Thursday, July 4, 2013

Iron Maiden - Fear of The Dark (1992)

After the mediocre release "No Prayer For The Dying", Iron Maiden took off in a new run too make this more direct rock approach work. But this time, the band put more focus on the melodies and really tried to create some killer tunes. The result came in 1992 with the release of "Fear of The Dark", and even though this was a clear step forward from "No Prayer For The Dying", this album suffered from the same problems. The overall standard may have been good, but it was still far below the usual Maiden standard, which once again made me disappointed.

So what it is that makes "Fear of The Dark" superior over its predecessor? Well first off, this album has two more songs than "No Prayer For The Dying" (the more, the merrier), then the music is more developed and has more depth to create a greater experience overall. All this can actually be proven in a comparison between two of the most popular tracks from the albums. The songs "Holy Smoke" and "From Here To Eternity" are very similar with their rocking up-tempo speed and shred filled solos, but the big difference between the two tracks is that "From Here To Eternity" has more of a epic feel going through the beats and the chorus is miles better then that in "Holy Smoke".

Another proof that the band was putting in more epicness in this album was that this album had two songs over 6 minutes while "No Prayer For The Dying" had none. The first one, "Afraid To Shoot Strangers", is a tempo shifting story that should please any Maiden fans with its fast solos and memorable chorus. Then we also have the title track that has become a big fan favourite in live shows. Now I have seen Iron Maiden live once, and since then, I have always known that when "Fear of The Dark" comes on, the whole crowd transforms into a massive choir. In a way, "Fear of The Dark" is the ultimate live song whit its intensity, catchy riff, catchy chorus and big room for improvisation. The studio version of "Fear of The Dark" is slightly weaker, but it is still an epic killer tune that makes this album a whole lot better.

Besides from the fast and hooky "Be Quick Or Be Dead", there is no more song that really shines in "Fear of The Dark". Sure, songs like "Fear Is The Key", "The Fugitive" and "Childhood's End" have their moments, but they blend easily in with the rest of the material, which means that they do not stand out as much as they would have done in another sort of album. So there are no real low marks on "Fear of The Dark", even though the weakest songs are easily forgettable.

"Fear of The Dark" is all in all a very good album. The standard is high and the memorability factor may be below Maiden average, but it is still at an acceptable level. So in the end, Maiden did a really good job on this album, even though they only put out around 80% of their true capability.

Songs worthy of recognition: Fear of The Dark, Be Quick Or Be Dead, Afraid To Shoot Strangers

Rating: 7,5/10 Fugitives

No comments:

Post a Comment