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4.13 | 163 ratings | 12 reviews
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Album · 2000

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1. The Wicker Man (4:35)
2. Ghost Of The Navigator (6:50)
3. Brave New World (6:18)
4. Blood Brothers (7:14)
5. The Mercenary (4:42)
6. Dream Of Mirrors (9:21)
7. The Fallen Angel (4:00)
8. The Nomad (9:06)
9. Out Of The Silent Planet (6:25)
10. The Thin Line Between Love And Hate (8:26)

Total Time 67:01


- Bruce Dickinson / vocals
- Dave Murray / guitar
- Adrian Smith / guitar, vocals
- Janick Gers / guitar
- Steve Harris / bass, vocals, keyboards
- Nicko McBrain / drums

About this release

29 May 2000
EMI, Sony

Thanks to Stooge, Pekka, Lynx33, adg211288 for the updates


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Brave New Maiden?

"The return of Bruce Dickinson", "And Then They Were Six", "And Then They Were Three Guitarists"... All that's fine, but all that's for what? Much ado for nearly nothing...

The reintegration of IRON MAIDEN's historical frontman and guitarist Adrian Smith showed great promises for the band lovers. The entire "golden" line-up is back, furthermore with nineties' guitarist Jannick Gers! What else could any fan dream for? In addition, unlike the past decade, the revival of heavy metal of the 2000's were a favorable context of the genre! Unfortunately, even this is not sufficient to recover the inspiration vanishing since 1990. If you're expecting a return of the grandeur of the 80's, renewal, or just something refreshing and catchy, you may be quite disappointed. To be honest, the compositions even difficultly matches the troubled and uneven MAIDEN waters of the 90's.

Named after the well-known eponymous book by Aldous Huxley, "Brave New World" does not take many risks. Like "Virtual XI", the music is overall insipid and lengthy. It contains even fewer interesting tracks than its predecessor. A continuity, as "The Mercenary", "Dream of Mirrors" and "The Nomad" were initially composed for the 1998 album. A global impression is that IRON MAIDEN's asperities developed in 20 years are progressively disappearing: very few memorable melodies, remarkable bridges, breathtaking soli or galloping bass. The same dish, but without flavor. By the way, in case you're wondering about the three guitars, they are hardly audible and fail to bring something to the songs.

In addition, this will be the last collaboration with historical artist Derek Riggs, and he only illustrated the top half of the cover. Furthermore, Martin Birch, the band's producer since 1981's "Killers" has been replaced. There are signs that do not lie...

Concerning the rare good passages, the rocking "The Wicker Man" clearly does the job as an MAIDEN opener with its powerful theme, but it's just an illusion. The only genuine originality here is "Nomad" with its mystical Middle-Eastern-ish atmosphere. We haven't heard this since 1984's "Powerslave"! Recovered creativity? In fact, the calm beautiful section borrows an extract from 1974's BECKETT's "Life's Shadow". A bit lengthy, but overall quite good. "The Fallen Angel" average but has its moments. The rest of the disc rather flat and boring.

As a fan of IRON MAIDEN's eighties' albums, from their first self-titled opus to "Seventh Son", and of "The X-Factor", I was really disappointed by what was announced as the resurrection of an iconic and influential metal institution. I felt like if I was fooled by the product.

Steve Harris and co. were one of the few to entirely redefine the genre in the 80's. The 90's musical melting pots were a difficult context for traditional metal bands, and MAIDEN didn't make exception, delivering just a few interesting tracks inside average albums. The departure of high-pitched vocalist Bruce Dickinson was an occasion for renewal, seized with the dark and progy "The X-Factor". However, this evolution divided the fan-base, so the musicians decided to return to a secure path by going back to their original recipe, but without the inspiration and the spiciness.

Since the controversial 1995 opus, it seems that the band is on auto-pilot (no pun intended), gave up their creativity and will to try something new. This had to happen, "Brave New World" clearly marks the turning point: IRON MAIDEN has lived and now became a pale copy of itself. For sure, same can be done for other numerous artists of all genres, but here the difference is that the music doesn't match what was proclaimed as a renaissance.

