The Final Frontier
Rs 395; rating: HHHH
Iron Maiden is back and how. Its been a tumultuous decade for the band. After their brilliant album Brave New World (2000),they have gone steadily downhill,with the inconspicuous Dance of Death (2003) and the let-down that was the 2006 album A Matter of Life and Death.
But the British heavyweights hit the bulls eye again. The title track doesn’t impress you right away; it clocks over eight minutes and opens with a distorted bass groove which,for the most part,sounds very unlike Maiden. But the doubts are laid to rest as their signature assaults kick in towards the end of the track.
As the guitar trio,Adrian Smith,Dave Murray and Janick Gers,trade trail-blazing licks,bassist Steve Harris boulders through,propelled by Nicko McBrains machine-gun drumming. Bruce Dickinson can still steer his vocal chords sky high. A little mellowed,if at all,from his Be Quick or Be Dead days. Tracks like The Alchemist and Starblind rip through with tightly packed riffs and molten progressions; the soft side is explored on the semi-ballad Coming Home. The Talisman,The Man Who Would be King and When the Wind Blows have stark and intricate tunes and feisty riffs. Maiden fans,its time to get those heads banging!