Sound — 10
Let me just tell something before I begin to talk about this album: Get ready for what some will find an outstanding record, meanwhile others will hate it. I really think this album is amazing, but I already heard from a friend that this album is awful. My friend told me "I understand you like this album, you play the guitar. But The Final Frontier isn't definitely about drums." I can't question him because I don't know anything about drums, well let's take a look at Iron Maiden's last work. Compared with the classics (Iron Maiden, The Number Of The Beast, Piece Of Mind, Powerslave, etc) The Final Frontier is much more experimentalist. Besides Bruce maintains his epic voice, Steve is still the captain of the ship and we still have some precious guitar work. I'll tell you what I think of each track: 01. "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier": It opens with a really suggesting bass (makes you remember Muse) and some kinda psychedelic guitar work and some jungle drums (just like Rolling Stone's "Sympathy For The Devil"). Then Bruce starts singing with a really strange voice. And suddenly the song stops and re-opens showing you there are actually two distinct parts composing this song: "Satellite 15" and "The Final Frontier". When the real song starts ("The Final Frontier" part) you realize Iron Maiden's songwriting is alive and healthy since A Matter Of Life And Death. An exciting verse and simple but cool chorus could have made the song but the guys decided to put some of their signature solos to make even a better start. I would give it an 8 out of 10 if that "Satellite 15" strange voice didn't break it. (7/10) 02. "El Dorado": O.K. This one was the premiere single and is actually one of the most comparable with the usual Iron Maiden sound tracks in the whole album. It begins with all instruments exploding just like they usually do in the end of the songs. After that Steve Harris comes up with his "horse" bass. It's an excellent verse and a cool chorus (not as cool as the verse). The the solos go nicely and after the last chorus the song closes with other explosion. (9/10) 03. "Mother Of Mercy": Another great song. Beautiful opening and verse. And as Bruce says "I'm a soldier of war" the song gets heavier but keeps awesome. The chorus and the solos keep the good work. (10/10) 04. "Coming Home": Still perfect. A great opening riff, beautiful verse and another brilliant chorus. The guitar work is really good in the whole song. (10/10) 05. "The Alchemy": This isn't so notable as the others but it's still a pretty cool track which keeps the beauty and the Iron Maiden spirit of the previous. (10/10) 06. "Isle Of Avalon": Here begin the true experimentations. But they don't mess the song. They're actually pretty exciting interesting and don't last the whole song. I just loved them since I've heard "Isle Of Avalon" for the first time. Great tone! (10/10) 07. "Starblind": Once again a beautiful song that suddenly changes into a more heavy and Iron Maiden familiar tone. Once again a perfect song! (10/10) 08. "The Talisman": An acoustic intro keeping the superb beautiful tone. And suddenly "Oh, What a surprise" it becomes heavy and totally rocks. (10/10) 09. "The Man Who Would Be King": I know it might be strange, but this track, just like the last 3 ones, starts slowly and suddenly turns into that classic Iron Maiden sound. But this one, even more than the other gets the epic sound of some of their classics. (10/10) 10. "When The Wild Wind Blows": It opens with the sound of the wind and when the band starts playing makes you remember the Blaze Bayley era. But, again, the song gets much more rocker. What can I say? It's amazing! (10/10)
Lyrics — 9
First of all I must tell you I can't say much about the lyrics because I don't understand them very well as I'm 14 years old and I'm Portuguese... But if want to get an impression of the lyrics you should just check out the UG Team review. Bruce Dickinson's singing is just great as usual.
Overall Impression — 10
I know it might be strange, but this album sounds perfect to me! I just can't decide which my favorite song is. The only thing I didn't like in it was that "Satellite 15" before "The Final Frontier". It's outstanding! "If it were stolen/lost, would you buy it again or get something else?" I think is question is quite silly because it's obvious I already have the album in my mp3, saved in my computer and if I wanted it in the CD format I would record in a virgin CD.