"Brave New World" is an aseptic and overrated album. Too polite, neither raging, nor really epic nor adventurous compared to what modern progressive metal bands were proposing at the same period. A new MAIDEN yes, but not very brave...
The nineties were not a good time for Iron Maiden. None of the four albums produced in that time were up to par with their eighties work. But the nineties were over by the time of their twelfth album Brave New World. The band had both Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith back in the fold, with Janick Gers also staying on, bringing their line-up up to six. The result is very much Iron Maiden reborn, making Brave New World not only their best album in over a decade, but one of the very best overall.

The sound here marks the return of Iron Maiden's progressive side that they've used on occasions as far back as Somewhere in Time. Starting with Brave New World that's pretty much where they've been since. There are plenty of longer tracks, more than had been normal up until this point, that show off this side of the band, while the opening The Wicker Man was the perfect lead single. You just know it's a good album though when it's hard to separate favourites and that's exactly the problem I have with this one. It doesn't surpass either Seventh Son of a Seventh Son or Powerslave for me, but although I know some will argue that nothing can surpass any eighties Iron Maiden, this one is most definitely my third favourite release from them.

Although the return of Bruce Dickinson to Iron Maiden is something to cherish, Brave New World is equally special for offering the return of Adrian Smith. Indeed, arguably it's Smith's departure after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, rather than Bruce quitting after Fear of the Dark, which really marked the beginning of the band's mid-career slump, because whilst the Blaze Bayley era is often derided it isn't as though the two Smith-less albums featuring Bruce on vocals were top-flight additions to the Maiden discography.

As it stands, Brave New World feels like the band picking up where they left off after Seventh Son, as though the intervening albums were just a bad dream. The expanded three-guitar lineup gives the band confidence to get back to more complex song structures and lavish, layered arrangements which they may otherwise have struggled to reproduce live, whilst Bruce sounds as fresh as ever. I wouldn't quite call it a classic, but I certainly like it better than Somewhere In Time, and that means it deserves to be embraced in the Maiden canon.
After four very average albums in the nineties IRON MAIDEN started a new decade in style. Of course the return of Dickinson and Smith has a lot to do with how great this album sounds. Love the album cover too, my favorite from them. My cd cover has all kinds of smudges on it because i got to know this really well one year down in Florida, so yeah lots of finger prints that were covered in sun-tan lotion. "The Wicker Man" starts the album off with plenty of heaviness as Bruce joins the fray. Great chorus and i like the vocal melodies late to end it. "Ghost Of The Navigator" is even better in my opinion. The lyrics and rhythm section shine here. Head banging time ! I just can't say enough about this one. "Brave New World" is my favourite song on here. The relaxed beginning with reserved vocals are all blown away 1 1/2 minutes in. Nice ! Contrasts will continue in this amazing tune. "Blood Brothers" has this almost waltz-like rhythm and some orchestration that comes and goes. An interesting track. "The Mercenary" is balls to the wall all the way. An uptempo burner except on the chorus. "Dream Of Mirrors" is the longest tune at almost 9 1/2 minutes. A cool tune but i'm not a fan of the intro. The rest is a real trip though. "The Fallen Angel" kicks ass with those earth moving bass lines and pounding drums. "The Nomad" is a top three track. How freaking good does this sound ! Man ! "Out Of The Silent Planet" is another killer tune. Lots of tempo shifts along with the galloping rhythm. Great instrumental section 4 minutes in as well. "The Thin Line Between Love & Hate" has this excellent heavy intro. The vocals are fairly fast paced. Just a fantastic return to form by the band. So impressive.
Brave New World is the twelfth album by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. Released in 2000 Brave New World sees Iron Maiden entering the new millennium with a reunion with singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith, who both return to the Iron Maiden fold after lengthy absences. Bruce replaces Blaze Bayley, the man who replaced him, while Smith’s replacement Janick Gers remains a member of the band, making Brave New World the first album to feature the band as a six-piece. The entirety of the so called classic line-up of Iron Maiden is a part of this record with the addition of Gers, and after the poor Virtual XI from 1998, things could really only be looking up for the band.

