A Matter Of Life And Death Review

artist: iron maiden date: 05/06/2008 category: compact discs
iron maiden: A Matter Of Life And Death
Release Date: Sep 5, 2006
Label: Sanctuary
Genres: Heavy Metal, British Metal
Number Of Tracks: 10
The whole record is a loosely-knit song cycle with war at its core, exhume prog rock complexity and discipline yet manage to bristle with the kind of small-club intensity usually reserved for acts half their age.
 Sound: 8.8
 Lyrics: 8.9
 Overall Impression: 8.9
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 757 
reviews (17) 153 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: Sharp_as_steel, on september 05, 2006
21 of 25 people found this review helpful

Sound: Iron Maiden is back, with more as kicking music. It's the usual Maiden style, long songs with meaning and great riffs. The solos are fast, but without removing the soul from them, as all songwriters know, that is a feat. The chord progression is perfect, with rythms that really add to the feeling of the song. Perfect. // 10

Lyrics: Maidens lyrics has always been top notch, as the manager expressed it: "This is Iron Maiden - it's raw, unkempt and yet sophisticated. It's hard with a gentle soul." This qoute fits perfectly with how I experienced it. You understand what the song is about, but Bruce rarely says it straight out. The best example of this is "the Longest Day", a song about the horrors of D-day, but it is never said that it is about D-day, You just know. And Bruce. Some say that he wasn't their best singer, but he is, he really is. All else fade in comparison. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a great album, but will probably never be mentioned along with the classics, simply because it's not really that good. I mean, I love it, and both the lyrics and the music is perfect, but there is sonething missing, something I can't put my finger on, but something that's not there, but was on the earlier albums. Many songs, especially "The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg" would fit perfectly on earlier albums, but a 9 will have to do. // 9

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overall: 10
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: METSOAD, on september 05, 2006
9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is what you would expect from these British Metal Legends: Massivly loud and inticate Bass playing from the bands main song writer and founding member Steve Harris, Spectacular drumming from one of the masters of the kit, Mr Nicko McBrain and lastly and most prominantly some of the most ellaberate, over the top, exciting and tight guitar playing in the world. I am of course talking about Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers, the 3 (yes count them 3) guitar players in the band. The sound of this band can be described as Metal of the finest quality by some of it's finest disciples. The entire album, apart from parts of the last song is in E Minor yet every song is distinguishable and individiual for more than one reason. The Artwork is great on this album as well, the picture of Eddie on the back of the case is perhaps the best drawing of Iron Maiden's cartoon friend of many faces. // 10

Lyrics: This could have been a concept album if the songs had been aranged in a different order. The lyrics are all deep, thought provoking and traditional very good. The best songs lyrically are the single (Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg), "These Colours Don't Run" and the epic "For The Greater Good Of God". The all represent a lyrical skill that has been honed in nearly 30 Years of writing some of the countries finest Metal. The lyrics perfectly suit the heavy nature of the songs. Bruce Dickinson is the single best singer currently in Metal as well as an aviation expert and novelist and a world class fencer. His Operatic screams and the loud angry growls make sure that if you didn't know that Iron Maiden were at the top of their game in all departments then he would make you sure of that basic and obvious fact. // 10

Overall Impression: Different World is another one of those Iron Maiden album starters that is fast, simple but good lyrically and written by Adrian Smith. The riff is brilliant and it has one of those wonderful choruses that is instantly recongnisable. These Colours Don't Run is inspired by the disgraceful incident at Ozzfest which led themselves and current tour buddies Trivium to be kicked off the tour in 2005 mixed in with the life of soldier fighting in forigen territories. The Intro is wonderful but the true highlight of the song is the brilliant singing by Dickinson. Brighter than a Thousand Suns is Epic, techincally astounding and perhaps the heaviest thing the band has produced. Nicko and Adrian are the stars of this show which a monsterous riff and a special performance on the drums by Mr Mcbrain It is one of the highlights of the album, perhaps the highlight. The Pilgrim is obviously about Jesus. But it is not so much an anti religon as anti the man. It has lots of galloping rhythms and is the first song on the album written by Janick Gers, the first one not written by Adrian Smith. The Longest Day is long, loud and technically sound, Dave Murray's solo (the tone is so easily recongnisable as him) is brilliant. Out of the Shadows is shortish comapred to some of the songs but the acoustic electric bit is very prog rock-ish. It is deep lyrically and one of Bruce Dickinson's best compisitions. Most people know the Lez Zepplin esque riffs and solos of the album's first single and only Dave Murray songwriting contribution The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and it is one of the album highlights. The only nigle I have with this song is quietness of the intro, it is too quiet. For The Greater Good Of Good is epic in every way, the best Guitar solos, some of the mightiest riffs and brilliant lyrics and brilliant bass work by Steve Harris. Lord Of Light is so expansive lyrically and musically it must have taken a very long time to write. The last Track is the first and only song in a different key in the whole album (and that's only part of the song) and it is long, epic and in parts extremly "proggy" and strange. Overall this album is worth the three year wait. It is one of the greatest, if not the single greatest albums in concieved. The accumilation of all of Iron Maiden's member changes and 26 years of Metal have peaked in this one massive record that once again, if ever needed, that the best Metal band in Britian is at it's best and the tour will be awesome if the studio effort has this amount of quality tinged in it. Long live Iron Maiden. // 10

