IRON MAIDEN — Dance Of Death (review)

IRON MAIDEN — Dance Of Death album cover Album · 2003 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Time Signature
New frontier...

Genre: heavy metal

Yes, the cover's not great. Right, Eddie doesn't look right, but who cares? It's about the music, this. And the music's great. Maiden carries on the "Brave New World" formula, while bringing in some more proggy elements. Besides, the covers of the two Blaze era albums are much worse (as it happens, I've started to appreciate the roughness of the "Dance of Death" cover recently, and compared to the new Space-Eddie, this Grim-Reaper-Eddie certainly looks right!).

"Wildest Dreams" is perhaps the second weakest track on the album without being bad. It's obviously a power-opener in the tradition of Iron Maiden, but I think other openers like "Prowler", "Aces High", "Moonchild", "Be Quick or Be Dead", "Wicker Man" and "Different World" work better (of course, the band has abandoned this tradition on "The Final Frontier"). But never mind that. It's still a powerful opener, and it doesn't suck, and that's what counts.

"Rainmaker" is another great short rocker; yet with its vocally and musically interesting chorus it seems more sophisticated and interesting than "Wildest Dreams". "No More Lies", a seven minute non-epic tune is despite its length actually quite simple, but not simplistic, and it generally works very well. "Monts├ęgur" is a more classical heavy metal tune, both in terms of the composition and the lyrical theme, but it works very well, and despite it not being super long, it is actually somewhat of an epic in atmosphere. "Gates of Tomorrow", "Age of Innocence" and "Face in the Sand" are typical instances of Maidens post 2000 style, carrying on much in the same vein as the tracks on "Brave New World", combining the catchy with the sophisticated. "New Frontier" falls under this category too, but is noteworthy in that it's the first "proper" Iron Maiden song where the main contribution was made by Nicko McBrain, who wrote the main bass line. The song overall works very well and has a great bridge and a totally catchy chorus. The true outstanding track on the album is "Paschendale", primarily masterminded by Adrian Smith (man, I missed him while he was pursuing his solo career). The song starts out with a solitary guitar tapping pattern accompanied by an iconic hi-hat pattern meant to imitate morse code. The song explodes into a classic metal style verse and then builds up towards truly epic proportions with keyboards, symphonic scores and what not. Great music, and the lyrics are very picturesque - not in the sense of being beautiful, but in the sense of evoking images of death and destruction and almost provoking the feelings of fear and chaos in the mind of the listener. Following closely is "Dance of Death", and eerie nightmarish piece of music with lyrics telling an equally nightmarish story whose first poetic person perspective reminds one of some of the epic poems of the Romantic era.

Great stuff. Recommendable to anyone who likes rock music, and a good introduction to Iron Maiden to those who have yet to be initiated.
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more than 2 years ago
Indeed. I love it.
adg211288 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Underrated album. All I have to say.
Tupan wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Well, I prefer the Space-Eddie than the Grim-Reaper-Eddie...
more than 2 years ago
It's only generous in your perspective. In my perspective it's deserved. ;-)
LittleBig wrote:
more than 2 years ago
5 stars??!! that's very generous; wow, how tastes differ; I find this album to be their weakest effort since the reunion. No More Lies and Monsegur are annoyingly repetitive, the title track drags for too long; pashendale is the only awesome song here. The rest of the songs are OK, without superlatives though.
more than 2 years ago
Oh, yeah... I must have deleted the last part of the sentence. I'll fix it later.
Pekka wrote:
more than 2 years ago
There seems to be something missing from the second paragraph?

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