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
Bruce Dickinson likes to fly some heavy metal — about 240,000 pounds of it — when he’s not performing as Iron Maiden’s frontman.
On the band’s 2008-09 tour — showcased on the new DVD “Flight 666” which was voted best music documentary at the South by Southwest Festival — Dickinson pulled double duty as lead singer and chief pilot on the band’s customized Boeing 757, named “Ed Force One” with Maiden’s zombie mascot “Eddie” on the tail fin.
He’d wear his Astraeus Airlines uniform — white shirt with epaulets and pressed trousers — when flying between tour stops. Then, he’d leap around the stage in outlandish costumes — putting on a red 19th-century British army tunic while singing “The Trooper” or a feathered mask for “Powerslave.”
As the band’s “designated driver,” he’d refrain from late-night carousing, turning in early and avoiding any drinking to meet aviation industry regulations for mandatory rest periods and zero blood-alcohol content.
But Dickinson didn’t mind “being a party pooper” since the tour offered a chance to combine his passions for flying and rock music.
“The only caveat is that I was working much harder than everybody else,” said Dickinson. “But I never get tired of going to work because I just think that singing with Iron Maiden and flying a jet airliner are the two best jobs in the world.”
The British heavy metal band wrapped up its tour in early April after performing before nearly 2 million fans in 38 countries. Maiden’s other members — founder-bassist Steve Harris, drummer Nicko McBrain, and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers — took a monthslong break with plans to begin work later this year on a new album due out in 2010.
But Dickinson quickly returned to his day job as a commercial airline captain for Astraeus, which leases planes to other airlines. He’s been making regular runs to such far-flung locales as Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Djibouti.
It’s not as if the 51-year-old Dickinson needs his pilot’s salary. Iron Maiden remains one of the most enduring and successful heavy metal bands with record sales of more than 70 million since their 1980 debut album.
But Dickinson finds that being in the cockpit offers a welcome respite from the frenzied life of a touring rock star.
“Music always follows you around. especially when you’re on tour … and I think that comes out on the DVD,” said Dickinson, speaking by telephone from his London home. “There’s no escaping the fury that surrounds Iron Maiden in these places and we are essentially prisoners in our hotel rooms unless we want to go out and cause a riot. …
“But as a pilot one of the nice things is that you get to shut the door,” he said with a laugh. “It’s just you, the airplane and the sky and going where you’re going and it’s quite pleasant. It’s quite a nice little Zen moment.”
Astraeus Chief Executive Mario Fulgoni credits Dickinson for “possessing both a high degree of professionalism and intense enthusiasm for flying.”
“His rock star status in no way detracts from his performance as an airline captain,” Fulgoni said.
Dickinson said his passengers, who recently included the president of Sierra Leone, rarely make the connection with his rock star persona. It’s hard to imagine that the pilot who reassuringly talks about a little turbulence is the singer whose screaming on songs like “Bring Your Daughter … to the Slaughter” earned him the nickname “The Air-Raid Siren.”
Dickinson’s passion for aviation goes back to childhood. His godfather and uncle were engineers in the Royal Air Force, and he’d attend air shows and build model airplanes. But Dickinson became enamored with rock as a teenager and began singing with the first wave of British metal bands in the late ’70s, eventually joining Iron Maiden in 1981.
Dickinson — who had left Maiden in 1993 to pursue a solo career before rejoining the band in 1999 — began taking flying lessons in the early ’90s while on a family vacation in Florida, going on to earn his private pilot’s license and a license to fly commercial jets.
Dickinson landed a pilot’s job with British World Airlines in 2000, and when it folded after 9/11, signed on with the newly formed Astraeus. He continued to fly even though Maiden has enjoyed a resurgence, releasing new albums such as “A Matter of Life and Death” (2006) and putting their old hits on video games like “Rock Band” that have attracted a new generation of fans. On their latest tour, Maiden revisited highlights from their ’80s albums so their young fans could hear them performed live.
“We love what we do and we’ve never compromised with the demands of media industry or musical fashion,” Dickinson said.
Dickinson does see a link in the precise teamwork required to get a plane to its destination or to pull off an intricately staged rock show.
“Obviously as a pilot … everything seems to be in control,” said Dickinson. “But people look at rock musicians and think they’re wild and crazy and it’s all out of control up there. … But you have to be very disciplined to do what we do in Iron Maiden … It just looks like it’s crazy.”
From the Associated Press.
If you missed Friday’s Bruce Dickinson Radio show, make sure you listen again as guitar legend Joe Satriani was on – chatting about his new supergroup Chickenfoot. Check it out now! Ian Gillan will be Dickinson’s guest this Friday!
Tune in on Friday May 22nd to hear him chat with Bruce…
Metal Queen Doro Pesch was a guest on Bruce Dickinson’s Radio Show this week on BBC 6.
The taped broadcast can be found at this link.
This Friday (30th Jan) you can hear Shinedown take over the mighty Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maidens Rock show on BBC6 Music. Listen in as the band plays some of their favourite tracks by bands they love, talk about their history and air their new single Sound of Madness and forthcoming single Second Chance. You can listen here and listen back after the show has aired. Make sure you check it out… THIS Friday between 9pm & midnight on BBC6 Music.
Vocalist Biff Byford of British heavy metal legends SAXON was IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson‘s guest earlier tonight (Friday, January 16) during Bruce‘s weekly BBC 6 Music radio program, dubbed “The Bruce Dickinson Friday Rock Show”. The program is now available for streaming at BBC.co.uk.
Courtesy of Blabbermouth.net
Australian hard rockers AIRBOURNE will be IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson’s guests today during Bruce’s weekly BBC 6 Music radio program, dubbed “The Bruce Dickinson Friday Rock Show”. Listen to the broadcast live via the Internet between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. (midnight) U.K. time or at 4 p.m. EST in the U.S.
Bruce Dickinson’s show can be found at this link BBC.co.uk
Bruce Dickinson proves that he still has plenty of vocal chops to please the masses. This CD stands up to any of Maiden’s past works and that really says something.
Don’t expect to listen to this CD quickly! 7 songs clock over 7 minutes long. You wont mind once you start hearing the almost, progressive rockers chocked full of guitar solos.
This is what a rock CD is supposed to sound like! “A Matter of Life and Death” is easily one of the best CD’s of 2006!
Pick up the special edition if you can. It includes a Bonus DVD with the Making of, a Video for Benjamin Breeg and more!
- Different World
- These Colours Don’t Run
- Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
- The Pilgrim
- The Longest Day
- Out of the Shadows
- The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
- For the Greater Good of God
- Lord of Light
- The Legacy
Iron Maiden is:
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Janick Gers – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar and backing vocals, guitar synth on “Brighter than a Thousand Suns”
Steve Harris – bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboard
Nicko McBrain – drums