As with previous tours, Nicko McBrain 's drumkit featured a Sooty puppet, this time dressed in a spacesuit. The walk-on Eddie , a regular fixture of the band's tours, appeared in his new incarnation as an extraterrestrial. Complete with an "Ed-cam" a point of view camera which fed directly to the projector screens , the new Eddie was smaller than those of previous tours, and was the first to appear with a guitar on stage.
Eddie broke his guitar in Valencia, the last date of the tour, during the song "Iron Maiden", although it was replaced in The leg of the tour also saw Bruce Dickinson using a mic stand on stage for the first time since The Ed Hunter Tour of After the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour , which focused on songs from the band's s albums, the setlist for the leg of the Final Frontier World Tour consisted primarily of songs recorded since the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith in The band stated that the setlist would feature more of their earlier material, as well as additional songs from The Final Frontier.
Credits taken from the official tour programme. Band manager Rod Smallwood commented in a press release for the compilation album From Fear to Eternity that the shows in Argentina and Chile would be recorded for a live DVD, slated for release in late The Final Frontier" and its "Making Of" video. The tour received positive reviews in print media, heralded as "out of this world" by the News of the World ,  while The Independent deemed it "a blinding show, a brilliant fusion of high camp and proper heaviness.
The band members' respective prowess was the subject of much praise, with Metal Hammer saying that "everyone was in top form"  and the Edmonton Journal commenting that "It's hard to believe that Maiden could have been any more energetic when they were at their peak in the early '80s; truly the metal gods have gifted these six with powers beyond that of mere mortals.
Many publications noted the wide range of ages present during the tour, complimenting the band's ability to maintain a young audience. The omission of commonly played songs such as " Run to the Hills " and " The Trooper " from the setlist led to some criticism,   with the Calgary Herald suggesting that " They put out new music so they want to play the new music.
Otherwise you become a parody of what you started out doing. But it's impossible [to play more from the new album]. Back in the early 80s you could probably do it, but now with YouTube and downloading, the songs would all be out before the album was out. We did Somewhere Back in Time and that dealt with the 80s, and the time before that we did A Matter of Life and Death , just the one album.
You can't go out and play the greatest hits every time — it's important to play the newer songs because we really believe in them. Even though the tour saw the band playing more of their s tracks, the setlist still received criticism from reviewers, with The Guardian arguing that "lumbering new prog monsters, such as 'When the Wild Wind Blows', pale beside early headbangers 'Running Free' and 'Iron Maiden'.
Although stating that he had no intention of retiring, he suggested that the band's members may not be able to maintain such an intense schedule in their advancing years, and that 'little and often' was a better strategy for future tours. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The tour was announced on the band's official website on 5 March under the following statement:  "Iron Maiden are pleased to announce that their forthcoming new studio album will be called 'The Final Frontier', and is expected be released late summer of this year.
The two different representations of the band's mascot, Eddie, as seen in Bergen and Helsinki. Gustav Holst 's " Mars, the Bringer of War " served as the intro for the tour.
The Final Frontier " was split into its components, the former played over the PA system as an intro along with additional sound effects and visuals, the latter performed as the opening song. Unlike on the album , "Satellite The Final Frontier" and "El Dorado" were blended together, one leading directly into the other.
During the Australian part of the tour, Bruce Dickinson introduced "Blood Brothers" as a tribute to the victims of the February Christchurch earthquake and their families. In South America, Puerto Rico, Florida and Europe, the song was also dedicated to those in Christchurch as well as the victims of the earthquake in Japan and the revolts in Egypt and Libya. Following the Norway attacks , the victims in Oslo were also added to the list of tributes. Retrieved 9 February Metal Hammer.
Archived from the original on 29 October Retrieved 7 March Retrieved 22 June Not only is the soft and slow intro tremendously affective, the song itself is excellent and one of Maiden's best in their modern era. There are great riffs aplenty once the song gets into full gear and its catchy melody and overall quality gets my nod as the best track on the CD.
Another great song on the album is "The Talisman". With a min intro with lyrics spoken in an off-sounding peculiar way by Bruce, the song eventually thrusts into gear for another memorable, epic and catchy track. Sung very well by Bruce, the track has a cracking uplifting chorus that would go down extremely well during a Maiden concert. I do feel though, that "The Alchemist" is in my opinion the weakest track of the Also the fastest of the bunch, the song just lacks a bit of direction and never really takes off.