‘Looking up’ however is the understatement of the century as Brave New World sees Iron Maiden coming back with a bang. The sound is completely revitalised to the point that Brave New World is right up there at the same levels of greatness as the classics from the 80’s. The typical Maiden sound is intact and still vital in today’s heavy metal scene, but Brave New World goes beyond that as once again Iron Maiden begins to move into the heady realm of the progressive, as they once did with Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Brave New World is not as openly progressive metal as some of the band’s releases, especially the ones that follow Brave New World, but the flavours are beginning to come out with this album, especially with the lengthier tracks such as Blood Brothers, Dream of Mirrors and The Nomad, all of which stand as some of the band’s best songs.

What makes the album even better though is the aspect of variety that it offers the listening. On its predecessor Virtual XI the longer tracks were what made it a poor album as they were drawn out and repetitive, but nothing as such happens here which results in something musically epic. Variation continues to play elsewhere though with the presence of shorter tracks such as the opening The Wicker Man and The Mercenary, which represent the side of the band that does rocking ‘single material’ style songs, but manage to be no less powerful than the epics or other gems such as the title track and a personal favourite, Ghost of the Navigator. The return of Bruce Dickinson is most welcome within the band’s sound, as are the writing talents that he and Adrian Smith bring to the table. With band leader Steve Harris and guitarists Dave Murray and Janick Gers also contributing material to the album Iron Maiden stands once again as a powerful force in heavy metal.

After an inconsistent run of albums during the 90’s Iron Maiden returns to form in true style with Brave New World, and this is easily the first really great Iron Maiden release since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son twelve years beforehand. What makes it even better in a way is that it’s the first of a string of albums every bit as good as their 80’s material, and with no weak track amongst its number, I’d even say it’s better than many of them. An absolutely essential album for any self-respecting Iron Maiden fan of any description.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scored at 9.5/10)
"Brave New World" is clearly a rebirth of Iron Maiden after their two previous albums failed to deliver what the fans wanted, perhaps something big is missing with the absence of Dickinson's charm and mighty voice. I still remember thinking that Maiden is over after Bruce decided to bail out from the band, although Harris is always the decisive blood vein of the band, it's Dickinson's indispensable distinctive pipe that pull 'em up one level higher.

This album showed a more aggressive side by deploying three axemen including the return of Adrian Smith and twisting the arrangement with some spicy progressive element. "The Wicker Man", this song really blew me away especially when I greet the dawn of 2000 with the lack of good classic heavy metal song. The rushing guitar madness and Maiden's typical chanting is spine-chilling, definitely an instant fave. The title track smartly climbs the tempo up as the song progresses, packed with great melodies and tense solos, this one is also a winner. Some other superb songs here are "Dream of Mirros", "The Fallen Angel", and the commercial-fueled "Out of The Silent Planet". The closing track, "The Thin Line Between Love And Hate", actually is pretty thick, reminded me a bit of "Fear of The Dark" chugging rhythm, while dominated by roaring lead guitar, Dickinson shown the world that he still got his blazing voice from the 80s.

With several weaker tracks such as "Blood Brothers" and "Nomad" which I think lack of something big compared to the others, I'm pretty convinced to "only" give this a 4-stars rating, but bottom line is that "Brave New World" is a shiny release for me especially in the scarcity era of heavy metal, a warm return of Dickinson and Smith, and let me say that this is a fresh new chapter of Maiden's fruitful career to come.
Time Signature
Brave new world...

Genre: heavy metal

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of a really big dead bird, Maiden were reborn with the return of Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson. The first release of the 2000s, "Brave New World" saw a partial return to the style of the 80s, a retention of those good things that were introduced in the Blaze era, and additions of a lot of new and quite proggy elements. I remember hearing it for the first time, and feeling invigorated for months just by the thought of Iron Maiden themselves being invigorated.

