Sound — 10
The overall sound I feel is typical Maiden. The guitars, bass, drums, and vocals are all typical, which is what I all hope we would expect from Maiden. I definitely feel that they have wrote another masterpiece and have not sold out to a "modern sound." They are one of the few old bands that keep going and pioneering with who they are, and Maiden should be praised for their current sound. And quit trashing them because they're not using their "old" sound. C'mon, they are better now then they've ever been, so give it a chance.
Lyrics — 10
Definitely their best lyrical album. It's all poetry, and I'm happy because it's nice to hear more of a full story with each song, Like The Talisman, for example. Best story I've heard from them in years, and could possibly be a sequel to The Pilgrim from A Matter of Life and Death album.
Overall Impression — 10
Best music I've heard in years, aside from their previous albums, and The Talisman is my favorite by far, with When The Wild Wind Blows at No. 2. Love the whole album, nothing bad to say. I also like their use of a different song structure, what I mean is with almost all their songs, it's more ABBACCA style rather than typical intro, verse, chorus deals. A lot better for story telling. I do think this album is AMOLAD's parallel opposite, because It's a lyrical album, where as their last album was more guitar, so as far as the guitar solo's go, listen to the story for once, take a break from the guitars, and give them some slack, they don't sell their fans out so quit complaining! And yes, I would replace this album if it got lost or stolen, which WON'T happen.