Fear Of The Dark Review

artist: iron maiden date: 10/22/2007 category: compact discs
iron maiden: Fear Of The Dark
Released: May 12, 1992
Genre: Rock
Styles: New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
It would be singer Bruce Dickinson's final studio album with the band (until their late-'90s reunion), as he publicly voiced that he felt the band had run its course.
 Sound: 8.8
 Lyrics: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.1 
 Users rating:
 7.4 
 Votes:
 68 
reviews (5) 13 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Fear Of The Dark Reviewed by: SethMegadefan, on april 16, 2005
3 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sound: I'm a hardcore Maiden fan, and I loved Di'Anno and Dickinson as much as anybody did. I would just like to start off by saying that. Now, I would like to logically put this whole album in perspective for you all: the sound on this album is really incomparable to any of their prior work, yet influences them into doing later stuff, specifically on Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. There are synths being used in this, which will extremely disorient old school Maiden fans. However, this not all bad, it almost adds another dimension to the music. Yeah, there were still nice solos in here, but they lagged them on and on and on to the point where you almost don't care how good Dave and Adrian are. Take "Caught Somewhere In Time" for instance. That just breaks out into, like, a minute-and-a-half solo that doesn't really go anywhere, it just leaves you in the same place and lets you float there mercilessly. Steve Harris delivers some nice bass lines as usual. He has a thing for making the bass notes go lower and leave the same guitar riff; it's a technique I try to copy as often as possible when I'm writing music of my own. As good as this album's guitar work and all that is, I still don't think it's completely worthy of a 5. And, once again, this is because of the extremely boring guitar solos. // 8

Lyrics: What can I say? Steve Harris is an amazing songwriter. Most of this stuff on here is brilliantly written, as usual. Adrian Smith also wrote a lot of stuff on here. But, Harris still is their main songwriter; and a damn good one at that. Let's dive a little further into this. On "De Ja Vu" you get disturbing questions that I think all of us can relate to: "Have you had a conversation, and you feel you know what's coming next?", etc. This is what I call the "Pre-Fear Of The Dark Factor", which does much the same thing. Overall I think the lyrics are just as great as the guitar work when it comes to Maiden: only this time, the lyrics pulled ahead for me. // 10

Overall Impression: Alright, here's my main impression on all of these songs: 01. Caught Somewhere In Time - is a great opener (also part of the Pre-Fear Of The Dark Factor), and it delivers some kickass riffs. However, it does have an excrutiatingly long solo. 02. Wasted Years - is good, and I realize why it was so successful. I find it to become incredibly repetitious, because they really mainly stick to the opening riff and nothing new really comes up anywhere in the song. 03. Sea Of Madness - is pretty good, I guess. The chorus reminds me of Ricky Martin, and yes, this is a negative. The cool thing is that after listening to "Wasted Years" you're not expecting such a kickass opening riff for this one. All in all a pretty average song. 04. Heaven Can Wait - is a pretty awesome song. It's another 7 minute+ Maiden epic about a guy who has a near-death experience, goes to Heaven but then gets sent back down to Earth. It has a really neat interlude, although the chorus guitar riff sounds a little like Mario Bros. 05. The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner - is probably the most boring song on the album. With a dead concept and an even deader delivery, it's snoresville for me. I respect the fact that they tried to make the long distance runner's existence seem dramatic, but I can only laugh when I hear it, because it's impossible to make a song out of that crap of a concept. Toward the end, right at the beginning of the solo it sounds so hilarious; you know that music you hear on a made-for-TV movie when someone wins the triathlon? That's exactly what this sounds like. The song is funnier and more pathetic than it is entertaining. 06. Stranger In A Strange Land - is another boring one. Right off the bat with that boring bass line you can tell this song isn't going anywhere. Once again, the concept is horrible, but you gotta respect these guys for going on dangerous ground like that; doing the stuff other bands won't touch. It's got the feel of "Wasted Years," because you get the feel that they're just playing the same riffs over and over to stretch the album out a bit longer. 07. De Ja Vu - is one that, I have to admit, I really find to be a good song. I will admit that it's a strange concept to think about, but it's delivered in such a way that you have to listen to it. Bruce gives you some disturbing truths as he ventures into what De Ja Vu is and what it's like. One of the better ones on the album, in my opinion. 08. Alexander The Great - is as entertaining as it is good. To me it really sounds like they're trying to copy the success of Powerslave's "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner," with a thousand different riffs and odd timing. There are some decent riffs in there, with catchy enough lyrics, but it's just not as musically impressive as "Mariner" was. The greatest part about this song was the crappy closing line. Think about it; you're going to want a great closing song line (and, in this case, a closing album line as well), and this one comes up short by a mile. Here it comes, the song's end is coming, here comes the powerful line: "He died of fever in Babylon". It just sounds like they needed a closing line quick and just whipped out an encyclopedia. That's what I love about Iron Maiden. Well, this album is certainly different. I find it hard to not like. Either you're in love with it or, like me, can take a logical look at it, have a few laughs, and still come to the conclusion that: hey, it coulda been worse. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Fear Of The Dark Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 06, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is pretty good, when considering the recording equipment. The opening track, Be Quick Or Be Dead, is not that good, really. Critics say it's one of the highlights, but I don't think so. To me it's just another up-tempo rocker that's more boring than exiting to listen to (read love, cause that's usually what you do with Maiden songs). From Here To Eternity is the latest (and maybe last) chapter about some guy's romance with Charlotte The Harlot, the saga started on the first Maiden album, Iron Maiden. There are four songs about her: Charlotte The Harlot, 22 Acacia Avenue, Hooks In You and finally From Here To Eternity. Afraid To Shoot Strangers is simply a fantastic piece of art. It's got everything to make a great song, and it really is. My number two favourite on this album. And the songs pass. None of them that I wanna sit back and hear over and over again on a Sunday morning, but none of them are particularily bad of good. They're just songs on an album. Don't misunderstand me. They really rock, but I'm pretty tired of this album by now, got it on 18 December, and can't say that most songs in here really got that replayable value like so many other Iron Maiden songs. I liked the solos, though. Very good, too. Most of them not so striking, but with a lot of effect. Janick Gers, my favourite player, has excanged Adrian Smith, and his fast and furious style really enraptures the iron hearts of HM-fans. However, the grand finale, Fear Of The Dark, is probably one of the best song ever written if you ask me. // 8

