Iron Maiden
Fear of the Dark


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
September 17th, 2006 | 133 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist


With No Prayer for the Dying, Iron Maiden attempted at recording an album that had them returning to their roots. For some reason, the album featured absolutely no material in the same league as the likes of Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Aces High, and Caught Somewhere in Time, or hell, even Stranger in a Strange Land. Yet somehow the album still did very well commercially, as most Maiden albums do, hitting #2 in the UK charts. This was in to small part due to the album's singles Holy Smoke (#3) and quite strangely, the awful Bring Your Daughter…To the Slaughter (#1). The mainstream sure works in strange ways…Anyways, on 1992's Fear of the Dark, the band again took the same direction as No Prayer. Again, the album sold very well, hitting #2 in the UK charts. This time however, Iron Maiden seemingly put a lot more effort into the album, and as result, came out with a better album.

What really brought down No Prayer for the Dying was the lack of classic, or even superb, Iron Maiden material. This is all changed with Fear of the Dark. Though many of the songs are still sub-par by their standards, (with even some of the dreaded "filler" tracks) with songs such as Fear of the Dark, Wasting Love, Judas Be My Guide, and Afraid to Shoot Strangers, the band returns to the lofty heights that they enjoyed for the entirety of the 80's. A big part of this comes in result from the band straying from the general hard rock meets metal approach the band employs throughout the album (surprise surprise…?), and more into the familiar Iron Maiden path. Wasting Love is the exception here, as it has the band attempting a ballad, atypical for Maiden.

The rest of the album is a bit on the rough side. The gets off to a fairly good start with the aggressive Be Quick or Be Dead, but much of that aggression is lost over the course of the run time. Silly songs like From Here to Eternity do not help in that regard. As many of the song's subjects dwell on social issues, one would expect a more aggressive approach, but I guess Steve doesn't feel the same way. Oh well. While listening to Fear of the Dark, don't expect to be blown away by melodic interludes, harmonies and what not. These elements, which made albums like Powerslave and Somewhere in Time so much fun to listen to, are not in as much abundance on this album. The solos are still present, but that's really it…

Much like the previous album, Bruce Dickinson employs a raspy singing style. Again, much like No Prayer for the Dying, he sounds awful. This is for the majority of the album as well. You want examples, now? The opening track Be Quick or Be Dead is a good example. Bruce's rough vocals destroy what could have been an excellent track. Same could be said for From Here to Eternity. However that track would have been less than a classic anyways. This is true for a great deal of the album, but there are occasions where he gets things right. In particular, we have Judas My Guide and Fear of the Dark. In both of these songs, however, the throaty vocals thankfully take a backseat to Bruce's operatic voice. The raspy technique is still present, but Bruce surprisingly gets it done successfully. The other two superb songs, Afraid to Shoot Strangers and Wasting Love, contain next to no raspy vocals from Bruce. As a result they are more enjoyable to listen to. To bad these instances are few in a sea of mediocrity.

Fear of the Dark ended up being the last album in eight years to feature Bruce Dickinson. This is a good thing, as Bruce admitted that he was not totally into singing for Maiden, and wanted to focus more on his solo career. There's no point in having someone on deck if they aren't committed to helping out is there? No matter, how unfortunate it was for Bruce and Maiden to part ways, it was for the good of both parties. Besides, Bruce had sounded terrible on the past two records anyways, and was becoming an albatross for the band's music. As with No Prayer for the Dying, Fear of the Dark is not an essential Iron Maiden album, however what separates it from the previous album are excellent songs such as the title track and Wasting Love. Definitely not Maiden at their best.

Recommended Tracks:
Fear of the Dark
Wasting Love
Judas Be My Guide
Afraid to Shoot Strangers



Recent reviews by this author
Funeral for a Friend ConduitPropagandhi Failed States
Tycho DiveMegadeth Th1rt3en
Fair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsArch Enemy Khaos Legions
user ratings (1415)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • BenjoJames (4)
    Whilst it may not hold up to the bona fide 'classics' of the 80s, FOTD sees Iron Maiden tr...

    Starblind (3)
    There's a great album inside of here, somewhere....

    dude64 (2.5)
    My review of an Iron Maiden album......

    Ed Watson (2)
    With the few good tracks suffocated by appaling vocals and production, there is very littl...

  • ollie_poole (4)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mikesn
Emeritus
September 17th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There, that's all 14 studio albums...


...Did I mention how much I dislike Bruce's vocals?This Message Edited On 09.17.06

south_of_heaven 11
September 17th 2006


5433 Comments


Congrats Mike, a fine way to finish off your reviews for Maiden (well, their studio albums anyway).
I don't own this album, and I don't think I'll make an effort to get it. 'Fear of the Dark' (song) is all I need me thinks...

Cause that songs owns hard.

Thor
September 17th 2006


10192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Congrats on doing them all. That's no easy feat.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 17th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thank you, gentlemen /m/

Bfhurricane
September 17th 2006


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review man. I enjoy this album, Fear of the Dark is a song that no one can ever get enough of.
Congrats on finishing all of Maiden's studio work. 14 great reviews for a great band

Shattered_Future
September 17th 2006


1540 Comments


I almost bought this a few days ago, simply because the version of Fear Of The Dark on RIR is one of the coolest things ever. I'm glad I didn't now. Great review...way to finish off a series.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 17th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fear of the Dark was great on RiR, especially on the DVD. The fans really get into that song...

spoon_of_grimbo
September 17th 2006


2241 Comments


you were doing well until you described "bring your daughter to the slaughter" as awful... it may be cheesy, but its a great song!

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 17th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0


you were doing well until you described "bring your daughter to the slaughter" as awful... it may be cheesy, but its a great song!

That was in the first paragraph too...

The cheese factor isn't what I don't like about the BYDTTS, I just really can't see the hype about it. The music, the atmosphere, and the vocals. Bruce kills babies with those voice. But it sure is catchy, I'll give you that. :p

smokersdieyounger
September 18th 2006


672 Comments


Keep pestering them until they do all the live ones too.

RottedFlesh
September 18th 2006


213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fear Of The Dark is one of Maidens best tracks...other than that this is just average Maiden...which is above the average...

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 18th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0


Keep pestering them until they do all the live ones too.

By them, do you mean me?

Fear Of The Dark is one of Maidens best tracks...other than that this is just average Maiden...which is above the average...

Word.

Altmer
December 28th 2006


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Afraid to Shoot Strangers rocks my socks. Good thing I got this on discount...

Dragonforce89
December 30th 2008


331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is a classic in my eyes.

gaslightanthem
December 30th 2008


5209 Comments


errrrrrrr

Dragonforce89
December 30th 2008


331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fear Of the Dark Iron Maidens best song.
I like all songs in here and this is my favoritealbum with Iron Maiden and after that TNOTB or Peace of Mind.This Message Edited On 12.30.08

Ichigo900
January 27th 2009


67 Comments


Childhood's end is really and underrated song,
fear of the dark and childhood's end are definetly highlights of this for me.

KILL
May 21st 2009


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I need this

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

KILL
May 21st 2009


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

rules

KILL
May 21st 2009


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like how ur diggin norther thats cool



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy