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"Brave New World" is the 12th studio album by British heavy metal artists, Iron Maiden. It was produced by Steve Harris and Kevin Shirley and released in 2000. The line-up for the album was Bruce Dickinson (vocals), Dave Murray (guitar), Adrian Smith (guitar), Janick Gers (guitar), Steve Harris (bass) and Nicko McBrain (drums). This album marked the return to the Iron Maiden fold of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, who both left the band in the 1990s. Dickinson's last studio album with the band previously was 1992's "Fear of the Dark", while Smith last played on the 1990 release, "No Prayer For the Dying". This was also the first time the band entered the studio with three guitarists. The album reached No.7 in the UK charts and spawned two singles: "The Wicker Man" and "Out of the Silent Planet". The album cover shows a futuristic London with Tower Bridge in the forefront of the picture and the River Thames is surrounded by unrecognisable buildings. In the skies above, Eddie's face is there and is smiling down on the City. Right from the start of "The Wicker Man" it's clear that Iron Maiden have a winning formula once more with Dickinson back in the band and the new three guitar line-up. I really like the opening riff and Bruce's vocals sound as good as they've ever done, stamping out the doubts that he was done as a singer. For those that don't know, his vocal performance on the "Fear of the Dark" album was a little raspy on some songs and his successor, Blaze Bayley, just couldn't cut the mustard with Iron Maiden. I thought he was a great singer for Wolfsbane, but Maiden is a different animal altogether. The bellowing of "Your time will come" in the chorus proves the doubters wrong, but it's not all about Bruce. Steve Harris' bass clunks away as dominant as ever and Nicko on the drums is a wondrous sound. This is a really great song and my favourite on the whole album. Bruce Dickinson said "This song is called "The Wicker Man" because there's one line in the song which mentions The Wicker Man as in the 1970s film of the same name. And the song is, I think, the best single Maiden have had out in ages. It's a really rocking song. I was just thinking about when I stand up in front of thousands of people singing, just thinking about the buzz I get out of it; I'm thinking about the buzz I used to get when I was a kid and I used to go to rock festivals you really felt you belonged to something bigger than yourself on that one day. You also felt in some ways that you could change something; you could change the world a little bit that day because you're all in that field. And that's what's the song's about, hence the chorus, "Your time will come". You suddenly feel you are a part of everything. "Ghost of the Navigator" begins with a marvellous intro that's melodic and timely with a few parts to it that leads into the main part of the song. Firstly, that riff is incredible, but I've heard it before on a W.A.S.P. record, although it escapes me at the moment of which one it was. That doesn't stop it from being really good, though, because Iron Maiden could take something from Boyzone and still make it sound like perfection. The only problem I have with the song is Bruce's wails before the chorus - they just don't really fit - and I think it would have been more atmospheric without them there. This is another song I really like on this album, which makes it 2 out of 2 so far for the Irons. Bruce Dickinson noted "I wrote the song with Janick and he came up with this riff, and I just got this thing in my head of Vikings smashing through the seas, big boats and pioneers. Then I thought about navigation. So being a vaguely arty bloke on occasions it struck me as a metaphor for life. So suddenly I had a plot for the song. It was a great big epic sea-faring journey and the journey was life and the navigator was us as we were writing it. Steve said, "That's a really cool middle bit, and we can have this bit in it too" and I really liked it. I don't know if he was on the same wavelength as me but it sounds to me like a big storm because I've already got the navigator lashed to the helm as not to be tempted by the sirens on the rocks trying to distract him. Trying not to be distracted by all the ghosts of his subconscious, the ghosts of his failed aspirations, and also his own fears, that it may all be pointless when he gets there and he does it because he must. That's the only answer he can give." "Brave New World" begins with a slow acoustic riff that Bruce softly sings along to, accompanied by the bass which matches his melody. I can understand the need to bring in something complex to the song, but I'm torn between wanting it to be removed and wanting it to be a little heavier than it is. When the song finally gets going properly, it sounds really good leading up to the chorus which sounds wonderful. It's that build-up that gets you, though, and that's what's important about this song. Without those build-up verses it just couldn't work, and Dickinson's impressive singing of "A brave new world in a brave new world" would not hold the power that it does. This is a magnificent song that depicts the novel by Aldous Huxley as only Iron Maiden can. Bruce Dickinson noted: ""Dying swans twisted wings, beauty not needed here". I don't recall there being any dying swans in "Brave New World" the book, but I wanted an image that represented the tragedy and sadness of what "Brave New World" had done. Dying swans, twisted wings, you know, the agony, the death. "Brave New World" doesn't want to see that. It has no use for either the life or the death. All it has use for is the image because in the book, if you want excitement you go to the viddies; it's Aldous Huxley's premonition of virtual reality and I'm taking that and throwing it out there for discussion." I really enjoy the intro on "Blood Brothers" with its winding, orchestral feel to it on the guitars and this is a song that has the crowd in the palm of Bruce Dickinson's hand, especially in the chorus. His passionate singing on this song completely blows me away and it really does sound incredible live. The soft riffs go well with the vocals, and Steve Harris' bass clanging away during the verses makes it even more of a good track. Of the song, Bruce Dickinson said "This is a little masterpiece that's Steve's song 100%. In singing it I can tell you what I think it's about. It's about Steve's relationship with his father who died; it's a very personal song so this song is about Steve and his father being blood brothers, like, forever the lines go. "Just for a second a glimpse of my father I see, and in a movement he beckons to me, and in a moment the memories are all that remain, and all the wounds are reopening again, we're blood brothers". So it's kind of bitter sweet and very loving and at the same time very melancholic. It's a lot of very, very mixed emotions and musically there are a few Celtic nods." "The Mercenary" brings us back to the fast heavy metal style of song that Iron Maiden was once known for, as opposed to the epic songs that they began doing. There's not much to it if I'm honest and I think it could be filler, although I'm sure some will disagree with me. It's weak in the lyrics and the guitar riffs sound like they've been conjured up on the day of the recording, but that's just my opinion. As legend would have it, this song was originally meant to be on the album's predecessor, "Virtual XI", and I can imagine that holding some truth. Bruce Dickinson noted "This is a good solid track not a huge amount to say except that they're mercenaries and they're generally a bad thing; they're generally cruel and heartless fiends who cynically kill people for money. A fairly conventional tuneful Maiden rocker comparable to a sort of "Die With Your Boots On" type thing." Something inside me says that "Dream of Mirrors" was written with former vocalist Blaze Bayley in mind because of the structure at the beginning of the song. It's powerful, but there are a lot of words that fit into the opening verse and I'm not sure that works. It's the longest song on the album at over nine minutes long and I find it a little repetitive and bland, to be honest. It only gets going just over halfway through with the marvellous chorus that rocks your socks off and gets faster towards the bridge with Nicko playing some timely double bass on the drums. Bruce Dickinson said "It's a pretty lengthy song and the chorus is blinding! One of the best choruses I think Steve has ever written, and one of the best