’t think asingle one of them could give your granny a fright,even if their entrance to Hell depended on it.

Image aside, fans of the bandwill no doubt be wholly satisfied with Dance Of Death, the first studio release since 1999’s Brave New World. Stand out songs include theseriously heavy Montsegur, the very Hallowed BeThy Name-ish, Face in the Sand and the title track, which is classic Maiden material andillustrates why they have influenced somany bands, from In Flames to Sum 41(apparently!). The soaring hook riff has the signaturesing-along-ability that fans thrive upon atgigs. With well over a minute of decadently indulgentsolos, and layered, orchestrated strings beneath, thisis most definitely one for the Maiden hall offame.

The doubled guitar lick ofRainmaker leads into a driving number, and the song benefits from being half thelength of the majority of the other 10 songs on thealbum. New Frontier, meanwhile, is the quintessential song forMaiden’s on-stage theatrics. Picture Bruce Dickinsonrunning and jumping, with flailing limbs as he spinsaround, while Gers, Harris, Smith and Murray line up, facingthe crowd, heads nodding along inunison.

In the cold light of dayhowever, the majority of the album is over the top,the songs are ridiculously long, the lyrics arelaughable and Bruce’s high-pitched wails are asirritating as ever. But then again, isn’t that whatMaiden have always been about? As with any band, theirexistence is a game of supply and demand. And withopening track, Wildest Dreams currently sitting at number six in the UK charts, apparently the need for suchclassic metal has never been greater!


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More on Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
Iron Maiden – From Fear To Eternity: The Best Of 1990-2010
Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
Iron Maiden – Somewhere Back In Time: The Best Of (1980-89)
Iron Maiden @ Earl’s Court, London


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