Sound — 9
Since The first self titled maiden album, Iron maiden has had that distinct sound. With the shred solo's and awesome melody guitar phrases and the strong vocals. It was before this album (their eighth studio release) that Bruce Dickinson, revealed he was starting a solo project. Of course in the recording of this album, they were without Adrian Smith Janick Gers replaced him. You can hear the difference in the riffing in this album. Janick adds an energy to the record which had never been heard before in a maiden record. Their is still that classic maiden sound here though. Even though it lacks melody riffing, which was really one of the reasons maiden missed Smith, there are still some great riffs here and some nice solo's. Bruce had change his singign style slightly which is noticable. He's more raspier, as before he was quite operatic, There is a more rock sound to this album because of this.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics as always a really good. Maiden have always used storytelling in their lyrics. This lets you imagine and in a way watch the song in your head. The lyrics fit the music well. The lyrics in their albums have always had a catchy melody which when used with their catchy riffs and melody used in heir guitar work, really creates something quite spectatacular. Bruce sounds great as he always does but I prefer the old operatic Bruce, I feel because of the change in vocal style here, Maiden lost a bit of their trademark sound.
Overall Impression — 9
This definately isn't as strong as their other albums and lack's melody riffing which alot of people really love about them but is still a great album compared to most albums which have come out since. I still think they are one of the best rock bands on the planet at this moment and they will be for quite a few years. The most impressive songs on the album are Holy Smoke, Tailgunner, The Assasin, Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter, Mother Russia. The others are still great but I feel these are the strongest tracks. As usual their is some amazing guitar work on here and Janick Gers proves him self to be creative and a really talented songwriter/guitarist. I wish their there was more melody on this album, but I still think it's got some riffs and solo's worth learning. If it as lost, I would probably have another copy copied for my self as a backup but I would buy it again if I didn't.