Sunday, May 19, 2013

Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time (1986)

After such an amazing album as "Powerslave", how would Iron Maiden tackle their next release? Well first off, Steve Harris thought that it would be a good idea to experiment with synths, a move that did not affect the album significantly. The next move was to come up with a concept that was as good as the Egyptian theme. The band chose time and space as the main theme. Not as exciting and original as the Egyptian theme, but still an interesting concept. Finally, the band had to simply create great songs with amazing lyrics and awesome musicality. Did they succeed with it? Hell yeah they did.

"Somewhere In Time" is the ultimate proof of Iron Maiden's range, technicality and talent. Instantly when the opening track, "Caught Somewhere In Time", screams out of the speakers, you get hit with a wall of futuristic sound, galloping riffs, a melodic bridge and a Bruce Dickinson that sings his heart out. And that is how most of the songs are in "Somewhere In Time", fast or semi-fast songs that brings out every little inch of passion from the band members.

Despite the magnificent performance, this album is the most underrated album in the Maiden discography. The only real hit from this album is "Wasted Years", a beautiful song that may not be that spectacular, but it still brings some good variation to the album. So "Somewhere In Time" is not a album that shines with its success in radio or its appearances in live shows, but the quality is there, and it is high. From the catchy and powerful "Heaven Can Wait" too the more progressive and delicate "Stranger In A Strange Land", "Somewhere In Time" shows a good variation and the low point of the album is still very high.

But the best part of "Somewhere In Time" is when the band is going fully epic, and they do that in two songs. The first one is "The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner" that opens up with a simply awesome riff and then evolves to a fast and aggressive tune. And then comes one of the best choruses I have ever heard. The chorus in "The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner" is simple, but so epic and great that you cannot just sit down, you have to stand up and scream out the words together with Bruce. Then we also have a great solo that completes one of the best, and most underrated songs in Maiden's career. The second really epic tune is the album closer "Alexander The Great (356-323 BC)", a epic tale about the great emperor that conquered such great regions as Egypt and Persia, and ruled one of the biggest empires in ancient history. God, I love it when bands are singing about historical events. But the lyrics are not the only part that makes this closing song so great, it is also the delicacy and the care that the band has put in every beat and chord that makes this song such a great finisher to one of the greatest albums ever made.

You can try to convince me that this or that album is better, but according to me, "Somewhere In Time" will always be the greatest Maiden album up to date. This album shows no weaknesses and mixes genius simplicity and technical epicness with such perfection that you can just stand there and wonder if it even is possible that there ever will be made another album like this. Perfection, you have a name, and that name is "Somewhere In Time".

Songs worthy of recognition: The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner, Caught Somewhere In Time, Heaven Can Wait, Alexander The Great (356-323 BC), Stranger In A Strange Land

Rating: 10/10 Deja-Vus

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