IRON MAIDEN — Powerslave (review)

IRON MAIDEN — Powerslave album cover Album · 1984 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Half powerful

Wow, what a stunning artwork! This must be top-notch middle-eastern heavy metal! Well, unfortunately not exactly....

"Powerslave" marks, for me, the transition from a pure, epic to a more prog-oriented metal. Thus, as for most transitional albums, it has both good and bad parts.

Good parts are tracks 1, 3, 7 and 8. "Aces High" is a powerful, typical MAIDEN opening, which shares some similarities with "Where Eagles Dare". "Losfer Words" is an aggressive instrumental track with interesting variations. However, the record highlight - and the main interest for progressive metal fans - are the Egyptian-like title track and the 13 minutes suite "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". These songs alone justifies the listen. Unfortunately, the rest of the album does not present the same quality and originality.

The other half of the album contains mostly what I consider as filler songs. "2 Minutes to Midnight" sounds rather flat, contrasting with the enthusiasm of the opening track. "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duellists" have strong intros, but afterwards becomes annoying and repetitive, missing at keeping interest. The worst moment of the album is undoubtedly "Back In The Village". This song may be one of their less inspired from the 80's. Compared to the epic tracks on the previous album "Piece of Mind", this is quite a contrast.

My least favorite 80's IRON MAIDEN album. Heavy metal fans can give it a listen, but I'll rather recommend the previous albums for more rage and epicness, or, if you're looking for more progressive stuff, "Somewhere in Time", "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", or even "The X-Factor".
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more than 2 years ago
Back in the day, I remember liking the first two and last two tracks and kind of zoning out during the others. But last fall I finally brought this home on CD and thought those middle tracks were better now 30 years later.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I agree that not all tracks are equal but for me a masterpiece isn't about all tracks carrying the same weight, it's about a certain flow that makes me want to hear the album in its entirety. While i used to share the same opinion about the same tracks, the magic of this album for me was that once i burned out on my faves of the lot, i then started loving the other ones. Now i couldn't imagine this album any other way then what it is although i still think it should have been a concept album. For me it's 5 stars but respect all opinions :)
Vim Fuego wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Good to see strong opinions on what a lot of people believe to be an untouchable classic. Back in the Village is one of Maiden's worst songs ever! Disagree about 2 Minutes to Midnight though. To me it was the song which indicated the direction Maiden were going, and wouldn't have seemed out of place on Somewhere in Time.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
While I think this album is a masterpiece, I'm glad you gave a mention to Losfer Words, really underrated instrumental that deserves more notice.

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