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overall: 10
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: Donkey Fly, on september 05, 2006
8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sound: In recent interviews with the band. They ahve told us that this album is the best they've ever recorded. The last two albums Brave New World and Dance Of Death were just build ups to this amazing album they are to released. I am a huge Maiden fan and they're huge sound, amazing vocals and cool guitar work is what makes them, to me, the best band on the planet at the moment and they have been for the past 20-25 years. The album was recorded really quickly. Something like 14 days? Maiden ahve always had tight schedules with album writing/recording. They have for a while now, this allows the band to do optimum touring and then write a album and then start again. Over the years Iron Maiden's sound hasn't really changed, this is because it's their unique own sound, this means I can't really see which bands have influenced this album, but it has that Brave New World/Wickerman sound to it, and in some ways it reminds me of Guns 'n Roses with the soloing behind the lyrics and so fourth. They is some really cool Harmony sounds and Dave Murray/Janick Gers/Adrian Smith still have them distinct sounds in their soloing. Steve bass riffing is still pretty class. Got a cool Bass intro on For The Greater Good Of God. There is a lot of clean riffs on here which reminds me of Brave New World. There is also some acoustic action in Out Of The Shadows which is pretty cool, gives it that kinda latin feel. Bruce still sounds amazing, just like on the last two Studio albums. The drums are clear and seems to be all in time. Even if there is something small miss timings. This album was recorded live so it is expected. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are typical Maiden about War, Death and Myths etc. This may seem pretty Cliche but they are very strong and quite catchy. Some of the rhymes seem a bit forced but it's not really a bad thing as they work. I think if you are fond of they're lyrics from past albums you'll be pleased with the overall lyrics on this album. // 10

Overall Impression: It is definately a very strong album and could be in their top 3, really goods sound and if you are a guitarist, you'll be really happy with some of the riffs you may be able to learn off this to impress your mates with. 01. different World - a song I already had before I got the album. Very catchy and melodic, cool chorus with a decent harmony riff and a sweet Adrian Smith solo which is also very melodic. Great opener. 02. These Colours Don't Run - Age Of Innocence style intro, James Bond-ish feel and cool guitar riff similar to 'Reincarnation...'. Some good vocals from Bruce and a 'Wickerman' style chorus. Great instrumental with synths and some pretty cool guitar solos. 03. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns - one of the biggets songs on the album. Awesome song one of the best here and most anticipated. Awesome vocals. Great and Weird soloing (different sounds), harmony riffs. Huge sound. Probably the heaviest song on the album with lots of cool time changes. 04. The Pilgrim - awesome intro, reminded me of The Clansman. Really cool Chorus with the backing vocals from Bruce over the lead vocals of Bruce. It's been done in past songs, Very cool sound. The Instrumental has an Egyptian feel to it and the solo is good but shorter then others. One of the best on the record if not the best. 05. The Longest Day - not one of the strongest on the album but has a cool chorus which is pretty catchy. Seems to be about war on the beaches. D-day Maybe? Some heavy riffing which sounds very Maiden. Cool Soloing. Good song but there is better on here 06. Out Of The Shadows - this song has very Guns 'N Roses sound to it, the vocals and the guitaring. It has some acoustic guitar in it in various places which gives it a spanish/latin feel I think. Good solo and overall a decent song. 07. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg - probably the song everyone has already heard. A Strong song and a worthy single. Good riffing, again very heavy. It has a cool harmony riff before the solo and the solo is classic Dave Murray. Catchy chorus, great Song. 08. For The Greater Good Of God - has a bass intro that reminds me of Blood on the Worlds Hand from X Factor. The vocals in this strong are very strong and there is some more great guitar riffing in this. Sounds like a song that could of been on BNW. Got some cool solos on it. Pretty strong track. This is the longest track on the album clocking in at 9.24. One of the epics from the album. 09. Lord Of Light - Reincanation-style intro with the clean guitar and vocals. Gets better when it speeds up. Some cool soloing and riffing. I feel one of weaker tracks on the album. 10. The Legacy - starts of with acoustic guitars, then comes in with some catchy vocals almost sounds like a song from old england from the 1800's. Breaks in heavier with some distorted guitars and synths and we're off. Bruces vocals are definately strongest on this album. Some sweet harmony riffs and then a single guitar riff which is very almost shred like which then breaks into harmony and then into a cool solo from Janick Gers and then back to the harmony riffing before going into yet another harmony riff which is 3 way. Ends with more vocals and back to a short acoustic passage which ends the album with an arpeggiated D5. I love the soloing and Harmony Riffs. Only thing this album lacks is the old Maiden with the 2/3 solo's per song. If it was stolen or lost I would buy it again. // 10