I've felt for a while that Maiden now struggle to write decent short songs under five minutes , but they certainly excel with the longer more epic sounding tracks. Take "Wildest Dreams" and "Different World" for examples of short tracks that are alright but could have been better. Rounding off the new album, "Starblind" is a progressive, intricate and lengthy song that will need a few listens to fully get into, while "Isle of Avalon" is probably the most epic track on the release.
It is another very long atmospheric sounding track, with more complex and progressive sections, tempo changes and excellent guitar work by Janick, Adrian and Dave. I finish off with another good but underrated track "The Man Who Would Be King", a mid-paced track which has a great traditional Maiden melody, and lastly "Mother of Mercy", another impressive war-themed emotional track.
However, opinions concerning the quality of this song have been split down the middle, but the track is just too catchy and majestic to simply cast aside. When all is said and done, I just need to say one thing: It's Iron Maiden!
You know who they are and you know what they sound like. You also know what to expect and most importantly, you won't be disappointed. Those who were fearing the worst leading up to the release of this album Lord knows why , can be rest assured that 'The Final Frontier' is another excellent album by the Irons, and around the same quality as past favourites like 'Brave New World' and 'Dance of Death'.
I myself would have this album a fair amount above 'A Matter of Life and Death', simply because it has more creative and catchy tracks and less of a darker element that 'Life and Death' brought to the table. In no way is this release the best they've ever done, but in terms of their current sound and structure, 'The Final Frontier' stacks up very well indeed and is a definite addition to every Maiden fan's collection. Originally written for www.
Sure there was the Blaze era, which is easy to dog on, and we can forgive them for occasionally letting Dave Murray write a song, but can we really forgive Maiden for continuing to dine out on their 80s reputation and past prolific catalogue? I will however point out that there can and should be a divide between whether you liked Maiden and whether you continue to like Maiden as they have evolved into a more indulgent and at times pretentious beast.
For better or worse The Final Frontier continues in the vein of A Matter of Life and Death in regards to longer compositions and more progressive laced elements. We have but one song under the 5 minute mark The Alchemist and that ironically is the closest they get to recapturing old glories. The Talisman is classic fare with a slow folky acoustic build up into another maritime adventure and Isle of Avalon has great eerie feel and use of repetition to create its atmosphere.
Opener and title track Final Frontier also has a good sing a long vibe however could have done without the monotonous drumming lead in. They recently toured AMOLOD entirely before doing a world tour centred solely around their classic 80s era, I can tell you right now which one I saw and which one the majority of us would have attended if we had to choose.
So in my eyes the record stands at 5 albums since , with one stinker, one great album and 3 solid releases over 12 years and still nothing that can touch their first 5 releases with Dicko on board. This is the new Maiden, and while I appreciate it I do pine for a return to at least the approach which made them great. Hopefully 16th time around is the charm. As a long-time fan of Iron Maiden is was awaiting this album since almost four years, the longest gap ever between two albums of this band.
When I first listened to "El Dorado" when it was published on the official website at midnight, I was one of the first to discover the new song. I thought that it was something new and unusual with a jam intro and outro, almost spoken word verses and a powerful chorus that comes quite late. I also thought that this song was a rather average song but now I know that is one of the best ones on the album.
The other two songs on the album which I like is the opener "Satellite Otherwise, "Where the wild wind blows" is a good epic track and even if we have already heard several comparable songs and even if this one isn't as strong and innovating as the big classics, it might still please to the majority of the Iron Maiden fans. Now, where does this album fail? First of all, there is the sound. It all sounds very dumb and almost like a demo recording. Especially "El Dorado" has some sound problems and also technical lacks as the drumming is out of the rhythm and filled with mistakes.
This album wants to transmit a certain live feeling but that doesn't fit with the progressive style at all. Second, the elaboration of the songs is extremely poor.
Most of the tracks sound as if they were written in several jam sessions and blindly recorded without arranging them or taking a second look at the product. Often, the instruments play all at the same time like the guitar parts in the horribly weak "The talisman" that almost causes headaches.
There is no clear line, no progression and no emotion a part of confusion in the track. He sings as if he was under pressure and if he was screaming against the confusing potpourri of failing melody lines. The result is just horrible. The band tries to sound progressive but they ultimately fail because they have good ideas for four or five minutes and decide to repeat the whole patterns to stretch the songs to an artificial length of eight to eleven minutes.
That's the case for "Island of Avalon" that has a very interesting beginning and would be an enjoyable song if it would only last about six minutes but the last three minutes of repeating boredom and a lack of inspiration just make you want to skip the rest. It isn't the length that makes a song progressive or epic but the band doesn't seem to understand that.
