Powerslave Review

artist: iron maiden date: 08/01/2011 category: compact discs
iron maiden: Powerslave
Released: Sep 3, 1984
Genre: Heavy Metal, NWOBHM
Label: EMI
Number Of Tracks: 8
"Powerslave" is the fifth studio album by Iron Maiden.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.9
 Overall rating:
 9.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.8 
 Users rating:
 9.3 
 Votes:
 116 
reviews (12) 29 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Powerslave Reviewed by: SethMegadefan, on april 21, 2006
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Whereas 1983's "Piece Of Mind" took a strictly themed and consistent approach, on 1984's "Powerslave", Iron Maiden pretty much did the exact opposite. And hell, let's face it; it worked. I personally believe that "Piece Of Mind" was the band's best work, but "Powerslave" no doubt has some great highlights. Manipulating a more mainstream, direct approach, the band seem to return to more of their "The Number of the Beast" roots; as far as production value and sound go, anyway. Using more direct and dominant guitar harmonies than the band had possibly ever done before, songs like "Aces High," "Flash Of The Blade" and "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" contain some of the most memorable instrumental harmony passages in the band's career. As usual, Steve Harris plays his bass loud and fast, and in many cases, the bassline becomes the most noticeable and recognizeable part of the song. Songs like "The Duellists" and "Powerslave" seem to swerve the focus around to Harris, whereas songs like "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)" (it's an instrumental; clever title) and "Back In The Village" seem to contain a fair balance of guitar and bass. As usual, drums and vocals are incredible, too. Nicko McBrain deserves massive amount of credit for his ridiculous drum work on "Losfer Words," "Back In The Village" and other tracks. Bruce Dickinson's vocals are, as usual, better than awesome. Be it the falsetto's and growling of "Flash Of The Blade" or just plain epic vocal passages of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", the album holds to be one of Dickinson's best vocal albums (apart from "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son," of course). // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically, this album is just cool, for lack of a better term. "Aces High" holds to be one of the catchiest songs Maiden have ever done, and the verses and chorus are just so well-written, it's ridiculous. Though "Bandits at eight o'clock move in behind us, ten ME-109's out of the sun" seems like it'd be hard to remember, it's amazing how well certain parts like will stick in your head. "Back in the Village" is basically "The Prisoner Part 2." The Village is mentioned in the British television show The Prisoner, and in fact, the line "Questions are a burden, an answer's a prison for oneself" is taken directly from the show. And of course, "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" is bases on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem of the same name, and even contains two passages from the poem. So, it's nerdy reference after nerdy reference, as usual, and that's why I love Maiden as much as I do. They're the hardest rocking geeks I can think of. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a great addition to your Maiden collection. Though it's not my top favorite Maiden album, it's certainly one of their more awesome ones. My fourth favorite, if I honestly had to choose. It's just amazing how much ground Maiden cover in just 8 tracks. Whether you're a Maiden fan or not, I strongly suggest getting this album. I seriously doubt it'll leave your CD player (or your head) for quite some time. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: Haris_rock, on november 13, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Not only one of the most popular heavy metal bands of all time, Iron Maiden is also one of the greatest. As of now they are recording their 14th album, due to be released sometime this coming fall. The way the producer Kevin Shirley is hyping it, it might as well be the greatest album the British heavy metal band has ever recorded. But in my opinion, it is unlikely that they will ever record such a master piece that is worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Powerslave or Somewhere in Time. Don't get me wrong, their last two efforts (Brave New World and Dance of Death) were exceptional albums, but Powerslave has something that those two albums just don't possess. Powerslave is Iron Maiden's fifth album, released in 1984. Released right around their highest point of popularity, it captures the power, fantasy, and emotion and combines it resulting in about 50 minutes of amazing heavy metal. it's powerful, eye catching cover which features Eddie as an Egyptian pharaoh, sets the mood for what is yet to come. // 10

