Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death review
|Album:||A Matter Of Life And Death|
|Release date:||August 2006|
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
11. Hallowed Be Thy Name [Radio 1 'Legends' Session] [iTunes bonus]
Disc II [Special Edition DVD]
+ The Making Of A Matter Of Life And Death
+ The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg [video]
+ The Band Recording "Different World"
It's never easy to write the review of the new album of the legendary Iron Maiden. The band is so big and famous that you'll always get comments from the nostalgic people that will say that it was better before (a point that is not especially wrong on a side) and comment from some others ones who cannot understand that a band can change a bit its musical orientation and will always request hits a la "Fear Of The Dark". Unfortunately for them, "A Matter Of Life And Death", 14th release is of the combo, is different… Really dark with a lot of progressive elements, I think that the ones who want some new "The Number Of The Beast" will be disappointed but all the ones who (like me) believe that "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" is the best album of the band, will like the new release…
Strangely, I only found one song, "Different World", that follows the lines of "Brave New World" and "Dance Of Death". With its catchy chorus, it fast rhythm (all the other songs are in general slower) it will be easy for you to remember its melody and if this song will work live, in my opinion it's definitely not the best song of the album… Because on the other hand, "A Matter Of Life And Death" is full of long (with an average length of seven, height or even nine minutes!) mid-tempo songs, and those long songs follow the spirit of "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". Dark and sad with some keyboards and a lot of progressive elements, "These Colours Don't Run" or "For The Greater Good Of God" for example are like the little brothers of a song like "Moonchild". It's definitely not easy of access, it will never pass on a radio or in a club but there is something good in those songs. It's not an "easy" Iron Maiden and it's obvious that the band worked a lot on this new release. The arrangements are complex, the riffs are all but not commercial and since that I like progressive music I'm starting to like more and more this new album. Evidently you'll still be able to listen to the really special original Maiden sound but a song like "On Lord Of Light" is so dark and different that the second part of the song will be really surprising for the fans. Because of course, since that the songs are not short the guys put a lot of variations, break etc in the music.
The production is also really surprising, especially when you know that Steve Harris said lately that it was recorded in a completely live state to give to the listeners a pure "old school" sound. You will see, it is really impressive and it works! Also, maybe if it's not the best performance ever of Dickinson but I think that his voice is better than on "Dance Of Death" and for sure, since that it's not so easy to sing on such complex songs we can say one more time that this guy is just an amazing singer of Heavy Metal. With "A Matter Of Life And Death" it's really hard to find a negative point with the production, even the "chaotic" cover with a "G.I." Eddie is a great and when I see the logo of the album, I'm sure that we will have a lot of good surprises with the stage of the upcoming Iron Maiden's tour…
For sure I know that some of you will be disappointed (and they will be maybe right after all) because the Maiden's "hits" are missing but on the other hand the new album is a lot better than (at least) their four last albums. It's different ok and you'll need time to "enter" into "A Matter Of Life And Death" but with time I'm ready to bet a lot of money that a lot of the dissidents will change their opinion…
"A Matter Of Life And Death" is probably not the best album of Iron Maiden and a lot of people will be disturbed by the fact that it's not an album that it will be easy to listen to. But like with "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" the band took some risks and at the end even if we don't have any spectacular songs, a lot of the tracks of this new CD are full of great things. This is different, never "happy" but these dark progressive aspects that you'll be able to find on the majority of the songs of the album are just cool. To finish, just remember this last tip… Don't be fast with this album, listen to it again and again and you'll see that at the end you'll agree with me to say that it is really entertaining, at the opposite of "Dance Of Death", the complexity of "A Matter Of Life And Death" proves that it's an interesting album. "A Matter Of Life And Death" is the proof that Iron Maiden still knows how to surprise us with some great original music.
|A Matter Of Life And Death is an album concerning warfare, religion, and the causal connections between the two. Accordingly, Maiden entered the stage to the sound of war-movie music, in front of a backdrop which initially shows the bombed-out ruins of what might be Strasbourg 1977 or, given the band's East End origins, Stratford.
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