Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death review


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Band: Iron Maiden
Album: Dance Of Death
Release date: September 2003

01. Wildest Dreams
02. Rainmaker
03. No More Lies
04. Montségur
05. Dance Of Death
06. Gates Of Tomorrow
07. New Frontier
08. Paschendale
09. Face In The Sand
10. Age Of Innocence
11. Journeyman

Dance Of Death. What a bad title. What a bad cover. What strange titles. Push play: what a banal opening! The single Wildest Dreams is one of the worst songs of this album. Why such a bad choice? Skip track and listen to the others. This album is great. I loved Brave New World but this one seems to be innovative and even better than his predecessor.

The lyrics are various: sometimes we hear Bruce singing about strange dreams or nightmares, sometimes he tells us of historical battles, sometimes he criticizes politicians and their empty promises, sometimes he sounds like a minstrel [do you remember the intros of the songs Brave New World and Moonchild?].

Dance Of Death has been mixed to the 5.1 Surround: if you have a Home Theater or any other compatible system, you will hear the band surround you. I?ve got ?just? a normal micro hi-fi stereo, so I can's tell anything about the 5.1. Unfortunately I can tell that on ?normal? stereos the sound is not clean: it reminds me of old Black Sabbath records. In fact I have to turn up the treble and turn down [a bit] the bass to hear a clean sound like in Brave New World.

The songwriting is innovative and complex. This time Steve Harris has not been alone: Bruce, the three guitarists and even Nicko have composed together. The result is very good: the acoustic parts are always supported by an orchestra [or is it a keyboard?]; there are many clean parts often similiar to Blood Brothers and The Clansman; the presence of three guitars is really evident and the instrumental breaks have never been so beautiful, so long and so complex.

By the way, after 25 years of career, Iron Maiden seem not to change radically. These new melodies are great, but if anyone of you play an instrument, he can easily realize that they are always based on the same chords.

This 13th studio album features several innovative elements that provide freshness and a new orchestral evolution to our beloved Heavy Metal band. Actually it's hard to call it Heavy Metal and the early fans may not like its new sound.

It's not easy to describe the sound of Dance Of Death. Imagine Brave New World with the constant [but never invadent] presence of orchestration. Image evocative deep intros. Imagine outstanding guitar melodies. Imagine complicated intrumental breaks. Or, if you prefer, go buy it now and try it yourself. I just gave you my advice.

Written by The Silent Man | 18.09.2003


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
Iron Maiden's 2003 release was something that by the first listen didn't convince me much. I even went this far thinking to myself Bruce Dickinson should have rather continued with his solo career, but luckily I've waited long enough to change my mind.

Concluding there must be something entirely different to previous releases (which was also true for the Brave New World album) to make a die hard Iron Maiden (incl. Bruce Dickinson) fan shake his had (and I don't mean bang of course). The first thing that disturbed me was the first single ... It sounded rather poor and still does in comparison to the rest of the album. I mean it evokes the right feeling, continuing on paths of Brave New World, but on a much lower level and yes it took me some time to get into B. N. W., too... Anyway the second song' Rainmaker', that is still my favourite on the album, takes the opposite direction, entirely satisfying from the start, somehow something that I expected to be and it came out just right (thinking of nothing in particular though) the result is Rainmaker, an awesome song. Then at first I found other tracks to be rather lame and unsatisfying (for sure, I wouldn't have to state that I changed my mind, would I?). This category was filled by 'Dance Of Death' and the tracks from 'Paschendale' to the last song 'Journeyman'. I simply couldn't find the relation to older what I've heard before, indeed I rather thought, this is not really Maiden, this is some band of old dudes that will retire in the very near future.

published 14.09.2004 | Comments (5)

Guest review by
Singer Bruce Dickinson's return to Iron Maiden in 1999 was unsurprisingly met with a great deal of anticipation. Could his return bring the Irons out of the arguable rut into which they had fallen during the Blaze Bailey years? The energy and conviction of 2000's 'Brave New World' suggested that Iron Maiden were very much headed for the top once again. Unfortunately, this momentum was not to be sustained by the 2003 follow-up 'Dance Of Death'.

published 19.02.2007 | Comments (16)


Comments: 8   Visited by: 101 users
19.12.2006 - 05:05
Account deleted
Great album!!..
New type of songs are in thisalbum!!
Maiden have created something new...
Must listen to this album!!
16.02.2007 - 10:14
The Aryaputra
Good review for a good album.
that which shines without names and forms...
26.02.2007 - 10:47
Account deleted
Written by Paganblood on 16.02.2007 at 10:14

Good review for a good album.

i agree. DoD is a really good album, many of the songs being pleasant musical surprises: Rainmaker, Pashendale, Age of innocence, not to mention Journeyman. The songs a I like least are Montsegur - a little bit repetitive, and the title song - could've been a bit shorter because it doesn't progress much (for its length i mean).
26.02.2007 - 16:09
I fell in love with that album besause of rainmaker.It is among the best maiden songs for me.How great riffs!!!!!!!And the new frontier with its lyrics a normal or usual band can make a new album.
Dark is the sunlight,we cast the life together
Dark is the sunlight or I'm blind forever..
05.02.2008 - 19:32
Heaven Knight
very good album imo...Dance of Death, Paschendale, Face in the Sand are probably the best, but whole album is great...the refrain of Journeyman is fantastic
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again

20.07.2008 - 19:04
Account deleted
slight change in thier style, but a great album for me no more lies, dance of the death, face in the sand, journeyman under the classic tag 8.5/10
01.11.2008 - 06:37
Liver Failure
My favorite Iron Maiden album, Face in the Sand and Wildest Dream are the best songs.. Rainmaker also rules

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
05.01.2017 - 01:48
Bad English
I say opening track are good one and if I get righ, band did jam as compossing? maybe that's a key factor why most modern bands and home studios, PC , computer writing sucks, old school beer jamming is best, I think.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

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