Review Summary: An eerie concept album and one of Maiden’s greatest accomplishments.
How does one even begin to describe an album as epic as Iron Maiden’s seventh full length? The British legends have always managed to impress, but Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
is definitely one of their most groundbreaking albums. Much like “Somewhere in Time” or “Powerslave”, this album has an epic and even atmospheric sound. It’s made better only by its interesting and twisted concept. Not only is SSOASS one of Maiden’s most amazing records, but it’s also a concept album that starts and ends with the same haunting lyrics.
Seven deadly sins. Seven ways to win. Seven holy paths to hell and your trip begins. Seven downward slopes. Seven bloodied hopes. Seven are your burning fires. Seven your desires.
After these eerie lyrics, the opening track ‘Moonchild’ gets off to a nice start with atmospheric synthesizers and guitars. I won’t go into too much detail about the concept, but let’s just say it’s about sin, the devil, and as usual, kick-ass guitar riffs. The second song ‘Infinite Dreams’ is even better than the first, and starts with beautiful melodic guitars. Bruce Dickinson is in prime form on this song, but what stands out the most is the flashy guitar work. Like many Maiden songs it just gets better and better towards the end as it picks up the energy with blistering guitar solos and catchy riffs.
The next three songs on SSOASS are amazing as well. In fact, the first five tracks on the album could very well be the best streak of songs in the band’s entire career. ‘Can I Play With Madness’ and ‘The Evil That Men Do’ have some of the most accessible vocals I’ve ever heard from Dickinson. Both songs just have a way of getting stuck in your head. However, not a song on here can touch the unbelievable title track. At nearly ten minutes in length, it’s the best song on the album and one of the absolute best in Maiden’s lengthy career. Both instrumentally and vocally the band knocks the song out of the park and then some. Dickinson also sounds more aggressive than on the rest of the album as he snarls his way through the intense track. The first four minutes are pure adrenaline and then they slow things down and show off some impressive bass and drumming before the grand finale. The second half of the song contains no vocals by Dickinson, but instead is full of some of the best guitar work and musicianship the band has ever displayed.
Maiden’s seventh full length may be somewhat of a grower, but it’s worth the patience. For some reason, I initially didn’t enjoy it as much as some of their other classics, but it’s one of those timeless records that just gets better with age. Even though the last three songs aren’t quite as impressive as the rest of the album, they are actually quite underrated. They still fit in perfectly with the feel and the concept of the album and I wouldn’t have them any other way. SSOASS is an ominous, atmospheric masterpiece from one of metals biggest bands. You’d be a fool not to check this one out.