"Wicker Man" is a great energetic opener with a really catchy pre-chorus and an equally catchy chorus. "Ghost of the Navigator", which is probably my favorite of that album and one of my favorite Maiden tracks ever, is melodic and energetic at the same time, and, despite it not being a super long tune, it is quite epic, partially due to the lyrics. The guitar theme, which is doubled by the vocals in the chorus, is simple but effective. "Blood Brothers" is probably considered the most progressive tune on the album by many due to its slight folk influences, which are not obvious, but they are there if your listen closely, with the almost medieval sounding guitar theme. "Brave New World", "Dream of Mirrors", and "Out of the Silent Planet" are all quite typical of Maiden's newfound style (or perhaps refound style), with catchy choruses, blazing guitar solos, and over the top vocals, and blending a touch of complexity and sophistication with straightforward catchiness. I guess this goes for "Fallen Angel" and "The Mercenary", the latter probably being the least appealing track on the album. "The Nomad", another epic sounding tune, is vaguely reminiscent, at least in atmosphere, of Rainbow's perhaps most progressive pieces, "Stargazer" and "Gates of Babylon". "The Thing Line Between Love And Hate" is interesting, it starts out being almost stone-agishly simple with basically a two-chord verse and a four-chord chorus, but eventually modulates into this rather complex and semi-proggy affair; a very interesting twist, if not totally successful.

In conclusion, "Brave New World" is a great comeback after a troubled decade. It's highly recommended to anyone who wishes to be introduced to one of the greatest metal bands ever.
"This album changed my life." That's big a phrase you hear suspiciously often, but Iron Maiden's Brave New World is one of the two albums I really can say that about. Had I not heard this album and become an Iron Maiden fan, I wouldn't have met other Iron Maiden fans around Finland and through them I wouldn't have met the lady sitting behind me on the couch. So hearing Brave New World in the summer of 2000 really set moving a course of events which has brought me to this place in my life right now.

For that only I would treasure this album, but the music has stayed with me for ten years, not getting old and boring one bit. In the end of the 90s, a dark decade for Maiden, they had done the thing that many thought inevitable, sacked Blaze Bayley and welcomed back the good old Bruce Dickinson. And if that wasn't already enough to get people excited, Adrian Smith's return at the same time should have done it. As they had the good sense of keeping his replacement Janick Gers in the line-up, Maiden now possessed the power of three excellent axe masters, which makes this album a big bowl of tasty soloing.

Adrian Smith comes back with a vengeance as he is the main composer behind their best album opener since Moonchild, The Wicker Man. Ten years ago this was the song that made me a fan, and I still love it today. This is one of the examples that make Nicko McBrain one of the only metal drummers I know who can make a closed hi-hat beat work like a charm. Ghost of the Navigator and the title track are brilliant pieces, both of which feature the added third guitar doubling Bruce Dickinson's melody lines. One could hope for the guitar to create more harmonies with the vocals to enrich the music, but this approach is an improvement as well, making the melodies more powerful. Blood Brothers is an early favourite of mine that has again climbed near the top of my favourite tracks list, an emotional slower song about Steve Harris' father. The beautiful instrumental section is a highlight of the album, but it too could have benefited from the strings creating harmonies with guitars instead of merely doubling them.

The two rockers, The Mercenary and Adrian Smith's other writing contribution, The Fallen Angel are perhaps the weakest tracks of the album, but on an album this strong in its entirety the correct phrase is "least great". The second single Out of the Silent Planet is of faster nature as well, and a wonderful piece despite the repetition in the chorus. The verses are some of the finest moments on the album. My respect for this album dropped a tiny bit when I learned that (along with some of the lyrics in Hallowed be Thy Name) the gloriously grand and wonderful instrumental section in the highlight track The Nomad is very much copied from a Beckett song called Life's Shadow, but still along with Dream of Mirrors it proves that Maiden's ability to craft memorable epics was still as strong as it ever was. The album closer The Thin Line Between Love and Hate features some pretty unusual sounds for Maiden with its multi tracked vocals and a somewhat loose feeling arrangement. A very good track this one as well, but a bit of a downer for a such important place on the album.

This is one of the dearest albums in my life, and as the listens number 245 and 246 last week proved, I still enjoy it just as much as I did in the early days. Just as good as anything they did during the 80s, excluding the two favourites of mine.
A tour de force of progressive instrumentation and conceptual lyrics.

