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Sunday, October 3, 2010
The Final Frontier
Iron Maiden’s 15th studio album, The Final Frontier, is one of the most ambitious albums that Iron Maiden has ever made. Settling in at a mere 76-minutes, this albums tunes are more epic than not, with numerous chord phrasings that breathe new life at every twist and turn in these superbly produced songs. To the new listener, this may seem somewhat extraordinary and adventurous, but to the die-hard Maiden fan, this has been there uncompromising format for the last several albums and one that they have perfected over the years.
As an early pioneer of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM) movement of the early 80s, Iron Maiden distinguished themselves from the rest with their exceptional musical style and ability. Along with their devilish mascot, Eddie, they have exalted themselves to legendary status that countless other bands have copied or have cited as a major influence.
Though it has been four years since their last studio album, 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death, Iron Maiden continues to play with the intensity and crispness of someone half their age. During this gap between albums, Iron Maiden embarked on a world tour using a single custom built jet piloted by lead singer Bruce Dickinson to haul the entire band, crew and equipment! An extraordinarily brilliant feat that propelled them to the forefront of today’s metal music scene.
The Final Frontier begins with mostly riff-oriented tunes before it makes a dramatic twist with the song “Satellite 15…The Final Frontier”. This song opens with a powerful four-minute intro mixing strange guitar tones with bombastic drum beats. It builds and intensifies until it reaches an explosive and spine-tingling entrance into the meat of the song. Most of the album follows this same theme, often ranging from simple melodic rockers to brutal rhythmic metal. “El Dorado” employs the familiar contagious galloping riff that you’ve come to expect on an Iron Maiden album.
Though sightly more aggressive than A Matter Of Life And Death but every bit as experimental, the Kevin Shirley-produced The Final Frontier is solid and relevant to the world of heavy metal for it’s attempt to define and pave the future of metal. To some, this change may have been unexpected, but to the true, faithful metal fans, this is a fascinating and demanding moment that will challenge and excite generations to come. While the album title suggests that this may be the final album in a career that has spanned 35 years, one can only hope that this legendary band will continue to rock our world well into the final frontier.
The track listing for the CD is as follows:
01. Satellite 15….The Final Frontier (Smith/Harris) (8:40)
02. El Dorado (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (6:49)
03. Mother Of Mercy (Smith/Harris) (5:20)
04. Coming Home (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (5:52)
05. The Alchemist (Gers/Harris/Dickinson) (4:29)
06. Isle Of Avalon (Smith/Harris) (9:06)
07. Starblind (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (7:48)
08. The Talisman (Gers/Harris) (9:03)
09. The Man Who Would Be King (Murray/Harris) (8:28)
10. When The Wild Wind Blows (Harris) (10:59)