lyrics he's ever written too. "I only dream in black and white". I mean straight away, absolutely great! Who dreams in black and white? Wow, do I? Is that weird? "I only dream in black and white, I only dream because I'm alive, I only dream in black and white, to save me from myself!" I was like, "Oh man he's a tortured bloke, Steve is sometimes", and he does have these dreams and deja-vu things and out of body things going on for him." "The Fallen Angel", in contrast to the previous song, is the shortest on the album and it is one of the more upbeat songs with a rocking rhythm section. This song goes back to Maiden's earlier days and sounds a little like something off of "The Number of the Beast", which was Bruce Dickinson's debut in the band. If you want solos from all three guitarists one after another, this is the song for you. Bruce Dickinson said "This one, I assume, is about being chosen as a human sacrifice, so it's deep and dark. I think Steve was having a dark patch when he wrote the lyrics to that one. Steve's got a lot of dark patches on this record! Adrian wrote the basic song and it's got a pretty catchy little chorus. But I hope we don't have too many people flying out of windows if it's a single because the chorus is "Could it be the end of my world, all the things that we cherish, there's nothing left, but to face this all on my own, because I am the chosen one!" People chucking themselves out of windows like in "The Omen."" "The Nomad" comes in with a timely, hard-hitting intro that moves into an Egyptian-style riff before Bruce's vocals mark the beginning of the mainstay of the song. The riffs on the verses aren't really riffs but just power chords from strumming and the chorus is pretty lame. The song just doesn't do the album justice, which is a shame really because it could have been one of Iron Maiden's best albums in their entire catalogue, but what it does is drone on into another 9-minute plus opus. Bruce Dickinson said "It is about the Bedouin, the warrior tribes of the desert. I don't think there are any great layers of hidden meaning to this other than what it's about. I mean when Steve wrote songs about Alexander the Great they were basically about Alexander the Great and that's it! The lyrics are there to basically tell you about nomads and about how mysterious and strange they were, how they were pretty nifty and jolly fearful people and that's what it is. The big picture is the effect the song has. Well, it's not really a song; it's a nine-minute piece. So you don't view it in terms of a five-minute rock song." There's a neat little guitar solo intro on "Out of the Silent Planet" which is backed up by Steve Harris' small bass riff, and then it's Bruce's turn with what I can only describe as something that sounds like it should be in a 1960s pop song by the Beatles or some other band like that. It's almost cheesy to be fair but that's all forgotten after the first minute is over, when some really good harmony soothes the pain and the chorus is killer. This is another song on which I wish someone would have tapped Steve Harris on the shoulder and said "C'mon, mate, what are you doing here? Cut that beginning bit and you've got a winner." Bruce Dickinson spoke of the song, "This is a fairly straightforward romp through sci-fi territory and a sort of "Run to the Hills" revisited vibe. Certainly by halfway through the song because I wanted to get into the old gallop bit from the get go and Steve was like "Let's not give it to 'em straight away". It's based on the sci-fi classic "The Forbidden Planet" which is monsters from the id and this is basically monsters from the id. Again that was the inspiration for it anyway, a bunch of aliens who have destroyed their planet and now they've left their silent planet and they're coming to get us." "The Thin Line Between Love & Hate" completes the album with a prog-rock sounding tune that has a really good bass riff but once more, the lyrics don't seem to fit and tend to go along with the simple guitar riff. It's not a brilliant song but it's not a bad one either, and that's the essence that Iron Maiden brings to the table - they can completely get away with writing an ordinary song because it will still sound like Iron Maiden, and the beauty of it is the incredible vocal harmony that Bruce delivers on the final line of the song. Bruce Dickinson said "Another Steve song. It almost sounds like a UFO track in places. It was quite an unusual thing we did on the vocal on this because it's more of a rock 'n' roll / hard rock rhythm going down and we actually put a harmony on the entire verse. So it's quite an unusual sound for Maiden. It's basically about karma. In other words what goes around comes around and you reap what you sow and only you take the responsibility for it. There's the hope if you've done the right stuff, otherwise down you go to the pit of hell!" In summary, "Brave New World" started off with a bang and got better and better, then started to dwindle a little towards the end. That doesn't make it a bad album, but it does make me question whether the band should have cut the album down by a song or two or even cut the track length of some of the epic 9-minute numbers on here. The highlights of the album are very obviously the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith to the band. The lows are, as noted, some songs are just too long. 1. The Wicker Man 2. Ghost of the Navigator 3. Brave New World 4. Blood Brothers 5. The Mercenary 6. Dream of Mirrors 7. The Fallen Angel 8. The Nomad 9. Out of the Silent Planet 10. The Thin Line Between Love & Hate My rating: 9/10
After seven or so years away, Bruce Dickinson re-joined Iron Maiden to release this, their 12th studio album. Also back in the Iron Maiden fold was guitarist Adrian Smith. They haven't really looked back since, and their popularity seems to have soared. But what of this 2000 recording? I guess it is a case of carrying where they left off. The Wicker Man kicks things off, and what a arse kicker of a riff we begin proceedings with. This song truly rocks along, thundering drums, loud guitars and a killer chorus. It has got everything you would expect an Iron Maiden song to have and it reached number 9 in the UK single chart. The Ghost of the Navigator is next up, a twisting and turning song full of passion and energy. The title track Brave New World is next up: a quiet intro that builds up into classic maiden with an anthem-like chorus. Another quiet introduces the fourth track, Blood Brothers. I saw them play this one live this year (2011). Once again, things build up to good, solid metal. The Mercenary is a fast-paced rocker from start to finish. The Dream of Mirrors is next up: a ticking and tocking time bomb of a song... an exquisite number, one of my favourites from this album: I only dream in black and white, I only dream cos I'm alive I only dream in black and white, To save me from myself... The Fallen Angel is reminiscent of earlier Maiden, but with a chunkier bass. It seems a bit of a filler of a song with an air of disarray. The Nomad is next, an epic 9 minuter of a song that twists and turns with lot of good instrumentals and guitar playing. Out of the Silent Planet is next, an almost Irish Jig of an intro, followed by a gentle vocal that builds up. Things get quite fast and rock. Last song of this album is the slow and almost doom-filled The Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Full Tack Listing: 1. "The Wicker Man" Bruce Dickinson, Adrian Smith, Steve Harris 4:35 2. "Ghost of the Navigator" Dickinson, Janick Gers, Harris 6:50 3. "Brave New World" Dickinson, Dave Murray, Harris 6:18 4. "Blood Brothers" Harris 7:14 5. "The Mercenary" Gers, Harris 4:42 6. "Dream of Mirrors" Gers, Harris9:21 7. "The Fallen Angel" Smith, Harris 4:00 8. "The Nomad" Murray, Harris 9:06 9. "Out of the Silent Planet" Dickinson, Gers, Harris 6:25 10. "The Thin Line Between Love & Hate" Murray, Harris 8:26 The Band: Bruce Dickinson - lead vocals Dave Murray - guitar Adrian Smith - guitar, background vocals Janick Gers - guitar Steve Harris - bass, background vocals, keyboards Nicko McBrain - drums Iron Maiden without Mr Dickinson, in my view anyway, are not a true Iron Maiden. This album is not a classic and I doubt they could every produce something that sticks with you such as the likes of Hallowed By Thy Name or Phantom Of the Opera again. But nevertheless, they still rock, they still deliver the goods and when they release an album there is always an air of expectations. So for this 2000 album I say. Welcome Back Bruce, you were missed...
