22 June 2013

Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seveth Son

Childhood is sometimes a place that is best left unvisited.  For many years I loved a film called The Goonies.  It is about a group of kids who go on an adventure to find the treasure of the pirate One Eyed Willie, directed by Steven Spielberg.  When I was a kid I saw this whole adventure by people older than me and it was brilliant.  Then I watched it years later as an adult, and all the flaws came out, the poor script, the older kids became younger (and more annoying) than me. That was the moment that I realised I had put something’s behind me, I had grown (even if I had not realised) and that the toys of years gone by were to be left for other people to discover and enjoy.  Now, you may be wondering what in the blue hell this has to do with the seventh album by the awesome Iron Maiden. Well, just like The Goonies, this was a big part of my childhood.  I remember borrowing this on vinyl from my local library and causing my parents a big fine as I would not give it back as I played it so much, I have purchased it many times over due to it either being stolen, broken or worn out.  But I have not listened to it as an album in an awful long time, so will it be like the Goonies and a personal let down or will it be like an old friend turning up.

When this album first came out, it was the first one where Iron Maiden had used keyboards and was the first where their prog rock influences came more to the front of the bands musical arsenal.  The album is a loosely based concept album which came about after Steve Harris had been reading a book by Orson Scott Card called Seventh Son.  Mr Harris thought as this was Maiden's seventh album it was a good idea at the time as he had no idea of what to do for their next release.  When the album came out it made the top ten in 8 countries (including number one in the UK) as well as 12 in the USA.  At that point (and now again), Iron Maiden were one of the best and biggest bands in the metal world.  Now, even thought the album has a slight theme, to call it a concept album is generous.  This is something that Bruce Dickinson has stated as well since it was released.  There is no linking story, no good or evil, no redemption, just some songs with a loose link.

However, as a whole album - even with the singles "Can I Play With Madness", "The Evil That Men Do" and my personal favourite Iron Maiden song ever "Infinite Dreams" - the album works at its best when it is played as a whole.  The whole piece is well written, full of wonderful guitar solos and still has that magic moment which every Iron Maiden album should have - it has the power to move the listener, to make them lost in thought.  It was a brave move at the time (and one that was well received as well) and until recently was my favourite Iron Maiden album ever - more on that later.  I also think as most of the songs are collaborations between the whole band, it does give this a bigger group feeling than other albums that had gone on before.

All my favourite moments from "Infinite Dreams", the opening "Moonchild" all the way to the closing "Only The Good Die Young" are still amazing for me.  The album has aged incredibly well, it was forward looking at the time and it still is now.  Sometimes the band doesn't seem to be (7 of the last 11 releases from the band since Bruce Dickinson came back have been live albums) but that is not the point of this album.  The vocals are amazing; the guitars are amazing as it the bass and the drums (even the keyboard work does not take anything away from this).  Unlike the Goonies, this has just remained a fantastic work - scream for me internet, SCREAM FOR ME INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!  If you have not heard this album, fix that now. It will be worth your while.

9.5 out of ten -
Almost perfect....Almost

You can purchase from here

You can visit the band's website here

You can listen to the album here on Spotify

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