IRON MAIDEN – Dance Of Death

IRON MAIDEN - Dance Of Death


Release date: September 2, 2003

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

If you’re a rabid Iron Maiden fan, you should look elsewhere for a review to nod and smile to. If you’re a rabid Iron Maiden fan, why would you care about this review anyway, as you most definitely bought Dance Of Death a few days before its release. If you’re a rabid Iron Maiden fan, I am sure the biggest heavy metal band in the world has pleased you to eternity and back already, but I am just another average Iron Maiden fan, and I am a little disappointed with the lads this time around.

True, Iron Maiden has given the heavy metal audience some of the best music there is over the years. True, Iron Maiden has never recorded the same record twice, but has always succeeded to remain loyal to themselves and true to their style and their fans. True, not only are they the most influential heavy metal band around, they have played the biggest stages with the biggest shows. But boys and girls, that doesn’t mean that everything and anything they do have me laying face down in admiration.

Iron Maiden 2003 sounds spontaneous, loose and though not sloppy – a little unstructured. Like I hinted, these guys have never really repeated themselves, and the fact that they develop and remain unique and loyal to the fans at the same, that’s something you have to respect weather you’re a supporter or not. But it’s a matter of taste: I loved the clinically perfect productions back in the mid-eighties – therefore I find Dance Of Death hard to swallow. Without comparing this product to the shitty new album by Metallica (you can’t because this CD is produced and mixed), it seems like you can draw a few parallels in the creative process. This is indeed Iron Maiden’s rawest sounding record to date, and the vocal lines as well as the harmonies and the triple axe attack seem impulsive. In fact, though I am sure the maidens would tell you the opposite, I think the triple guitar work was better last time, with 2000’s Brave New World. With the raw sound on this disc, there’s really no room for the third guitar. (Iron Maiden was never a dancing lesson anyway).

You just can’t deny the fact that Bruce Dickinson is one of the best front men around. He’s a great singer too, nobody sounds alike him, but on Dance Of Death – apart from not really impressing the hell out of me with his vocal lines – he seems to struggle a bit to reach the high notes. It sounds a little painful here and there. While the music sounds more epic and has lots of synth and symphonic potential this time, Dickinson does better with the more simple straight-forward elements opposed to the big range material.

Iron Maiden, or more so their financial supervisors, like to re-release their catalogue every now and then. Also, the Edward The Great” best of CD was totally uncalled for. So imagine that they were going to do another best of CD later this year – I really can’t see that such a CD has room for any songs from “Dance Of Death”. That doesn’t mean there are no good songs on this CD – the title track and “Paschendale” are among the good Iron Maiden numbers here – but on a Maiden scale, none of the tracks individually are close to make it to a best of CD. There has always been an over the top Steve Harris song on every record (except for “No Prayer…” maybe?), but here I find a lot of mediocre stuff (again, on an Iron Maiden scale, which means an “approved” stamp) and a few a bit above average. That worries me a bit.

For a rabid Iron Maiden fan, this is a brilliant CD. For an average Iron Maiden fan like me, who only collects all the B-sides and not the different formats, this is not the CD I will pull out from the rack often, and at least not when it’s time to one day introduce the grandchildren to what was (and maybe always will be) the biggest and most influential heavy metal band…


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