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overall: 10
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: mark3h, on september 05, 2006
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Again we have Iron Maiden back with another awesome record, but instead of the usual heavy riffs, and immense use of power chords, they've taken a different approach this time round. Taking the approach of recording the album live in the studio, they've came up with a totally new sound for the band. Unlike the last album, Dance of Death, the guitars are in harmony, with a much greater melodic tone to the song. Altho the drums haven't changed still producing a great a sound as ever, Bruces voice seems to suit this album jsut right, where insted of his voice having to suit the music, which didn't work as well, the music suits his voice. The melodies produced are simply amazing, and the solos are just excellent where the 3 guitars just seem in such perfect harmony. // 10

Lyrics: As typical as iron maiden go, the titles of the songs usually refer to films of war, or other event to do with that sort of thing. The album title itself "A Matter Of Life And Death" is a movie based on wartime aviation mixed in with heaven, so the lyrics thenselves are vividly connected not only with war, but with religion and heaven and hell, relating the battles between good and evil, and bringing them into contrast with modern day war. "For The Greather Good Of God" I find is a very emotive song, not only lyrically, but musically too. It seems to infer the struggle of humanity in the modern day world which is so corrupted and consumed by war and power. // 10

Overall Impression: This album in itself is just totally unique to anything that Maiden have done beofore. It is one of there best albums yet and is a musical masterpiece! Anyone who merely likes listening to Iron Maiden should go out and buy this album right now! In the album, my favorite songs would be "Brighter Than A Thousnd Suns" with its 2 amazing solos, it again is just so lyrically sound, with so mmany hidden metaphors, but mainlyu relates to the atomic bomb, how it was described as "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" also that the face of human existance changed with the thought they could bring about their own demise. Agin that's what the whole album is based around, and is litterally refering to the title, "A Matter Of Life And Death". There is absolutely nothing in this album that I hate or dislike, it is one of the best albums I have ever listened to in my life, and will be hard for any band to beat for a long time. // 10

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overall: 8
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: abhimetalhead, on september 05, 2006
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: You must have heard of Iron Maiden's new album, A Matter Of Life And Death. The wait for the album release was worth it. After Christmas, the songs were done and they started rehearsing at Sarm West Studios in London. The album will not be a concept album. According to the official Iron Maiden website, the album will be available as a normal CD and as a limited edition version which contains a bonus DVD. The DVD contains nearly an hour of documentary footage plus videos and photos all shot whilst the band were making the album. studio. The bonus DVD also features the full 7:21 minute video promo for "The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg", and a special intimate filming of the band recording "Different World" in the studio. // 8

Lyrics: This will be Iron Maiden's fourth studio album that is not named after a specific song on the album. Other similar albums are Piece of Mind, The X Factor and Virtual XI. This will be their third studio album where bassist and founder Steve Harris has been credited in writing all of the songs, the previous two being Killers and Brave New World.The second track on the album, "These Colours Don't Run" is about being a soldier in the war zone. According to lead singer Bruce Dickinson in an interview with Kerrang! magazine; "The song was an effort to put a human face on people who go out and fight wars. They call it 'peacekeeping', but these people put themselves in harm's way, and whether or not you agree with the reasons why they're doing it, they're just doing their job." "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" is about the atomic bomb as Dickinson said in an interview with Kerrang!: "The scientist that saw the first bomb go off said it was brighter than a thousand suns. The idea that human beings could bring about their own total destruction totally changed the way people thought". It also is said to be one of Iron Maiden's heaviest tracks to date. The lyrics and music go together in perfect harmony. // 7

