Sound — 10
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.
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.