The 2 main bands of my childhood unite!!!
Yes, I will admit...I am a massive Maiden fan, and a massive Sikth fan. These 2 bands are probably the reason I am so into music. Maiden are a band I have always loved and will always love. I thank them for getting me into music and for helping me discover other types of music, e.g. metal, prog rock, power metal ect. Sikth I heard around the same time I got into Maiden. They absolutely astounded me and because of their impact on my life, it got me into more extreme types of music, e.g. mathcore, djent, post hardcore, death metal ect.
Now when I heard that Mikee Goodman and Adrian Smith where making an album together, I was rather shocked. These guys live on almost 2 different dimensional planes…how this meeting took place, I don’t know. It really is the weirdest combination I’ve heard in a while. (Lou Reed & Metallica being a close second). But I have to admit, this is a union from the Gods.
For some odd reason, this works perfectly. I do fear at times that Maiden are ageing at times, and maybe this project may seem quite aged (with Adrian writing all the music), but it really didn’t, it seemed so modern, and so unique too. Musically the album’s feeling reminds me of Bruce Dickinson’s solo album The Chemical Wedding, where Adrian’s guitar playing wasn’t too Maiden sounding and made the album even more unique. Musically the album is pretty diverse as well, with Adrian touching upon many different parts of metal, rock and other genres of music.
To me, Mikee Goodman is one of the most unique vocalists in metal. In Sikth, his vocals where like listening to a proper mad man. Now when I say this, the kind of faux pas mad man comes into my mind, but Mikee’s vocals do actually sound like he is properly insane. Now on this album, he broadened his horizons and really showed how much of a diverse vocalist he is. At times, some of his Sikth sounding voices can be heard, but he really proved on this album that he isn’t a one trick pony (although he never was anyway).
Lyrically the album is Mikee’s best lyrical contributions. The album may not be a concept album, but the themes in the album do come up now and again. A lot of the album deals with the fear of modern society, like gang culture, ASBO culture, depression, love, drugs and even personal struggles. Mikee really is an honest and brilliant wordsmith and is able to touch people with his lyrics and tell very vivid and interesting stories.
1. No Friendly Neighbour – Now this is how you start of an album. Great lyrics, insane vocals and one head banging kick ass riff. This will be in my head for years to come. 10/10
2. No Place Like Home – The perfect song for a single. Interesting lyrics and some interesting vocals from Mikee. This song proves just how much of a diverse vocalist Mikee is. One of the songs of the year I my opinion. 10/10
3. I See Lights – A very epic and kick ass song. First hearing this song, I was rather bemused by it, but the more I listened to it, the more I fell in love with it. 10/10
4. Bright As A Fire – The longest and most diverse moment of the album. At first it's a bit like a post punk song, then it's one mammoth of a heavy song, then its rather laid back. It's a mind melting song and one of the best moments on the album. 10/10
5. Savage World – One of the most catchiest songs on the album. Such a great chorus, and Mikee's vocals are as crazy as ever. 10/10
6. Tortured Tone – A kind of ballad moment on the album, with some kick ass metal moments. The lyrics are pretty cool too and deal with depression in a rather interesting way. 9/10
7. White Sheet Robes – An interesting song about drugs. Great lyrics and a pretty killer chorus. 9/10
8. As Tears Come Falling From The Sky – I have to admit...I love Mikee doing spoke word poems. And this is one of his best ones. 10/10
9. Awoken Broken – One of the catchiest and rocking songs on the album. A bit cheesy, but a bit of cheese never hurt anyone. 9/10
10. Search For Bliss – Probably the weakest song the album. It’s alright, but nothing compared to the rest. Rather forgetful. 7/10
11. Snake Ladders - I love the storytelling aspect of this song. Has a very Nick Cave vibe to it. It works really well with the song and only makes it better. 9/10
12. Mirror & The Moon – A great closer to the album. Great vocals and melodies. A very different twist to ending such a kick ass album. 10/10
CONCLUSION: This seems to be the year of the side projects. I hope this isn’t the last I hear from this project. Although sadly I might have to wait for a new Maiden or Sikth album until then.