Lyrics: After Bruce joined Maiden, (was it 1983) they got a totally new sound. He has a very strong voice, uses a LOT of air while singing, and is nearly perfect in tone and never misses. The lyrics aren't too bad, and there are no "faults" being done, like a non-rhyming line in there. The lyrics also fit in very well with the musical qualities of the rest of the band. // 10

Overall Impression: If I lost this album, I'd buy a new one, maybe not right away, but in a while. It's not the best horse in the Iron Maiden stable, but still a rock-hard classic for most HM-fans. I love it. // 8

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overall: 10
Fear Of The Dark Reviewed by: METSOAD, on may 31, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The final album in what many describe as "The Golden Years" of the mighty british heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Bruce Dickinson would leave the band after this record and what would follow were their worst two offerings since the slightly innconsistent "Killers". This album has the most songs on it of any Iron Maiden album at this point. Janick Gers secures his posistion as a fully fledged Iron Maiden member with a couple of truly memorable solos and huge riffs. Steve Harris once again shows his undisputed ability as the bassist to which all other bassists are compared to. Dave Murray displays the rhythm side to his playing more than ever in this album but still, almost impossibly, his solos are getting ever more spectacular. Nicko Mcbrain also gets a good work out, from the drum roll of Be Quick or Be Dead to the final symbol taps of the title track never missing a moment where he is needed. // 10

Lyrics: Bruce Dickinson is a masterful singer and has inspired even singers who don't listen to Iron Maiden to start belting out those high notes. For a prime example, listen to the scream at the beginining of Be Quick Or Be Dead. The lyrics he has with him are also inspiring. Be Quick Or Be Dead is quite political, displaying the ideals of the fat cats running the country at the time, while Wasting Love talks about the regrets of a dishonest man and the title track rambales about a phobia of dark places. Those 3 songs are the lyrical and indeed vocal highlights of the album. // 10

Overall Impression: Be Quick Or Be Dead is a masterful album opener. The drum rolls, the fast riffs, that scream and a couple of masterful guitar solo make this song truly masterful. This, strangley enough is the first Iron Maiden song written by Janick Gers, along with a rare bit of song writting by Bruce. From Here To Eternity is one of the tracks I skip when listening to this record, its quite indifferent but has a very cool intro. Afriad To Shoot Strangers takes far to long to get started but its good when it eventually does. Fear is the Key has a good intro but keeps a listener intrested with a good main body. This is the second Bruce and Janick collaberation. Childhoods End is genius with the gunshot sounding drums and an incredible series of harmonies reminisent of former member Adrian Smith. Wasting Love is the acoustic/really heavy track with a stunning chorus, an amazing guitar solo and brilliant lyrics and is the final Bruce/Janick song. The Fugitive is not the best on the album but does contain one of the best riffs and some really cool lyrics. Chains of Misery is so obviously power metal its painful but it is painfully good. Cheesy, short and techincally brilliant. It sort of annoys you at first then seeps in and you love sheer early 80's cheesiness of it. It is the first Bruce/Dave Murray written song. The Appartion is qiute boring and I can't remember it off the top of my head, which is explained by the fact I keeping skipping it while listening to the album. Judas Be My Guide is too short because it has some excellent lead bits by Dave Murray and some cool lyrics, although in ways it can be compared to the rather rubbish "Holy Smoke" from their previous album, "No Prayer For The Dying". This is the second Bruce and Dave co-written effort. The Weekend Warrior dosen't compare to future Steve Harris and Janick Gers efforts such as "Dream of Mirrors" from Brave New World and the hugely heavy "Montsegur" from Dance Of Death but is a sign of what these two could do together in the future. The Title Track is majestic, epic and just generally great in every way. It sounds a little bit like something that could have been on "Number of the Beast" or "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". The best songs are Be Quick Or Be Dead, Childhoods End, Wasting Love, The Fugitive, Chains of Misery and the title track. They display what we all love about Iron Maiden and some nice added touches such as cheesy lyrics and acoustic guitars. Overall this is a very good record, if not a great record like the Iron Maiden offerings before it. // 10

