IRON MAIDEN — Powerslave (review)

IRON MAIDEN — Powerslave album cover Album · 1984 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Iron Maiden - Powerslave (1984)

On the fifth studio album of Iron Maiden the band slightly recovers from the small loss of energy that Piece of Mind (1983) had suffered from. Powerslave is one of the heaviest albums of the band with a continues high pace and intensive instrumental parts in all songs. The album is a favorite for a lot of fans of the band.

The opener Aces High is an up-tempo track with spectacular high pitched vocals of Bruce Dickinson and a great instrumental guitar part. This song is very powerful and I used to like it very much, but the songs doesn't grow over time. Two Minutes to Midnight is stronger with some very inspiring melodic songwriting. The opening riff is quite conventional, but the bridge has a great dark feel and the couplet has a nice twist that keeps in interesting. The melodic soloing in the lower paced middle section is good. Losfer Words is an instrumental metal track. It's good, be I prefer the instrumentals of the first two albums. Somehow the melodies aren't as catchy as on other instrumental parts of Maiden.

Flash of the Blade is another up-tempo song with pull-off guitar themes all over the place that give it a sophisticated feel. A nice experiment. The Duellists is one of the stronger tracks of the album. It has many instrumental parts and I really like the vocal parts. It is a song with it's own atmosphere that is kind of relaxing. Back in the Village is like Flash of the Blade a song full of guitar frenzies and little good songwriting. I liked it very much at first, but I think it's a bit too much of to little.

Powerslave, the title-track, is strong Maiden epic with all elements the band has to offer. The song has an Egyptic feel as can be expected with an album cover like this. The many strong instrumental parts make this an important Maiden song. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the absolute highlight of the album. With it's 13 minutes it still is the longest Maiden track ever recorded. It has an amazing story, a great atmospheric middle section, more great instrumental parts and solo's and a good ending. Perhaps this is the proggiest of Maiden's epics.

Conclusion. Another good Iron Maiden album with some weak spots. I might not have always been very positive in my Maiden reviews, but it's important to know I prefer mediocre Maiden tracks to most other metal tracks of other bands. The standard of Iron Maiden was quite high and my expectations have risen over the time when I got into progressive music. This album is yet another good metal album with lot's of progressive moments and enough good songwriting to get four stars. After this Iron Maiden would again change directing with the synth-guitar driven Somewhere in Time.
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