Lyrics: Starting off the album is one of Iron Maiden's greatest openers, Aces High. The song is another of Iron Maiden's combat songs, akin to Invaders from Number of the Beast, and The Trooper from Piece of Mind. Aces High vividly describes the British defense against German bombers during World War II. The song is pretty simple, but effective. Catchy riffs and sing along choruses, a solo each from both Dave Murray and then Adrian Smith make up this excellent track. The next song is 2 Minutes to Midnight. This was the second single off of the album (the first being Aces High). 2 Minutes to Midnight is another song with a catchy chorus and interesting, well written lyrics that have references to the doomsday clock and the horrors of the nuclear age. The song also comments on corrupt politicians who would rather wage war than help their country. The song closes out at about 6 minutes with the chilling line "Midniiiiiiiiiight, All night!" Following 2 Minutes to Midnight is Lostfer Words (Big 'Orra), the last instrumental track thus far in Maiden�s career. The song is fairly repetitive, but is constant enough to keep you interested. The song's title hints that Steve Harris may have attempted to write lyrics for to the song, yet ran into a little writer's block. A big horror indeed. Stacking up against Iron Maiden's other instrumentals; Lostfer Words is not Harris' best, behind both Transylvania and Genghis Kahn and ahead of The Ides of March. All in all Lostfer Words is a powerful track. As Lostfer Words ends, Bruce Dickinson's second piece of the album starts up. A heavily underrated song and one that was never played live. A pity, as Flash of the Blade is an excellent song based on Bruce�s passion for fencing. It starts with a simple, but effective riff repeated several times through the song. Unfortunately, the song does not contain a solo from either Adrian or Dave, but the brilliant harmony section about halfway through makes up for it. The Duelists is another song about sword fighting. Again, it is much underrated by critics. The Duelists has also not been played in a concert either. Though it is very well written, musically and lyrically, The Duelists is lacking something that the all-time great Iron Maiden songs have. At first I did not like this song at all, but eventually it grew on me. Why I didn't like it is surprising as the instrumental section of the song is well played. The track might have been better had it been a little shorter. The following track, Back in the Village, is yet another song based on The Prisoner, a British TV show from the 60�s. Back in the Village seems to be a continuation of The Prisoner, which appeared on The Number of the Beast. At the end of the predecessor, the protagonist escapes the village and seems to have found his way back. The introduction is similar to that of Flash of the Blade, but faster. The chorus is also repeated quite a bit, which may irk some listeners. Back in the Village ends with some spooky noises and a haunting laugh which lead directly into the title track, Powerslave. Starting off with a powerful, heavy, Egyptian-like riff, Bruce Dickinson aptly describes an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh his realization that he is someday going to die and his unwillingness to let go of his power (thus, Powerslave). While the lyrics are great, they cannot stand up to the instrumental section of the song. This is without a doubt, the highlight of the album. At around 2:34, the chorus fades out, the music gets softer. Following a short bass piece by Mr. Harris are amazing solos by Dave, Adrian, and then Dave again. Dave's first solo is slower and quite relaxing. H picks up the pace with a heavier, faster solo that leads into an instrumental section which is later succeeded by Dave' second solo. A lot like Adrian's; this solo is quick and is the climax of the song. After the solo�s end, the song reverts back to the main riff and closes out with lyrics about the mummy's curse, a popular myth of the 20th century. The final song on the album is none other than Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which is the longest Iron Maiden song ever written (As of now). Based on an old poem by the same name, Iron Maiden takes you on a wild adventure through a story which Bruce describes as "what not to do if a bird ***s on you!" Rime of the Ancient Mariner goes neck to neck with Powerslave for best song on the album and I would rate it in the top 5 of Maiden's career. The music is consistent throughout the song and the poem's lines are recreated by Steve quite well. My only complaint about the song is the part that quotes the poem. A very simple bass line is played over and over for nearly a minute before the speaker (Dickinson? ) begins reciting the lines of the poem, which only lasts for 30 seconds. Though the music is fitting, the piece is long enough (two and a half minutes) where the listener may begin to grow disinterested. Fortunatly the song picks up after that with some fantastic vocals by Bruce, and 2 solos. A crowning achievement for Maiden. // 10

Overall Impression: Not only was the album very successful (2nd on the UK Charts), the band also embarked on their longest tour, the World Slavery Tour. With this release and this tour, Iron Maiden stood atop the heavy metal world, a place, to an extent, which they would never reach again. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Powerslave Reviewed by: Jimothy, on october 30, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The first thing I can say about the sound on Powerslave is that it always blends in nicely to the theme and the lyrics of the song. The second thing is that all the introductions to the songs just jump straight into your head and when you hear that song again, just by hearing the intro you could name the song. The Bass on the album might be called dominiating by some people because the bass seems like a different kind if lead guitar which I can kind of agre with. Steve Harris makes sure that by the end of learning a Maiden song your finge will fall off - playing Iron Maiden really does hurt... // 10

Lyrics: There really isn't much I can say about the lyrics on any album really, Bruce Dickinson is a completely immense singer which is one point. On Powerslave, the lyrics fit with the music etc. and when you see the title of a song, expect the lyrics to fit in with the theme perfectly... // 8