“Brave New World” is another of the most progressive of Iron Maiden’s albums and this one comes after Bruce Dickinson’s brief hiatus away from lead vocalist of the group. The previous singer could not hold a candle to the powerhouse vocals of Dickinson. So after two very mediocre albums Iron Maiden return with a vengeance on “Brave New World”. All killer, no filler, the album is a tour de force of progressive instrumentation and conceptual lyrics. Smith and Murray are joined by Gers and the triple guitar work is masterful, featuring synth guitars as well as traditional speed picking and high energy string bends. The band are motivated on this album and it spawned the Live In Rio DVD where I first heard a lot of this album. I was inspired by the DVD to get hold of this album as it is such a fantastic bunch of songs. I was taken with the masterpiece “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” but this album is even better; an absolute brilliant metal powerhouse.

'The Wicker Man’ is the first track with a killer riff and a fast tempo. Dickinson’s vocals are multi layered with harmonies. The lyrics are fast and tell a story, “You watch the world exploding every single night, Dancing in the sun a newborn in the light, Brothers and their fathers joining hands and make a chain, The shadow of the wicker man is rising up again, Your time will come, Your time will come...” The lead break is replete with very fast hammer ons and pull offs and high pitch notes. It ends with a “woah” section that I can imagine every member of the audience chanting along to with fists pounding the air. A great way to begin the album.

‘Ghost of the Navigator’, my favourite song on the album, stamps it’s authority with a fantastic melody that locks in immediately with clean guitars. The distortion kicks in soon and then a chugging riff drives it along to Dickinson’s enigmatic vocals, “I see the ghosts of navigators but they are lost, As they sail into the sunset they'll count the cost, As their skeletons accusing emerge from the sea, The sirens of the rocks, they beckon me.” The time sigs change several times before we get to the familiar tune that once in your head will never leave, “Take my heart and set it free, carried forward by the waves, Nowhere left to run, navigator's son, Chasing rainbows all my days...” The verses continue after this with all the time changes till we get to the lead break, and what a break! Arpeggios and sweep picking at high speed. The fret melting work of Smith and Murray with Gers are backed by pounding drums of McBrain and Harris’s awesome basslines. This is Maiden at their best! The power metal on display here is simply awesome.

‘Brave New World’ is another definitive Maiden track that begins with a solid guitar line that all Maidenheads love. It sets the pace and the strong melody. The tranquillity and soft vocals are so ethereal they send shivers down the spine. The guitars chug in and Dickinson’s vocals move to ‘Air Raid Siren’ mode; “Wilderness house of pain, makes no sense of it all, Close this mind dull this brain, Messiah before his fall, What you see is not real, those who know will not tell, All is lost sold your souls to this brave new world, A brave new world, in a brave new world...” The time sig changes in the chorus and the audience will be singing along every time, as indeed they are on the live DVD. The pace really picks up in the next adrenaline charged verse. The drum and bass rhythm machine is relentless and motorvates along till we get to the lead break. The guitars trade off duelling in trademark style, with very fast speed picking and note for note perfect speed work up the frets. Then the wonderful melodic harmonics of the three guitars takes it to another level; it is sheer bliss when the band are in full flight.

‘Blood Brothers’ features a lot of bass and an orchestra reminding me of Ayreon or Therion. The strings are majestic and the vocals are more subdued. It almost sounds like a bizarre waltz feel. I am not a huge fan of this track but it does have a nice melody and is a different beast among all the intricate metal blasts.

‘The Mercenary’ is next with some effective riffing and strong powerful lyrics; “Toe to toe throw the line, Everyone's caught hand tied, Iron will iron fist, How could it have come to this?”

‘Dream of Mirrors’ is a lengthy track with a consistent rhythm and melodic chorus; “I only dream in black and white, I only dream 'cause I'm alive, I only dream in black and white, To save me from myself.”

‘The Nomad’ is an excellent 9 minute mini epic with a majestic sweeping lead riff. The pace quickens and slows at intervals. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing along to; “Nomad, you're the rider so mysterious, Nomad, you're the spirit that men fear in us, Nomad, you're the rider of the desert sands, No man's ever understood your genius.” The rhythm is kept by distinct 11 to 12 syllable rhyming verses; “Those who see you in horizon desert sun, Those who fear your reputation hide or run, You send before you a mystique that's all your own, Your silhouette is like a statue carved in stone.” The middle section is a quiet guitar passage reminding me of the middle of ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. The guitar is rather pretty and melancholy. The melody is one that an audience can sing to with ease. There is a unique style in the melody that is foreign sounding, almost Egyptian or Spanish. The steady pace is maintained throughout, with a simplistic tune but one that is very effective, making this a definite highlight of the album.

