Sunday, June 9, 2013

Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of A Seventh Son (1988)

I do not know about you, but I have always thought that the title for Iron Maiden's seventh album is the most epic album title ever. Not only is it cool to say "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son" over and over again, but the pure thought of a new born being the seventh son for a father who is also the seventh son is just mind blowing. So from the instance, you know that this album would be a epic master piece. But the big question in my mind was how on earth the band would exceed the expectations that the predecessors "Somewhere In Time" and "Powerslave" had build up to this point.

The answer comes in eigth songs that covers every musical styles, from epic and catchy to heavy and melodic. And not only that, we also have one of the grandest and epic tales that has ever been told in musical form. Well, actually there are several stories since this album is not actually a concept album. The extraordinary song writing in this album is some of the best I have ever witnessed and it is the lyrics that makes it seem like "Seventh Son of A Seventh" is a grand concept album.

It all starts with "Moonchild", a semi-fast and groovy song that tells the start of the seventh son saga where an unknown force is warning the parents that their future son will possess a power that is great than what they ever could imagine. An okay opener, but it is certainly one of the weaker tracks in the album. After that comes "Infinite Dreams" that pictures the story of a journey to discover the meaning of life and the meaning of the unnecessary torture that many suffers. This is surely a epic piece that also has its groovy moments and I have always loved how Bruce Dickinson has made the most with his voice to create the perfect atmosphere.

The only real speed freak in this record is "Can I Play With Madness". It may be one of the most overrated Maiden songs out there, but it plays an important part in this album. Without this song, the variation would have been one of the weak spots (now it is one of the strongest attributes). I still enjoy this track with its epic chorus, but there are several songs in both "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son" and other Maiden albums that I would rather play. One of these songs are the fantastic "The Evil That Men Do" I am not kidding when I say that this track got it all. It is beautiful, epic, groovy, sing-a-long friendly and powerful, all at the same time. And let us not forget the lyrics about the constant struggles and problems that will live with mankind forever. Even now, 25 years after its release, "The Evil That Men Do" is highly up-to-date both musically and lyrically. An instant classic, both back in the day and now.

The truly epic piece of this album is the title track. Close to 10 minutes of fine performance work, exceptional vocal excersises and a song structure that even with a 2 and a half minutes of cymbal rolls, guitar picking and verse reading, is more exciting then a 2 hour action movie. If the band was learning to write great epics in "Powerslave", then they had mastered that skill in "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son".The following song, "The Prophecy", is impressing with its lyrics, but the melody is one of the weaker on this album. I do ot say that it is bad, I just say that it looks pale in comparision against the other songs on the album.

The album ends up with two very respectable songs. "The Clairvoyant" is one of the first Maiden songs I ever learned to love and the funny part is that I first thought that it was a sample of some of the band's greatest hits. There was no wonder that I thought that since the verse and chorus could easily have been two different songs fused into one. But the band still finds a way to make the symbios work great and create a truly stunning song. The other song, "Only The Good Die Young", is one of the truest songs ever made. Just think of it. Ronnie James Dio, Jeff Hanneman, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Cliff Burton and many more has all died way too young, while [insert shit artist that is still alive here] and other pieces of dookie still live to fight another die. It is just sad. But I am just rambling, the song itself is a beautiful finisher that ties up the album in a great way. But it would not hurt to make this song a little bit longer.

Very few bands can follow up a amazing album with a equaly amazing successor, but it takes a legendary band to follow up a master piece like "Powerslave" with two perfect albums. "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son" is the most epic piece that I have ever heard and it is just another proof that Iron Maiden is worthy of its legendary status. Sure, they could have gone fully out with the concept on this album, but who cares when you get spoiled with such great songs over and over again. I have already said this in my review of "Somewhere In Time", but I do not know how the band is going to top this. Perfection, you now have a second name, and that name is "Seventh Son of A Seventh Son".

Songs worthy of recognition: The Evil That Men Do, Seventh Son of A Seventh Son, The Clairvoyant, Infinite Dreams, Only The Good Die Young

Rating: 10/10 Moonchilds

No comments:

Post a Comment