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Page name: Iron Maiden---"Brave New World" (2000) [Exported view] [RSS]
2011-08-25 22:34:18
Last author: Paul Doyle
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                                                                          next: Iron Maiden---"Dance of Death" (2003)
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Iron Maiden: Brave New World (2000)


89/100 (89% = B+)


Wisely letting go unpopular and reviled replacement vocalist Blaze Bayley, Iron Maiden welcomed back the legendary singer Bruce Dickinson (gone since 1993, after the lackluster No Prayer For the Dying and Fear of the Dark albums). Happily, lead guitarist Adrian Smith also returned to Iron Maiden, bringing back with him vitality and credibility that had been noticeably lacking since he left after 1988's prog-metal masterpiece Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Though Iron Maiden had a few isolated excellent songs with Blaze Bayley singing (notably 1995's "The Sign of the Cross" and 1998's "The Clansman") the Steve Harris-led band had run out of steam and inspiration by the time Dickinson and Smith returned in 1999. Most of the Blaze era stuff was mediocre to howlingly bad ("The Angel and the Gambler", anyone?) and since Blaze couldn't sing any of Maiden's classics, Iron Maiden concerts were no longer a must-see.

The new six-piece band included Smith's replacement Janick Gers, and this new beast began creating music that while not being as spiky and headbanging as the best known 1980s stuff, was more patient, consistently better crafted, and definitely more motivated than just about anything they'd made in the 1990s. Though a few fans obviously wanted more stuff like "The Number of the Beast" and "Flight of Icarus" Iron Maiden is neither a band like AC/DC and KISS (which are best when they stick to their basic formulas!) nor Motley Crue which will likely be recycling the same old stuff in laughable fashion when they are 70 years old and need the proceeds to fund their endless drug habits.

Quite simply, Brave New World is easily the best Iron Maiden album since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and the start of a remarkable 21st Century trend that saw the band at an ongoing renewed creative zenith. Who would have thought an already-legendary heavy metal band would be cranking out innovative progressive metal albums decades after their commercial peak? Even more telling, after the predictable "sophomore slump" on 2003's very good Dance of Death came two masterpieces that are even better than Brave New World: 2006's war/religion themed A Matter of Life and Death and 2010's self-indulgent and challenging but mind-blowingly awesome The Final Frontier.


"The Wicker Man"........................................10/10 Modern classic. A definitive "we're back!" statement. A must.
"Ghost of the Navigator"................................9/10 Surprisingly good! Awesome, relentless riffs throughout. Typically good, intelligent lyrics.
"Brave New World".......................................10/10 Modern classic, inspired by Aldous Huxley?
"Blood Brothers"..........................................9/10 Nearly perfect and self-explanatory.
"The Mercenary"............................................8/10 Very good but made obscure by the many great tracks on this album.
"Dream of Mirrors".........................................9/10 Another near-gem that somehow disappears against most of the other tracks.
"The Fallen Angel".......................................7/10 Relatively weak, but still better than most 1990s-era Iron Maiden.
"The Nomad"............................................9/10 Weak beginning, stunning instrumental. Torture if you're a mindless three-chord headbanger, great stuff for those of us who enjoy the more sophisticated, intricate sound.

"Out of the Silent Planet".................................9/10 Sounds like Guns 'n Roses, but a hell of a lot better! Inspired by CS Lewis novel of the same title?

"The Thin Line Between Love and Hate"............9/10 Not to be confused with a memorable Pretenders song. "Meh" beginning, but the last few minutes are hair-raisingly good. One of the last times Bruce Dickinson was able to sing in this register.

Welcome back, Bruce and Adrian! This album is easily as good as their better known 1980s stuff, like Powerslave and Somewhere in Time. If you have the patience for progressive metal that doesn't suck, you will be richly rewarded though as is typical with prog-rock and prog-metal it takes a few listens to maximize the impact. If you claim to be an Iron Maiden fan and don't like the increasingly progressive-metal direction, enjoy your musical vacuum while the rest of us eagerly anticipate new Iron Maiden albums. After all, the most dedicated fan can get sick of stuff like "Children of the Damned" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" . . . right? Okay, maybe not. :P 

Highly recommended!!!



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(L to R) Adrian Smith (lead/rhythm guitar), Dave Murray (lead/rhythm guitar), Nicko McBrain (drums), Bruce Dickinson (lead vocals), Steve Harris (bass guitar, occasional keyboards), Janick Gers (lead/rhythm guitar). Overhead . . . Eddie the Head artwork by Derek Riggs

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2011-08-16 [Paul Doyle]: This page is about 85% done . . . all of the major stuff is done. This is an awesome album!

2011-08-24 [Paul Doyle]: It's ready enough . . .

2011-08-24 [Paul Doyle]: Next (not fully ready yet): Iron Maiden---"Dance of Death" (2003) Good album (not as good as "Brave New World", though!) and a singularly awful digital-art album cover that is probably more memorable (for all the wrong reasons) than the music itself.

2011-08-25 [Lord Josmar]: Did you use the write a review feature in your house to submit this or just create the wiki?

2011-08-25 [Paul Doyle]: I just created this wiki . .. D'oh! *peers above house and sees the review link* If it needs to be processed via the review link to be considered, I'll modify accordingly.

2011-08-25 [Paul Doyle]: And in the future I will follow the "write a review" link :P

2011-08-25 [Lord Josmar]: No, it doesn't have to be to be considered, it is just easier for the creator since it automatically adds it to the catagory.

Also, I had to add this review as a different name because the --- messed with the table commands. So I added it without the dashes and then in that wiki added the real name.

2011-08-25 [Paul Doyle]: Ah, OK. No big deal. Thanks!

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