A Matter of Life and Death by Iron Maiden
Sunday, September 3, 2006 @ 12:37 AM
||Being released on Sept. 5!|
While it might be out in Europe already, those of us in the west have to wait
until the first week of September before we can lay our hands on the new Iron
Maiden release, A Matter of Life and Death. Let
me tell you what you're in for.
Here is the song lineup:
01. Different World
02. These Colours Don't Run
03. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
04. The Pilgrim
05. The Longest Day
06. Out Of The Shadows
07. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
08. For The Greater Good Of God
09. Lord Of Light
10. The Legacy
It's always hard writing a review of a new disc from a group such as Iron Maiden when their career and music aspirations span almost 30 years. There are fans out there who want another Killers, or another Powerslave or maybe even another Brave New World. Is the same person going to want all three? Highly unlikely. Hell, most people can't grasp the change in musical orientation as a whole over a span this long.
At first listen, I didn't really get in to this CD. Almost every song
starts off mellow/acoustically, several songs are 7 minutes plus. But upon going back and digging in, this CD has grown on me. Its not my favorite, and its not Iron Maiden's best, but it is an extremely solid release.
Different World starts the CD off on a promising note. Energetic, catchy and memorable chorus, dueling leads - good way to start.
Tell me what you can hear / And then tell me what you
Colours Don't Run continues on the same path, and throws in time changes and intricate solos. The story of the life of a solider in any time, in any war.
Everybody has a different way / to view the world
I would like you to know / when you see the simple things
To appreciate this life it's not too late to learn
There is no one that will save you / going down in
Starting mellow and hitting a time just over 8 and a half minutes, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns presents more intricate solos and time changes, but also seems to be just a little too long.
No surrender certain death you look in the eye
On the shores of tyranny you crashed a human wave
Paying for my freedom with your lonely unmarked graves
For the passion, for the glory, for the memories, for the money
You're a soldier, for your country / what's the difference, all the same
Far away from the land of our birth / We fly a flag in some foreign earth
We sailed away like our fathers before / These colours don't run, from cold
Bombers launched with no recall / Minute warning of the
The opening riffs of The Pilgrim are reminiscent of the melodic dual hooks Maiden is known for. The song picks up pace a little bit during its 5 minute duration. Another song seemingly dealing with the subject of holy wars.
Take a look at your last sky / Guessing you won’t have the time to cry
Out of the the universe, a strange love was born
Unholy union, trinity reformed
Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousands suns
Quelling the devils might /And ready for eternal fight
Looking through the eyes of a soldier and seeing what he is thinking is the basis for The Longest Day, an 8 minute, time changing behemoth. Starting out in a lingering intro, the band finally kicks in once Bruce Dickinson has your attention after listening to the first a couple verses.
Aching limbs and fainting soul / Holy battles take their toll
Liberty and hope divine / Changing the water into wine
So to you we bid farewell / Kingdom of heaven to hell
Spirit holy life eternal / Raise me up take me home
Pilgrim sunrise pagan sunset / Onward journey begun
The world's alight, the cliffs erupt in flame / No
escape, remorseless shrapnel rains
Out of the Shadows is probably the closest thing Maiden has done to a power ballad. The intro starts off resonant of Revelations and quickly slows. Not a bad song, I'm just not a ballad person.
Drowning men no chance for a warrior's fate / A choking death enter hell's gate
Sliding we go, only fear on our side / To the edge of the wire, and we rush with the tide
Oh the water is red / with the blood of the dead
But I'm still alive, pray to God I survive
How long on this longest day
Til we finally make it through
Out of the Shadow and into the sun / Dreams of the past
as the old ways are done
Oh there is beauty and surely there is pain / But we must endure it to live
The opening solos to The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg definitely has that mystic old school sound to them. When the song kicks in its undeniably Maiden. Not a total headbanger, but very solid nonetheless.
Demons are trapped all inside my head,/ My hopes have
gone, I reach for heaven from hell,
For the Greater Good of God is a musical monster that clocks in at almost 9 and a half minutes. Multiple time changes, very impressive, very flowing. Throughout the song, the underlying question seems to be "Why do we keep going to war?" For you war mongers out there who think the answer is simple, wait to reply until you have been able to read the lyrics to this song.
My sins are many, my guilt is too heavy, / The pressure of knowing of having what I know
I'm able to see things, things I don't want to see, / The lives of a thousand souls weigh heavy down on me
I know they're crying for help reaching out / The burden of them will take me down as well
The sin of a thousand souls not died in vain / Reincarnates to let me live again
More pain and misery in the history of mankind
An eerie recollection of Still Life came to mind with the opening of the disc's next song, the 7 and a half minute Lord of Light. This song swings back and forth on tempo, and as you listen to the lyrics, its surprising how fast the story ends for a song of this length.
Sometimes it seems more like / The blind leading the blind
It brings upon us more famine, death and war
You know religion has a lot to answer for
Please tell me now what life is / Please tell me now what love is
Well tell me now what war is / Again tell me what life is
And as they search to find the bodies in the sand
They find its ashes that are Scattered across the land
And as the spirits seem to whistle on the wind
A shot is fired somewhere / another war begins
Spiral path leads through the maze
Finishing out the disc is the nine and a half minute The Legacy. Even with its length, this is where the musicianship shines for Maiden. Its safe to say every disc they put out they just get better and better.
Down into the fiery underworld below
Fire breathing lead the way / Lucifer was just an angel led astray
We are cast out by our bloody father's hand
We are strangers in this lonely promised land
We are the shadows of the one unholy ghost
In our nightmare world the only one we trust
Tell tale of the men / All dressed in black
* * *
That most of them / Not coming back
Sent off to the war / To play little games
And on their return / Can't name no names
Some strange yellow gas / Has played with their minds
Has reddened their eyes / Removed all the lies
And strange as it sounds / Death knows no bounds
How many get well / Only time will tell
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