With Iron Maiden doing Dance of Death I'm sure they'll get new fans that want to here more of them. This is their 1984 release Powerslave, the follow up to Piece of Mind.
1. Aces High (Harris). This song is set in a WW2 dogfight over England and is a great opener. It has starts off with a slow intro and then into the fantastic very catchy main riff. The verse is very solid and sharp with good lyrics. The chorus has flare and good singing from Bruce. Another catchy riff follows either side of the solos. The guitar solos are very neat and well done. The ending slows down very well and brings the song to a close. 4/5
2. 2 Minutes To Midnight (Smith/Dickinson). This is great song to follow Aces High. The theme I think is based around twisted politicians and the threat of nuclear war. It opens with a fantastic riff that immediately grabs you. Great lyrics in the verses follow. The chorus is slowed down with neat chord work and then the bridge is excellent with good singing from Bruce. The solo's aren't quite as good as Aces High but certainly good enough. After the solos its a mad dash to the finish where there is an explosive end. 5/5
3. Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) (Harris). An good instrumental from Steve that just slows the pace down a little bit. The song features some great riffs and harmonies at a consistant pace throughout. It rates well among the other instumentals Maiden have done. Not quite as good as Trannsylvania but better than Ghengis Kahn. 4/5
4. Flash Of The Blade (Dickinson). This swashbuckling outing from Bruce is reasonably well done with another good opening riff. Like Losfer Words, instead of boasting a monster solo it features good twin harmonies from Adrian and Dave. Definitely the weakest of the first four but by no means a bad song. There are pretty good lyrics throughtout and the catchy riff sticks in your mind. 3.5/5
5.The Duellists (Harris). Here is a song about a fight of somekind and is the weakest part of the album. It doesn't have a feature that makes it stand out and is easily forgotten as you listen to the album. Mediocre by Maiden's standards it is quite plain. The first solo isn't great and lacks the punch that Aces High and 2 Minutes To Midnight have. The second solo is quite good and is the highlight of the song along with some of Steve's bass lines. 3/5
6. Back In The Village (Smith/Dickinson). Ah, normal service resumed. With the fairly weak two middle songs Back In The Village is a breath of fresh air. A great opening to the song with a fast riff. A punchy verse and chorus brings the album back to life. There are fantastic harmonies here that are really catchy. The first solos are solid but difinitely a little short. They're gone before you can really listen to them properly. That is the only bad part of the song. An explosive end to the song works well and wraps it up. 4/5
7. Powerslave (Dickinson). The title track is definitely one of the best songs Maiden have and is probably Bruce's finest work. All about Egyptian slaves to the Pharohs and its a belter! A fairly heavy riff opens it up and a very Egyptian style riff leads you into the chorus. A good, steady chorus features a catchy melody. There is a clean little riff that leads into the first solo and provides the backing for it too. Solo 1 is a slow winding part that Dave plays superbly. It ends quickly and goes into the second solo played by Adrian which has lots of punch and bite. There is a break after this that allows you time to relax briefly. Dave comes in again with a great solo that follows a similar pattern to his first one only quicker. The song goes back to a verse and chorus and then it ends with the Egyptian riff stretched out slowly until BANG! The song ends. 5/5
8. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (Harris). What can I say about this song to finish the album. An absolute epic at 13 minutes long and considered by many as Steve's best work. He has wrote several long songs but this has to one his greatest. The length of a song like this may be off puting to many people because they simply don't want to listen to one song for that amount of time. However this one is captivating from start to finish. It is based on the poem of the same name by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798-1834) and formed an integral part of the live show on their World Slavery tour. It boasts several fantastic guitar and bass riffs. Lyrics are great right through and it features an extract from the origianal poem. The middle is slow and draws you in with the bassline and swirling guitar parts. There is no singing for about 3 minutes during the middle. It speeds up after this part with a bassline similar to The Number Of The Beast guitar intro. Two great solos come in after about 9 minutes. The song returns to the main riffs with more verses and is finally drawn to a close. An awsome song and shows the quality that Maiden possess as there are not a lot of bands that could pull off a song like this. 4/5. The only thing that could bring this song down is its length. It isn't appealling to everyone and that is why I've had to give it 4/5 and not 5/5.
Definitely worth parting with cash for this. Great for new and old Maiden fans alike. I'll give the album 4.5/5 in total. The only thing that prevents it getting full marks is the slightly weaker middle section. Its still awesome in its own genre and one Maiden's best along with Killers, Number Of The Beast and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son!
The Egyptian theme is shown on the cover art with Eddie as a pharoh sitting on a huge thrown. A golden topped pyramid is in the background. The live album 'Live After Death' features a show in Long Beach Arena, California on one of the four sellout dates in a row there in 1985 as part of the 190 show World Slavery Tour.
The singles released were:
2 Minutes To Midnight. Reached 11 in UK.
Aces High. Reached 20 in Uk.
Powerslave album reached 2 in UK.