Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 9
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.
Overall Impression — 9
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.