Boring long introduction of several minutes are present in almost every song. That can work for one or two tracks on an album but on this record half of the songs have unnecessary introductions like in "The man who would be king" that often fail to create an interesting atmosphere or tension.
Sometimes the band even copies itself. The song tries to sound like a classic but as he is by far weaker than the two mentioned tracks he just sounds lost on this overlong pseudo-progressive cacophony. The third thing is the lack of motivation. After four long years where the band put so much energy in their retro concerts around the world as well as in a couple of live recordings, compilation albums and documentaries, they seem tired to me.
They worked out the song quite fast, recorded and published them quite fast without any process of reflection or authentic passion. There has been no real tour alongside the album. There hasn't been any physical single for the first time ever. They called some people to create a music video and a little game and weren't even involved in the whole development. They are still a great live band as I have seen them last summer but everywhere else, they seem to focus on something else.
Adrian does his side projects, Bruce does a few other jobs, Nicko does some golf and they don't concentrate their creativity on the band that made them the legends they are today and forget about what they have achieved to be able to do side projects and more nowadays. They forget about their responsibility and legacy.
They let this band musically die. I never thought that I would give less than sixty percent to any album of one of my favourite bands. Even some tracks on "No prayer for the dying" really rocked and sounded fresh and "Virtual XI" had at least a very unique, dreamy and progressive atmosphere that is enjoyable from time to time.
This album simply goes nowhere and loses itself in endless introductions, repeating patterns and horrible guitar solos. If they are heading through the universe for the final frontier they seem now be torn into a black hole. Great recent offerings like the much diversified and heavily underrated "Dance of death" showed that the band is still able to be surprising and diversified and so there is maybe a way out of trouble.
But it will be a long way back to the top and I hope that they won't leave us with this pseudo-intellectual piece of boredom. The next time they should give fewer concerts and focus on the music and the song writing before going to the studio By now any experienced Iron Maiden listener should know roughly what they're going to get with a new CD. There's no way they'll ever release another in the style of 'Powerslave' or 'Seventh son of a seventh son'. They've come a long way since the undisputed glory days of the 80s, and everyone should be well familiar by now with the style they have established since their reunion with Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson at the turn of the century.
In other words, anyone who didn't like 'A matter of life and death' should have known after only a cursory glance at the lengths of the songs in the tracklist that this CD wouldn't be for them. Iron Maiden now find themselves in an enviable but well-earned position where they are guaranteed sales based on brand recognition alone, and are under no pressure to write for anyone other than themselves.
There are no forced attempts at reverting to successful styles of days gone by, and 'The final frontier', for better and for worse, simply is what it is. Though had it not been for the advance release of "El Dorado" - more on that later - a couple of months before the release of the CD itself, it's safe to say the opening segment of "Satellite The final frontier" would have had me worried that the boys had completely lost their minds.
The dissonant drum and guitar bashing of course serves only as an extremely extended intro to the title track, and would probably work ok were it only a minute or so in length, but as it stands it is far, far too long and contributes much to what is a stop-start opening half to the CD.
One of Maiden's more breezy, rock-based songs, it nevertheless serves as an energetic starting point and reminds anyone simple enough to forget just how great the guitar talent in this band is.
Now, "El Dorado" is a slightly different prospect. Despite the soaring chorus, it didn't convince me much at all on the first few listens, and despite being a definite grower is one of the CD's weaker moments. There just isn't enough energy in the verses, with the grooving riffs not powerful enough to sustain nearly 7 minutes of song, and Dickinson's singing doesn't really inspire until he reaches the pre-chorus.
To make matters worse for the chorus, Dickinson is really not at this best, and his voice sounds uncharacteristically strained and out of sorts. He sounds far more inspired on the following song though, and his passion can be heard soaring no pun intended through the chorus of "Coming home" - as well it should do, as it is another recounting of his well documented love of flying and the freedom and togetherness that he at least seems to feel that it brings.
This sort of thing is the real heart of what Iron Maiden are all about these days - we've heard it on songs like "Blood brothers" and ""The thin line between love and hate", and we here it on this one too; honest, heartfelt emotion.
Fantastical lyrics still appear of course, but rather than channelling themselves through aggression or speed, Maiden often choose to lead their listeners on with songs of sweeping romance and plaintive beauty. It is from this point on that 'The final frontier' at last finds its feet, as "The alchemist" no relation to the Dickinson song, by the way provides an injection of energy, with the Maiden stallion finally accelerating to its trademark gallop.
