Final Frontier - Iron Maiden

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Final Frontier - Iron Maiden

1 CD(s) - Heavy Metal - Label: EMI Music Distribution - Distributor: Discovery; EMI Operations/CEVA Logistics, EMI Operations/CEVA Logistics - Release...

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Review of "Final Frontier - Iron Maiden"

published 03/10/2010 | Borg
Member since : 16/08/2001
Reviews : 333
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Excellent
Pro A Great fix for all Maiden and Metal fans...
Cons Some of the lyrics let it down...
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"Continuing Voyages on the Starship Maiden..."

Final Frontier, The - Iron Maiden

Final Frontier, The - Iron Maiden

A Continuing Mission…


You can rely on Iron Maiden. You know that you are going to get exactly what you expect, and it is akin to putting on a pair of comfortable slippers when you play one of their latest offerings… alright they might deviate from the norm on occasion, but on the whole they give you exactly what it says on the tin.

Their fifteen album to date, weighing in at just over 76 minutes in total is no different. I will say right from the outset that this is no classic album, not one to look back on as one would look back on the previous greats, such as 'Number of the Beast,' but that is not to say it is not a good album, because it is, very much so, a good album.

Most of you will know who Iron Maiden are, and most of you will have a love or hate feeling towards them, the rest of you will probably not care a lot. But to re-cap and to report: Iron Maiden were formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris and have been through one or two changes since then, but have rested over the last decade or so as a sextet of:

Bruce Dickinson - vocals
Dave Murray - lead & rhythm guitars
Adrian Smith - lead & rhythm guitars
Janick Gers - lead & rhythm guitars
Steve Harris – bass & keyboards
Nicko McBrain – drums & percussion

Iron Maiden are a heavy metal band, in fact they are probably the best know Heavy Metal band in the world. But they broke the mold with their own particular style of Metal: they opted out of the rock and roll style of metal of that ilk, and decided on a more workman like Metal, with sophisticated guitar riffs, both loud and gentle, and interesting lyrics which were inspired by films and books, such as Frank Herbert’s Dune.

To seek out new songs…

So, then, let us have a look at The Final Frontier…

We begin with "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier" ((Smith, Harris) 8:41). The second half of this song was released as a single and it was the first song I heard from the album. It kicked ass so much that I was in instant and eager anticipation for the album. I have discussed how Iron Maiden rarely stray from the norm, but the start of "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier" does somewhat. It is an amalgam of drums, swirling guitar and anguished vocals. A drum beat that picks pace and works into a crescendo before the second part of the song kicks in. A great guitar riff, time to get out the air guitar folks…

"El Dorado" ((Smith, Harris, Dickinson) 6:48) carries on in a similar vein. A wonderful bass line, building up well. There is a lot of energy in this song and it pounds along nicely. It is an instantly likable song.

"Mother of Mercy" ((Smith, Harris) 5:20) starts well with interchanging riffs, both soft and hard, but I cannot get into the chorus of this song, it just sounds like Bruce is going through the motions to me. Not a favourite of mine, but musically it is well put together.

"Coming Home" ((Smith, Harris, Dickinson) 5:52) is the second song I heard on this album before it was released. It was a song I instantly loved. Taken from Bruce’s experiences as a fully qualified air pilot, it is full of passion, albeit in a slow, but metal, tempo:

‘To Albion’s land…
Coming home when I see the
Runway lights.
In the misty dawn of night
Is fading fast…
Coming home far away
As the vapour trails alight
Where I’ve been tonight
You know I will not say…’


"The Alchemist" ((Gers, Harris, Dickinson) 4:29) is a rocking little number. A straight forward song, akin to an earlier style of Maiden music. A toe-tapper.

It took a while but I grew to love "Isle of Avalon" ((Smith, Harris) 9:06). A quietly, searching riff with Spanish overtones slowly builds up into a train-like musical journey, then the passion erupts and off the rails we go. There is great passion here, within both vocal and guitar. It is a grower and well worth the wait. The nearest we can get to classic!

"Starblind" ((Smith, Harris, Dickinson) 7:48) is a good number, a mixture of emotions and music style. It has a gently opening that explodes into life with a chunky guitar riff. It does not really seem to go anywhere, but it is a worthy addition to the album nonetheless.

"The Talisman" ((Gers, Harris) 9:03) begins with a quiet guitar and vocal, you can almost picture Gers (I am guessing it is him) and Bruce sat by a campfire on an darkening evening here. There is too much lyric here though, as is the case with another of Harris’s lyrics on this album. In come the loud guitars and off we go. Not a bad song, another grower.

‘Four ships are lost in the
Stormy conditions…
The spirits of the sunken crews
Their phantoms follow us…’

"The Man Who Would Be King" ((Murray, Harris) 8:28) is the penultimate song on this album. Remember what I said about too much lyric before? Well this is a fine example of that. What Harris says in about four words can be said in two and it makes this song a little bit clumsy as Bruce tries to get through it. So, bad words, but that is not to say it is a bad song… it is very good. A quiet opening that builds up and we are treated to an amalgam of differing riffs in an ever changing song.

"When the Wild Wind Blows" ((Harris) 10:59) ends the album nicely with an assortment of music style. Somewhat depressing lyrics to begin with and you are thinking, liven up guys! But the music makes up for it. A great song to finish up with.

Where no man has gone before…

A few other bits: The album was produced by Kevin Shirley and co-produced by Harris. The artwork is, as always, incredible. The cover illustration and the inlay sketches were by Melvin Grant, and depicts the band’s mascot Eddie – this time on the cover he appears to be an alien-Eddie hybrid about to feast on a few long dead astronauts.

Overall, The Final Frontier is a fine example of six musicians still at their peak of musicianship. They show the world that they still have what it takes, even though their albums are few and far between nowadays. It also shows that they are obviously still loving it all. Long may they carry on, and here’s to the next one… whenever that will be…


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Comments on this review

  • candzjay published 26/11/2010
    great review :) C xx
  • catsholiday published 06/11/2010
    Nicely written review but not really a fan of the band myself
  • obscuredbykep published 01/11/2010
    I always enjoy dipping into a bit of Maiden. Great review.
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1 CD(s) - Heavy Metal - Label: EMI Music Distribution - Distributor: Discovery; EMI Operations/CEVA Logistics, EMI Operations/CEVA Logistics - Released: 16/08/2010 - 5099964777221

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EAN: 5099964777221

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