Monday, August 5, 2013

Iron Maiden - Brave New World (2000)

Out of the 90's and into the new millennium. How did Iron Maiden celebrate the entrance of the 21st century? By welcoming back Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith to the line-up and creating their 12th album entitled "Brave New World". This album is mostly recognized as Maiden's comeback album after the Blaze Bayley era, but also as the first Maiden album that contains three guitarists (Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers). A combination that just screamed success.

So a lot of the focus were on Bruce and Adrian, and I got to say that it feels like they never left the band. They found their place quickly and they showed that they have not lost their touch. And the rest of the band is showing that they have found back to their old ways. Nicko is playing some great beats, Janick and Dave complement good together with Adrian and Steve is great as usual.

The rebirth is also shown in the song writing. Never before have Iron Maiden found such a great mix between their progressive and heavy sides. Some of the heavier songs are the catchy "The Wicker Man", the retro like "The Mercenary" and the epic "Out of The Silent Planet". But it is the progressive songs that dominates the album with their grand sound. Some show stoppers are the emotional title track, the heart warming "Blood Brothers" and the soaring "The Thin Line Between Love And Hate". But the song that impresses the most on this album is "Dream of Mirrors". It may not be a suitable song for those who are impatient, but after the slow and spiritual first half, the band is shifting to fifth gear and comes at you with galloping double bass drums, amazing riffs and a chorus that you cannot whisper, you must scream it out loud until your neighbours get pissed (or starts to sing a long). Yes, "Dream of Mirrors" is the ultimate display of Maiden's fast and slow personality together with musicality so great that it takes three guitarists to make it justice.

Even though I like that Maiden is showing the both sides of the same coin, I actually would prefer that the band chose a specified direction and went through with it the whole album. Do not get me wrong, variety in a album is a must, but if there is too much variety, then the album looks like it is trying to find a personality, but cannot decide which one will do. Then I also find that "The Fallen Angel" and "The Nomad" are pretty pale and could have easily been replaced by something more thrilling. Such a shame since "Brave New World" has several exciting moments that puts it up in the same heights as some of the best Maiden albums.

For a "comeback" album, "Brave New World" is a very good album. The variety is at its top and the band has found the passion that they lost during the 90's. There are still some edges that needs to be fixed, but "Brave New World" is a proof that the Maiden is back to kick some mayor ass again. A brave new album from a brave old band.

Songs worthy of recognition: Dream of Mirrors, Out of The Silent Planet, Blood Brothers

Rating: 8/10 Fallen Angels

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