It is the only song on the CD to consistently go down this road, and to be honest I doubt I'm the only one who thinks it could do with a bit more of it throughout, but the quality of the rest of the songs from this point on speaks for itself. The thing is, they're all good; they're all really good. And while, yes, Maiden may to some extend be writing to formula these days, when the results end up as captivating as this, who really cares?
Of the 5, it could only really be argued that the intro to "Starblind" is especially gratuitous, and in fact had the song just started cold with the skittish riff that kicks things off properly it may have been an improvement.
A minor complaint though, as the song is another triumph, laced with excellent lead playing and weaving effortlessly through a variety of tempos. It also dispels those early worries about the man with the mic, as the chorus here is as challenging as any on the CD and Dickinson sails through it. The cymbal work backing the bass in the portentous intro to "Isle of Avalon" also serves to remind that Nicko McBrain has lost none of his flair or indeed stamina, and keeps an edge on things until the song explodes fantastically to life.
Not to make too much of these intros, but "The talisman" keeps it going with a long, crystalline acoustic section - there's always something special in store when Maiden unplug, from "The prophecy" right the way through to "Journeyman" and this song is no different. Janick Gers has more than his fair share of detractors as a player, but I doubt many people could question his ability as a songwriter these days when he is involved with tracks like this one.
This is maybe the band at their most cinematic, the stirring melodies, urgent riffs and of course a meticulous chorus fully encapsulating the spirit of doomed adventure that the lyrics detail. Like Gers on the previous song, Dave Murray has only one writing credit on the whole CD, which isn't unusual for him of late. But while he may be slowing down as a writer, he usually pulls out all the stops on the limited contributions he does make.
This is another song in the same vein as "Coming home" where, without going into ballad territory, the band show they aren't afraid of a little reflection and at least partially ditch the heaviness in favour of contemplative serenity.
As if just to embody how 'The final fronteir' is an exercise in patience and appreciating a gradual build-up to something wonderful, the best is undoubtedly saved for last. The only song penned entirely by Steve Harris this time round he of course co-wrote everything else , "When the wild wind blows" is nothing short of a masterpiece, a breathtaking bit of work that can comfortably stand shoulder to shoulder with any other song of his long career.
Anyone receptive to the style the band have taken recently will know how special a song they're in for when the main, achingly beautiful melody begins in earnest at around the 40 second mark, and the song as a whole does not fail to deliver as it carries the listener on a journey through a varied landscape of searing beauty and tender despair. This is the song Harris has been trying to write for about 15 years now - several of the last CDs have featured tracks of interminable length written in a similar layout to this one, and he finally seems to have cracked it as despite being a second short of 11 minutes in length it feels like not a breath has been wasted in its execution, the guitarists running the show in the various solo breaks and Dickinson on top form as he delivers the tragic lyrics with a burning passion.
I can't help but feel the rating I've assigned might seem a little low in light of the praise I've lavished upon most of the songs, and objectively speaking I've definitely given lesser CDs higher ratings, but with the weight of the band's previous catalogue on it, 'The final frontier' is easy to see as being far from perfect. Rather, it is an honest display of British heavy metal edging towards a healthy and natural conclusion after 35 years in the business.
Iron Maiden have nothing to prove to anyone, but it is credit to a legacy of defiance and integrity that they continue to write the songs they want to write. Anyone of a like mind is welcome to join the party, and who gives a damn about anyone else? Iron Maiden is the greatest heavy metal band to ever live. Thirty years after the release of their self-titled album, they are arguably just as relevant as they ever have been—not resting on their laurels and imitating a hits jukebox, but instead touring the world playing their new material to the joy of fans everywhere.
After what was a rousing success with their most recent record, the release of A Matter of Life and Death, there is actually maybe a bit more pressure on the band to produce something that is quality, memorable and, frankly, classic. Especially with the rumors floating around that this is Maiden's final album, spurred even further on by the fact that Steve Harris helped write every song on the record, the pressure cooker of fan scrutiny is reaching fever pitch.
And so it falls to this Angry Metal Guy to try to put all of this into some sort of context; to try to listen to my favorite band with fresh ears—and I've come to some realizations about the band in the process.
The Final Frontier has promised to be a controversial record since the cover art was unveiled, actually. This new, comic booky Eddie in space stirred up a strange sense of dread among fans, not offset by the fact that "El Dorado", the first track released, was a bit of a grower to the say the least. And that's a good analogy for how the record begins—"Satelite However, the track flows right into an in context "El Dorado" and suddenly the record is flying.