Overall Impression: I personally think that this album is one of the best I've heard - if you want to hear parts of the songs on it - go to www.ironmaiden.com - select albums - click Powerslave then select the song you want to hear... Enjoy Kiddies! // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: boyan89, on july 26, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is absolutely fantastic, overwhelming and very catchy. The guitars on this album are amazing with the forociuos riffs and those mindblowing solos it is jus t amazing. The bass is the really strong point on this album with songs such as "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" and that little bass interlude it is really amazing. The drums on this album are incredible with the thundring drum beats from Nicko it is really amazing and everyone has to love those cathcy drum beats Iron Maiden do because I personally love it. // 10

Lyrics: Bruce Dickinson is one of the best songwriters in the history of metal and music history. My friends that thought that Iron Maiden were suicidal when it came down to the lyrics but they aernt they are amazing at songwriting and dont say that again. Dave Myrray also wrote some of the lyrics for the songs and they were pretty good. // 10

Overall Impression: This album cannot compare to any other albums because Iron Maiden have defenitely got their own metal sound and it is really cool. I don't have any favourite songs on this album all of them are nicely written and nicely played out with the instruments. I love everything about this album and I will never ever hate anything about this album because it is a must have for any fan of metal, and just anyone who wants to try out Maiden pick up this album and you will not be disappointed trust me. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: pinkdolphin, on december 16, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I own every Maiden CD, know every song by heart down to the solos, and I must say that if Powerslave is not their best album, it is at least their most accessible, and unlike it's predecessor, Piece Of Mind, their most consistent album. Overall, the band sounded their best on Powerslave. Bruce's singing on this one is better than on any album, even The Number of the Beast. The guitars sound really metallic and the solo's are fast and their's plenty of them. Mr. McBrain also shows his skills on the skins. Some of maiden's best songs are on this Album. // 10

Lyrics: 01. Aces High - about the German blitz against Britain in WWII. Bruce's singing on this song is probably his all-time best. He can't sing this one anymore. The lyrics are very descriptive and give you a vivid image in your head 2. 2 Minutes To Midnight - the first Maiden song I ever heard! Possibly their best ever. The song is about nuclear proliferation and war, but the great thing about it is that the lyrics never say anything about nukes or bombs or anything. You just know. That is why Maiden rules. The solos are melodic and slower than usual, which gives the mid section a nice mood. 03. Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) - the last instrumental Maiden would release. And it's a good one. Great pounding riffs, sweet solos that switch between slow and fast. Drumming is great too. 04. Flash Of The Blade - about some dude who is a Hero with a sword. Sort of fantasy-like. Nice sing-along chorus, but overall an average song 05. Duellists -another sword song? This time about gentlemen who do fancy sword duels to the death. Nice basswork (as usaual) by 'arry. Ok song overall 06. Back In The Village - I have no idea what this song is about. Pretty sweet opening riff by Adrian. Annoying chorus though. 07. Powerslave - here's where it gets intense. A song about ancient Egyptian kings who are revered as deities. Written by Bruce, all by his big self. Awesome main riff, great drumming, and the best part is the long interlude solo by Dave, with a sweat creamy bassline by Steve. Then it busts out into an allout shred fest as Dave and Adrian lay down their best. Ends in a big way. Great song. 08. Rhime If The Ancient Mariner - Maiden's longest song, clocking in at 13:34. And it is perhaps the greatest 13 and a half minute song ever. Great driving riffs, numerous tempo changes, excellent lyrics, and brilliant vocals by Bruce. The solo by Adrian even contains some sweeps. Based on a 19th century poem by the same name by Samuel Tyler Colleridge (sp? ). A sea captain who kills a "bird of good omen" and the sea gods get pissed off and kill his crew and sink his ship. One of Maidens best songs. // 10

Overall Impression: Maiden's fifth album, really pushed them to the forefront of mid-'80s metal in the US. With the exception of a shaky midsection, the album delivers a great list of songs that you will be singing out loud all day. Maiden are the best band ever. And this album proves it. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 05, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amazing guitar playing, awesome drumming and great bass lines. No need to say more. Ok, maybe a little more. The production and sound on the album is really good, nothing to complain. Especially nice drumming can be heard on Aces High and Powerslave which also has one of Maiden's most beautiful solos ever. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics are great here, 2 Minutes To Midnight is a good example. The lyrics fit in to the music perfectly, which can be heard on the 13 minute epic Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Singing? Well what can I say, they got one of the best singers in metal history: Bruce Dickinson! His high notes and screams are just perfection. // 10

