Label: Grindcore Karaoke - GK#446 • Format: 2x, File FLAC • Genre: Rock • Style: Grindcore, Hardcore, Experimental, Noise
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. A Matter of Life and Death supposed perhaps a before and after in Maiden's neo-discography. However, I'm in dissonance with him, since Dance of Death must be included; would be a trilogy in any case. A Matter of Life and Death is an album to sit on the sofa with an evening coffee, so you can contemplate each of its nuances and guitar layers in the course of dusk.
You can see that they're trying to sound old here, like in old days, as a mixture of Piece of Mind and Powerslave. It's an error to demand the members Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) the same as 30 years ago. Everything evolves. You won't expect or demand the same from guys of year-olds at their peak to year-olds sirs with grandchildren.
The best thing they ever did is playing the whole album live, so don't complain. I can't conceive that a Maiden fan gets bored when Spring Moederfokker - Jack Parow - Eksie Ou hears the "All the nations are rising The production is raw and direct, but crystalline at the same time, especially in introductions.
Personality: that's what Maiden did record on this disc, they don't Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) to please their fans, the music is much more than that, the easiest thing to do after Seventh Son is to repeat that Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) over and over; but friends, they're not like that, they carry the musical restlessness in their veins.
Anyone who wants to listen the eighties Maiden forever, just put those old records and period. I enjoy when someone comes here to contrarian saying bands like Priest and Maiden have been finished since 90' and 92' respectively.
It's not like I'm going to consider that they are lacking criteria when it comes to ranting some album of a great band, just leave it to the rats who pullulate through the network calling fanboy to anyone who's put in his front as if gives him a supreme value. The "No Prayer of the Dying" matter will fall under its own weight, it's just a mediocre record compared to previous ones.
Also, someday, it will wise up. Since I'm a Latino fan, something curious I had to experience is that many people around me who are not metalheads have come to say that Maiden has a "romantic" style, and they say it for songs like Different World, No More Lies and several ones from Brave New World.
Overall, I think Maiden has a small problem regarding repetitions of riffs and choruses, there are songs that should last less than they are. Some consider it their last masterpiece, on Clarinet Concerto No.1 - Carl Maria von Weber - Weber other hand, we have aggressive streams who consider it as a failed experiment which they could not emerge from.
In any case, I love Iron Maiden, but I think they're neither the panacea of musical excellence nor the supreme originality of it. That is. I understand that in order for a band to make it, there needs to be a certain personal dynamic in play. The late, great Ronnie James Dio called it "a democracy with a dictator.
Unfortunately it seems in recent history, plenty of examples have popped up when control should be taken away from the current team captain and handed off to someone with a better mindset.
Between this dreadful album and the fact that the Death On The Road DVD had seizure warnings as a result of Steve Harris's failings as an editor and director, it was at this point where Steve Harris was no longer fit to rule Iron Maiden. Upon hearing this album Rod should have locked Steve in an insane asylum, scrapped the whole thing save for a few songs and hand the reigns over to the new emergency braintrust of Dave Murray, Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith.
Then maybe put Steve DiGorgia on bass or something. Keep rewriting The Trooper? Or, you could just, you know, actually write something good AND original. Blind Guardian and High On Fire don't seem to have much problem with that these days. It wasn't that original of an idea Steve. I've always felt that Steve is still secretly bitter that we didn't fall head over heels in love with The X Factor and Virtual XI, convinced that it was only the singer problem, not the songs.
While I will admit there are some hidden gems from that era, the fact is most of those songs were trash; the failed result of an attempt to try and mix Candlemass with Genesis. No, the problem that Bruce wasn't around. If Bruce was around the fans would gobble this shit up just like they did his solo albums. The one he made right before he rejoined us was fucking groove metal worship!
Remember when Maiden stuffed albums with epics and they didn't sound like one another? Why don't you write more songs like that, Steve? Then again he'd would probably run that into the ground as well. With that being said, there are some good songs here.
Believe it or not, two of them do follow the aforementioned formula. In the case of the former, the clean intro works because it supports the song musically; the tension of waiting on those boats to arrive on the beaches at D-Day and more than likely get chopped in half by a machine gun in seconds is expressed wonderfully here. Greater Good works differently lyrically, but it also just works in a way I can't describe.
If the "X Factor formula" was consolidated to these Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) songs the album would have worked a lot better, and we, the fandom might still be convinced that the emperor is at least still wearing clothes. But the real highlight of this album is The Pilgrim, which seems to only get better every 8 months or so I decide to put it on. Especially with that fantastic soaring chorus! Out of the Shadows is a decent ballad I suppose, and Lord of Light has a solid riff once the clean intro goes away.
Or at least it's a solid recycling of the "How Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) Tears" riff. Finally, and I realize this is petty and slightly non musical but I'm taking at least 20 points off for the worst decision this band made since choosing Blaze Bayley as a lead vocalist: playing the entire album live.
We can't possibly omit any of it live! That is a decision that can only be made when rabid fan reaction demands it. What's especially funny is the usual tradition of Maiden releasing a live album for the tour of the most recent album, usually containing a few tracks from the album in question.
A perfectly reasonable gesture, but even 10 years later, a live Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) from this tour has yet to surface. I can only imagine the reason is because Rod came to the same conclusion I did. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing a serviceable helping of new material live, just as long as it doesn't suck monkey dick. Stay the hell away from this mess.
It was so bad that Maiden had Tutto Apposto - Johnny Marsiglia & Big Joe - Orgoglio do a tour with Powerslave, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Moonchild just to recover from it. They still never recovered from it creatively, as they would go on to make double albums of this nonsense.
