Review Summary: Iron Maiden's 15th studio effort is an absolute blast that will certainly please both fans and newcomers to the band!
Iron Maiden's 15th studio effort is an excellent record that will please both fans and newcomers to the band! "Frontier's" ten tracks are an ode to Iron Maiden's music, both new and old. I heard elements of "Brave New World," "Number of the Beast," "A Matter of Life and Death" as well a few new things.
The record opens with its two singles: Satellite 15...The Final Frontier and El Dorado - which are good songs, but don't necessarily set the tone for what comes next. Satellite is more suggestive of an overly extended intro to El Dorado. Both of which absolutely reek of their 70s and 80s efforts. However, as El Dorado closes, we are thrust back into the age of 'now' with Mother of Mercy; which breaks the record's pace with a slow and melodic throwback to "A Matter of Life and Death." Coming Home, The Alchemist and Isle of Avalon are strong efforts that set themselves apart from the band's previous work with well paced music, rhythms and impressive guitar solos that mesh perfectly well with the (thankfully) very prominent bass-lines. EVERY instrument can be heard on this record - which provides incentive for multiple listens. I loved picking this music apart. The record's last three songs total 30 minutes and are perfect for fans of both the band's recent and older work. They do a great job of incorporating sound elements of all three decades; not to mention the songs are very well written and imaginative. When the Wild Wind Blows closes the record with an instant hook that is very reminiscent of "Brave New World's" overproduced yet tastefully melodic and emotional vibe.
"The Final Frontier" is not an instant classic. However, it is not a record that deserves to be dismissed. As a fan of ALL Iron Maiden, I was pleased to hear the similarities to the band's past body of work. Enjoy the album for what it is, an excellent metal record well worth your hard earned. It rocks.