Overall Impression: This 72 minute album is most likely the most progressive approach they have taken since the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son album. It is set to be not only the longest Iron Maiden album but it's average song length (7:20 per track) will make it the longest Iron Maiden album by song average. It will also be one of the longest heavy metal albums with global release, and it's extreme average song length will exceed even Metallica's most recent studio album, St. Anger, widely viewed as excessive in length. "The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg", "These Colours Don't Run" and "The Legacy" are truly amazing songs and stand out. The album includes Maiden's usuals strong riffs and goes together great with strong, passionate lyrics. Truly an album to own! // 9

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overall: 9.3
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: protestthehero8, on september 05, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Iron Maiden have come a long way since Dance Of Death on this album. The solos and riffs are heavy when needed, soft when appropriate and the slower songs make you wonder how something soft sounds so heavy at the same time. They've taken Dance Of Death and added a little Number Of The Beast into it. Songs like Out Of The Shadows and The Pilgrim gallop along and make you bang your head like you've never banged it before. Hopefully this will not be Iron Maiden's last masterpiece, because I can only imagine what the next will be like. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics on the album are like most other Iron Maiden songs. I don't think Bruce really went nuts with the lyrics, but it's easy to see that there's strong meaning behind them. His voice on the other hand, sounds just as good, if not better than ever. He shows great strength and stamina in his voice and goes perfectly with the music. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm amazed. That's all there is to it. It doesn't compare to the newer of the albums. If I, myself, were to choose between buying A Matter Of Life And Death, Dance Of Death, Brave New World or even Powerslave for that matter, I would buy A Matter Of Life And Death without even thinking. This album tops all Maiden albums easily. It's a masterpiece. // 10

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overall: 9.3
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: grungerag13, on september 09, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound is good. Very musically sufficient. Not the best tone I've ever heard, but it's still good, better than a lot of other bull shit music that's coming out now-a-days. The musicianship is still there, as it is on every Maiden album, but with their age came a lot of experience. Iron Maiden are the only band that have still stayed true to themselves and their music and haven't changed in the almost 30 years they've been together. That's incredible. They just become better musicians, unlike Slayer, who if you've heard one song, you've heard every album. // 10

Lyrics: This is probably the album's strongest point. The lyrics are so powerful and vivid. Trademark of Dickinson and Harris! They really outdid themselves on this one though. Dickinson still blows me away how he hits all those notes at his age, but he somehow manages to do it. Excellent vocals. The lyrics go with the music, too. However, it seems that each song starts out the same. But once it progresses, it is very original. You'll hear a starting bass line that sounds basically the same for every song, but maybe that's just me. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm very impressed, and I'm totally rubbing it in everyone face's how Iron Maiden still kicks any other band's ass. Especially the talentless emo fags and their pop-rock shit. I'd definitly buy this again if I broke it or something. I'd buy it even if I could download the entire thing. Songs like "The Longest Day" and the "For the Greater Glord Of God" and "Lord Of Light." I'm speechless on those. They are amazing! If you're a metal fan craving the classic stuff you miss so dearly, this is for you bro. // 10

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overall: 8.7
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: zanardi98, on september 11, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Hear we have Iron Maidens first album since 2003s Dance Of Death. I wasn't really sure if this album would top the last 2 albums that Maiden released which were BNW and DOD. I thought maybe this would be the start of the end for Iron Maiden but after listening to "A Matter Of Life And Death" I was completely convinced that they are now where near being washed up. They are in fact leading the metal charge around the world. After the 1990's metal is starting to come back on strong and Maiden are one of the main reasons for this. The sound on the new album is Iron Maiden. What else do I need to say. The songs are more riffy then any other Maiden album and the solos are short compared to other maiden albums but still just as good as on other Maiden albums. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics are very well thought out on this album. You can't listen to one of the 10 songs on "A Matter Of Life And Death" without your mind wondering and creating images in your head of vast war torn battlefeilds etc. Bruce is at his best yet I think on this album. His voice is always changing during a song, often during a single sentence his tone and pitch will change quite alot. Nicko is my pic as best performer on this album becuase quite simply he makes this album sound different to all other maiden albums. The only other song I have heard where his drummimg matches this album is BNWs "Out Of The Silent Planet". // 9