‘Out of the Silent Planet‘ begins with a solid lead riff that repeats for a while until a quiet vocal begins over acoustic arrangements. Metal guitars enter soon and another great song is belted out.

‘The Thin Line Between Love & Hate’ runs for 8 and a half minutes at a steady pace, with trademark chugging riffs, and multilayerd vocals. The chorus is infectious as ever; “There's a thin line between love and hate, Wider divide that you can see between good and bad, There's a grey place between black and white, But everyone does have the right to choose the path that he takes, I will hope, My soul will fly, So I will live forever, Heart will die My soul will fly, And I will live forever.” The progression repeats again and then a scorching lead breaks in at 4:50 with high pitched sustained bends and sweep picking. The song quietens to a minimalist clean guitar and hi hat cymbal beat. The next lead break is wonderful, and Dickinson has a brief but strong vocal passage. The lead returns much faster with harmonics and arpeggios over a moderate paced riff. It slows again with that soaring lead break. It is incredible music and one of the highlights of this album.

Overall "Brave New World" may well be the greatest thing Iron Maiden have done along with “Powerslave” and “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”. These three albums are the pinnacle of the proggiest albums from the band, as such deserve full recognition.

Members reviews

Iron Maiden - Brave New World (2000)

....and a brave new album as well!

With the return of lead-singer and front-man Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith Maiden had this amazing momentum. Both were also good song-writers that made important contributions to the Maiden discography. Everything feels right, good songs, fresh sound, lot's of good guitar parts, great vocals and some nice new experiments along the way. Even the artwork is great! The vinyl version of the album is a real treat.

The Wickerman is an energetic opener with nice guitarsolo's, but the real fun begins with Ghost of the Navigator with it's story-telling lyrics and great guitar sound. The atmosphere of the track is distinctive. Brave New World, the title track, has it all. Great emotional parts and honest vocals, great instrumental parts and a memorable guitar-solo. Great! Blood Brothers shows some 'coming to age' influences and is a very very mature song. The middle section has a great melody and amazing lyrics. The Mercenary is nice up-tempo metal-track, but it could have been shorter IMHO. Dream of Mirrors has a progressive, intellectual form and atmospheric use of an acoustic guitar in the quiet section during the refrains. The songs has a lot of lyrics, but they are really good. The Fallen Angel is a song-type like the Mercenary. Short, catchy and some nice melodies. The Nomad is another very progressive type song with the heaviest Maiden sound ever. The heavy riff and the eastern-like distorted solo is really good. The tension building in the middle section is also great. Out of the Silent Planet is another catchy song, it could have been a bit shorter. The Thin Line Between Love & Hate has again good lyrics and a sound as if Maiden had come to piece. A good ending track for the album, but it took me some time to learn to appreciate it.

Conclusion. This is Iron Maiden most mature album. It shows true skill, a great collaboration by a six-man band and the best of metal compositions. Some tracks like Blood Brothers, Brave New World and Dream of Mirrors stand out as very good epical songs. A great offering, essential for the metal-scene and very interesting for most proggers because of it's melodic and lyrical approach. Four stars.
Brave new maiden!

I remember hearing The Wicker Man on the radio around the time of the release of this album. I instantly liked it and rushed out to buy the album. In those days I was not too familiar with Iron Maiden even if I had heard some of their most popular 80's songs as well as the Fear Of The Dark album which I had listened to a lot some years previously. But by this time I had not listened to anything by Iron Maiden for several years. I also remember a talk show appearance by Bruce Dickinson where the interviewer commented on the Metal singer now having short hair, and of course, on the reunion of Dickinson and the rest of the band. I also remember him saying on this show that the new album (this was before it's release) might not have an Eddie on the cover. It was clear that they had something special coming out.