Having departed Iron Maiden six years previously to pursue different projects, Bruce Dickinson's self-imposed banishment may have turned out to be a stroke of luck/genius, depending on how cynical one is feeling. Neither Bruce nor band enjoyed the heady heights of success that saw them at the top of the rock food chain in the 1980s, and after a couple of tepidly received albums in the 1990s (featuring Blaze Bayley on vocals), the new millennium was as good a time as any to resurrect the 'classic' Iron Maiden line up. Could they deliver the goods as the metal world went to fever pitch in anticipation? Short answer - yes, they could. Opening with a raw and staccato riff of 'The Wicker Man', the band announce their return immediately with this concert staple. Echoes of Thin Lizzy can be heard in the guitar play, but with a much beefier tone. Guitarist Adrian Smith had returned to the fold, but they had decided to retain Janick Gers as a third gutiarist. With his additional chops, they embraced the possibilities this brought and penned much of the music to encompass this new facet. Multi-tiered, intricate parts are the signature of this album, and are used to excellent effect throughout. The title track, 'Dream of Mirrors' and 'Fallen Angel' are all punctuated with memorable riffs and finger-mangling solos, but without delving into the world of shred for the sake of shred. 'The Nomad' contains even more intricate layers, woven throughout with spacey keyboard parts, stuttering guitar lines and eastern modes to create a very atmospheric backdrop to Dickinson's vocals. 'Out of the Silent Planet' continues this experimental trend, employing almost folk elements in its introduction before kicking into a furious metal maelstrom depicting a gloomy, desolate sci-fi world full of time changes. Clearly they'd been listening to Black Sabbath - 'Blood Brothers' is often dedicated to erstwhile Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio, who was a huge influence on the band, and Dickinson in particular. While some Maiden fans would recoil at the words 'progressive' and 'mature', this record was certainly has these ingredients embedded in it. In places, this sounds more like Queensryche than Iron Maiden (who ironically drew heavily on Iron Maiden in the first place), with its epic, experimental sounds and esoteric, science-fiction tinged lyrics. Bruce Dickinson has always been keen to show off his knowledge of literature, film and history in his lyrics, and while you'll find nothing particularly revealing or much in the way of stimulating brain fodder here. It is quite a welcome departure from the 'Boys' Own' style of writing that pervaded their earlier work, and becomes rather tiresome very quickly. Typically, I can only stomach small doses of Iron Maiden, but this is one of the few albums of theirs I can listen to in one sitting. Many of the tracks here lurch into the 6 minutes plus territory, but thankfully they don't really have you leaning for the skip function on the player, as they morph and shift into different beasts, avoiding lazy tricks such as repetition, or slumping into live jamming. And for such a long album it's neatly devoid of nearly all filler. While most of their albums are peppered with fore-head slapping clunkers (does anyone really bother listening to 'Gangland' on 'Number of the Beast'?), such misfires are missing here. Looking back now a decade later, this really is a turning point for the band and is the platform from which they launched their new-found success and modern identity. Maturer and less wild, though no less powerful, this is Iron Maiden with their feet planted firmly in the new century, but without forgetting what made them so popular and succesful in the 1980s. They can still gallop and headbang with the best of them, but with time to pause and ponder along the way. Age will do that to anyone, I suppose.
Released back in 2000 with Bruce Dickinson back on vocals once more and a strong lineup all round, 'Brave New World' signifies a strong revival for the band after the lacklustre affair that was 1998's 'Virtual XI'. The songs on 'Brave New World' are dynamic and engaging, yet also feel more mature somehow, and whilst the album is full of galloping, up-tempo sections these are merged brilliantly with more sedate and slower-paced passages that meander along without losing purpose, the compositions managing to at once please both those looking for heaviness and those looking for the gentler and more reflictive sound the band have hinted at in their past. The guitar melodies have a strong, folky, irish/celtic feel to them im places, and its a move that works incredibly well. The songs are all uniquely memorable, full of the great singalong choruses the band do so well, and all in all 'Brave New World' stands as one of the most engaging and consistenly excellent releases the band have ever put out. Brillianty realised, 'Brave New World' is an album with a wide appeal right across the rock/metal spectrum, and this coupled with the fact that it can be picked up very cheaply online makes it an absolutely essential purchase for fans of rock and heavy metal. Tracklisting- 1. The Wicker Man 04:35 2. Ghost of the Navigator 06:50 3. Brave New World 06:19 4. Blood Brothers 07:14 5. The Mercenary 04:43 6. Dream of Mirrors 09:21 7. The Fallen Angel 04:01 8. The Nomad 09:06 9. Out of the Silent Planet 06:25 10. The Thin Line Between Love and Hate 08:27 Total playing time 01:07:01
When I had just entered the "quagmirish" world of adolescence in my Lycée in Lyon, France, back in the early 80s, the place appeared to be a fertile ground for the flourishing of Heavy Metal "freaks" with their eternal Iron Maiden and Metallica T-shirts on. While I cannot deny that I felt physically attracted to many of these rogue-looking males, I developed an as-yet- to-be-understood repulsive symptom for the name Iron Maiden. I internally proclaimed to myself that this band was rubbish and not worth even attempting to listen to. Only one of my many unfounded decrees towards anything I did not wish to delve into out of sheer unscrupulous presumptions as a teenager. (If I should ever meet myself again as a teenager, I shall give myself a good lesson!) Then I came to London and was immersed in the music world like a fish in the sea. Music has always been my closest and most loyal friend and I felt like a traitor for not having listened to it more attentively. *************************** In London, I developed an even more acute love for music in its every shape and form. I started getting acquainted with classical composers (I still have a lot to learn), Latin American music, what is referred to as "World" music (are the rest of them extra-terrestrials??), and everything else . I met my husband, whom, incidentally, was a musician as well (Guitar and vocals, Latin, Latino Rock music mixed with African drums and heavy stuff ahem!! There were a couple of CDs he kept listening to and I soon found myself humming the melodies to most of the songs on them. Then I thought it a good idea to ask: "Who is this band?" Iron Maiden. Iron who? Iron Maiden. Iron b****y Maiden? You have got to be joking? Obviously he wasn't and didn't quite understand why I seemed so surprised. (I gave him a long explanation afterwards as to my previous metamorphosis as an "adolescent".) It took me a while to convince myself that I totally loved the music of this band. Their lyrics are what most surprised me. Yes, Satan was a topic often mentioned, but then again, fallen angels have never troubled me. But the lyrics were actually going somewhere, some of them were beautiful. And the songs had melodies! They were not the screeching, yelling, destroyers I had made them to out be, they had lyrics that talked of sensible things like love, friendship, hatred, war (You will of course, agree with me that war and hatred are very sensible things.. to talk about ) and life in general. And the music, far from being destructive to my nervous system, actually quite enhanced it! The arrangements of the songs are very well thought and harmoniously put together. The melodies are extremely grabbing and the whole thing is rounded up by very interesting guitar solos and an envelope of intricate changes that give each song its very own special character. In one sentence: I was moved. (Even physically! : ) ********************************************* I don't know the whole story of Iron Maiden, or rather I sort of do but it would be too long to mention here and I am by no means an expert. They are however, a band with a long and interesting history, which goes all the way back to the early 70s, I do believe they formed in 1975. I know that their extremely talented lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, left them for a while in the late 90s and then returned for the album whose review this is about (or should be at the very least): "Brave New World". Bruce Dickinson was a latecomer, having replaced their first lead singer whose name I forget. Iron Maiden fans please do forgive me! I must here point out that Bruce Dickinson is an opera trained singer and by no means a "yeller". His voice sprouts from within and is as powerful as it is beautiful. Singing an Iron Maiden song can be as easy as singing Nessun Dorma "a la Placido Domingo"! I've tried; my vocal chords are still aching! But the main composer (both of music and lyrics) is Steve Harris, the bass player of the band, without whom I doubt whether the band would have even existed. ************************************************ Brave New World, as many of you may know, is the title of one of Aldous Huxley's most famous novels, or indeed, the most striking. I read it when I was 14 and it is one of the few novels whose details I can still recall extremely well. The cover of "Brave New World" depicts a view of London, with London Bridge in the foreground and lots of "modern" looking buildings, as one may imagine them in a Brave New World; above this scene is a heavily clouded and menacing sky with a devilish face forming in its centre. When the album came out I went out and bought it. I did not copy it or borrow it. When I really appreciate an artist, I don't