Sound — 9
When I first listened to this album I wasn't sure what to think of it. On one hand, there are plenty of solid tracks, but on the other it doesn't sound as good as other albums. Adrian's and Dave's guitars don't sound as crunchy, like they backed off the gain. They still play amazing, its just that they don't sound as amazing. This is Nicko McBrain's first album with Maiden, but this definitly isn't his first gig. He plays great. Don't need to say anything about Steve Harris, he always pulls through sounding amazing.
Lyrics — 9
Bruce Dickinson is one of my favorite singers in rock. Like every album he's on, he sounds spectacular, mixing high notes with aggressive melodies. But I have to say he was outdone by a less famous singer. On the all star tribute album, Ripper Owens sings "Flight of Icarus" and I'd say that his vocals were much more powerful. But that means nothing as the time distance between the two recordings is more than a decade.
Overall Impression — 8
I say that this definitly is not Iron Maiden's finest work but I must say I was suprised how much I was attached to "Die With Your Boots On" and "Where Eagles Dare". For people not familiar with Maiden I'd say start with Powerslave or my personal favorite Number Of The Beast. I don't dislike the album at all. It just didn't hit me as hard as beast or slave.