IRON MAIDEN

(UNITED KINGDOM)

DANCE OF DEATH

(2003)
LABEL:

EMI

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
High-pitched vocals
"Very predictable, 'Dance Of Death' may be Iron Maiden's most controversial album, but it still offers some excellent tracks and a few surprises."
NOISE (16.10.2008)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (4)
With the "Brave New World" album and the memorable tour that followed, Iron Maiden regained their place among the leaders of the world metal scene. After a short break, the band returned to the studio with their now regular producer, Kevin Shirley. A single, 'Wildest Dreams', was played during the summer tour preceding the album's release in September 2003.

The album begins in classic fashion with 'Wildest Dreams', a typical Iron Maiden single in the vein of 'The Wicker Man' and 'Man On The Edge'. Nothing very original, of course, but a very effective track that is made for live performance. 'Rainmaker' follows in the same vein. It's a fast track, thanks in part to Dave Murray, whose style is highly recognisable, with good solos and a catchy chorus. 'No More Lies' is the only solo track written by Steve Harris. While its opening may be reminiscent of 'The Clansman' with its Celtic intonations, the song is weaker than the latter, despite the excellent solos of the three guitarists.

'Montségur' is a catchy, dark, heavy track in which Dickinson is particularly incisive. It's also notable for its lyrics, which deal with the repression of the Cathars by the Catholic Church in the 13th century during the siege of Montsegur. 'Dance Of Death' is in the Iron Maiden epic tradition, with its frenzied instrumental part and Bruce Dickinson's formidable storytelling talent.

The rest of the album was rather uneven, with some average tracks ('Gates Of Tomorrow', 'New Frontier') and some very inspired compositions, such as the epic 'Paschendale', which recounts the battle of the same name that took place in Belgium and during which 500,000 soldiers died between July and November 1917 for a derisory gain, or 'Journeyman', the band's first entirely acoustic track, a real masterpiece that sends shivers down your spine every time you listen to it.

Because of one or two weaknesses and some rather predictable tracks, 'Dance Of Death' may not be as good as 'Brave New World', but it's still a good album. Iron Maiden may have been able to arouse fans' curiosity, but the reformation effect didn't work this time. "Dance Of Death" will remain one of the band's most controversial albums, with some criticising Iron Maiden for living on what they had achieved without trying too hard to renew themselves.
- Official website

Did you know?

Face In The Sand' is the first and last composition in which Nicko McBrain uses a double pedal on his drums.

David Patchett only drew Eddy (the band's mascot) and the monks in the background on the cover and forbade his name to appear in the album booklet. The surrounding characters were hastily added afterwards.

TRACK LISTING:
01. Wildest Dreams - 03'52
02. Rainmaker - 03'48
03. No More Lies - 07'21
04. Montségur - 05'50
05. Dance Of Death - 08'36
06. Gates Of Tomorrow - 05'12
07. New Frontier - 05'04
08. Paschendale - 08'27
09. Face In The Sand - 06'31
10. Age Of Innocence - 06'10
11. Journeyman - 07'06

LINEUP:
Adrian Smith: Guitares
Bruce Dickinson: Chant
Dave Murray: Guitares
Janick Gers: Guitares
Nicko McBrain: Batterie
Steve Harris: Basse
   
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