Review Summary: My review of an Iron Maiden album...
Iron Maiden failed with this album. Even though I love Maiden, this was a bland and boring ride. Far too long as well. After all, the 90's did suck for Maiden. They lost the singer, and replaced him with Satan himself, who doesn't have a good voice.
After putting out a classic, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, Maiden put out some album, and it wasn't too good. I know the name, however I'm too lazy to type it because it's not really worth typing out and all. After Fear Of The Dark, this album, they put out The X Factor. Long and boring, but decent in some songs.
When I purchased Virtual XI, I had high hopes for something good because I had heard Futureal. That was the best song on the album. Virtual XI was a flop in my book.
Now for Fear Of The Dark. Ok, cover art tells us something. Usually if Eddie ain't on the cover, than it's not worth listening to. Virtual XI did not have Eddie on front cover. It sucked. Yeah, it did. Did this suck? No, but it wasn't much better.
Bruce's vocals in this are very raspy and bland. On every album he put out in the 80's, his voice was clear and great. You could enjoy his voice. This time, I didn't enjoy it. It's a shame really, because it sounded like age was catching up with old Bruce, but he was only 33 when this was released. Or 32, depends on what his birthday is. Even on the newer studio albums, his voice sounds better than this, and he's in his late 40's now. This year he'll be turning 48! From Here To Eternity
is probably the only track where Bruce's vocals are actually pretty good. But after all, that song is one of the best on this album. Bruce's vocals get a 3/5.
BASS & GUITAR
Steve Harris and Janick Gers. I think Dave Murray is still there too. Oh well, the guitar isn't that great on the album. It just doesn't really shine on this like it would on something with Adrian Smith. Now, Maiden's never been known for their guitarist, but he is a very talented guitarist, and it shows on the song Powerslave
among others, but unfortunately, that song wasn't thrown on this album. It wouldn't fit though. Now, Steve Harris is still a great bass player, because believe me, he can play it. But it's not the playing. It's the fact that it doesn't fit with the guitar. I remember when Steve's bass would just perfectly blend in with the guitar. Now, it's just kind of there. Afraid To Shoot Strangers
has some great guitar/bass, but then at some part in the song it just gets ruined somehow. The bass gets a 3.5/5 and the guitar gets a 3/5.
THE OVERALL RANKING
Overall, this isn't that bad of an album. It's not Powerslave
or even Killers
, but it's good for the Maiden completist. Other than that, I cannot recommend it to anyone. If you're looking for an album to help get you into Maiden, just skip the entire 90's Maiden catalogue. Anything in the 80's or the new century, and you'll be just gosh-darn, candy-eatin' dandy!
for a few decent tracks, not so top-notch vocals and instrumentation, and no Adrian Smith.