IRON MAIDEN – Piece Of Mind


Release date: May 16, 1983

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The year was 1983 and the sound that was becoming known as The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) was really gaining momentum. In the early summer of that same year, an album would be released that would set itself as one of the cornerstones for the NWOBHM movement. Piece of Mind exploded on the scene with its first single “Flight of Icarus” and follow-up “The Trooper,” two songs that would become staples in the Maiden live show to this day.

Following its predecessors, Killers and Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind would feature another new member; enter Nicko McBrain, formerly of the French outfit Trust. This would be the final piece of the puzzle that would solidify the lineup for the next nine years and six albums. Nicko brought a sound unlike most other drummers in Metal to that point, and even to this day. Much in the way John Bonham approached playing songs rather than playing beats, Nicko McBrain added that same flavor to an already proven recipe for successful songwriting.

From the opening drum fill of “Where Eagles Dare,” the listener is completely aware of something new within the Maiden sound. The traditional Steve Harris gallop is still at the forefront, and the “air raid siren” Bruce Dickinson is in top form vocally. With two albums behind them, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith weave a thick blanket of harmonies and trade solos like master craftsmen. The sound here, however, is bigger. Where other Metal bands would ride the top of the beat as if to push the sound along, Nicko holds the reigns of the band and allows for time and space to move within the songs. It is the art of anticipation that continues to capture the listener.

Hard-driving guitars and multiple time signatures are still at the heart of the Maiden sound, and the lyrics steer clear of the traditional trappings of love and rebellion rock scenarios. This time Steve Harris pays homage to his love of science fiction with his epic “To Tame a Land,” which is based upon Frank Herbert’s book Dune, and his interest in military history with “Where Eagles Dare” and “The Trooper.”

Still calling the shots from the production chair is legendary Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath). Martin is a man who knows how to fill a room with sound. Piece of Mind has a warm rich resonance that so many of today’s albums, or disks if you prefer, fail to capture. “Ambience” lends itself so well to this production, showing the term can be used in the Metal genre, and not only when describing “light rock.” Producing all of the previous Maiden efforts, Martin is as much responsible for the Maiden sound as are the musicians themselves.

Today, Piece of Mind holds up as well and sounds as fresh as it did upon its original release. There is no down side to this album. Even lesser songs like “Quest for Fire” and “Sun and Steel” never seem to grow old or get stale. They are all important cogs in the machine … they all have their place in the supporting cast that makes Piece of Mind one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums ever released. As absurd as it may be to try to describe Piece of Mind in one word, indeed the term “definitive” would suit this release well!


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.