Different but Still Solid
Ever since Iron Maiden released A Matter of Life and Death four years ago it was assumed, by me at least, that their next release had some mighty big shoes to fill. Their latest album, The Final Frontier, doesn’t try to fill those shoes but then again it doesn’t try to. TFF is like a whole different pair of shoes.
The Final Frontier is less prog than the previous Iron Maiden albums (A Brave New World and forward) but this album isn’t like their earlier albums either. Most of the songs on the album don’t have any catchy hooks or lyrics. There aren’t any awesome guitar riffs for the most part. I also wouldn’t say that there is a “Classic” song like The Trooper but I think it will take several years to actually decide that. This album is very straightforward and the songs succeed on their songwriting and song structure. It’s a well written album and there are a lot of songs to enjoy.
Satellite 15… The Final Frontier (4/5) – I could really do without the Satellite 15 part at the beginning. I skip it every time I start the album, it’s just a waste of time. The song would benefit from having this intro part split off from The Final Frontier. The Final Frontier is great though. I really like it, feels like classic Maiden.
El Dorado (5/5) – Initially I didn’t like this song that much, but it really grew on me. In fact it is one of my favorite’s on the album. It sounds great. I also like how The Final Frontier blends into this song.
Mother of Mercy (5/5)- The song takes a long time to build up, but I really enjoy this song. Bruce really makes the song. The lyrics are good but Bruce just takes it to another level. There’s a couple of cool rhythms in this song, hard to explain where but one during the chorus and another one re-occurs about two times during the song, I’m sure you know which one I mean once you hear it. But anyway the song just rocks.
Coming Home (3/5) – I like the concept of the song, the lyrics are good but overall the song just doesn’t grab me. I think it’s above filler though, because there are some things I like about it. Perhaps it would benefit from being a shorter song without the slow part after the opening riff.
The Alchemist (3/5) – This is an ok song. It’s got a good tempo, another song that is almost there for me, but not all the way. It did get me to look up who Edward Kelly was though.
Isle of Avalon (4/5) – This song suffers from a really long intro, like 3 minutes worth, which kind of bring it down. Because once you get past that first part the song is pretty cool. There’s a sweet bass riff in there and just like a cool hippie jam session in the middle of the song. The beginning riff returns, but I like the build up this time, and then the ending is strong.
Starblind (5/5) – I think this song just has an awesome riff and atmosphere throughout. It makes me feel as if I was floating in space or on some amazing journey. There’s another free jam in the middle, and then we return to the main song. To me there isn’t a wasted second in this song. It’s just great.
The Talisman – (5/5) This song is great as the music follows the lyrics. It really feels like a peaceful journey at first, then you endure the terror of the seas the rest of the way.
The Man Who Would Be King (4/5) – This song starts off slow but then the middle part with the harmonics effects is cool, and then they just really groove out and then it ends so smooth man. Just smoooth.
When the Wild Wind Blows (4/5) – This is a good song. The pacing is amazing. Doesn’t feel like a ten minute song. And the lyrics are superb. I think the perfect ending to the album.
Overall: 86% – 4/5