Monday, August 16, 2010

Iron Maiden's Final Frontier

Today’s the day that Iron Maiden releases their fifteenth studio album, The Final Frontier. To say that I’m waiting with baited breath is to say that the Night’s Dawn Trilogy is moderately lengthy. Iron Maiden’s the band that got me into metal (still the my genre of choice), and they’re a huge inspiration on the music that I write to this day.

Which is not to say that I’m only interested in Maiden out of nostalgia. That couldn’t be further from the truth, right about now. I’m a relatively new Maiden fan, at least in terms of their overall discography, and the only one of their albums I’ve ever had to wait for until now was A Matter of Life and Death. When I got it, I thought it was one of the best things ever made, for a few weeks. After that, though I wouldn’t let myself admit it wasn’t as awesome as I thought it’d be, I didn’t listen to it all that much. I only gave it another spin recently…and it floored me. Back then, I was hoping for another Number of the Beast, something fun and catchy. A Matter of Life and Death was anything but fun and catchy. It is dark and brooding, epic and progressive, an album that threatens to drown you in its expansive soundscape. Though it’s nothing like Piece of Mind, Powerslave, Killers, etc, A Matter of Life and Death was a great album and better off for breaking new ground (the culmination of the sound that Maiden had done good work with on Brave New World and A Dance of Death and begun on The X Factor).

So, The Final Frontier’s got a bit of living up to do. There’s my childish glee whenever I get anything with Maiden’s name on it, augmented with the fact that my musical expectations are somewhere between Jaw-on-Floor and Greatest-Thing-Since-Sliced-Bread. It’s probably a bad thing to go into any album with expectations like that, but if any band can pull it off, it’s probably Maiden. So, if you’re a fan, you’ve already got the album on the way, and if not…you probably don’t care. All the same, I had to come out with this. Now I'm off to go check my mailbox...

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