Somewhere, David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel are laughing their asses off. Hard Truth, Chemical Wedding is a groove metal album, but that's for another day. I have not been exactly consistent in my views regarding Iron Maiden, though my reviews for both The Final Frontier and most recent album The Book of Souls should suggest that my tolerance for post-reunion Maiden it was kind of a reunion, even if they didn't break up is rather limited.
My point of contention for both of those albums was mainly that they lacked great ideas and tried to make up for it by just putting more ideas into songs, resulting in long and aimless music that couldn't capture any sense of excitement or emotion. What about A Matter of Life and DeathLife In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File) ask? Not that bad, but not very good either. The problem starts to appear when you do what I'm doing now: playing the last songs first.
I find that there are many albums that can pull the wool over your eyes by starting out with the best or quickest or most immediate song, then hiding the weaker songs behind it, almost as if they were seeking protection from their stronger brethren. Great song, right? And followed by lumpy, overlong, mid-paced numbers. Dance of Death had two of those quick, strong songs at the beginning, so at least we know there are a few worthwhile numbers there. Here, we've got 'Different World' kicking things off in brisk fashion, leading straight in with a riff and Bruce is singing after 15 seconds, although he does repeat the chorus about 10 times at the end.
The tactic becomes apparent when you look forward to The Final Frontierwhich stupidly put a horribly long intro at the beginning and exposed the songs for what they are - flabby and directionless.
So, like I said, I'm playing the last songs first: you know, the last four songs which total between them. I would be sceptical if any band ended an album with songs averaging over 8 minutes, because - after all - there's a reason why some people don't like Opeth. In that time, there is probably 20 minutes that I deem extra, in the sense that those moments don't help the song or just aren't very Sprite - DJ Hatta - Round Of Night Vol.02. Seven and a half of those minutes come from 'The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg', which shows how clearly the band were thinking, since they released that snoozefest as a single to promote the album.
The instrumental section of that song is one of the highlights of the album, but the loooooooong verse at the beginning just does nothing and does it a lot. Then 'Lord of Light' is not up to much, while Antic - Pulse / One Nose / Converter Legacy' has some interesting ideas, particularly the kind of creepy build up, although some of the parts seem thrown together quite roughly, as if proudly proclaiming "We still know how to change direction suddenly" and "Can you hear that we didn't have this album mastered?
To pan out for a moment from the stricken second half of the album, Maiden didn't do everything badly on A Matter of Life and Death. Partly relying on the same strengths as Epígrafe Para A Arte De Furtar - José Afonso - Traz Outro Amigo Também preceding release and partly open to the flaws of the successor, there are good ideas and even good songs spread throughout its sprawling length.
For most of the musicians, it's a case of there being two sides to their performance. For Steve Harris, he doesn't overdo the bass work and attempt to solo during the guitar solos he saved that abomination for 'Isle of Avalon' and he provides limber backing during the uptempo moments; however, there is an excess of quiet introductions and interludes that were surely thought out by the bassist since he has a writing credit on every song.
I mean, if Harris ever considers putting out a smooth jazz album, I would consider buying it, just as long as he doesn't do it under Iron Maiden's name. It becomes almost Life In Fear Pt.1 - Forced Opinion - Life In Fear (File), since each song seemingly must start and finish with this reflective interlude, like someone on the autistic spectrum who must untie and re-tie their shoelaces before they begin something new.
Though Dave Murray is a bit sleepy, the guitarists are pretty good, chucking in a couple of decent riffs in most of the songs and scoring with solos more often than not. Nicko McBrain does well when there's call for energy, yet can't do a lot for the gentler moments: I can picture him From A Flat To C - Various - The Golden Era Of Jazz out a part that he could play with one hand so he could drink with the other.
Bruce Dickinson has a good run at things as well, thankfully providing some charisma and drama despite a few preachy phrases, although 'These Colours Don't Run' is a vocal and lyrical turd created mostly so he could wave the Union Jack on a song other than 'The Trooper'. I'm pretty much done with complaints now, so there's just time to say that the first half of the album is much better than the second, vocals of 'These Colours Don't Run' excepted.
There's a danger that Maiden might have caused some of their fans to get excited, because 'The Longest Day' is an epic that actually kind of works as such, belligerent theme and mood combining stormily together to form one part atmosphere and one part heaviness. When Iron Maiden are good, they're still pretty good, making A Matter of Life and Death a listenable, yet sometimes tedious, album. It's alright I guess. However, we know what comes after Hot on the heels of 'Dance of Death' came 'A Matter of Life and Death', a much more well rounded and succinct prog effort from the Maiden lads.
Sporting a better production than its predecessor, AMoLaD is more organic and live sounding. The music elaborates on what 'Dance of Death' last accomplished, but improves on all prog elements to stunning effect, all whilst maintaining the classic refined Maiden trademark sound.
The album is of course laden with interweaving guitar solos from the trio of Smith, Murray, and Gers and the dominant bass from Harris.
Nothing really new in the performance department, but rather what makes this album so special is how well Maiden have managed to create their own brand of progressive metal in this album. What makes this album a real winner is the masterful songwriting.
In The Belly - Other Passengers - Is It Nothing To You, All Those Who Pass By?, Светила - Majdanek Waltz - Nachtlied, C.I.C. - Schnitt Acht - Subhuman Minds On The Firing Line, Jason Dark - Geisterjäger John Sinclair - Die Horror-Reiter