Overall Impression: Overall I rate it right up there with their best albums. You cant really compare it to "piece of mind" or "seventh son" because they are differnt eras. But if you put if up against BNW and DOD it is the best out of the 3. If you took the best songs off BNW and DOD and put them on one cd it would still come second to "A matter of life and death". My favourite songs are Longest Day (makes me think of the opening scene from "Saving private Ryan." Epic song), Out Of The Shadows (sounds similar to "Tears Of The Dragon" a slower paced song with Bruce's vocals being very relaxed and smooth. Has great rhythm and the solos are very nice), For The Greater Good Of God (the sign of the cross part 2? It reminds me of that song a lot. I think it's about Gorge W. Bush jr. with lyrics like "Are you a man of peace or man of holywar, a wolf in sheeps clothing a saint or sinner? A son that would believe, a holywar winner." The best song on this album. Will be great live). // 9

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overall: 10
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 23, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Iron Maidens classic sound of difinitive guitar riffs, squealing solos, booming vocals and drums, are all brought back to life once again on the "A Matter Of Life And Death" CD. The vocals fit the songs so well, and the music itself is very good. The Sound on the new Iron Maiden CD "A Matter Of Life And Death" is definatly very good. Bruce's vocals I feel have gotten even better on this album then previous ones, and add even more character to the songs on this album. Overall, everything is planned out very well, the Guitar riffs, are lighter on songs such as "These Colours Don't Run" and "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" but also have a heavy aspect to them. // 10

Lyrics: Like I mentioned above, Bruce's voice has reached a new great, and adds more dynamic character, and body to the songs on this new album. The lyrics themselves are well written, they are written in the booklet that comes with the CD. The lyrics bring forward a somewhat softer side of Iron Maiden, but the Satanic Feel of them is still there that we know from "The Number Of The Beast" or "The Trooper". The band has made their lyrics fit into these songs, just like all their other songs, but It feels like this may have been one of their better jobs in doing so. // 10

Overall Impression: I bought this album the other day, and haven't been dissappointed at all, it is definatly a different taste of Iron Maiden, but all the "older" aspects are still their. The album starts off with a song called "Different World". It's speed, and vocals, make it seem like it should've been put on an earlier record. I haven't been dissappointed in any of the songs on this album, and this is more then I expected from iron maiden, and once again, they have amazed me with the musical talent, and ability that they've always had. The Best part of this album, comming from a guitarist, is the solos, and the way that they can make 3 guitars work so well together. The solos are so. Theory based if you will and the riffs and licks are complex, making this quite the album. I would definatly buy this album again if it was ever missing/stolen from me, because this is one of Maiden's best albums I feel. // 10

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overall: 8.3
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: James TH, on november 15, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I know that this is weird comig from me a total maiden fan, but this ablum to me didn't really match up to some of their big guns that they have released like killers, SSOASS, Brave new world, Dance of death, somewhere in time, and powerslave. Although the sound was very iron maiden, it's very easy to see that it's not like the old days anymore when they would basically just spit out and album one year after another. This album sounds as though they had a lot of time to work on it, the guitar riffs are much more complex and the solo are no longer the classic rock out scales but actually worked out solos that are harmonized to the song. The recording quality is great, and the songs are really good too, just not exactly was I expecting from a band that openly disputes that their best music was made twenty years ago. // 7

Lyrics: Like I said above, they really took some time here to work everything out on this album and I think that the lyrics really show that, and I know that it's hard to say about maiden, but I think that this time it's the lyrics and cool storylines that they have behind the music that really makes most of these songs great. The tales that they tell wind pretty deep into the current state of things in this album, like war and confliction with the people that we live with, it really makes you stop and really marvel and say that "wow, not only can maiden rock, but they can words that are pretty moving too". For me the lyrics make this CD worth having, some catchy lines make up for some sly, un-Maiden worthy riffs. // 10

Overall Impression: It definetly doesn't compare to other albums that maiden has released within the past 30 or so years. If this album got lost or stolen, I would hate to say that I would probably just get someone to download it for me or something because I would much rather go out and buy a very good classic maiden album than this one. But this of course is just my opinion, in fact the last song is deadly catchy and I had it stuck in my head for months. But it just wasn't how I was expecting it and for that I'm sure that fans can agree that it's of course an amazing album but in Iron Maiden standards, not the best. // 8

