Iron Maiden
From Fear To Eternity


3.5
great

Review

by Nagrarok USER (219 Reviews)
May 26th, 2011 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A perfect introduction for anyone who's never looked past Maiden's classic years.

Still going strong after all these years, Iron Maiden are a rare example of a band that has continued to draw faithful fandom from each new generation they were introduced to. Although more popular on the stage than ever, they certainly are at a point in their career where retrospectives are in order. The band deliberately took 2008’s Somewhere Back in Time, a perfect summation of their 80’s heyday for the newcomer, to rock the current generation. From Fear to Eternity is a logical successor, chronicling not one, but two decades of Maiden for those who wish to look further.

Things are however a little different with this collection. Truthfully, the 90’s were by far the band’s least inspired period, featuring two albums with a vocalist that was feeling less enthusiastic about his role, and two with a near-opposite replacement that nobody really liked. No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark felt recycled, derivative, dull; The X Factor and Virtual XI tried to work things into a new direction but felt overlong. Though thin-spread, the era did create some gems, but hardly enough to fill a proper compilation.

Enter the 2000’s, the return of Smith and Dickinson; a decade of revival. In the end, Maiden came through not entirely unscathed, but still bigger and more professional performers than ever. They reworked their lengthy late-90’s material into an epic style that actually worked (most of the time), rather than making a foolish attempt to relive the 80’s. Brave New World, Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death had some kinks here and there, most of them still lingering in the length of the tracks and the repetitive choruses, but with last year’s The Final Frontier, it seems they finally took the notion to work those out.

The length of Maiden’s newer work is also the main reason why this compilation features two discs instead of one, more so than the fact that the songs cover two decades. Occupying 9 out of 23 tracks, the 90’s are covered less extensively, which is a fine choice considering their overall quality. The three Bayley-sung originals, Man on the Edge, Sign of the Cross and The Clansman, have been replaced by later live takes with Dickinson, a move to which there should be no objection (the same was done with the Di’Anno studio versions on Somewhere Back in Time), as he sings them fine, if not better.

The rougher tracks off No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark (Holy Smoke, Be Quick or Be Dead, etc.) aren’t a particularly great fit in the overall tone of this collection, but serve their purpose well in representing their album of origin. Afraid to Shoot Strangers and the fantastic Rock in Rio rendition of Fear of the Dark (really the only possible choice) are obvious exceptions, merging perfectly with the other epics. For the post-2000 records, there is little to complain about either. Some fans may feel the absence of such moments as Ghost of the Navigator, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, The Longest Day, and Final Frontier highlight Starblind, but this isn’t meant for people who are already fans in the first place. Like Somewhere Back in Time, the track selection here is pretty spot-on.

And with that in order, an Iron Maiden compilation simply can’t go wrong, even if it is one solely composed of things made past the 80’s. If its predecessor presented us with exactly what made these Brits legendary, From Fear to Eternity proves how well they’ve held up, even in darker days, and how they eventually were able to grow, not conforming to former glories, but still keeping intact just what makes them such a potent force. These are two nicely wrapped-up decades of Maiden for anyone who’s never been there; twenty years that have proven their worth.



Recent reviews by this author
Genesis Calling All StationsGenesis We Can't Dance
Genesis Invisible TouchGenesis Genesis
Genesis AbacabGenesis Duke
user ratings (64)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
May 26th 2011


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Since I'm seeing them in two weeks I might as well warm up.

RavenRock
May 26th 2011


688 Comments


Good review. Very good.

It's ironic, I just posted a Final Frontier review. POS.

JamieTwort
May 26th 2011


26988 Comments


Great review Nag. It goes without saying I have no need for this.

Nagrarok
May 26th 2011


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I wasn't particularly happy with that sentence, going to change it. Thanks guys.

Tyrael
May 26th 2011


21113 Comments


Fantastic review Nag, I'm a bit jealous of you since you're going to see them... But anyways, have a well-deserved pos!

RavenRock
May 26th 2011


688 Comments


I'm seeing them pretty soon.

But seriously, how can you make a Best of Maiden album without Powerslave or Number of the Beast in it?

Arguably, some of these are all songs from their decade of mediocrity.

MO
May 26th 2011


22783 Comments


Solid review as always Nag, pos'd. Up the irons!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2011


8529 Comments


X Factor was good-to-great, but Virtual XI was bland.

Nagrarok
May 26th 2011


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But seriously, how can you make a Best of Maiden album without Powerslave or Number of the Beast in it?




^because this is meant to be specifically 1990 through 2010 as a follow-up to Somewhere Back in Time (1980-89). If it was 1980-2010 it would be just another compilation.



Thanks Tyrael (edit: and MO), I'll be letting you know.

RavenRock
May 26th 2011


688 Comments


Eh. I do enjoy the Life and Death tracks, Final Frontier tracks (though one's too long), AND I think Bayley's too underrated.

But other than that, I'll stick with my copy of Somewhere Back In Time. Not exactly worth it when I can just buy Fear of the Dark and enjoy it.

RavenRock
May 26th 2011


688 Comments


What did I do?

I'm just saying that for a long period, it was.... well, let's be honest.

MO
May 26th 2011


22783 Comments


sonic doesn't enjoy differences of opinion raven

BigHans
May 26th 2011


30511 Comments


Solid job Nag, UP THE IRONS

Nagrarok
May 26th 2011


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sonic doesn't enjoy differences of opinion raven




He sure doesn't.



Thanks Hans, Up the Irons indeed.

RavenRock
May 26th 2011


688 Comments


Call me crazy, but I never really got into KISS.

I do enjoy their songs, but... never really got hooked into them.

BigHans
May 26th 2011


30511 Comments


Glad this has No More Lies, Paschendale, and For the Greater Good of God, or else it would fail

Jethro42
May 26th 2011


15969 Comments


Excellent review, Nag. If I'm not too indiscreet, is your avatar an indication to your 200th review (read Live at Leeds)?

Nagrarok
May 26th 2011


8602 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Perhaps, I cannot say.

Jethro42
May 26th 2011


15969 Comments


héhéhé
You do well in keeping the secret.

LepreCon
May 26th 2011


5459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice One Nag, perfect description as always, getting this tomorrow to add to my almost 100% complete Iron Maiden collection



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy