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Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death
Another high quality album, but a step-down from Brave New World
Published by kinzz
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Replay value
Average 20%

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Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death

Iron Maiden deserves credits, hey this is their 13th album and they still manage to write high quality material. The songwriting is top-notch, as well as the power and energy. Unfortunately, some noticeable recyclers can be found on this album, which may hint at a possible exhaustion of song possibilities within the "Maiden Sound" well, let's do a song by song review:


The albums opens with the album's less exiting and generic song. The opening riff is pretty un-catchy, as well as most of the guitar work. The song manage to create a nice driving groove but the vocal melodies are oh so generic and the lyrics are really stupid. The chorus is really bland, and the whole thing is pretty forgettable. Not a really bad song, but really unexciting for sure. 6/10


Well this one is a complete winner! The guitar harmonies are really great, one of the best opening guitar line of the maiden catalog. The verse vocal melodies feel a bit uninspired and so does the pre-chorus. But the chorus itself is clearly one of maiden's all time best, extremely catchy, dare I say the catchiest since Can I play with madness. Great solos and guitar work all along. Very concise and to the point. Great song. 9/10


Despite sounding ridiculously similar to any other Harris epics from the last 15 years, this song is so well written I shall consider it a, hmmm, let's say a "unoriginal masterpiece". The opening guitar melodies are heavenly, so are the vocal lines. Then the song hyper charges into a powerful verse with incredible vocal melodies once again. The pre-chorus is pure bliss. The chorus suffers from over-repetition but it's still pretty good. The lyrics are quite obscure and difficult to understand, but this is for sure one of the albums best song. Harris still managed to pull out a masterpiece from his tested-and-true formula, but one can't help but wonder how much more songs he'll be able to built around this same old chord progression. Excellent 10/10


The album's heaviest song, as well as one of the heaviest one of the entire maiden catalog. Unfortunately, the intro is really similar to the intro of their song The Fallen Angel, and the chorus features a melody already used in The Fallen Angel as well. An high quality track with a bouncing-like groove. The guitar/vocals harmonies after the chorus are really great. Clearly a recycled track but it turn outs pretty good. 8/10


Once again, some parts of the song sounds really similar to previous maiden songs. The intro is very reminiscent of Blood Brothers. The songs slowly builds up during the first 3 minutes then the electric guitar shows up and takes the song to it's climax. The main guitar riff is a nice neo-classical melody, and it's the most memorable part of the song. Unfortunately, the song as a whole feels disjointed and end up being rather forgetable, exept for this nice neo-classical riff. 8/10


A well-written track with a classic hard-rock opening guitar line reminiscent of AC/DC's For those about to rock song. The vocal melodies are joyful and catchy, at least the verse ones. The chorus is pretty bland. The song is also too long for it's own good. A decent track but nothing spectacular. At this point of the album you begin feeling disappointed a bit, since those songs are all good and well-written but none of them seems to capture the spark of genius Brave New World had. 7/10


The first Nicko McBrain written track since his coming into the band back in 1984. This is a great success with driving riffs, albeit pretty unoriginal once again. But the vocal melodies are really catchy and memorable. The lyrics are a bit too christian for my taste, but it's still quite good. Once again I should insist on how great the vocal melodies are. One of my favorite from the album 9/10


The track every one goes crazy about. Well it's one of the most original song of the album, sounding really fresh. It have the same song structure and sounds has the songs on the X-factor album, but with a lot more crunch and heaviness. The chorus really sound like if it was intended for Blaze Bayley to sing. A really nice track that manage to bring something new and fresh in the maiden sound, and the lyrics are quite poignant. Not a masterpiece, for it may sounds a bit slow-moving at times, but nevertheless a great song. The opening guitar melodies are very gentle and then a crushing descending riff comes up, then the verse are quite groovy, and the medieval-like vocal lines may seem unsuited for a world war one themed song but they are still great. The part in the end with the vocal line "blood is falling like the rain" is bliss! 10/10


The album's worst song, which is nothing more than an almost note-for-note re-write of the song Blood Brothers. The only interesting part is the pre-chorus. All the rest is either pretty forgettable or simply a recycled part from Blood Brothers. A failed re-write, prepare for the boredom. 5/10


The verse riff reminds me of the Nomad riff, without the middle-eastern twist. But it's one of the heaviest maiden song of all time, with really nice vocal melodies and a really memorable chorus. There's one part in the song where Bruce sounds like really funny with a gruffy voice reminiscent of something from Halford's Crucible album. The lyrics are not very imaginative but then again the music is pretty good. 9/10


A rarity. This is only the second all-acoustic maiden song of all time, along with the 1982 song Prodigal son from the killers album. The acoustic guitar manage to be much more than boring strums like so many other rock ballads. The melodies created by the guitars are soft and dreamy. The vocal melodies are extremely good, and the pre-chorus builds up a great tension for the chorus memorable vocal lines. A really great song to end up the album, this is one of the album's best and one of the very few forays into experimenting with something else than the maiden formula. A complete success. 10/10

In the end, the album features a couple of wonderful songs and lots of great ones. Unfortunately, a few clunker and a lack of cohesion spoils a bit of the fun. The album feels more like a collection of song than a cohesive albums like Powerslave or Brave New World. Considering this is their 13th album, this is really great, but one can't help but wonder how much longer they'll be able to continue with the classic maiden sound, for one can begin to worry considering the amount of recycled melodies, grooves and riffs found on this album, something that had never happened before in Maiden history. Maybe they's face a creative wall pretty soon. But well, maybe I'm wrong! And let's hope so!

The Bottom Line
A good album, a bit disappointing by maiden standards but still a really great heavy metal album.
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album, dance of death, heavy metal, iron maiden, review, rock

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