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overall: 8.7
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: shredder_666, on december 14, 2006
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Sound: The album has more or less the same sound as the last two albums (Dance Of Death and Brave New World). The sound in itself in recording isnt the best of the best but it is very good. The sound of the bands music on this record is what makes it different. This is a very relaxed album. Many of the songs use acoustic guitar three part harmonies and it makes the record sound more like a classical piece with metal guitars and drums thrown in. The theme of this album seems to revolve around life and death (hence the title). The opening track "Different World" is more or less about finding what you want in life. Then there is others that reflect on historical events. Such as "The Longest Day" which is a song about the D-day invasion of world war two. // 8

Lyrics: I personally really liked the lyrics in this record. There was no song on this album that had standard lyrical structure (verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus). Nor was there a lot of rhyming. The lyrics in the song have more of a poetic structure making the record sound a little more psychedelic than other Iron maiden records. It was perfect for the melodies. Especially in the song "The Longest Day" (which is my personal favorite song on the record). Bruce Dickinson's voice seemed to be in perfect shape for the recording of this record and was smooth, in time, and in key so I have no complaints about the voice. In my opinion, the lyrics were the pinnacle performance on this record. // 9

Overall Impression: I definetely consider this record to be one of the greatest accomplishments of Iron maiden. It is obviously no "Powerslave" or "Number Of The Beast" but it is a great record nonetheless. I personally think that the last record (Dance of death) wasn't really a Maiden masterpiece and that this record made up for it. If there was something that I didn't like about this record, it would probably be that it wasn't recorded as well as some other Iron maiden records. Although, that in fact did make it a raw sounding record which is also very good so I don't have many complaints. I would by this record again and again not just because it is an Iron maiden record, but because it is one of Iron maiden's greatest records. // 9

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overall: 10
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 04, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Iron Maiden are one of the few bands that have a unique sound. No one will ever sound like them. They're unique sound is captured best on Dance of Death but this album has a gem. The band say the album is about religion and war. And Steve Harris' chief participation in composing on the album give it a kick that make this album kick ass the musical interlude after the chorus on The Pilgrim is very arabic, aiding the effect of this song (which is about Jesus, I love that guy). The Legacy is the most contrasted song ever written, love it. The twin solo in Longest Day is friggin amazing and inspiring. // 10

Lyrics: As usual Bruce's lyrics are unparalled (with Rob Halford following close behind). This guy is amazing. Dave isn't telling anyone, even band members who the hell Benjamin Breeg is. Nicko said in a drum interview that he thinks Breeg is an old enemy or friend of Eddies (this could go somewhere). Longest Day is about day and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns is about some dudes playing God Making The Abomb. Steve says we all have to deal with religion and we're all affected by it, depending on what you belive, so he wrote For The Greater Good of God, a highlight anthem. The Lyrics fit brilliantly with the themes of the album. // 10

Overall Impression: A Matter of Life and Death is my favourite Iron Maiden album, probably because being a baptist, I feel comfortable listening to it, its sound is amazing. And don't forget Nicko's snare drum! As usual the dominance of stratocasters is prominant. But this album is truly a gem in anyone's collection. Feel pity for me guys, because I'm South African I will probably never see Iron Maiden. // 10

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overall: 9.3
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: (...), on may 14, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: A Matter of Life and Death is Maidens most progressive album since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. I still consider it metal, however. It has instrumental sections that are well put together, as usual. War and religion are themes visited many times in this album, although it is not a concept album. A Matter of Life and Death is somewhat innovative, but it is unique because I haven't heard any album that sounds like this one. The album has good sound, quality, tone and musicianship. The tunes aren't as gallopy, and the bass seems to have lost a little clunk, but other than that it sounds a lot like the regular Maiden. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics to this album are well thought out and put together and fit great with the music. Bruce Dickinson, the lead vocalist, sounds a little different and it seems a little harder for him to reach the higher notes. But what can expect out of him when he is getting older? He's still great though, and I still consider him one of the best singers in metal. // 10

Overall Impression: It would be difficult for me to compare this album to others because of its uniqueness. It is progressive, metal, melodic, sometimes acoustic; a few different styles seem to be blended together. I love how different each song and how many different riffs it has. Quite enjoyable. My collection would seem incomplete without it. // 9

