Rating:
8.2
Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind
16 May 1983


Disc I
01. Where Eagles Dare
02. Revelations
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.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Iron Maiden
Album: Piece Of Mind


 


written by ScreamingSteelUS | 27.09.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Pierre Tombale

Rating:
9.0
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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published 12.11.2003 | Comments (18)



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Fat & Sassy! - 27.09.2012 at 07:37  
But, but... To Tame A Land... is lyk... duh bayest. ;_;

Also, I never found Nicko's drumming to be all that good, but I'm glad you like his style so much. ;3
M C Vice - 27.09.2012 at 09:53  
""To Tame A Land" is rather boring, and really does not need to take up seven-and-a-half minutes of space."
The song is based on Dune, and my brother said that the film is really boring (neither of us have read the book) so the song is probably appropriate. I reckon it's a good closer cause of the drawn out ending.
Ace Frawley - 27.09.2012 at 11:26  
Yep, good review and nice to stress the importance of Nicko on the sound. He's a very good drummer.
Ozman - 27.09.2012 at 12:55  
I have always found Nicko nnowhere near as good as Clive Burr.
I am always puzzeld why people think Nicko is so good. He is proficient, but that's it imo. The weakest link in Iron Maiden he is.
scapeplan - 27.09.2012 at 13:20  
Pretty decent review, but To Tame A Land and Still Life are my favorites off the album...
Mountain King - 24.06.2014 at 22:26  
Good music, specially for 1983. Bruce's voice ruins a lot of the good songwriting...
deadone - 25.06.2014 at 02:35  
Written by Ozman on 27.09.2012 at 12:55

I have always found Nicko nnowhere near as good as Clive Burr.
I am always puzzeld why people think Nicko is so good. He is proficient, but that's it imo. The weakest link in Iron Maiden he is.



I've known quite a couple of good Death/Grind drummers who have admired Nicko's ability.


Personally I preferred Burr's beats - they sound more organic ad interesting.

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