mind spending my money to have the "original" thing. I loved the album from the first time I listened to it. There is a power to Iron Maiden's songs that helps get the anger out, if that is something you sometimes need to do and breaking doors and slashing curtains is not an option. Of course, we all have our own special way of doing this, but I find that putting an Iron Maiden album and dancing like the devil Has actually taken possession of my body and my senses does help at times. Avoid doing this with the window open, lest your neighbours should inform the police or Social Services (especially when your kid is a very active performer in the ritual!) **************************************** There are 10 tracks on "Brave New World". The Wicker Man This is the first one and a perfect accompaniment to banging your head against a wall or preferably thin (or thick) air. The guitars lash out at you. My son loves to put this on just to watch me electrically whip my brains out of place for the first few seconds. I am usually nicer to him after this, because the lobes of my brain having switched places, a slight confusion prevails which makes me agree to many things I wouldn't normally consent to. Energising song to say the least. "You watch the world exploding every single night, Dancing in the sun a new born in the light, Brothers and their fathers joining hands and make a chain, The shadow of the Wicker man is rising up again " Ghost of the Navigator is slightly calmer, but not quite a slow, if you know what I mean. But you can actually sit down while listening to it. It starts with toned down guitars and bass and the drums then build up to gently explode into more gently angry guitars and vocals. The chorus is full of energy. I shall be using this word: "energy", a lot. "Chasing Rainbows all my days, Where I go I do not know, I only know the place I've been Dreams they come and go, ever shall be so, Nothing's real until you see ." Brave New World is a seriously beautiful song. It starts ever so calmly, again with guitars and bass and some cymbals and when you get to the chorus, the volcano explodes. The melodies blend perfectly well with the lyrics, but then again most of Iron Maiden's songs marry music with lyrics with a talented harmony. "Dying Swans, twisted wings, Beauty not needed here, Lost my love, lost my life, In this garden of fear, I have seen many things in a lifetime alone, Mother Love is no more, bring this savage back home... What you see is not real, Those who know will not tell, All is lost, sold your soul, In this Brave New World ." Blood Brothers is one of my favourite songs. I find it almost painfully moving somehow. It seems quite personal, I say "seems" because you are never quite certain when it comes to artist's lyrics, I reckon they are all "personal" to an extent. It is a rather calm song, in Maiden's terms, it seems to float on water (and I am not on drugs), easy to follow; the lyrics are picturesque (can I say that about lyrics?) "And if you're taking a walk through the garden of life What do you think, you'd expect you would see? Just like a mirror reflecting the moves of your life And in the river reflections of me? Just for a second a glimpse of my father I see And in a movement he beckons to me And in a moment the memories are all that remain And all the wounds are reopening again " " And if you look all around at the world in dismay What do you see, do you think we have learned? Not if you're taking a look at the war torn affray Out in the streets where the babies are burned We're Blood Brothers " The Mercenary is another head banging experience, although I prefer to bang my hips to this one, it somehow works perfectly. It is a furious song, and I am a furious woman, so we go together well. Lots of guitars again, well, all the songs have lots of guitars, which is normal I guess for Iron Maiden. The lyrics are very hmm fleshy? Shall we say fleshy or bloody? I prefer furious again. When I say furious, I feel less furious, so let's say they are furiously furious. "Pay to kill, die to lose, Hunted Hunter, which are you? Diablo come again To make trophies out of men " Dream of Mirrors starts angrily and calms down a little afterwards, only to erupt again. Most of Maiden's songs have this flux and reflux attribute, they flow like waves, they go up and down (but not round and round) and carry you with them. It gives you time to gain some breath back. "Have you ever felt the future is the past, But you don't know how A reflected dream of a captured time Is it really now, is it really happening?..." The lyrics to this one are very long, but very nice. The Fallen Angel This angel doesn't fly, it takes off and drags you with it. You can "gently head bang" on this one and your brains should remain in place - if brains you have - mine do float in a lot of liquid already, so it's like a mild lulling of them. It is again very energetic, but not deafening, this is what I like about Iron Maiden, you do not end up with a headache. Unless of course, the music is very loud, and you are trying to have a conversation. Only have a conversation with yourself and the music is my advice. "Beaten fallen angel but I've risen again And the power is inside me, I've decided to pray As I wait for Armageddon and it's coming my way It's an honour to be chosen and await for the day " The Nomad The music to this song is very "heavy". In the sense that you feel the bass weighing up on you somehow. The sense of a nomad is well conveyed through it. It is not my favourite song though, I usually change it when it starts, but my son absolutely loves it and tells me off. It is not as "energetic" as the rest of the songs, but I think this was done on purpose. "Like a mirage riding on the desert sands Like a vision floating with the desert winds Know the secret of the ancient desert lands You are the keeper of the mystery in your hands " Out of the Silent Planet Is another of my favourite songs on this album. Once more, it starts gently and takes off at a very comfortable angle (use your imagination now!), with lots of bass and drums pushing you forward (and guitars of course). It's very "mysterious" and the voice of Bruce Dickinson sounds even more powerful than usual. "Withered hands, withered bodies begging for salvation Deserted by the hand of gods of their own creation Nations cry underneath decaying skies above You are guilty, the punishment is death for all who live Out of the Silent Planet, dreams of desolation Out of the Silent Planet, come the demons of creation.." The Thin Line between Love and Hate This is the last track (yes I know you are saying "Phew", if you were actually reading this). It starts with a "heavy drag" of bass accompanied by drums (yes and the guitars of course), and then guitars try to take over the scene but they end up dancing tango (not quite) with the other instruments. The whole thing is well woven, as usual, and the chorus changes the whole thing as if trying to separate the dancers, but that was only a show, at the end of it, the dance continues Again, this is a "calmer" song compared to others, but there is a very energetic guitar solo. Towards the end, Dickinson uses his voice like a violin accompanied only by sleepy notes. What a voice! "At what point do we begin Fighter spirit a will to win But what makes a man decide Take the wrong or righteous road There's a thin line between love and hate Wider divide that you can see between good and bad There's a grey place between black and white But everyone does have a right to choose The path that he takes " ******************************************** Voila. I have come to the end of the album. I have depicted images that I see or feel personally when listening to the songs, but music listening is a very personal things and you may see and feel different images. As a conclusion, I would say this is an absolutely excellent album, all the songs are "mature" and lack no limbs. Musically, it is very rich and some of the lyrics are very beautiful. Funnily enough, I do not feel that Iron Maiden is a "Heavy Metal" band, it is heavy rock certainly, but its weight is light on the mind and the heart. Do you know that most "Heavy Metal" bands have been very inspired by classical composers such as Vivaldi? Vivaldi's violins have the power to portray an anger that is quite comparable to some excellent guitar solos I have heard. The instrument is not the same, but the feeling is similar. Iron Maiden are to me an icon of musical talent. Their anger is not just for show, and their show is not just for anger. I have reviewed this album only, but their other albums are just as worthy to me. If you like that "kind of stuff" and are the sort of person who likes to or can channel their anger into music listening and brain shaking (hehehe), I have a feeling you may love this. Put your prejudices away and listen to them, you may find a friend, as I have. ******************************************** Iron Maiden are (at the moment): Steve Harris: Bass, Keyboards Bruce Dickinson: Vocals Dave Murray: Lead and rhythm guitars Adrian Smith: Lead and rhythm guitars Janick Gers: Lead and rhythm guitars Nicko McBrain: Drums *********************************************** Their discography is (as far as I am aware): Iron Maiden (1980) Killers (1981) The Number of the Beast (1982) Piece of Mind (1983) Powerslave (1984) Live after Death (1985) Somewhere in Time (1986) Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) No Prayer for the Dying (1990) Fear of the Dark (1992) A Real Live Dead One (1993) Live at Donington (1993) The X Factor (1995) Best of the Beast (1996) Virtual XI (1998) Brave New World (2000) Rock in Rio (2002) Edward the Great (Best of) (2002) Beast over Hammersmith (2002) Best of B Sides (2002) The BBC Archives (2002) Dance of Death (2003) ************************************************** "Brave New World" costs £5.97 from amazon.co.uk. Is this cheap or what? © Lola Awada 2005
