IRON MAIDEN — Dance Of Death (review)

IRON MAIDEN — Dance Of Death album cover Album · 2003 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Iron Maiden - Dance of Death (2003)

I liked the gathering of Maiden's best musicians during the Brave New World period and expectations were high at the time of the release of this album. Dance of Death is a good album, but some new problems appeared when Maiden tried to enter the world of 'modern' metal recordings and digital artwork. The latter is by far the worst released since the existence of the band. The recording is very bad, with annoying drum-sounds and an unfinished sound as if it was recorded in a rush. Producing their own album is one of the few talents Iron Maiden clearly does not have. Furthermore the length of the album, also a modern feature, makes the second phase of it uninteresting at times.

Having that said, there are also some very good features on this new Iron Maiden album. First of all, there are some very innovative and progressive songs here! Montségur shows Iron Maiden doing something totally different with a sometimes folky approach and cynical lyrics about slaughter for faith. Dance of Death, the title-track uses some world-music influences and has an elegant style. The epical structure, the beautiful acoustic guitars in the beginning and the amazing metal- parts in the middle section make this a fresh Maiden epic. Paschendale is an epic with a modern punchy riff, a sensitive intro and some nice symphonic elements. The bombastic moments of the song are great an the lyrics about this historical battle are intensive. The song is a bit fragmentarily in the beginning, but progresses quite a lot and has a lot to offer. Journeyman is an entirely acoustic song with an adventurous sound and good vocals by Dickinson. This is the sensitive side of Iron Maiden and their second entirely rock-less track of their career, with Strange world from their debut being the first. Some slightly symphonic sounds make the song work very well, though it's a bit too long. Great track and a very original approach.

The other tracks all have good elements but aren't as good as those I've just mentioned. Wildest dream is a happy opener and Rainmaker an emotional song that could have been recorded way better. No More Lies is my least favorite part of the album because it's to simple and recycles way to much of their earlier tracks. Gates of Tomorrow, New Frontier, Face in the Sand and Age of Innocence are acceptable metal-track with often some catchy parts, but a bit un-asked for IMHO. Not everything to original here.

Conclusion. This is an Iron Maiden album with some very interesting progressions and some great ideas. To bad the recording isn't good enough (for the first time in their career..). The album is to long and three songs should have been excluded. This album has at least 45 minutes of great material! This album is recommended to fans of the band and metal- fans in general. Proggers who aren't audiophiles will also find some very nice progress here and a fine album of one of the best bands of the world. Three stars, good but not essential.
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