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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Iron Maiden - 2010 The Final Frontier
Iron Maiden - 2010 The Final Frontier

ARTIST: Iron Maiden
ALBUM: The Final Frontier
SERIAL: 6477722
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: Bruce Dickinson - vocals * Adrian Smith, Janick Gers, Dave Murray - guitars * Steve Harris - bass * Nicko McBrain - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Satellite 15 - The Final Frontier * 02 El Dorado * 03 Mother Of Mercy * 04 Coming Home * 05 The Alchemist * 06 Isle Of Avalon * 07 Starblind * 08 The Talisman * 09 The Man Who Would Be King * 10 When the Wild Wind Blows



Let's be honest, ever since Bruce Dickinson rejoined Iron Maiden in 1999 the band has been pretty much awful, even if I have given them positive reviews, which looking back was misguided. I haven't listened to 2006's 'A Matter Of Life and Death' since '06 itself and when details began to emerge about 'The Final Frontier' it was no surprise that the band had conjured up another 78 minute album with epics by the truckload. This direction has been plundered to death so thoroughly that Iron Maiden have become more predictable than ever, not to mention boring and powerless. Does this album stop the trend begun so many years back? Not at all. In fact it just confirms how far past their sell by date Maiden are.

The Songs
Deciphering these unnecessarily long songs is almost impossible. Steve Harris' fetish with Maiden's progressive metal stance has led to a host of faceless songs, with 600 tangents in each track. It's a far cry from the days when each Maiden album had two classics from the onset. Dickinson's vocals are among his most tired yet and it's pretty obvious he's done with the whole thing. Blind Maiden devotees will love it though, even though ballad 'Mother of Mercy' is far worse than 'Wasting Love' and can't come close to 'Como Estais Amigo's' from the Blaze Bayley era, which was far more in keeping with vintage Maiden than this nonsense. As always there's a token four minute 'fast' track, this time 'The Alchemist', which is identical to anything off the last three albums. I can't quite comprehend who will be excited by nine minute 'The Talisman', which opens with the usual acoustic intro before leading into 'heavier' sections. Are these guys taking the piss? I've heard this album so many times I can't separate one from the other anymore. It's a case of repeat for 'The Man Who Would Be King', slow intro ... orchestral background ... lulling sounds ...then heaviness! But heaviness of the weakest kind. This isn't even metal. Then to top it off there's eleven minute closer 'Where the Wild Wind Blows' which follows the same formula ... again. This is almost impossible to listen to because of the repetitiveness of the sound. Where's the heaviness? I can't imagine anyone wanting to hear this live. Tracks like 'Starblind' and 'Isle of Avalon' wander aimlessly, lacking melody or general purpose. Supposedly there's a three man guitar army too, but you'd be lucky to hear one with this weak, thin production that's become Kevin Shirley's trademark with Maiden.

In Summary
This review may appear totally unfavorable, but it truly is the nadir of Maiden's once legendary career. Just how far they've plummeted is almost unfathomable when you hear the mess here. No track stands out and historians will surely have to reconsider how superior albums like 'The X Factor' and 'No Prayer For The Dying' are by comparison. All I want is another 'Sun and Steel,' too much to ask these days with all the pompous, overblown lyrics. If this is it for Maiden then I won't be complaining. A staggering flop.

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#1 | MUSCLE on August 11 2010 11:50:47
convoluted lyrics and music yet again from these ageing punsters. bruce sounds like he's half asleep and who could blame him. ten years of warbling tortured ten minute epics about war religion and madness must dull the senses somewhat. i wonder if he can even differentiate between songs anymore. i can just picture him in the studio quivering in the corner and frothing at the mouth as harris hands him the lyrics to yet another discourse on the meaning of life. reader
#2 | gdazegod on August 11 2010 11:55:08
Why doesn't Harris just write a football song about West Ham? Use Sir Bobby Moore as a bit of inspiration! o_O
#3 | MUSCLE on August 11 2010 12:23:49
or better yet a concept album about the SAS storming the iranian embassy in 80 but using the classic lewis collins film 'who dares wins' as a narrative. Grin
#4 | RobLynott on August 11 2010 12:57:47
Just listen to 'Somewhere In Time' in comparsion. Every single track is a million miles better than the new stuff. Songwise, TFF is the worst Maiden album ever. Really strange: Maiden has at least three great songwriters and 2 1/2 great guitarists, and still the music is weak. Why can't bands stop making albums 75 minutes long, when they do not have enough ideas? Why not compress the best ideas into 50-55 minutes of really good music and keep the rest for a later workout? argh
#5 | gdazegod on August 11 2010 13:43:40
Perhaps the band are being paid by the minute.. hmm!
#6 | MUSCLE on August 11 2010 14:35:12
some of these online reviews beggar belief. apparently maiden have reinvented themselves with this album. maybe its just me but you could put any of these tracks on any of the last three albums and you wouldnt know the bloody difference. try putting songs from powerslave on fear of the dark or vice versa and you will immediatedly detect a difference. the band have become faceless pseudo intellectual prog farts. what happened to the geezers that conjured up rude but great fistbangers such as 'hooks in you' or 'chains of misery'? harris was in his mid 30's when he made those rude uns so you can hardly use the worn out they have matured line. they should change the band name to avalon or nexus or some such hoary old fruity prog type bullocks.Angry
#7 | gdazegod on August 11 2010 16:12:36
IM have joined the exclusive club currently occupied by DREAM THEATER, with a penchant to bore you with long overly drawn out songs. Is this groundhog day or what? I thought 10+ minute epics went out with the bath+dishwater back in the early-mid 70's? WTF is going on? no way
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