Overall Impression: It rocks alright. The fact is that this is one of the best metal recordings of all time. The album starts off with 2 killer tracks, Aces High and 2 Minutes To Midnight, both singles of the album. Then follows a nice instrumental Losfer Words, Flash Of The Blade and The Duellists. All of them, good songs, but not as the 2 opening songs. Then it's time for Back In The Village which is the best song in the "middle part" of the album. Then the 2 ending songs Powerslave and Rime Of The Ancient Mariner are both masterpieces and two of Maidens best songs. So what can I say more than buy this if you like heavy music at all! // 10

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overall: 9.3
Powerslave Reviewed by: Poly!, on march 01, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This CD was remastered very well. The guitars and bass sound great. The drums were just a little on the weak side, however. The CD is a little quiet and sometimes you have to max out the volume, but it is a very minor problem. The vocals in particular sound awesome. Overall the sound is good. // 8

Lyrics: The vocals of this album really shine, and the lyrics are great. Lines like "Shellshock In The Kitchen" and "The Golden Goose Is On The Loose" are just classic Maiden. Overall the lyrics are excellent. // 10

Overall Impression: Arguably the best Iron Maiden album, this is personally one of my favorite albums ever. The famous 2 Minutes To Midnight and the title song Powerslave are probably the best songs, although there are no really "bad" songs anywhere. The CD only has eight songs, however, which will leave you wanting more because the album is so short. I love it. I would get it again if it were stolen. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: frozen-dirt, on june 13, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Awesome sound. Everything blends together perfectly. Nicko holds the production together with his thumping double-bass and excellent rhymthm. Steve pumps out the hard driving basslines while Adrian and Dave shred. The riffs (especially intro riffs) and solos are very catchy and get stuck in your head. // 10

Lyrics: Maiden always had good lyrics and they really shine here. Bruce of course does an awesome job. His voice has alot of range and power to it, which is great for the themes of the songs. // 10

Overall Impression: The first Maiden album I got was Edward the Great, which was pretty disappointing, even though it had some cool songs on it. This album is a great buy, though. I really enjoy listening to it. I love how none of the songs are the kind where you just kind of think "Hmm... time to use the skip button". They all have something to offer. If I lost it, I'd get it again, no questions asked. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: Kwokinator, on november 22, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The first impression I got from this band was wow. These guys really knew how to play metal. This was the first CD I ever got. Before Maiden I didn't listen to music. I'm glad my friend showed me this CD. This is an example of the British wave of heavy metal. Another band that go under this 'category' is Judas Priest. Good guitar solos and catchy tunes. The bass is awesome. Drums are pretty much your standard metal beats. About 45 minutes, 8 tracks and even a 13 minute track! // 10

Lyrics: It's metal music, so it's not gonna talk about a girlfirend or something like that. This cds songs about war, egypt, duels and stuff like that. Really cool lyrics. Bruce Dickisons vocals are powerful and strong. A great metal singer. // 10

Overall Impression: A great CD to listen to when you need some good ole' metal. This is a good CD for people getting into metal. It got me into rock music. All tunes on this cd are awesome. I love everything about. The bad thing is that I actually did loose this CD. I'm going to get another one. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerslave Reviewed by: METSOAD, on april 17, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is the album that secured the reputation of the kings of British metal. This has crunching guitars, a huge bass sound, awesome drums and killer vocals. Technically, as an excersize in ability, it was a revelution at the time and is still looked upon for inspiration today. // 10

Lyrics: Bruce Dickinson is one of the incredible singers in the world full stop. He can give evil scowls, high pitched monster screams and simple stringing together words better than anyone else. He is a true genius that can only be matched by the like of Joey Ballorama (I think) of Anthrax and Rob Halford of Judas Preist. Truly unbeatable. Also, Steve Harris and the rest of the band can also write stunnung lyrics that tell stories that some bands just can't even dream of writing. The Title track in particular is stunning lyrically. // 10

