Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind review
|Album:||Piece Of Mind|
|Release date:||May 1983|
01. Where Eagles Dare
03. Flight Of Icarus
04. Die With Your Boots On
05. The Trooper
06. Still Life
07. Quest For Fire
08. Sun And Steel
09. To Tame A Land
Disc II [1995 reissue bonus disc]
01. I Got The Fire [Monstrose cover]
02. Cross-Eyed Mary [Jethro Tull cover]
Iron Maiden's Piece Of Mind is the first Metal album I remember hearing. I don't know how old I was, but when Nicko McBrain opened up "Where Eagles Dare" with a maelstrom of percussion, I thought it was the most brutal thing in existence. Even now, I still consider it one of Maiden's best (and heaviest) songs. With other classics like "The Trooper" and "Flight of Icarus," Piece Of Mind certainly makes for a an appropriate introduction to the genre.
This is the first Iron Maiden album to feature Nicko McBrain on drums, and he lets you know it right away with a pounding intro. With this genesis of the band's most stable lineup of the 1980s comes a fantastic example of an average Iron Maiden album. The first half is simply brilliant, boasting several fan favorites and impressive performances; Bruce Dickinson's voice especially is in excellent shape. Many of the songs are based on famous works of literature, only further proving Iron Maiden's quality by showcasing their intellect.
As the album progresses, it begins to lose heart and starts drifting off into the realm of sleepy filler tracks. Basically, it is an entirely typical Maiden release.
While mediocre Iron Maiden is still better than most things you could be listening to instead, "Still Life" simply fails to astound like "Where Eagles Dare." In reality, it is not half-bad, but it is not at all of the same quality as previous Maiden material. "To Tame A Land" is rather boring, and really does not need to take up seven-and-a-half minutes of space. In addition, hearing Bruce Dickinson cry "In a time when dinosaurs walked the earth" at the beginning of "Quest For Fire" is more than a little painful. If you have been holding in a derisive snort for some time, feel free to let it out at this time.
Of course, all complaints aside, this is a true blue Iron Maiden album. It has Thin Lizzy-esque guitar harmonies, phenomenal bass playing, Bruce Dickinson's unparalleled vocal performances, and a newfound legend in the form of Nicko McBrain. There is not much else to ask for, aside from a couple of stronger songs to round out the second half.
|This album could also be called: The Hidden Treasures Of Iron Maiden. I guess it is one of the most underestimated albums of this band, maybe of all I know. But there is more to it than meets the eye (or better the ear) in the first place. Of course it contains 'The Trooper' and 'Flight Of Icarus' which are both well-recognized songs, since they are both live-classics and great studio tunes, but that is far too less to judge the whole album.
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