Iron Maiden is back with their follow-up record to 2006’s excellent, A Matter of Life and Death. How does the band’s latest opus The Final Frontier stack up? Read on!
The Final Frontier is one long album. It may only be ten songs, but it over seventy minutes of music crammed on to this CD. The opening track “Satellite 15….The Final Frontier” is pretty much two songs in one, and I don’t know why Iron Maiden didn’t break this up into two pieces. The first half provides a build up for the album, but is a little excessive in my opinion. The drums sound like they were recorded in a live setting, not in a studio. I could have done without the first half all together. The second half is more of a classic sounding Maiden tune. The second half is what you will hear as the radio edit single, “The Final Frontier:. While this song isn’t bad, I question why Iron Maiden chose to use this as the album opener. There is much stronger material to be found on The Final Frontier that would have made a better intro.
Chances are you have heard the first single, “El Dorado” by now, if not, you can get a free download of the song here! I have been listening to “El Dorado” for a few weeks now, and I must admit that I like it a lot. I keep finding myself turning the volume up each time this one comes on. An album just doesn’t seem like an Iron Maiden album without the galloping bass, and heavy riffs. This song has them both.
“Mother of Mercy” is one of the songs that I didn’t care for at first. After multiple listens, I have to now ask myself why. “Mother of Mercy” is a mid-tempo number that has all of the makings of a radio single. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a soldier at war. It is a well written and interesting tune, that will resonate with a lot of people.
“Isle of Avalon” is a monster of a tune on The Final Frontier. The song starts off a little slow, but builds into a truly classic tune albeit a very long one! “Isle of Avalon” might just be the most memorable moment on The Final Frontier.
Overall, casual fans will probably not be very happy with the lack of shorter, radio worthy tunes. Iron Maiden’s long time fans will probably love this, and appreciate the band trying to push the boundaries of their sound. The Final Frontier won’t be considered Iron Maiden’s best effort. Quite honestly, I don’t think this would make their top three. With that being said, it is still a far better disc than most of the stuff that is being released today. The Final Frontier is a grower of an album, and if you give this one multiple spins, you will grow to appreciate this disc as much as I have.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Satellite 15….The Final Frontier
2. El Dorado
3. Mother Of Mercy
4. Coming Home
5. The Alchemist
6. Isle Of Avalon
8. The Talisman
9. The Man Who Would Be King
10. When The Wild Wind Blows
Iron Maiden is:
Bruce Dickinson – Vocals
Dave Murray – Guitars
Adrian Smith – Guitars
Janick Gers – Guitars
Steve Harris – Bass & Keyboards
Nicko McBrain – Drums