Overall Impression: "Aces High" and "2 Minutes To Midnight," the 2 singles from the album are classic Iron Maiden tracks with huge riffs, insane choruses and mind bogoling solo's. Adrian Smith's solo in "2 Minutes To Midnight" is particularly impressive. The middle 4 tracks aren't bad but not up to Iron Maiden standard, but better than most bands could come up with. "Powerslave" and "The Rime Of The Aincient Mariner," the last 2 tracks on the album, take up the length of songs and brings back the quality of the ealiest 2 tracks. "Rime Of The Aincient Mariner" is 13 Minutes long. That is insanely long, it is more like a opera than a heavy metal song. Overall, this album is almost as good as "Number Of The Beast" but dosen't have the consistency. Still a classic record. Iron Maiden's latest efforts "Brave New World" and "Dance Of Death" are both better but this is the record that secured the reputation of Iron Maiden. The greatest metal band to ever come out of Britan, possibly even the world. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Powerslave Reviewed by: (...), on february 26, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The riffs of this CD are catchy, yet somehow never get old. The main riff in the title track, Powerslave, is a good example of that. I have the enhanced limited edition of this CD and the quality is great. Even if you get the original non enhanced version, you can still hear Steve Harris and his clunky bass. // 10

Lyrics: Bruce Dickinson serves with distinction in this recording. His operatic tone enhances the music and makes it more dramatic. The lyrics are great and are cleverly written. There is one little clash with the music and the vocals in my opinion, which happens when the guitars are playing during the chorus of Back in the Village. It might just be me, but some, or even most, will not even consider it a clash. // 9

Overall Impression: This CD is one of Maidens best and belongs in everyones CD collection. The great thing about the limited edition though is that you get photos, footage, and more. I love how Steve's bass clunks along with the music; it make it more memorable. The epic Rime of the Ancient Mariner (which is based on the poem of the same name), Aces High, Powerslave, and Back in the Village are my favorite songs of this CD. // 10

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overall: 9
Powerslave Reviewed by: Vinyl Countdown, on august 01, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Powerslave" is an album that delivers a relentless enslaught of pure rock from start to finish. Though it seems like a run-of-the-mill, average album it contains a collection of classic songs from Maiden's younger years. With such anthems as "Aces High", "2 Minutes To Midnight", "Powerslave" and "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner", the five-piece (at the time) band setup provides a versatile roster of talent and an equally impressive range of sound. Bruce Dickinson returns for a third time to add some of his flair to the album - the passion and vocal range he possesses and puts to full effect will surely amaze listeners. Steve Harris and his bass prowess transform songs that would be mundane in another band's hands into an energetic display of dexterity. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith endeavour to keep listeners' attention with catchy licks and blinding solos throughout. And finally let's not forget about Nicko McBrain, the man often forgotten behind his mammoth drum kit. McBrain fuels each song with a mixture of powerful fills and atmospheric beats. Though my critisisms are few, I must uphold a fair argument. Some songs seem to drag on for longer than needed - "Powerslave" for example lasts around 7 minutes when the song could have come to an effective close around the 5 minute mark (in my opinion). Some may find the guitar solos to be too common, though I definitely am NOT one of those people. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics featured on Powerslave are truly superb - written by Dickinson, Harris and Adrian Smith (guitarist), each song feels unique due to the combined intelligence used to write them and deliverance Dickinson gives. A favourite extract of mine is the opening to "2 Minutes To Midnight", reading, "Kill for gain, shoot to maim, we don't need a reason. The golden goose is on the loose, and never out of season". The song is not even past the first verse and already we are given some food for thought. The song itself points to the problems with warfare and uses some great imagery to expose the horrors involved - Dickinson talks of warped brains, unborn babies dying and corpses being shrewn amongst the battleground with great intensity. The pace at which the song travels can sometimes cause some of the subject matter to be lost under the guitar, bass and drum riffs but the controversial lyrics remain a cornerstone of Maiden's success. Bruce's capability as a singer is unquestionable - just hearing one of the band's songs will show any listener that the man is something special behind a microphone. He shows much flexibility throughout the album and displays a wide variety of techniques on each song. The scream featured on "Aces High" feels powerful and puts many of the current singers that claim to have prowess in screaming to shame. The harmonies in "2 Minutes To Midnight" and "Flash Of The Blade" make Dickinson's vocal seem like an instrument of it's own, complimenting the guitar and bass riffs masterfully. And finally, the stamina he possesses to sing such songs as "Powerslave" and (of course) "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" - the 13 minute behemoth of a song - is rivaled by few other vocalists. // 10

Overall Impression: Compared to other albums, it is truly an original (unless compared to more of Iron Maiden's own catalog). With such lengthy songs and intricate riffs, it stands as a benchmark for other bands to aspire to and marvel at. In my opinion, the best songs on the album are "Aces High", "2 Minutes To Midnight" and "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" due to the uniqueness of each of them and the way they have remained classics throughout the course of rock history. Overall "Powerslave" is what it says on the tin, and that is an Iron Maiden album that will thoroughly involve and enthrawl the listener. // 9

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