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overall: 9.7
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: randy_rhoads83, on june 13, 2007
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Sound: There are bands out there who have been around for a while that are just interested in just putting out lame albums for an excuse to tour and make money. The Rolling Stones are a prime example of this. Iron Maiden is not though. They feel their best is yet to come. And so rolls out "life and death". This is Maiden doing what they do best, and that's make a great album with memorable songs. Different World opens the album, and while it might be considered one of the stronger songs and more commercial songs, I feel that it sounds kinda like an oddball song compared to the other tracks. One thing I don't like about album is that riffs in the songs sound the same. On tracks like "These colors don't run", the riff is made of this power chord progression-E, C, G, D, and back to E. It ends up making a lot of songs sound the same. But despite that flaw(that's what it is to me) every song on here is very good. My favorite song is Ben Breeg. That is one of the best Maiden songs ever. All the instruments are perfect sounding throughout the whole album. // 9

Lyrics: Despite his age, Bruce Dickinson still can sing all those old Maiden songs. On every song, he more than holds his own. Although you can tell he is getting old and worn, it hasn't happened yet. So he won't be the next Ozzy and suck at old age. The lyrics are good throughout the album, and there is no significant changes in their lyrical style. If you like Steve Harris's lyrics, then you'll feel right at home. // 10

Overall Impression: I can't say this is they're best album or most ambitious one, but it could be far worse. If you're into Maiden, or are looking to get into them, this is far from a bad buy. It has everything you love about the band. Killer guitar leads, great vocals, solid rythmn work, and just all around great sounding music. Up the Irons! // 10

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overall: 8
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: iron_maiden93, on june 18, 2007
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Sound: In this album, their newest of them all i found their sound to be quite modern. If you listen to the opening drums on the 4th track(The Pilgrim) you'll find the type of drums that you'd find on a modern album, with that small sharp ping of the snare and the tom fills. All in all i found they're sound on this album to be much like they're albums in the past, with a little twist from the music that's being played on the radios these days. Also, i enjoyed the fact that the band stuck to pretty much one subject the whole album, which is about war. I think this was a good subject because it so attached culturally to our lives today. // 9

Lyrics: On the tracks Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, and For The Greater Good of God, I found that the lyrics after awhile began to get a little repetitive. Although i do have to give them credit for being able to pull off 9 minute songs and still sticking to the main subject. The lyrics all in all tell an intriguing story in each song, something despite their kind of modern sound not many new bands are able to pull off. Just listen to the lyrics in The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg to see exactly what i mean. I think this time Bruce really brought what he had to the plate, being able to sustain his voice through loud, high notes without it sounding like he's yelling at you. // 8

Overall Impression: In comparison to other albums they have i done i didnt enjoy this one so much. While on a few songs they still held true to their old sound which made them so popular, i found that some of the songs just didnt fit in with the stuff they've produced in the past. The guitar solos, probably my favorite part of the song, as with any guitarist, were intriguing at the start with a bit of an exotic feel, for example, The Pilgrim. For the most part this new sound will carry them far into the careers they've built on Metal. But i may be one of the few who think that maybe this style was too big of a change from all the stuff they've done in the past. // 7

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overall: 8.7
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: TheRealTrooper, on august 17, 2007
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Sound: Classic maiden, as soon as Nicko Mcbrain (drummer) shouts out to the rest of the band and the main riff kicks in you know it's iron maiden, you can remember the classic sound from their first album 'Iron Maiden' but theirs something else there too. Something that can only be gained from over 30 years of playing as a unit. It kicks straight into the action with 'Different Worlds' which is an upbeat song which will be as remorable as the galloping riff of 'The Trooper'. Moving further through the album you hear more amazing tracks like 'These colours don't run' and 'Brighter then a thousand suns'. Then you get to track 7; 'The reincarnation of benjamin breeg' Maidens flagship for 'A matter of life and death' The intro comes with a slightly distorted lead guitar, with clean chords coming over the top every few beats. Into the first verse with both guitars playing clean and the legendary Bruce Dickinson coming in with that unique vocal sound. The tempo slows right down the pick plucks the last note a pause of silence, distortion pedals on and slide right down the fret board, they kick into one of the best maiden riffs ever and Dickinson domanates with his amazing control over every note that comes from his voice, a short harmony and in with the solo. The the final song on the album, 'The legacy', it was the only song they could have used as their finale, the eerie sond of the guitar comes in and shortly after the vocals, and like all iron maiden songs the tempo hits overdrive and their you are, one hell of an album! // 9