In the year 2000, British metal pioneers Iron Maiden released their most acclaimed album in over a decade, due in no small part to the return of the screaming Bruce Dickinson to the band. One successful single brought Iron Maiden back into the spotlight for fans old, new and hairy alike. ?Brave New World,? while not being a fitting title if applied to the twenty-year old, world-touring band itself, does represent the start of the modern Maiden era which continued in 2003 with their successful ?Dance of Death,? whether you like this fact or not. HISTORY Arguably the leading force in heavy metal music throughout the 1980s, differences of interest by band members led to the amicable departure of guitarist Adrian Smith in 1988 and frontman Bruce Dickinson in 1992. Try as they might, the Iron Maiden that survived with ex-Wolfsbane vocalist Blaze Bayley could never return the band to their peak of performance and although the hardcore fan base and band dedication remained, it became clear that Maiden were on the way out when they were dropped by their major record labels. By 1999, all that was to change; Adrian Smith had expressed an interest in returning, performing as a third guitarist alongside Janick Gers, having appeared as a guest musician at several Maiden concerts anyway, but the main interest lay in the return of Dickinson fresh from his moderately successful solo projects. Iron Maiden instrumentals are intricately layered affairs that keep the listener engaged, but the real power of the band clearly lay in Dickinson?s excellent vocal range. Picked up by record giants EMI, where they still remain today, Iron Maiden had bounced back in a way that Alan Partridge didn?t. STYLE Mu sical development has always been an important issue for Iron Maiden. In the 80s they went from being a rock and roll band producing songs that sounded almost punk rock, to a heavy metal band capable of producing ballads and epics, and finally a progressive heavy metal band utilising keyboards and the full range of guitars to add to the music. Through the 90s Maiden abandoned the synthesisers in the majority of their tracks and returned to producing more straightforward heavy metal, but the influence of progressive metal bands from America and Europe was clear on their ?Virtual XI? album. ?Brave New World? sticks with these heavily progressive elements while allowing the band?s newfound confidence to again shine through. TRACKS 1. THE WICKER MAN In typical Iron Maiden tradition, the album begins with a short and punchy number released as a single. The song doesn?t survive many listens in the manner of their earlier classics, but the chorus and excellent guitar work made this a popular release. The main delight lies in hearing Bruce Dickinson singing about horror films again after all these years. ?Hand of fate is moving and the finger points to you. He knocks you to your feet and so what are you gonna do?? 2. GHOST OF THE NAVIGATOR The first long(ish) song at over six minutes, this seems to showcase the instrumentalists of the band and allows Dickinson?s great vocals to aid the songs rather than overwhelm them. The beginning is a little mysterious and slow before the heavy riff kicks in and the band?s latest sea-bound tale is told. Not in the same league as ?The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,? but at under half the length of that 1984 epic i t isn?t aiming to; just a really great song with interesting bridge and chorus sections, definitely a highlight of the album. The speed of the guitar solo is also fantastic, especially when the squeaking of Dave Murray?s fingers become audible at the end. Lyrics regarding curses and the un-rude version of seamen are also welcome. ?As their skeletons accusing emerge from the sea; the sirens of the rocks, they beckon me.? 3. BRAVE NEW WORLD Maiden?s title tracks always suggest something longer, harder and better than the majority of their tracks, although in some ways ?Brave New World? isn?t all it could have been. A dull, slow and quiet opening isn?t typically Maiden and could be seen a little too ?prog? for a lot of people, although when the song gets going it?s very memorable and has the usual infectious chorus. There is no sense of this being a Maiden classic however. For anyone who?s wondering, the song and indeed the album cover are based upon Aldous Huxley?s 1931 book of the same name, and the lyrics convey some of the messages of danger present in Huxley?s nightmare future. ?You are planned, you are damned, in this brave new world.? 4. BLOOD BROTHERS A very different, experimental song from the band features a full orchestration throughout in addition to clean-sounding guitars and bass, which would undoubtedly make this popular with fans of more orchestral musical tastes, but I like a bit of metal. I have nothing against symphony aspects of metal songs, but in this instance they are far too overpowering and do make the song drag on much longer than necessary. The lyrics urge the human race to work together and stop hurting each other as we?re all in the same boat, and the loud chorus features some of Bruce?s best vocals. ?Keep on making the same old mistakes, makes tipping the balance so easy.? 5. THE MERCENARY The word ?filler? can be applied to this, as it is the first unremarkable and unoriginal offering of the album. Not a bad listen, but the vocals and instruments do seem a little less enthusiastic in narrating this tale of a man who kills for money. The lyrics are also annoyingly repetitive for Iron Maiden standards, giving the impression of a last-minute studio job. Despite being forgettable, this is still worth listening to as a breather between the longer songs. ?Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, you?ve got to kill to stay alive.? 6. DREAM OF MIRRORS Another very experimental and ultimately very different song, this one also isn?t to my taste, mainly due to its length. The first three minutes are led by a quiet bass riff with occasional guitar whines, vocals and sparse drum whacks creating a deliberate sense of emptiness which does get tedious. The chorus is repeated too many times during the nine-and-a-half minutes, and it only really seems to get going at the end, which doesn?t redeem it. Still, the band seem to relish this song and it apparently went down quite well during their ?Metal 2000? tour. I wasn?t clever enough to like them or have heard them back then though, sadly. ?Dread to think what might be lurking, that my dream is reoccurring.? 7. THE FALLEN ANGEL This song is nothing new, but I really like it. Iron Maiden at their simple, short and punchy best, with a truly excellent mix of high guitars and vocals in the chorus, even if it does sound like a rip-off of the first track. The song knows when it is time to end though, unli ke many of the others, and for this reason, as well as its ability to convey lyrics regarding an approaching Armageddon in an upbeat and fun way, this is one of my favourites on the album. ?As I wait for Armageddon and it?s coming my way. It?s an honour to be chosen and I wait for the day.? 8. THE NOMAD The only true epic on the album, ?The Nomad? is a very diverse and well-played Iron Maiden song. If their earlier classic ?Alexander the Great? was ?the best Iron Maiden song never played live? (Steve Harris), this is another in that tradition. The layers of instruments and lack of any commercial or ?pop? appeal make this a straight-to-disc song of high calibre, and its lyrics of a mysterious wanderer in the desert bring a fresh tone to the album. The orchestration on this track is excellent and almost subliminal, and does not take over the song as it did in track four. This is how the other long tracks should have sounded, although obviously not identical as that would be rubbish. ?Legend has it that you speak in ancient tongue, but no one?s spoke to you and lived to tell the tale.? 9. OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET A catchy and memorable song, this begins with some high pitched guitars before Bruce softly sings the title, five words that you will hear far more than expected in these seven minutes, and the heaviest riff on the album kicks in. The lyrics are again a little repetitive and the song drags on again, but the quality of the playing and the vocal range make this one of the best on the album. Well done. The slow, fade-out ending of this track also shows that it really, really should have been the end of the album? ?Nations cry, underneath decaying skies above. You are gui lty, the punishment is death for all who live.? 10. THE THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE An accurate description of this song would be, Iron Maiden?s least interesting moment fused with the worst 80s pop song. Another description would be god-awful. There is unfortunately nothing at all to redeem this song, which sounds very half-hearted and so unlike the high quality Maiden fans are used to; it is depressingly slow, has uninteresting lyrics, and leaves the listener thinking ?that was a crap album. Oh wait, that Nomad and them early ones, whatever they were called I can?t remember, they were good. A bit long but still.? ?At what point do we begin, fighter spirit a will to win. But what makes a man decide, take the wrong or righteous road.? VERDICT The band has returned to its former glory, but this album may have been released too soon. The nine songs are very interesting, especially for fans of modern progressive metal, but lack the commercial appeal of their earlier work. Bruce?s vocals haven?t lost anything, but the use of three guitarists seems unnecessary at this point; their full potential is shown in their 2003 release. Despite almost obsessive production by bassist/songwriter Steve Harris, who also composed the orchestrations and played the keyboards, the majority of songs seem unnecessarily long and this counts against the album a little. On the positive side, when compared to the band?s other releases this is refreshing and different at least, but unfortunately isn?t up to the band?s own high standards. ?Brave New World? will be remembered as the album that saw the return of Bruce, and Maiden got great again. For fans of the band I would recommend th eir latest release ?Dance of Death,? which advances the style of this album while also being less over-the-top and with much better songs, or some of their early albums; anything from 1982 to 88. Up the Irons!
