Mr Postie’s Been Good Part 2!

2 09 2010

As regular Dead Horse readers will already know-I’m a major Iron Maiden nut and have been for 22years or thereabouts, so imagine my surprise/chuffed-to-bits-ed-ness (yeah, it’s not a word, but just go with it) when I open my post today and find out that EMI have sent me a rare Final Frontier World Tour wind-cheater! Isn’t it nice?

Here’s my review of the album from this fortnight’s Hot Press by the by…

Iron Maiden

The Final Frontier (EMI)

Four and a half out of five

30years on from the release of their first album, former NWOBHM poster boys turned bona fide global metal gods Iron Maiden release their fifteen album, the teasingly entitled The Final Frontier, and it’s by far their weightiest, most ambitious opus in their much storied history. Clocking in at a whopping 76minutes, the ten track slab of wax features epic after epic, all tied together by Bruce Dickinson’s unmistakable air-raid siren, founder Steve Harris’ athletic bass-playing and Mssrs Murray, Smith and Gers’ insanely accomplished guitar-work.

Not a record for the fair-weather fan (there’s no ‘Run To The Hills’ or ‘Wrathchild’ on here) the band continue to push themselves in a prog metal direction and have produced some of the best material in their career. Album opener ‘Satellite 15’ is by far the most bizarre song they’ve ever put their name too and sounds like they’ve mixed Muse’s electro-rock with drum and bass (yes, really) before we get back to familiar territory with the title track and ‘El Dorado’s unmistakable gallop. There are highlights galore on the record, but the soaring ‘Starblind,’ and ‘The Talisman’ in particular are vintage Maiden.

Finishing the album with the complex and moving ‘Where The Wild Wind Blows’ (a song based on Raymond Briggs’ none too jolly graphic novel about an elderly couple who end up dying in a radiation fallout shelter) Dickinson delivers one of his best vocal performances of the album and it’s destined to become a much cherished live track in the vein of ‘Fear Of The Dark.’ Whether The Final Frontier will be their last gasp is anyone’s guess, but by once again reinventing the genre they helped create in the first place, they’ve definitely proved that they’re still at the height of their powers.

Key Track: ‘Starblind’

Edwin McFee

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