Sound — 10
This is the Adrian Smith masterpeice. The entire of this album was written by the great bassist Steve Harris and the mighty rhythm playing genius of British metal kings Iron Maiden. Dave Murray gets more of a rhythm work out, displaying more of this side of his playing than ever before. Nicko McBrain also gets a few moments of genius. But the album writters are the best musicians on this record. Steve Harris gets some brilliant riffs, an excellent bass solo in Sea Of Madness and just general brilliance. Adrian Smith's solos are getting ever more brilliant at this point, as seen in Stranger in a Strange Land and Wasted Years.
Lyrics — 10
Bruce Dickinson once again proves that he is a masterful singer. Listen to Wasted Years and Deja Vu for a good example of the might of "Wing Commander Biggles" voice. The Backing Vocals are also very good on this record. The Lyrics are all penned by Steve Harris and Adrian Smith and it might just be the lyrical peek of Iron Maiden's long carear. The album's lyrical peek is the crap last line of Alexander The Great, because its so simple yet ties this epic up so well in so few words. The lyrics of the opening track Caught Somewhere In Time and Stranger In A Strange Land are also impressive.
Overall Impression — 10
Caught Somewhere in Time is ferocious with a couple of enormous riffs that would be brilliant to start a gig with. The Lyrics are impressive here. Wasted Years is catchy but still awesome, Adrian Smith manages to do every lead part and vocal harmony perfectly, this song is one of his finest moments in Iron Maiden. Sea Of Madness has the albums bass solo, a fast paced mixture of millions of notes that sounds fantastic. The Chorus is also impressive. Heaven Can Wait has a very cool intro section and continues in the very cool vein. The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner has some awesome drumming by Nicko and a brilliant pace change from the intro to the main body of the song which is the albums thrash type track. Stranger In A Strange Land is quite slow and with it brings a mighty riff and a couple of brilliant bass lines. The Lyrics are also quite good here. Deja Vu is Dave Murray's input, and it shows, some sparkling riffs and intresting harmonies, it is one of the albums highlights. Alexander The Great is like a mix of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and a history lesson, whatever it is, it is great. The last line is crap but it is genius at the same time. Overall, this is the most underrated of all Iron Maiden's albums. It is a great all time metal record with odd but fitting the synth sounds, the solos from Steve Harris and Adiran Smith and some of the blistering harmonies in the albums second half make this record in some ways like "Number Of The Beast" and in other like nothing the band have ever written before. I have one problem with this, and its the absenece of a proper Dave Murray solo, which is sorted by a massive return to form from one of the founding memebers in the bands next offering "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". A Great record which should be purchased by all who love Iron Maiden and Metal in general.