The Blaze Bayley years had their share of very good moments (Sign of the Cross, The Clansman, Futureal, Fortunes of War, The Unbeliever, Como Estais Amigos, Man on the Edge, 2 AM), but there was just a feeling that it wasn't a permanent state of affairs; it didn't seem like the real Iron Maiden. Gut instinct maybe, but the case nonetheless. In 1999, Bruce Dickinson and former guitarist Adrian Smith triumphantly returned to the band, and Adrian's replacement, Janick Gers, remained on board (good decision), giving the Irons a prized three-guitar line up. Initial fears that it was all about cashing in their past were alleviated when Brave New World was released in 2000. Probably their best record overall since Seventh Son in 1988, BNW saw Maiden fully embracing all their trademarks (operatic vocals, charging bass lines, beautiful guitar harmonies and solos, driving riffing and great drumming) and producing a monster of a 'comeback' to boot. Kevin Shirley (the Black Crowes among others) produced the album, and it is probably the best sounding Maiden record ever; it has a punch that accentuates the power of the drums particularly (although I always thought the drums were what came out best in the Harris-produced records of the Blaze years), whilst the guitars are very powerful. From the moment the opening riff of The Wicker Man kicks in, you know this is gonna be a wicked album. This opener is a typically great Maiden single, with a relatively simple riff and a huge chorus. Ghost of the Navigator is probably my favourite song on the album. It starts out slow (I don't understand people who object to slow intros), but it features great drumming from Nicko, a powerful riff, some great singing and lyrics, and typical Maiden time changes. Steve Harris really wanted to get back in business with this song. The title track is amazing. One of Dave Murray's best guitar melodies combines with astounding vocals from Mr Dickinson, whilst Dave and Janick's solos kick some serious ass. Blood Brothers is a beautiful song. Written by Steve about his dad, it features some lovely orchestral keyboards, with a beautiful melody to go with it. Pure class. The Mercenary is a typical Irons rocker. Starts out at full blast, with a lyrical theme that we've heard before (The Fugitive, from Fear of the Dark springs to mind). Dream of Mirrors is very cool, a departure for the band. Long sections of acoustic playing combine with an epic chorus and the trademark harmonies. The Fallen Angel is a good song. Again, lyrical themes revisited, and like so much Maiden it can't fail to bring a smile to your face. The Nomad is an Arabic-orientated epic, written by Dave and Steve. Tempo and time changes everywhere, haunting guitar work, excellent. Out of the Silent Planet, the second single, is a classy track. Funny lyrics ("killing fields and grinding wheels, crushed by equilibrium", genius :)) and a cool riff. The last track has some of Dave's most lyrical playing in the slow-down sections. They are the highlight of the song, along with the MANY solos. Good bit at the end, with Nicko caught on tape saying "i fucking missed it"...I guess you have to just hear it! Anyway, BNW...very cool album, great comeback for these legends. GET IT!
Went to see these two nights ago (for those of you not reading this on the night it was written, I saw them on March 19th). After a 4 hour ride to London with 4 sweaty men, countless rides on the tube, a brisk walk through Soho and a near gun fight outside the London Brixton Academy, I was there. I was so glad that I went. Brilliant atmosphere, brilliant crowd, brilliant day. Any way, onto the review. I got this album because I was oing to see the aforementioned concert, just incase that they were going to do this instead of a medley. I am so glad I splashed out on this fantastic album. ~ HighLights ~ Wicker Man (Number 1 on the Album) Ghosts Of Navigators (Number 2 on the Album) Out of the Silent Planet (Number 9 on the Album) Lets face it, without Bruce Dickinson, the slightly eccentric frontman, the brilliant lyrics, mostly written by the awesome Steve Harris, are wasted. The album that came before this, X-Factor, was a poor attempt at life after Bruce with Blaze Bayley tacking over the singing duties, rather unsuccessfully, might I add. ~ Covers ~ The front cover of this album shows the bands mascot, Edward T. Hunter (Ed Hunter), a half dead, zombie type monster, looking over a city from the future in cloud form. The back of the album features the track listings and a picture of Maiden looking to the skys. ~ Track 1 : Wicker Man ~ A classic. Excellent vocals provided by Bruce Dickinson. It starts out slow, but soon fastens up and the song starts to kick off, big style. The chorus is chanted anthetically and the lyrics, done by Steve Harris, are absolutely awesome. It is the type that circles in your head for hours at a time. If this ong was sung by anyone else other than Bruce Dickinson, it would fall flat on its arse. With Bruce though, it is pulled off flawlessly. In a couple of years time, this will almost certainly be a classic. L ike every good metal song, it has a fantastic, roller-coaster ride of a guitar solo. Rating - 9/10 ~ Ghost Of the Navigator ~ Another classic song, with well thought out lyrics, well chosen riffs and well placed drumming. Iron Maiden really show what they are made of on this track and, at the concert, this is the song which got sung along to the most. I personally think that this is one of the best on the album, only narrowly beating Brave New World out of the top 3. 8/10 ~ Brave New World ~ The songs title track is a good one. It starts off boring and somber, but eventually picks up with brilliant guitar and excellent vocals by Mr. Dickinson. The worst part about the song is the start and end (which are both the same). If it wasn't for them, the song would be a classic. The chorus is the best part of the song by mile with Bruce chanting 'In a Brave New World' like his life depended on it. This was also a song which got a loud shout from the Maiden faithful. 