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Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death review


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Band: Iron Maiden
Album: A Matter Of Life And Death
Release date: August 2006

Disc I
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"

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.

Such gaucherie is only to be expected from a band whose passports all say 50 or nearly that, but whose style seems to be grounded forever in 1980's Heavy Metal. With verses like "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 a cold bloody war", A Matter Of Life And Death is clearly an album with its heart in the right place, but it is also the work of a band that simply loves what it is doing and does not seem to be interested in venturing away from its styles. Tough enjoyable, they have now become a bit predictable.

The anthem choruses are there, the epic songs are there, the lead guitar duals are there, the three-guitar onslaught is there as well, but these things have been heard before. Yet Iron Maiden knows how to go around developing good melodies along good power-chords. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg, and Different World are two good examples here, showing the band firing on all cylinders.

These Colours Don't run also shows how articulate Bruce Dickenson can be in his observation of war and the mechanisms behind it. He does put a human touch in this song which is all about a soldier in a war zone. However, for sheer intensity, the best songs can be traced to the two longest songs, namely For The Greater Good Of God and The Legacy. Again, both songs throw so much light on propaganda onto war and its undesirable after-effects. When it comes to creativity, A Matter Of Life And Death may not be as effective as Powerslave or Somewhere In Time, but it still has enough good songs to keep the band's avid fans happy, as well as appealing to newcomers.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written by Lupas | 06.02.2007


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
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…

published 28.08.2006 | Comments (91)

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Comments: 31   Visited by: 98 users
11.05.2010 - 13:56
Angel Of Mercy
For The Greater Good Of God. Pretty much everything apart from the first two tracks.
Your time will come.

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