The release of the new Iron Maiden album is always my favorite time of the year. My favorite band, THE greatest band of all time and they’re still releasing new material at a top quality level. Whenever Maiden comes out with a new album I always leave it off of the album of the year list because it’s really unfair to everyone else, Iron Maiden gets its own category. This time around we get ‘The Final Frontier'; the title leaves many people wondering if this will be the band’s last album. Steve Harris has been quoted in the past as saying that any band really only needs fifteen albums, and this mark’s Maiden’s fifteenth. When recently interviewed all members simply said they don’t know if this will be the end or not, lets all hope there is much more to come. One thing people seem to be mistaking this album for is a concept album, I believe largely in part to the space theme the album, the first video and the first single all have in common however this is not a concept album, it may follow an idea as a whole but all songs stand alone if need be. The Final Frontier was at one giant disadvantage however, it was following the band’s previous album ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ which is a fucking phenomenal album and my personal second favorite all time Iron Maiden album. That being said this album is on a bit of a down swing, that doesn’t come close to meaning this is a sub par, or bad album of any kind, this is still album of the year (if Iron Maiden was restricted to such numbers).
‘Satellite 15…The Final Frontier’ Ok things start out a little weird because, well this is the only complaint I have ever had about Iron Maiden, ever. Well not counting Blaze. But the intro for this song does go on for too long I think. It really goes on for almost three minutes. But besides that, the song is really good, I donno about an album opener though. It doesn’t jump out at you like ‘Wicker Man’ or ‘Different World’ does, it’s more of a slow boil type song, at about five minutes in it really kicks into a rock gear though.
‘El Dorado’ El Dorado is the song that the band released as a download single before the album came out, it also included amazing Tales From The Crypt type comic book art work. They played this live when I saw them both times on tour this time, it’s a really good live song, this totally sounds like a Bruce Dickinson solo written song, I was surprised when I looked at the writing credits.
‘Mother of Mercy’ This song actually does sounds a lot like something off of ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it was left over. Fucking great stuff.
‘Coming Home’ Here we’ve got something that seems like a mix between a ‘Brave New World’ song and some Bruce solo stuff.
‘The Alchemist’ The fastest song on the album so far, hails back to some thing that sounds kind of like ‘Be Quick or Be Dead’, but longer and with some ‘Brave New World’ thrown in. Also one of my favorite songs on the album.
‘Isle of Avalon’ A classic Maiden epic tune, fits in with everything they’ve been doing since Bruce came back in 2000.
‘Starblind’ This almost sounds like a song that could have gone on ‘Dance of Death’, more amazing stuff.
‘The Talisman’ Another top quality song, starts out real slow sort of like the song ‘Dance of Death’ but the it busts open going full throttle.
‘The Man Who Would Be King’ Another song that’s very ‘Dance of Death’ sounding, but has a lot of its own merit in it.
‘When The Wold Wind Blows’ Maiden’s ten minute plus epic sits at the end of this album, this one clocks in right at eleven minutes and as with all of the Maiden super songs (or really any Maiden song) this is fucking awesome. You’d think eleven minutes would be a long time to listen to one song, but nope, this flies by. So good.
1. Satellite 15…The Final Frontier
2. El Dorado
3. Mother of Mercy
4. Coming Home
5. The Alchemist
6. Isle of Avalon
8. The Talisman
9. The Man Who Would Be King
10. When The Wold Wind Blows