7 3quarters / 10 ~ Blood Brothers ~ A good song, but not outstanding by any means. It all just seams a bit dull for me, with very little life, apart from the chorus, which is the highl;ight of the song. The guitar in this is very pedestrian and just kind of sinks into the background during the song. Even Bruces voice doesn't seam as good as usual on this track. Still, it got a loud cheer at the Maiden concert and was sung along to loudly. 6/10 ~ The Mercenary ~ The mercenary is a very lively song from the start. It is another one of the songs that almost got into the top 3 but was beaten out because of the strength of the rest. In any other album from the last decade, the song would be one the best, but on this, it hardly gets a look in. The guitar in this is excellent as usual an d the vocals are even better. In the words of Steve Harris, this song is about someone who has 'nowhere to run and nowhere to hide'; and he's got to 'kill to stay alive'. 8/10 ~ Dream Of Mirrors ~ A quite boring song. It has nothing special guitar wise, and it is only picked up by its chorus. This song is where the album starts to flop and this is where it loses it 5 st*r rating. I don't really enjoy it that much, but the rest of the maiden fans adore it and were sing at the top of their voices to it. There really is no heavy parts to this song and it sinks well below the sky-high standards of Maiden. 5 and a half / 10 ~ Fallen Angel ~ A good start to the song, some good, exciting guitar to start off, which is soon backed up by Bruces unique voice. It doesn't match up to the rest of the albums work though. There is little chorus and nothing memorable in the song because of that. I had to get the album out and listen to it to remember this ong it is that weak. It could of been made a lot better by a good old sing along chorus. I cannot fault them on the guitar solo though. It is solos like these that make me wonder how Steve Harris didn't get into the top 100 guitarists. 6/10 ~ Nomad ~ A very average song, very pedestrian. Nothing new, nothing shocking, nothing to excite you. It starts how it means to go on, average. Bruces singing doesn't seem to be its usual self in this poor excuse for a song. The guitar that backs Bruce uup is quite good though and it pulls the rest of the song up. 6/10 ~ Out of the Silent Planet ~ Beware; this song is anything but silent. In a few years time, this will be a classic with 'Run to the Hills' and '2 Minutes to Mid-night' The lyrics are awesome on this song and the guitar, yet again, makes me wonder why none of the Maiden crew got into the top 100 guitarist but Eric Clapton did. Hmmm. The chorus is very infectious and is very easy to sing along to and remember. I was gutted when they didn't play this at the concert. OotSP was one of only two singles from this album (with 'Wicker Man') and topped many foriegn charts 9 and a half / 10 ~ Thin Line between Love and Hate ~ A good song with a dodgy opening. It is miostly drum dominating the start, but it fades into the backgroung when Bruces voice starts. It has all of the ingredients for a class Metal song, but it doesn't do it for me. The chorus makes me think of the 80's for some reason (don't ask me why). The solo is spot on though and is like a little 5 second roller coaster. 7/10 ~ Overall ~ This album could go on to be a classic in a few years time but, at the moment, it needs to be matured a bit more. If you are going to buy a maiden album, buy the legendary ' Number of the Beast'. ~ Future ~ Maiden have brought out a live album called 'rock in Rio', which was recorded in, you guessed it, Rio De Janero. They are also bring out a new album next year, full of totally new material. They are also live on the web, 21st March 8pm. NOW!
Nowadays, releases from earlier metal bands come few and far between, especially of this standard. Brave new world takes on a more melodic style than the older releases, but continues to show off the bands talent. The album contains a variety of styles to cater for all tastes in rock and metal. This could be considered as proof that the band is no less-heavy then they used to be, and are still in great form… The track listing is as follows; The Wickerman Ghost of the navigator Brave new world Blood Brothers The mercenary Dream of mirrors The fallen angel The Normad Out of the silent planet The thin line between love and hate The great choice was made to begin the album with the song “The wickerman” which was also released as a single. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album and is sure to grab the attention of anyone who hears it. People began to say that Maiden were past their best, and that they couldn’t produce anything original in the future, but after listening to this track for the first time I couldn’t disagree more. Personally I prefer the style of albums such as “number of the beast” to Brave new world, as they had the feel of classic rock that this one lacks. The feeling of admiration as a lightening fast beast solo just isn’t reproduced in this album. Instead they choose to use a better variety of effects on the guitars etc and in my opinion, loose some of the real metal feel of past albums. In today’s rock/metal scene, it’s sad to say that bands seem to be getting less and less talented. As effects get better and more can be done in the studio to enhance the way a band sounds the musicians do not need to be as good as in the past, but this means embarrassment when the band plays live and cant play the song the way it sounds on the album. When we look at the album this way it has to be considered one of the b est over the past few years. Maiden may have aged over the years but you really must appreciate them, they can play thunderous live shows and have the crowd enjoying the great sounding music, then work them into a frenzy in a second with surprisingly heavy songs like the fallen angel. To summarise I would say that Iron Maiden are still a top quality band with lots of potential, and this albums shows that, but they aren’t quite as good as they were in the past. Buy this album if you’re looking for a great variety of music, but if your looking for the classic rock feel I strongly suggest you stick to the older albums by bands like black Sabbath and Ozzy Ozbourne with the unique feel of them.
