Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death

Year of Release: 2003
Label: EMI
Catalog Number: 592340-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:39:00

The great thing about ?growing up? is that most of the old rock'n roll dogs that I've grown up with are still out there, pounding the boards and beating the hell out of their guitars. Leading the pack is Iron Maiden, still gleefully showing their balls to the heavy metal masses and the back door to modern day metal pretenders the world over. Dance Of Death is Maiden's second album of the 21st century and, to my metal-damaged ears, it's just as good as anything Iron that I've loved in the past. Yeah, I said it and I meant it! I will elaborate ?. (Boy, that sounds cool, dunnit?)

First time I spun Dance Of Death, I hated it. Old, tired metal garbage, bored me to death, ?When are they gonna throw in the towel?? irritating, I couldn't wait to never hear it again. Second time, pretty much the same; a couple of things caught my ear, but I was still convinced that the Iron was rusted out of the Maiden. Third time was the charm; I caught myself singing some of the choruses, headbanging here and there, swinging a fist in the air now and then. After that, Dance Of Death just got better and better, to the point that I listen to it every day now; at work, at home, taking a run?wherever I go, so too goes Dance Of Death.

If you haven't heard it, Dance Of Death features everything classic about Iron Maiden - Bruce Dickinson's cocksure braying, breathlessly dramatic arrangements, exciting (if not familiar) guitar work, and consistently sturdy support from Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain. The lyrics are literate and engaging, as always, ranging from brash celebrations of freedom (?Wildest Dreams?, ?Journeyman?) to grand tales of personal adventures (?Dance of Death?, ?Montsegur?). The music is also familiar; short songs that race along at breakneck speed and epics that begin with ?softer? guitar melodies, then give way to furiously driving metal and returning to the delicate opening melodies for the close.

Okay, I did say ?familiar?, and it's easy to swap ?familiar? for ?formula?, and there is enough stylistic repetition between the epics to complain that Iron Maiden is stuck in a rut and the songs all sound the same. The good news is that I also said ?classic?, and there is a lot of what makes Maiden great on Dance Of Death, plus some newly-featured symphonic touches that lend a previously unheard depth to the Maiden sound. Highlights include the opener ?Wildest Dreams?, the hallucinatory ?Dance Of Death? with its brash, insistent gypsy drive, the infectious pub sing-along closer, ?Journeyman?, and (my personal favorite) the Queensrÿche-flavored ?Age Of Innocence?.

Bottom line? Iron Maiden rocks as hard as ever and Dance Of Death is both a testament to their legacy and a proclamation of their heavy metal glory in the second millennium. So raise your freak Eddie flags high and get up and dance!

Wildest Dreams (3:52) / Rainmaker (3:48) / No More Lies (7:21) / Monts?gur (5:50) / Dance of Death (8:36) / Gates Of Tomorrow (5:12) / New Frontier (5:04) / Paschendale (8:28) / Face In The Sand (6:31) / Age Of Innocence (6:10) / Journeyman (7:07)

Steve Harris - bass
Bruce Dickinson - vocals
Dave Murray - guitar
Adrian Smith - guitar
Janick Gers - guitars
Nicko McBrain - drums

Soundhouse Tapes (1979)
Iron Maiden (1980)
Killers (1981)
Number Of The Beast (1982)
Brain Damage Tour Of Europe (1983)
Piece Of Mind (1983)
Powerslave (1984/2002)
Live After Death (The World Slavery Tour) (1985/2002)
Somewhere In Time (1986/2002)
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988/2002)
No Prayer For The Dying (1990/2002)
Wasted Years...Stranger In A Strange Land (1990)
Fear Of The Dark (1992/2002)
10 CD Box set (1992)
A Real Live One (1993/2002)
A Real Dead One (1993/2002)
Live At Donnington '92 (1994)
The First Ten Years (box set) (1994)
The X Factor (1995/2002)
The Best Of The Beast (1996)
The Best Of Iron Maiden (1996)
In Profile (1998)
A Real Live Dead One (1998)
Virtual XI (1998/2002)
Eddie's Head (1998)
Ed Hunter (1999)
Brave New World (2000)
Rock In Rio (2002)
Eddie's Archive (2002)
Edward The Great: Greatest Hits (2002)
Dance Of Death (2003)
No More Lies (ep) 2004)
Death On The Road (2005)
The Essential Iron Maiden (2005)
A Matter Of Life And Death (2006)
Somewhere Back In Time: The Best Of 1980-1989 (2008)
Flight 666 (2009)

Behind The Iron Curtain (VID/DVD) (1985)
Maiden England (VID/DVD) (1988)
Video Pieces (VHS) (1991)
Live After Death (1991/2008)
From There To Eternity (DVD) (1993)
Raising Hell (DVD) (1993)
Metal Hammer (DVD) (2000)
Number Of The Beast (VHS/DVD) (2001)
Rock In Rio (VHS/DVD) (2002)
Visions Of The Beast (DVD) (2003/2004)
Legacy Of The Beast (DVD) (2004)
The History Of Iron Maiden, Pt. 1: The Early Days (DVD) (2004)
Death On The Road (DVD) (2005/2006)
Different World (DVD) (2006)
The History Of Fear (DVD) (2007)
Rock Case Studies (DVD) (2007)
Critical Review: Iron Maiden Album (DVD) (2007)
World's Greatest Albums (DVD) (2007)
...And The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (DVD) (2008)
Castle Donington, England (DVD) (2008)
In Italy (DVD) (2008)
Live After Death (DVD) (2008)
Flight 666 (DVD/BR) (2009)
Dawn Of The Damned (DVD) (2009)

Genre: Traditional Metal

Origin UK

Added: October 19th 2002
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website:
Hits: 1389
Language: english


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