Iron Maiden. One iconic heavy metal band of the late 70’s and still running on. What I liked about Iron Maiden are the powerful metal riffs, the meaningful lyrics from Bruce Dickinson, this overall feeling of nice melodics carried by guitars and the drum giving an epic storytelling with their album. Iron Maiden was one of my favorite band when I was a teenager and discovered the world of “hard rock” back in the early 90’s. Too late for me to really enjoy the golden age of heavy metal, just in time to appreciate Metallica just before their pinnacle “Black” album and before the hiatus that will take me a decade to outgrow.
Here I am 25 years later, with my hands on Iron Maiden latest album “Book of Souls”. My taste has been narrowed up now, and for me heavy metal is a genre that have greatly shrieked over the age and reminds somewhere in the golden age of the 80s (I would say the same to Punk, that for me is taking place in the late 70s/early 80s).
In 25 years the metal scene has greatly evolved and me too. Do I will still to Iron Maiden and like their album? I jumped on the Book of Souls and submitted to my “commute test”.
What I can tell? I knew better albums from Iron Maiden but to see that Iron Maiden and Bruce’s energy on this album makes a nice experience. Yes, I did not find any catchy tunes that were in some gems of their 80s release. But Iron Maiden kept on the consistency. It is some damn good Iron Maiden to listen, something you would like to have right now and wish for a time-machine car or hot tub or loo (only kids that have known Lucasarts point’n’click with catch this last one), just to get me as I am right now (36) be in my full capacity in the 80s.
The album is overall good, it is Iron Maiden, nice instrumentation, nice lyrics. But nothing really transcendental, nothing like a “Run to The Hills”, a “Aces High” or “Fear of The Dark” that made some milestones in Iron Maiden discography. Maybe one, “Empire of the Clouds”, a 18-minute melodic ballad reminding me some of the epic titles from the band.
Bruce is heading the bar even after his tongue cancer and still navigating Eddie Force One in the right direction for more than thirty years. Thats some awesomeness to see that Iron Maiden can still hold up well for all these time.
I found maybe the pace a bit slow for my taste, but this is also my bias for listening some fast-paced tempos recently such as Sonata Arctica or Arch Enemy. But certainly, one of the best heir of Iron Maiden is probably with Sabaton, taking over the themes of epic battles and military bravery in their songs.
To conclude, although it is not the best album from Iron Maiden, it reminds us that Eddie is still alive and kicking hell, although accusing its age and faced health issues. Seeing one reference in the heavy metal still showing such a vigor and energy is heart-warming and really wish me that a DMC DeLorean car would come fly by around and a crazy Doc would say “lets fly back in 1985 Marty!”.