The unmistakeable vocal talents of Bruce Dickinson have returned to the fold. Bruce is back to where he belongs fronting Britains best Metal band and one of the bigest bands in the world. Also returning on this album was Adrian Smith so now we have three guitarists for more of those Maiden power riffs. Tracks on this album Include the singles Wickerman and Out of the silent planet. The album itself was recorded "as live" which basicaly means the whole band went into the studio together and recorded the tracks altogether instead of doing guitars drums vocals seperatly etc The album seems to go back to the style of Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son With the title track based on a novel by Aldious Huxley (excuse spelling please) about earth in the future where people are conditioned and purified Nomad is a nine minute song full of power and one of the best on the album this has got to be the best Maiden album to date and with them following it up with yet another sucessful world tour it proves that maiden who have been in the buisness for over 20 years have still got what it takes
Yes there back and beter than ever! The cover of this album (by Steve Stone and longtime Iron Maiden cover-artist Derek Riggs) is absolutely gorgeous. It's a view of a futuristic London, rendered in metallic blues and silvers, with strange, surreal domed architecture, flying cars and sci-fi-looking ships cruising along the river Thames. Above, a storm is brewing within purple-blue stormclouds -- Iron Maiden's ever-present mascot, Eddie the 'Ead, makes his appearance in the cloud formations...a grinning spectre with a cadaver's smile, sunken eyes and sharp fangs. Bruce Dickinson (vocals) and Adrian Smith (guitars) have returned after a too-long hiatus from the band. Adrian had played guitar on Bruce's solo masterpiece "The Chemical Wedding" and evidently it re-kindled his love for the classic power metal that made Maiden one of the greatest metal bands ever. He adds his distinctive guitar style to the famous dual-guitar harmonies for which he and fellow axeman Dave Murray are so well known. And Bruce? My god, man. Has Bruce ever sounded better? His voice stronger, clearer and filled with more passion than anything he's ever done? Despite not being one of the founding members, Bruce's presence defines Iron Maiden. Without him, well...X-Factor and Virtual XI will not go down in history as being high points in the 'Maiden catalog. Steve Harris, the founder of the band, main songwriter and crazed bassist, is back with his twelfth studio album, along with Dave Murray (guitars), Nicko McBrain (drums) and relative newcomer Jannick Gers) who has taken Adrian's place alongside Dave Murray for the last four albums. The music. Oh, what wonderful, wonderful music. Steve's galloping bass returns in full force and Nicko's drumming is outrageous -- someone please tell me that he's finally using a double-bass drum set...I cannot believe anyone can still play that fast w ith one foot pedal! Jannick, Dave and Adrian combine their efforts to create rich tapestries of sound...the three-guitar assault works perfectly within 'Maiden's musical style and really stands out in "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate." The album starts out strong with a short, fast song -- "The Wicker Man." An obvious choice for the album's opener (and it's single). "Ghost of the Navigator" is a much longer song (the majority of the ssongs on BNW clock in at over six or seven minutes long) and thematically fits in with "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" from their Powerslave days. "Brave New World" is another marathon of passionate singing and beautiful lyrics. Track 4, "Blood Brothers" has a classical feel to it, almost Elizabethan...as if it was written circa Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. It's a really gorgeous song with some killer bass playing/strumming by Steve and powerful singing by Bruce. This is the song that my girlfriend seem to like the most. The next song ("The Mercenary") could've also been featured on Powerslave as a sequel of sorts to "2 Midnight til Midnight." I can just picture Eddie dressed up as the song's titular character. Grrr..."lose your skin, lose your skull one by one the sack is full!" "Dream of Mirrors," an epic song about deja vu (again, a song reminiscent of a classic 'Maiden tune from Somewhere in Time). Lots of signature 'Maiden time changes and choruses...but again, the song is unlike anything that they've done. "Everything old is new again," the saying goes. Track 7 is "Fallen Angel" is just a powerhouse of a song that gets better with each listen. The thumping rhythm section drives the song home as Bruce sings about the "Chosen One" and battling demonic forces. Rock on, Bruce! "The Nomad" is a great song...very Eastern (again, capt uring the flavor of "Powerslave" and "To Tame a Land" while still remaining unique!)...about a wandering, enigmatic desert rider who has become a legend. At first this was my least favorite song but man, after a few listens I'm screaming along with Bruce ("Nomad! You're the rider so mysterious! Nomad...you're the spirit that men fear in us!"). As soon as this song ends, "Out of the Silent Planet" begins. It starts out with soft singing and a very gentle feel, then explodes into a tooth-gnashing, foot-stomping beast of a song. Finally, the epic "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate" -- a song that doesn't really sound like anything I've ever heard 'Maiden play before. The one part of this song occurs at around the half-way point, when everything settles into a "groove" (in a 'Maiden song?!). Steve and Nicko lay down the "groove," backed up by a dual-guitar riff and then a beautiful guitar solo over the whole thing before it all falls away into a "near-jazz" style. Words fail me at this point...it's heartbreakingly good. The whole song has an epic, majestic feel to it and ends not with a bang but a whisper...an elegant end to one of the year's best albums. Whew. Can you tell I love this band? 'Maiden is back with a vengeance. So all you Earth-Dogs, Hell-Rats and Rivetheads out there...you know what to do... UP THE IRONS!
Bruce is Back!!! Hooraagh!!! When I heard Bruce was back, I had to get the album, it was a must. In my head I could hear the old time classic ryphs of Fear of the dark, Die with your boots on, oh the joy! The first single that came out, I never heard before I bought the album; It was out 2 weeks previous, I just wasn't interested, thought it might spoil the sound of the album as one harmonious piece. The wicker man turned out to be a hit getting to number 8 in the charts, and the alum shot to number 10 in the first week. Was I dissapointed? Never, it was the same old Iron Maiden as I remember them. They did go a little more mellow in their old age, but the sound, oh the sound was MY Iron Maiden. I was gld I hid from the world of 'The wicker man' because it added to the flavour of the moment. First day the alum came out I bought it, its true, its true; sad isn't it but I couldn't wait no longer. It goes to show that good heavy BRITISH rock will NEVER DIE, well not with out their boots on. It was Iron Maidens point of view on what the future held for us all, if anyone remembers the classic Wicker man film, because I don't, all I know of it, it tries to dictate what horror of creations man has in store for us in the future, well thats how I interpretate it. The songs have an air of mystery and in some cases sadness about them. For Iron Maiden it was an eerie outlook on things, similar in some respects to the ' Fear of the dark' album, which coincidentally, was Bruce Dickinsons last album before he left. All in all the album is brilliant and a must buy for any Maiden fan or rock fan.
As the title says, this is the best album of the year and possibly the best album of the decade. Whatever the title what remains as a fact is that this is one of the best metal albums I have had the pleasure of hearing. Maiden take a new approach to metal than others. While the album is heavy and generally fast paced their are bits with stringed and brass instruments included which add a whole new dimension to the genre than a band on its own. Every song is stunning on Brave New World. The Wickerman is a great fast track to get the album going and Brave New World is beautifully rounded off by The Thin Line Between Love and Hate which is goes through a variety of diferent phases before its slow ending acommpanied by Bruce Dickinson saying how hes missed them, all done in the crude language you'd expect from a rock star I should add. This is an essential purchase for any and every fan of rock, metal, gothic etc. There are just so many good songs on the album it is unbelievable. Buy it and you'll see what I mean
Brave New World heralded the return of iron maiden heroes, Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith to the line up, and this reunion has provided one of maidens best albums to date. The guitar is fast paced and impressive, the songs are eear threatening and well composed, while Dickinsons voice, as ever, is dramatic and fabulous. Its a rare change in the heavy metal world, for a metal singer to have such a fantastic voice, and rather than only having to concentrate on the music, we have this fantastic singer. Its like an extra instrument. This album though, isn't REALLY heavy, like, say Alice coopers "Brutal Planet". It is however, a thoroughly sound Rock album, every song is a good one. The Wicker man is a heavy, fast paced song with a brilliant chorus, and Fallen Angel is another great rock song, which seems to borrow musical elements from Thin Lizzy's "Emerald", and Black Sabbaths "Children of the Grave". Of special mention are my two favourites, Dream of Mirrors (which has great singing, and thew build up gets heavier and heavier) and Nomad (with excellent guitar throughout). The worst track on the CD is the anthemic "Blood brothers", but even this is a good song! All in all, a brilliant new album from Maiden, one for hardcore fans and newbies alike.
Before I heard this album I had not heard any of Iron Maidens songs but I wanted to hear their sound since I liked the genre, I was very pleasently surprised at the album and it became one of my all time favourites. The band are one of heavy metals superstar acts and this album and following tour will do a lot more to help their profile. All the songs are of a reasonable length so you get a good deal is listening out of the cd. Bruce Dickinson's voice can be bizarre at times but you can tell thats just beacuse he is getting involved in the music and his style suits the album too. My favourite songs are The Fallen Angel which has a start remarkably similar too Thin Lizzy's Emerald and Thw Wickerman which has a start similar to Van Halen's Unchained. both songs change and become Maiden classics. Brave New World, the song, is another great track and with its slow start it sound even better when it kicks in. This is a brilliant album and shows that that their is still life left in Iron Maiden after 20 odd years and their is still life in the genre.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Wicker Man
2 Ghost Of The Navigator
3 Brave New World
4 Blood Brothers
5 The Mercenary
6 Dream Of Mirrors
7 The Fallen Angel
8 The Nomad
9 Out Of The Silent Planet
10 The Thin Line Between Love & Hate