Iron Maiden
No Prayer for the Dying


3.5
great

Review

by Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (120 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2010 | 34 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Straightforward and inferior, but an enjoyable album nonetheless.

Generally speaking, Iron Maiden fans cringe at any mentioning of No Prayer for the Dying. If the X albums aren't shortcomings in themselves, then clearly the aforementioned is. After all, what does the album truly have going for it" The songs are basic and almost completely uninteresting, Dickinson lacks the passionate singing he normally exhibits and the lyrics hit an all-time low for the band. However, if there's anything an album can muster to save itself from utter infamy, it would be just how good the music sounds. And for this album and listener, that happens to be perfectly adequate.

Opening track "Tailgunner" alone shows that this is a huge divergence from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Longer and more intricate song structures have all but been abandoned along with the band's usual power metal sound in exchange for a simple heavy metal experiment. Even the longest and closing track (usually an indication of excellence for the band), "Mother Russia," falls short of this standard being only five and a half minutes long with unimposing results. Indeed, going directly from what is arguably the band's best studio effort to this can be hard to swallow given the shift.

There are some bands, however, who manage to make their songs (usually) work just by making them sound good or giving them an entertaining vibe. While "fun" and "upbeat" might not be the most immediate terms to come to mind when thinking of Maiden tracks and themes, this doesn't mean the band is restricted to such expectations. As a mother tells their child "you won’t know if you’ll like it or not until you try it," I feel a band can only know whether or not they should tackle a sound or style until they actually do so. Technically speaking, No Prayer for the Dying was intended as a return to the band's roots a la Iron Maiden and Killers. But the reality is that this album has more in-common with a Judas Priest release, if anything.

Admittedly, this take on traditional metal is far from what the band have put out previously (and subsequently). However, this doesn't deter from the fact that there is some enjoyable material present. "Public Enema Number One," despite its title, is a surprisingly fun track once past the intro; with enough charisma from the guitar playing alone giving it some points. Speaking of guitar playing, there are some nice solo moments to be found by the always great Dave Murray and Janick Gers. Another aspect to the album, which has been frequently noted, is Dickinson's change of vocal style. Instead of his more customary singing voice, raspier vocals made their way out to dominate this record. Although this is definitely a noticeable trait, I myself was not bothered by it since, ultimately, it's still the Bruce I know and enjoy hearing. The rugged style isn't preferred, but it's not detrimental.

No Prayer for the Dying is an interesting release to look at, both in regards to the band and for myself as an aspiring entertainment critic. It might live almost entirely in the shadow of the rest of the band's material, but it's far from horrible or even bad. I’ll say I enjoy most of the material here more than all but a few tracks off its immediate successor and even parts from The Number of the Beast (*gulp*). Regardless, this is an obviously flawed album, but it's one that I can kick back and enjoy for having a relatively easygoing sound.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
May 2nd 2010


1437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I know a 3.5 might be overly generous and I'll get negs simply for the statement in my last paragraph, but I just had to get this reviewed and off my chest to give an idea of my opinion on the band.

ShadowRemains
May 2nd 2010


25005 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

whenever i listen to maiden's not so good material, I just can't get the thought out of my head that they can do SO much better, but pos'd though. good review

Nagrarok
May 2nd 2010


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

The songs are basic and almost completely uninteresting, Dickinson lacks the passionate singing he normally exhibits and the lyrics hit an all-time low for the band.




Which perfectly sums up why this is their worst. Well-written though, pos.

Edwin
May 2nd 2010


1399 Comments


I'm still yet to check out either of the X albums, but this album is good so I totally agree with the review. Then again, I'm pretty biased lol. Love me some Maiden.

LepreCon
May 2nd 2010


5454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Better than the Blaze albums by just a little bit

Their worst album with Bruce

maidenpmcc
May 2nd 2010


1459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Totally agree with what you said Lepercon. Fear of the Dark would be the 2nd worst with Bruce.



Good review.

Bfhurricane
May 2nd 2010


6232 Comments


What LeperCon said. Haven't listened to this in ages, but I do remember liking Mother Russia, the other songs not so much...

maidenpmcc
May 2nd 2010


1459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mother Russia is underrated.

beefshoes
May 2nd 2010


7199 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Fear of the Dark has some amazing songs on it though. I think Fear Of The Dark is better than Piece Of Mind. This is pretty much trash though :/ Fates Warning is pretty good though.

Brylawski
May 4th 2010


709 Comments


I'm allergic to cheese

Parallels
May 4th 2010


8858 Comments


this album really disapointed me. mother russia and tailgunner are great, but the rest are just piss

BigPleb
February 28th 2013


57530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hooks in You is catchy as fuck.

Digging: Faith No More - King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime

Titan
February 28th 2013


19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agreed



definitely not their best, but there are some good songs in here

DeathPiercedMe
February 28th 2013


676 Comments


This is one of the worst Maiden albums. Give me Killers or Seventh Son over this piece of turd anyday

Titan
February 28th 2013


19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'Give me Killers or Seventh Son over this piece of turd anyday'





you really went out on a limb on that one

DeathPiercedMe
February 28th 2013


676 Comments


Seventh Son is amazing. their best album.

Titan
February 28th 2013


19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

on this site, yes.....reality is that it doesn't even touch the best heavy metal album of all time, TNOTB

BigPleb
February 28th 2013


57530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

HOOKS IN YOU, HOOKS IN ME, HOOKS IN THE CEILING FOR THAT WELL HUNG FEELING.

Titan
February 28th 2013


19244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NO BIG DEAL NO BIG SIN

BigPleb
February 28th 2013


57530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

STRUNG UP ON LOVE I GOT THE HOOKS SCREWED IN



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