I was very impressed with this album when I first heard it and I still am today! Since then I have heard the band's entire discography and I still think that Brave New World is one of the very best Iron Maiden albums of all time. Indeed, only Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - to which it bears a significant resemblance - is better. These two albums clearly are the two most progressive albums by this band.

The 'progressiveness' of Brave New World is strongly apparent in the arrangements and in the many interesting tempo changes and mood changes within the same song. Like on Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son there are discrete keyboards in the background on several songs that adds a greater depth to the music. Most of the songs are over six minutes in length and three songs are over eight minutes. Song length is, of course, never a guarantee that you find anything interesting, but in this case it really can be taken as a strong hint as to the nature of the album.

By this time Iron Maiden became a larger band with as many as three lead guitarists! This is very interesting and they utilize it to the maximum - there are loads of great guitar solos. There are no ballads as such here, but there are many quieter sections and ballady moments within these songs, making for a diverse and very dynamic set. This is especially true of the excellent The Thin Line Between Love And Hate - which I love and not hate at all!

Brave New World is that kind of album that while playing it appears as if every new song is better than the previous one. There is just one great melody after another. It is hard to pick out favourites, since while listening to it every song is greater than the others. The music of Brave New World is highly melodic with very strong and memorable melodies and riffs. Indeed, the title track and Blood Brothers might have the most melodic choruses the band had ever made, which might turn some people off perhaps. In my view, however, there is not one weak song on this album. It would be useless to list my favourite tracks because I would end up listing most, or even all of them. But I would like to give special mention to the far eastern-flavoured The Nomad - brilliant song! Generally, I would say that the second half of the album is stronger than the first half.

This is simply an excellent addition to any Metal collection!
First off, wow, what a line up! This is the most members maiden have ever had at one time in the band. And, as most of you know, it marks the return of vocalist Bruce "Air-Raid Sirens" Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith. They mark the first band since Lynyrd Skynyrd to use a three man lead guitar act, and the first I can think of in the Metal genre. Maiden said that this is not a reunion album, but more of an all new Maiden sound to continue the legacy they once started.

Does the new maiden line-up and album live up to the Maiden of old? In some ways, yes, and in some ways, no. "The Wickerman," an idea from a British movie dealing with paganism, starts the journey off with a nice little rocker that Adrian Smith co-write, with nicely written guitar progressions around Bruce's layered vocals. "Ghost of the Navigator," which Bruce wrote and deals with a captain and his emotional battles at sea, starts off the more X-Factor/Virtual XI intros that lead up to a powerful chorus and/or climax later on. "Brave New World" continues the same route, with a beautiful intro, as Bruce's vocals shine through out in a sing-along fashion. "Blood Brothers" has an interesting concept in its lyrics, about getting in touch with the other side. Again, it starts with an emotional intro, Bruce's vocals build up to a strong chorus, and the guitars really shine in certain areas, sounding very clean for a 3 guitar act. "The Mercenary" is a strong rocker in fine Maiden fashion, about a bounty huner, while "Dream of Mirrors" slows the pace down a bit. It reminds me of "Deja Vu" from Somewhere in Time, and it deals with the way nightmares and dreams can really effect some people. Starts off slowly, with Harris' bass leading the charge, leads up to Bruce's usual power chorus, and the pace really picks up about mid way through the song, which is a treat. "The Fallen Angel" evens out the slower songs again, a good vs. evil theme, with beautiful guitar work and vocals, and "The Nomad" slows it back down. A 'Lawrence of Arabia vibe' as Harris calls it, has a beautiful solo that Harris even did the keyboard work himself. Nice. "Out of the Silent Planet," which Bruce (needs to write more songs!) wrote, reminds me of mid 80s Maiden, and Harris bass charge is as good as ever. The album closes with "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate," and it's a fairly nice closer, althought not nearly as good as say Rime..or Alexander..but it has many different moods which make it worth listening.

In the end, I must say that this is a nice way for Maiden to return. My only real gripes are that many of the songs start off with X Factor/Virtual XI lay outs, but Bruce's vocals sound as good as ever, the guitars shine throughout, and Nicko's drumming has improved a lot. Bruce and Adrian have returned! ..And so has Nicko! Recommended.

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