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2000's Maiden: Better Than You Remember

I tried really hard go easy on me
1Iron Maiden
Brave New World


The return of Dickinson ushers in the return of Maiden. This album proved that Maiden weren't done yet and they weren't to be leaving anytime soon. From rock solid singles like "The Wicker Man" to monumental masterpieces such as "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate," this tracklist is near flawless and it's a shame a song like "The Fallen Angel" is almost completely forgotten. The instrumental expanse the 8 minute plus songs (“Dream of Mirrors,” “The Nomad,” and “The Thin Line Between Love and Hate”) provide emotional movement alongside the memorable lyrics of each. The production on this record is quite polished and definity a modern sound, but it’s a dirty and gritty modern sound, enough to still grip onto your skin and hold you down so you're not slipping away from it. All in all "Brave New World" is solidified in my mind as the best comeback album released to date, it also reaches 6th best Maiden overall on my list and is worthy of a 5.0.
2Iron Maiden
Dance of Death


To start this off with something we all can agree on, (and if you don’t actually what are doing with your life) that cover is absolutely horrendous and should be removed from all records of history. A note to consider is this album sounds very confident in itself for coming after a brand new landmark for the band “Brave New World.”The biggest change from “Brave New World” to “Dance of Death” is a distinct production change, “Dance of Death” being what could be described as airy and smooth not the brooding eerie feel of “Brave New World.” But don’t let my depiction fool you, this album still retains plenty of grit to it’s teeth. Bruce Dickinson paints in words a couple of wondrous stories on the superb instrumental canvas of the title track and “Paschendale” respectively, leaving bewildering imagery in the former and haunting imagery in the latter. “Dance of Death” also has no scarcity of great choruses most prominent in tracks 2, 6, and 7.
3Iron Maiden
Dance of Death


(“Rainmaker,” “Gates of Tomorrow,” and “New Frontier.” This record gets far too much flak for being “uninspired” or “boring.” The only bad thing about it is “Face in the Sand” is forgettable. Other than that “Dance of Death” is my pick for 7th best Maiden album, and another 5.0.
4Iron Maiden
A Matter of Life and Death


Listening to this a massive disappointment, and a small stain on their discography. It’s like opening an ossuary of songs that could have been so much more. The only tracks I ever come back to are “The Longest Day” and “Lord of Light.” At least this sounds like the band was trying a slight difference in approach to production and a slightly different sound, a more somber sound if you will. The production in any light sounds very flat faced and underwhelming to point where it’s almost unbearable, even insultingly bland on tracks “Different World” and “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg.” A depressing 2.0.
5Iron Maiden
The Final Frontier


Maiden’s fifthteenth studio release “The Final Frontier” is a stupendous improvement from the previous record I just covered. The album begins with a very unorthodox intro known as “Satellite 15…,” flowing into the title track, and it does its job perfectly; an ominous luring dread to pull you into it and set up the space theme simultaneously. The following track “El Dorado” does not cease to amaze, it continuing the small trend of being a bit unorthodox this time with Bruce’s vocals being… not very Maiden sounding in their style. Track 5 gets back in gear with maiden’s trademark energy, “The Alchemist” although short in run time is a sprawling epic of galactic proportions. “The Alchemist” though having nothing to actually do with space Maiden has made the story of John Dee, a British mathematician, and occultist into a space epic if you don’t know about Dr. Dee, as the song puts him.
6Iron Maiden
The Final Frontier


Either way you wish to think about it, (I find the space journey more fun to imagine) it’s an incredible story and the song deserves more praise. As a colossal giant of a closer to the album we have “When The Wild Wind Blows,” a mesmerizing 10 minutes of more than quality storytelling, is based of a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs of the same name. With no shortage of long songs, five of the tracks are over eight minutes this release is certainly an ambitious project. If you haven’t heard it in a long time or haven’t heard at all, I implore you to try it. “The Final Frontier” fits in at 8th best Maiden album with a 4.5.
7Iron Maiden
The Book of Souls


Maiden’s Newest album “The Book of Souls” is full of captivating melodies and leads, instrumental expanses, and is the most ambitious work Iron Maiden have a ever released, containing four songs over eight minutes. Of these four songs, 3 of them are over 10 minutes, and the closing track, almost twenty. The album is opened with some cheesy synths and some kind of woodwind on “If Eternity Should Fail.” The second song is the shortest but still clocks in at five minutes, “Speed of Light” is a straight to the point hard hitter and the main riff sounds like something Motorhead would have written up. The real meat of this album is on “The Red and the Black” and “Empire of the Clouds,” the former has the best solo on the album and it’s what opened me to instrumental music and experience it in a different way then I did before.
8Iron Maiden
The Book of Souls


“Empire of the Clouds” is the longest Maiden track to date at eighteen minutes and a single second utterly destroyed the previous holder of longest Maiden song “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by almost 5 minutes. The production is arguably better than “The Final Frontier” but it feels less alive. A lot of the middle songs leave something to be desired, but overall a good album worth a listen. 10th best in the band’s discography and a nice 4.0.
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