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overall: 9
Fear Of The Dark Reviewed by: SethMegadefan, on april 25, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: A true Maiden album for even non-Maiden fans, and a more than adequate followup to 1990's half-flop "No Prayer for the Dying", 1992's "Fear of the Dark" delivers quite well, even though it foreshadows Bruce Dickinson's departure from the band. Whereas NPftD had its bad or just average tracks, FotD follows a more consistent formula. With 12 tracks (2 more than its predecessor), there will obviously be bad ones, but as a whole FotD is much, much better than NPFTD. The production value on the album appears to be much more professional and just entertaining than NPftD. Containing some of the band's catchiest--albeit not exactly their best--material, tracks like "Be Quick or be Dead", "Afraid to Shoot Strangers", "The Apparition", "Weekend Warrior", and the epic title track/album closer keep the listener entertained from start to finish. Though guitarist Adrian Smith has been gone since "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", Dave Murray and sophomore newcomer Janick Gers manage to muster up some incredible guitar work. "Be Quick or be Dead" has, in my opinion, one of Maiden's greatest guitar riffs; with two incredible solos to boot. "Chains of Misery" has some incredibly complex yet pleasing guitar work as well. "Weekend Warrior" serves up probably the best harmonizing riff on the entire album, and the rest of the song is equally as great. "Fear of the Dark" is monumental in its own right, so really nothing bad can be said about it. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrically, I believe this album surpasses NPftD. "The Apparition", though some consider it to be a weak track, has some incredibly deep lyrics of about (in a nutshell) a ghost coming to talk to you and giving you advice on how to live your life; the phantom, who has obviously already lived before, seems to know many of life's secrets. "Fear of the Dark" has some "Deja Vu"-esque lyrics that talk about what happens when you're alone at night, afaid of the dark. Bruce is basically singing "Have you ever..." or something along those lines, and most of the time, it's true. "Have you run your fingers down the wall, have you felt your neck skin crawl, when you're searching for the light?" In many cases, you'll find yourself nodding and going, "Hey, yeah, I DO do that!" "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" is a wonderful, near-ballad song revolving around the Gulf War, with touching and emotional lyrics. As a whole, the lyrics on this album really can't measure up to, say, anything from "Powerslave" or even "Piece of Mind", but they're still awesome when you compare it to its partially crappy predecessor. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, I feel "Fear of the Dark" is a much more return to the classic Maiden sound of 8 years before, and although it's not particularly my favorite, it still has some awesome Maiden songs. If you have a lot of the band's earlier stuff and are into that, then I suggest getting this album. It's definitely not a disappointment. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Fear Of The Dark Reviewed by: merchantrow, on october 22, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Fear of the dark was Bruce's last record with Madien for quite a while and man is it a good one. 12 tracks on this record including the hits: Be Quick Or Be Dead, Afraid to shoot Strangers, Wasting Love, Judas Be My Guide, and the epic fear of the dark. The sound is a little diffrent than previous maiden records. The vocal style introduced in "No Prayer For The Dying" was carried onto this record. The singing isn't bad though it is diffrent. It sounds like a mix of Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead). Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Brain Johnson (AC/DC) and just Bruce Dickinson. Also the have Janiek Gers which was also introduced in "No Prayer For the Dying". Janiek wrote a lot on this record. Steve bass sounds tighter than prevous records. Dave's playing is the same with the addition of more classical sounding guitar on Fear of the dark and Afraid To Shoot Strangers. And Nicko's drumming is better on this record. The whole Maiden sound Changed on this record as well a the album cover art work. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are very deep on this record. I love Fear of the dark's lyrics. The lyrics do remind me a lot of Seventh son of a seventh son's style of writing. The lyrics deffinatlly match the music's longevity I would say complexity but all the songs on this record are realitivlly easy to play. Bruce does sing with enthusisam but live after this record was released because of inner turmoil in the band he wasn't so enthusaistic. // 9

Overall Impression: The record definatlly differs from previous Maiden records. it's like a mix between No Prayer for the dying and son of a seventh son. My favorite Maiden record after the golden era. My favorite is Powerslave. The best songs are Be Quick or be dead, Afraid to shoot Strangers, Judas be my guide, Weekend Warrior (so '90s) and the best track is Fear of the dark. I would buy it again if I lost it. And in this case do judge a book by it's cover! // 10

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