Iron Maiden - "Final Frontier" CD Review (EMI) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Monday, September 13, 2010

Iron Maiden - "Final Frontier" CD Review (EMI)

DOWNLOAD: Iron Maiden - "El Dorado" (Requires registration on
(Note: Buzz-off RIAA weenies - This track is hosted on IronMaiden.Com)

Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden released their fifteenth studio album last month sounds like an Iron Maiden album. Continuing on in the same epic, prog-rock vein as the other post-reunion albums, Final Frontier is Iron Maiden's longest album to-date (77 minutes) and most of the disc's ten tracks are in excess of seven minutes.

As reflected in the disc's cover art, many of the songs utilize science fiction themes to set the stage for stories of war, alienation and Armageddon. The album's first video (for the title track "Final Frontier") is almost something straight out of Star Wars and the song has a three+ minute industrial/tribal sounding lead-in (entitled "Satellite 15") that kicks off this disc.

The first half of this disc contains some of the more memorable songs which range from the triple guitar attack of "The Alchemist" to the galloping bass lines powering "El Dorado" and the stripped-down, reflective "Mother of Mercy" which highlight Dickenson's stellar vocals. The back-half of the disc contains the longer epic songs and the one notable song is the understated "When the Wild Wind Blows". This eleven minute Armageddon - themed epic starts with the sound of the blowing wind and builds to a crescendo around crashing guitars and Nicko McBrain's powerful drumming.

While many long-running bands have embarrassed themselves as they enter the third and fourth decade of their career (I'm specifically think of The Who and Rolling Stones and the numerous bands who continually tour without having released any new material in over a decade), Final Frontier is a solid addition to the Maiden catalogue. While I personally prefer the early Maiden albums, Final Frontier is a natural evolution of the band's sound and this disc clearly shows that the band will be relevant for years to come.

Iron Maiden