Lyrics: The smart mans grasp on life, take it as it comes and see what you can do with it. It's easy to listen to the song and hear the words, but not really go into them, but when you do take that extra bit of care listening then a whole new world opens up to you, and you can understand what the song is about and get a full graps on what they were trying to put across. In my oppinion the best lyrics award is claimed by 'The longest day', the most obvious song about war on the album, telling the story of an individual soldier taking part in the first wave on one of the five beach landings on the 6th of june 1944 - D Day. To get the full effect of these lyrics you have to listen to them being sung in the song, because when they are all together they really meen something, but the chorus comes with some of the most special lyrics iron maiden have ever produced, they are full of emotion when sung and you find yourself in the middle of the fight yourself because that's how good the lyrics are "Sliding we go, only fear on our side/To the edge of the wire, /and we rush with the tide/Oh the water is red, /with the blood of the dead/But I'm still alive, pray to God I survive." But once again you only get the full effect when you listen to it in the song. The vocalsit of Iron Maiden since the '80s has been Bruce Dicksnson, with his amazingly powerfull voice, he is even able to keep control of this voice while running around an Arena Stage all night, and he sounds the same if not better then on their studio albums. // 8

Overall Impression: Because of the long and ilustrious carrer of iron maiden, they can't really be compared to other bands, it is other bands that have to be compared to them. They are as good as ever, if not better, some people would probably say that this is the best album they have released, and why not? It has entered the charts in so many country's since its release in August. Although ever song is amazing in my oppinion, the obvious choices that stand out would be 'Different world', 'The longest day', 'The reincarnation of benjamin breeg', 'For the greater good of god' and 'The legacy'. And yes, if it was stolen I would deffinatly buy it again. // 9

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overall: 3
A Matter Of Life And Death Reviewed by: Magero, on may 06, 2008
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, reading over these reviews. I feel I'm in a very small group of people who absolutely loathed A Matter of Life or Death. I waited with high hopes, thinking, Yes, finally, some new Maiden. And then the goddamn album was released. I took one listen and refused to listen to it again. About a year later, I had another listen, just to do this review and nothing has improved. First off, I have no problem with long songs. I am a massive Dream Theater fan; I love long songs IF they need to be long. None of these songs need to be over about 4 minutes.maybe 5 They just don't. They have 3 or 4 riffs in them, and then it's all repeated 7 thousand times. I just don't get it. How can such a mighty band have fallen so far? The first thing that comes to mind is how they actually managed to make Dance Of Death work. Sure the songs were long, sure they had a fair few slower sections, but the songs were catchy, and the fire was still there. On this album, the fire is gone. It's an album full of We can't gallop anymore so we'll just march, single file over a cliff. As someone pointed out, they were never going to exceed the expectations set by Powerslave, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son or Number of the Best, but they didn't have to. All they had to do was release another album full of decent songs, like they have with Dance of Death and Brave New World. Instead, we're treated to this plodding, behemoth of an album that would feel more at home as a 70's rock album, than a 00's metal album. // 2

Lyrics: Bruce has once again proven his worth as a mighty vocalist though. He was never that dynamic (he's always LOUD), but his range was impressive. And still is to be honest. On this album he fits snuggly in like every other album. He doesn't seem to have the same fire he once did, but his enuciation was clear and precise. He's still "Bruce Dickinson", it's just a shame this isn't "Iron Maiden" to me. The lyrics are once again, classic Maiden. Mostly dealing with war subjects, but in a clever enough way.I've always liked Maiden's lyrics and I actually do like the lyrics on this album. // 5

Overall Impression: I can understand the complaint that they are indeed, getting on in years, but come on. If they can still do a two-hour set of songs like Run to the Hills, Number of the Beast, The Trooper and Aces High, then surely they can write another album filled songs with a similar feel? They've managed to keep the same sound for so long, surely it could've held out for at least another album? Apparently not. Because everything on this album reeks of We can't do it anymore. Even the production is not as high-quality as everyone claims, but almost sounds like they deliberately wanted a return to 80's production, with no bottom end (even though the bass is annoyingly, the loudest instrument) and only the most basic of drum tones. I'm sorry, but as a devote Iron Maiden fan, I expect satisfaction, and I was not satisfied in any way by this album. In fact, I'm only giving this album a marginally more higher score than I did on Metal-Archives because I saw them live and I appreciate that they didn't play one song off this goddamn album. // 2

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