Sound — 9
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.
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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!