Bruce Dickinson
The Chemical Wedding


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
October 3rd, 2006 | 34 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


With 1997's Accident of Birth, Bruce Dickinson returned to the top of the heavy metal food chain. And it isn't to see why that album was so successful. It combined the right characteristics that a popular metal record would need, and mashed them all together, creating an excellent atmosphere that satisfied fans all over the world. For his next studio effort, Bruce once again called up Accident of Birth's successful guitarist tandem, Adrian Smith and Roy Z. In 1998, Bruce Dickinson released The Chemical Wedding worldwide and once again, it was very well received. Once again, Bruce had shattered all expectations to create an album that might even be better than the previous one.

The Chemical Wedding's sound is very similar to the previous album. Very heavy, yet at the same time, melody is still incorporated into the formula. Many of the songs, such as King in Crimson or Killing Floor, are driven by aggressive, yet at the same time well thought out riffs. These riffs are very fitting with the some times angry or violent lyrical themes that are present. However, The Chemical Wedding still differs from Accident of Birth. On tracks such as the title cut, Machine Men, or The Alchemist show a more melodic side or Bruce Dickinson. These songs are generally my favourite off the album, as they combine both the melody and heaviness I crave. Professionally written and recorded, Bruce Dickinson once again pours his soul into his music, and the result is spectacular.

Aside from the insanely pathetic vocals that Bruce attempted to use on Iron Maiden's No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark, has Bruce Dickinson have let fans down with his vocal efforts? Looking back, there may be a few black eyes on Bruce Bruce's illustrious career; however he has generally come up big song after song, album after album. The Chemical Wedding is no different. Once again, Bruce makes good use of his gifted voice, only this time I feel he puts in a better performance than on Accident of Birth. Songs like The Chemical Wedding and The Alchemist really show case his skill, and are very powerful. Just as it was in the past and is today, Bruce dominates during the several choruses on the album. Again, these choruses are not only very powerful, but they're also very memorable. Not too many metal singers stick out more than Bruce Dickinson does during a chorus, as the range he showcases is incredible. No surprise here, but still refreshing to listen to.

Whenever I think of Bruce, I always think of some intellectual type person. Perhaps it's his knowledge of literature (sometimes referred to as Conan the Librarian), or some of his lyrics in songs such as Out of the Shadows, Brave New World, and Revelations. Whether or not Bruce is an intellectual or not, The Chemical Wedding once again shows his knowledge. Bruce's lyrics are very much inspired by both poet William Blake (which he quotes from time to time, most notably after minutes of silence in The Alchemist) and that of sciences such as alchemy & related topics. The themes of alchemy and chemistry make themselves present in some of the songs. This influence is most obvious in the album's title track during the chorus. For some reason, as I listen to it, it seems as though it has a chemical feel to it in the background. Excellently produced by keyboards, this is a small, yet at the same time notable element in the song which I really enjoy.

Before Bruce got back together with Iron Maiden in 1999, he released two essential metal albums. The Chemical Wedding is one of those albums, and definitely the better of the two. Once again, Bruce Dickinson delivers, through songs like The Chemical Wedding, The Alchemist, The Tower and Machine Men. It may be a little difficult to locate, but if you get the chance, by all means, pick it up. It's definitely one of the best metal albums of the late 90's. The cover art is much better this time around too…

Recommended Tracks:
The Chemical Wedding
The Alchemist
Machine Men
Jerusalem



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user ratings (238)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Scott M. Baldwin (5)
The darkest side of Bruce you could possibly imagine....

maidenpmcc (5)
One of the best metal albums of the late 90's....

Andrew Buckley (4.5)
It seems like Bruce Bruce got the far better end of the bargain after leaving Maiden in '93......

chdahi (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Hatshepsut
October 3rd 2006


1997 Comments


How come I didn't know about this

temporary
October 3rd 2006


207 Comments


Great review as always, this is a great album. The Tower is such an awsome song.

BTW, am I the only person on earth who doesn't hate Bruce's vocals on Tattoed Millionair, No Prayer, and Fear of the Dark?This Message Edited On 10.03.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 3rd 2006


3709 Comments



How come I didn't know about this

I don't know, but now that you do know about it you should hear it. :p

BTW, am I the only person on earth who doesn't hate Bruce's vocals on Tattoed Millionair, No Prayer, and Fear of the Dark?

Wait, so he uses those raspy vocals on Tattoed Millionaire?

funkymango
December 22nd 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a brilliant album and came out at the same time as Maiden's worst IMO.

FadeToBlack
April 1st 2009


11034 Comments


This is a crazily amazing album. Not quite a 5 though, cause IMO the second half of the album cannot match the first half in terms of song quality.

More people need to listen to this.

Zizzer
August 16th 2009


915 Comments


Wow, this is unexpectedly good so far after two songs!

MetalMassacreAttack
October 2nd 2009


424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First 4 songs are top notch

Douchebag
November 8th 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bumped this up to a 5. It's the best bruce album and even better than some maiden albums. Pure awesome.

Iamthe Nightstars
February 21st 2010


2333 Comments


If Bruce Dickinson wants more cowbell, we should probably give him more cowbell!

scissorlocked
February 21st 2010


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is one of the best metal albums of the 90s.

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

maidenpmcc
April 8th 2010


1425 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of the best metal albums PERIOD!

Zo0lz
April 20th 2011


107 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album makes me want to smile

tylerdurdenpt
November 14th 2011


96 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

An easy 5 for the great music (excellent song-writing and guitar work, as well as singing) and for the
Blake thematic. One of my personal heavy metal favourites.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2011


6340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was listening to this earlier today, classic stuff.

Digging: Madred - Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive

Detritivore
November 15th 2011


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wonder how it would have been the repercussions if Iron Maiden have released this album. Surely would been incredible, as Judas with Painkiller.

Tyrael
February 1st 2012


20971 Comments


best album ever

KILL
February 1st 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rly

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Tyrael
February 1st 2012


20971 Comments


yea

KILL
February 1st 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

scissorlocked
February 1st 2012


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

rules hard



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