And, really, it stays in air for the next 42 minutes. With the reintroduction of the gallop and some of the darker lyrics that the band has written, going right in hand with A Matter of Life and Death and themes from Dance of Death as well. While the song itself is pretty simple and practically a power ballad, it sports one of the catchiest choruses that the band have ever written and has an anthemic quality that will serve the live show very well.
This track is the best song on the album—it's got classic Maiden quality, speed, melodies and some fantastic lyrics. However, after an hour of awesome, The Final Frontier grinds to what is an unpleasant halt for me. While the album flows expertly through a variety of styles that really exemplifies Iron Maiden's long and storied career, the Murray and Harris penned "The Man Who Would Be King", and Harris' solo piece "When the Wild Wind Blows" really just drag down the end of the record.
Two major problems stand out with them. Firstly, both of them share some of the most rambling and, I'm going to be frank, bad lyrics that Harris has ever penned, and secondly, the song writing is really just The lyrics, as well, are contradictory, poorly conceived and the only song that I can think of that has worse lyrics in the history of Iron Maiden is Steve's screed about how shitty the world is and about how he's old and bitter in "Age of Innocence" from Dance of Death.
And while conceptually "When the Wild Wind Blows" is an awesome song, again, it's just too long, too drawn out and lyrically poorly executed. Really, it's reminiscent of the stuff Harris has been penning since X Factor, but without the emotional poignancy that was so strong on that album.
This leaves an unfortunately poor aftertaste to what is otherwise a shining example of Iron Maiden's relevance in So let me put it like this: if this record were 55 minutes long it would be a tremendous piece of genius.
Rod used to brag about how Maiden always delivered 45 minutes of music when they released a new record in the s.
Now, with the advent of CD, there seem to be expectations that they produce 80 minutes of music instead. While there are many other factors, I do think it's interesting that this band never produced a poor record until the advent of the CD well, OK, No Prayer for the Dying is pretty stinky, but musically it's still pretty awesome even if Bruce singing directly from his crotch puts a pall over otherwise good songwriting.
It leaves me to question how this record would have sounded if the band had been forced to edit it down for LP length Instead, I'm having kind of the opposite reaction I had to A Matter of Life and Death, where the beginning of the record always left me a little cold, but the end always blows me away.
This record just sorta fizzles out after "The Talisman". However, 15 albums later for a lot of bands, there's no point in telling you to buy their records hahaha, new Kiss?? Yeah, right. Not so with Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier is still a kick ass group of songs which showcases that the band is still one of the best heavy metal bands in the world.
From this album it is already clear to me that "Isle of Avalon", "Mother of Mercy" and "The Alchemist" will live on as testaments to the band and their later material and the whole record is layered enough that you'll be hearing new things when you pop it into your CD player or iPod in months and maybe years.
This is Iron Maiden in its some of its finest post-Brave New World form and definitely competing for the best of the four. So, Up the fucking Irons! And buy the fucking record!
Originally posted at AngryMetalGuy. This has been a much long awaited release by the British heavy metal legends, Iron Maiden. Still sticking to their roots, however, this album is very different from their classic releases in the 80s.
A lot like A Matter of Life and Death, Iron Maiden has continued working on their new-found progressive sound with longer longs and odd time signatures. Their ascension up the heavy metal hierarchy can be really attributed to their previous style; harmonized leads and minutes classics. Top 15 releases of by MagnusRFAndersen. Iron Maiden by PaceSteel. Satellite Sell This Version. Janick Gers Harris Dickinson. Dave Murray Harris.
Retrieved 15 August Iltalehti in Finnish. Retrieved 20 August Retrieved 22 August Retrieved 15 November Retrieved 24 November Retrieved 1 August Rock Radio. Archived from the original on 23 July Retrieved 22 April Retrieved 17 January Daily Star. Archived from the original on 30 September Retrieved 3 August We've always said we're only going to do 15 albums; we're coming up to it. There's going to be an ending point.
Archived from the original on 29 October Retrieved 26 February Metal Hammer. Retrieved 18 August Classic Rock : 50— Metal Hammer : 42— BBC Online. Retrieved 27 November Archived from the original on 16 September Retrieved 9 February Retrieved 6 April Retrieved 6 May Total Guitar : 40— Grammy Awards. Archived from the original on 3 December Retrieved 13 February Coming Home The Alchemist Isle Of Avalon Starblind The Talisman When The Wild Wind BlowsThe new studio album from the legendary metal band! To celebrate Iron Maiden's 15th studio release, their first in 4 years, fans can look forward to a deluxe version of The Final Frontier CD with exclusive bonus content in a special package. Also available will be a double LP picture disc for vinyl fans!/5().