Iron Maiden
A Matter of Life and Death



by El_Goodo USER (19 Reviews)
September 10th, 2006 | 16 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

A Matter Of Life and Death is a very appropriate from a band so late into their career. A terrible album now would could effectivley tarnish their career, while a phenominal album could bring new to life to their career. Ironically this album does neither of those things, it may win a few a fans who will quickly discover much better albums such as this albums predecessor "Dance Of Death," and as it has already become apparent old fans will probably enjoy it. But anyone expecting a classic or even a great Iron Maiden album might find themselves disapointed. With classic maiden artwork and song titles like "These Colours Don't Run," and "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg," no one can be blamed for expecting a classic album or at least one on par with Dance Of Death.

In a sense the album is classic maiden in that it features riffs that could be identified as "Maiden riffs" almost instantly, as well as the gradual build into a huge bridge that has become a Maiden tradition as seen on BNW's Dream Of Mirrors. So where does the album fall short? Well by the time the album was over I couldn't remember a single chorus, and only about two riffs. I know your probably thinking well "Maybe he didn't pay close enough attention," well I've listened to the album a few times and still only Different World, The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg, and For The Greater Good of God have left any impression in my head. I know your probably wondering why I'm spending time talking about how this album features no catchy choruses. I'm talking about them because that's always been one of my favourite things about Maiden, they can combine great riffs, progressive music, and huge memorable chorus all in one. By the time I was finished Dance Of Death songs like Face In The Sand, No More Lies, Monstegur, Rainmaker, Wildest Dreams, and the title track were all imprinted in my head.

And vocal melodies aside not even very many of the riffs were very memorable, there are some great riffs which can be heard on Different World, and Brighter Than A Thousand Worlds. But for the most part it just sounds like generic Maiden. Hopefully you understand what I mean, it's kind of like AC/DC they have a definitive sound, and there are great songs like "Back In Black" and generic "AC/DC" songs like "Rock Your Heart Out." But being generic Maiden still means that they are better than alot of other bands, which is why I've rated this album no less than a 3. One of the saving graces of this album is that Bruce has one of the best, and most original voices in metal. It's not the singing with nails in your throat voice that has become the norm in metal, instead his voice has more of an opera quality to it.

Instrument-wise everyones playing is excellent. The riffs while not being on the same par with Maidens best riffs are still some of the best riffs in the modern day metal scene. I have always found the drums to be quite above average on most Maiden songs and Nicko McBrain does not disapoint the beats are loud and hard when they need to be, and the fills are excellent throughout. And the bass though usually drowned out by the guitars features some excellent parts, the introduction to For The Greater Good Of God is one of Harris' shining moments. And as mentioned before Bruce's voice is great as usual but if I had to pick my favourite vocal performances I'd probably again go with For The Greater Good Of God as well as The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg. All in all this album proves not to be as extreme as A Matter Of Life and Death, but instead it is a matter of little importance it does nothing to tarnish their reputation, but I don't think it will ever be remembered as fondly as any of their classic albums.

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user ratings (2304)
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Mikesn EMERITUS (5)

    Starblind (5)
    A Matter of Life and Death is an album that is an example of a band maturing while still s...

    kwill15 (4.5)
    They've come so far......

    DemonicBlade (4.5)
    Given time to gestate this could be the greatest thing the band has released since “Powe...

  • fisky009 (4)
    A pretty fine album from Iron Maiden as always. Catchy, fast and memorable songs. A band...

    northerncomfort (4.5)
    Unfortunately let down by a couple of good but not classic songs, this remains an awesome ...

    lyon1535 (5)
    One of Iron Maiden's greatest albums thus far - an album which proves that Maiden, althoug...

    Vanwarp (4)
    A Matter Of Life And Death is a solid Iron Maiden album. Enjoyable on the very first spin...

  • Altmer (3)

    lostforwords (3)
    Several superb songs don’t necessarily make a good album...

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Please be gentle!

south_of_heaven 11
September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

[quote=El Goodo]By the time I was finished Dance Of Death songs like Face In The Sand, No More Lies, Monstegur, Rainmaker, Wildest Dreams, and the title track were all imprinted in my head.[/quote]

Right there I knew I didn't like you because you didn't include 'Paschendale'

This review was fine. A little bit more explanation in some areas would've been nice, but you presented another side fairly well.

I'm the opposite of you however. Every riff/chorus is firmly implanted in my mind and won't leave....EX: 'The Longest Day'...ohhh how I love you 'The Longest Day'...

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Ah Pashcendale I hadn't listened to that song very much, I do love the "nintendo" sounding riff. I could have named every track on Dance Of Death.

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review though I dont entirely agree. This album will grow on most people, thats what happened to me on Dream Theater's Octavarium, which at first i would rate a 2.5 though now more like a 4.5. I definitely like this album a whole lot more after listening to it a number of times

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Finally another perspective.

I've head this album on soundpedia.com and I wasn't to sure about it, but Im going to give it repeated listens before making up my mind.

Good review

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Ah...I was scared I was going to be burned at the stake, in the other review everyone seems to love this album! This is probably the first review I've done just to provide a different point of view.

September 10th 2006


its a good cd despite your thoughts

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I think SOH might be right about it growing on me, time will tell. But I still think DOD is 10x better.

The Door Mouse
September 10th 2006


perfect timing. im trying to getr into them. im gonna buy or download (which ever is funnier) either this, powerslave or notb

The Door Mouse
September 10th 2006


as for the review. it was pretty good. u gave me an idea on wat im in for

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Nice to see another perspective, but I too am pretty much the opposite. :p

Good job.This Message Edited On 09.10.06

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This CD got me into Iron Maiden. :0

September 10th 2006


It's actually not the same at all. This album is quite different.

The Maiden community will probably hurt you a bit for your score, but good review nonetheless. While I don't think it deserves quite so low (maybe a 4), you did make some points. Maybe it's cause I didn't listen hard enough, or maybe it's because they've released about 13 albums already, but the riffs blend together. There isn't anything standoutish that immediately defines Maiden, such as riffing in The Trooper or Hallowed Be Thy Name. Still, though, for a bunch of guys going on 60, they can still pull out a hell of an album.

Apocalyptic Raids
September 11th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

Finally a non-fanboy perspective :thumb:

I pretty much agree with Shattered Future about the riffs, too.

October 21st 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with this review a damn lot more than the other ones.

I'll vote.

April 10th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. I'd have to completely agree with you that this album is just overrated. While there are several notable tracks (1000 Suns, Colors Don't Run, Good of God to name a few), I just find it way too repetitive in that a lot of these elements were, shall we say, 'recycled' from their previous albums. It's not just the riffs, but the vocals, the drumming, structuring, etc... I'm just constantly reminded of previous works when I listen to this album. But then again, this is coming from a guy who rates BNW as their best album, followed by DoD

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