Iron Maiden
No Prayer for the Dying



by sunsinger USER (16 Reviews)
August 2nd, 2005 | 16 replies

Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Early 1990, ‘No Prayer For The Dying’ was to be produced. Recorded in The Rolling Stones’ mobile studio in a converted barn in the side of the grounds of Steve Harris’ mansion in Essex. This was the first studio album produced on home soil since ‘Number Of The Beast’. Bruce Dickinson was about to take off his solo career with Janick Gers after a few years on the road and two more albums (only to return years later).
This isn’t exactly their most famous album, and many fans can be forgiven for missing this one out of their collection. Let’s just see how good this over-looked Maiden album is.

‘Tailgunner’ opens with a deep, constant riff and the high-hat dancing in the background as the bass enters. Then Bruce enters, setting the scene with “trace your way back 50 years” and a tale of World War 2 is almost whispered through the speakers.
Until the chorus enters, it’s a fairly uninteresting song and the solo seems to keep everything from becoming too dull. It’s a short opener, and in some ways, reminiscent to ‘The Evil That Men Do’. Not a bad start.

This is where everything picks up. ‘Holy Smoke’ starts with yet another Maiden-style catchy lead riff and Bruce enters with a song about the corruption of religion and morality in modern society. It was released September 10th, 1990 and reached number 3 in the UK charts. The lyrics are a bit goofy and the video was very strange, but don’t ask me anything about that.

A sweet drum pattern and a steady lead riff later and a song similar to ‘Blood Brothers’ is told. What is it about? Besides Steve Harris pouring his heart out into a 4-minute space, it’s about questioning the meaning of life and to a large extent, God.
Once it reaches the second verse, the energy picks up and what you’re left with is a reaction similar to all of Maiden’s experimental pieces. Let’s leave it at that.

‘Public Enema Number One’. If you’ve ever heard ‘Man On The Edge’, you will know what to expect. Accept with more plays on words and a less energetic chorus. Although, to be fair, it is better written and more exciting musically.

There’s a 46 second guitar part before ‘Fates Warning’ really starts and it sounds like an acceptable track, the drumming is frantic, the rhythm to which everything is sung by is fairly derisory and repetitive. Not the worst song you’ll hear by these guys, but there’s defiantly been better.

‘The Assassin’ starts off very energetically. Spoken from the mouth of the killer himself, this is a very devious song, with the chorus featuring Bruce and all chanting “better watch out”. It is again another track that has somewhat to be desired.

‘Run Silent Run Deep’ has a fairly daunting introduction, with a pulsing rhythm during the verses and an epic solo. This is defiantly a step in the right direction as far as this album is concerned.

This is the third part of the ‘Charlotte The Harlot’ story. A beguiling beginning, with very clear-cut lyrics. As all of Charlotte’s songs have been, there was no need for metaphors or hidden messages. The imagery was vivid, the vocals were almost hissed, and the story of a lonely man in search of company unravels…

This is it, the highlight of the album. Anyone who knows anything about Iron Maiden will recognise ‘Bring Your Daughter… To The Slaughter’. It’s an incredible song, and should be if a metal band should achieve number 1 with the single. This was originally intended for Bruce Dickinson’s solo album ‘Tattooed Millionaire’, but after hearing it, Steve Harris declared how it would benefit Maiden.
The only critism I have with this album is that the both the lyrics and title are a little cheesy, but nevertheless, it’s an outstanding song, I won’t say anything else. Those who haven’t heard it should do so now.

‘Mother Russia’ closes the album, and what a strange way to close an album. It’s a fairly dreary epic and most likely a filler track.

Considering the rushed rehearsal time and bizarre feelings in early 1990, Maiden pulled out a pretty good album. Once you get over the dreadful title of ‘Public Enema…’, you find an otherwise well-written song accompanied by a whole host of both fillers and timeless classics.

Best Tracks: ‘Tailgunner’, ‘Holy Smoke’, ‘Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter’.

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user ratings (1561)
other reviews of this album
Mikesn EMERITUS (2)
Iron Maiden sells out....

Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Straightforward and inferior, but an enjoyable album nonetheless....

piroga84 (3.5)

kwill15 (2)
Iron Maiden attempts a more stripped-down album, which captures the rawness from the Di'Anno days, b...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 2nd 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Not a bad album but other metal contemporaries own it ( Judas priest's painkiller is a good example). Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter is a great song though.

August 3rd 2005


Good review of the weakest Iron Maiden album, bar maybe Virtual XI. A couple of good songs, but generally one to hide behind the other albums.

October 8th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of there weaker albums, but it does have some awsome songs on it, i was very pleased with most of it

smart blockhead
October 15th 2005


After reading this review I decided that I was right not to buy it before.

October 16th 2005


the worst cd from maiden is a 3.5. what does that say? it means they kick ass

December 27th 2005


bring your daughter to the slaughter is the best track on the album

Saxon Priest
May 22nd 2006


Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter has a great chorus, overall it's a pretty catchy song but the rest of the album bar Tailgunner is lacklustre.

June 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Not their best album but as stated Bring your daughter... to the slaughter is one nice track, one of my fave maiden songs.

im listening to it now while i type this, yeah ".... to the SLAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!"

props to the review nice job mate

south_of_heaven 11
July 18th 2006


man I am really diggin 'Holy Smoke' right now
For all of you who haven't seen the video, is friggin great. Bruce is crazy. Check it out yo, it's on

January 20th 2007


That video's hilarious, but still pretty awful

January 20th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

bring your daughter to the slaughter is good, don't really care much for the rest but it's maiden so there's probably something neat between the trash

June 8th 2007


I have NO idea why people don't like this album. I've always found it awesome. Different, yes. But different and awesome. Mother Russia is the highlight of this album and DEFINITELY isn't a failure. The guitar work is awesome and the tune is really catchy.

I'm lovin' it!This Message Edited On 06.08.07

August 28th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Great Album, yep "Mother Russia" own.

Whole lotta Led
August 28th 2007


Who would bring his daughter to the slaughter?

May 15th 2015


Album Rating: 3.0

This isn't that bad after a few listens, but it's not that good.

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