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NWOBHM Iron Maiden (UK-1) The Final Frontier
CD, Released date : 16 August 2010 - Universal Music Group / EMI Records / Toshiba
Produced by : Kevin Shirley, Recorded at : Compass Point Studios

RATING SOM : 15/20
All rates : 16/20 You must be logged to rate this album
Tracklist
1. Satellite 15... the Final Frontier 08:40
2. El Dorado 06:49
3. Mother of Mercy 05:20
4. Coming Home 05:52
5. The Alchemist 04:29
6. Isle of Avalon 09:06
7. Starblind 07:48
8. The Talisman 09:03
9. The Man Who Would Be King 08:28
10. When the Wild Wind Blows 10:59
Bonustracks (Deluxe Edition)
11. The Final Frontier (Director's Cut Video)
12. Mission Debrief (Video)
Total playing time 1:16:34

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404 ratings 12 16/20
Review
18 / 20
    Dr.Feelgood, Tuesday 19 October 2010 Talk to your friends  
Iron Maiden are one of the best band in heavy metal music and if they go on playing for another 20 years, thEn I know that many people with me will keep listEning to them. Every time they announce the recording of a new album we just count the days till the right one whEn we are able to hear it.
WhEn we heard the title, The Final Frontier, there were many who said that this album may be the last one, but as Steve Harris said ''we don't want this album to be our last one''. Well we hope that those words be true, but evEn if this album is the last, we know that we will listEn to all the albums with great pleasure every day.

The Final Frontier is a typical MaidEn album, much better than the previous albums, A Matter of Life and Death, and Dance of Death. May the most songs are big in last, but what make them unique are the clues of progressive metal and so we can say that the album is seperated in heavy MaidEn and progressive MaidEn songs. ''Satellite 15...The Final Frontier'' is a surprised song that nobody could foresse it, its INTroduction which is too aggressive and the rest part of the song. ''El Dorado'' is the track which we heard it from the single and although Bruce said that this song wasn't good Enough, I disagree with him because this song is great and has a galloped rhythm that graps you at once! ''Mother of mercy'', ''The alcemist'', ''Isle of Avalon'' and ''Starblind'' are so great songs that nobody will be able to forget them and as a result they will listEn to them again and again. These songs are so easily remembered because of their refrEns, melodies and all the progressive clues they contain. ''Coming Home'' is differEnt from the others because of its riff which takes you to another period of time and whEn you leave from a place you will sing that song so as not to forget all the good times you had and the things that you are going to face during your return to home. Incredible song!! Now I would like to make a referEnce to ''The Talisman'' especially to its acoustic INTrduction. Before the recording of Somewhere Back In Time Bruce Dickinson wanted to create an album which would be heard like some Zeppelin albums with acoustic guitars, but nobody of the others followed his thoughts. Now 24 years later, Bruce's thought and wish became reallity. Just listEn to the song and you will see what I mean. In the conclusion of the album there are two songs that are big in last ''The man who would be a king'' and ''WhEn the wild wind blows''. The first one is something like a farewell but so true to be unreal and the second one, for me, is the best song for the Ending of an album like this! Both of the songs have a superior developmEnt either in guitars or in lyrics!!
The sound of The Final Frontier is neither like The Trooper nor like The Number of the Beast, is totally differEnt and as Dave Murray said ''we wanted for The Final Frontier the sound of 2010 and not the sound of the '80s''. All the guys did their best, Adrian, Bruce, Steve, Dave, Nicko and Janick gave everything the had!
This album is a real diamond, a creation of heavy progressive metal and if you want to realize how good it is, thEn you have to listEn to it not only one time, but two, three and why not six or sevEn!! It's a treasure!!




3 Comments

Review
18 / 20
    heavymetaltribune, Thursday 23 December 2010 Talk to your friends  
If you are expecting

Iron Maiden returns this year with their first full lEngth album in 4 years. After 2006's heavily progressive A Matter of Life and Death, an album divided the fan base and opinions about Bruce Dickinson's return to the band, everyone wondered how much further can MaidEn take their new sound to.

The revealing of mascot Eddie's new look further aliEnated the fan base as longtime fans of MaidEn could no longer recognise the prominEnt "face" of MaidEn. The fire was further fueled with the release of El Dorado, the first single off The Final Frontier weeks before the actual release of the album, displaying their new "direction".

2009's release of Flight 666 had heightEned my hopes for the album, hearing the band in top form once again and it certainly made me look forward to what 2010 brings to Iron Maiden fans.

Well thEn, on to the album proper.

First impressions:

On first listEn, it was understandable why so many fans were aliEnated after the release of El Dorado. The INTroduction to the first track, Satellite 15... The Final Frontier was just basically 4 minutes of "spaceship" atmospheric-inducing noise with some "spacey" guitar lines and Bruce's faINT singing in the background. Halfway through the song, the album starts off proper, and fans are greeted with a somewhat weaker sounding Bruce Dickinson, totally not what was expected especially after stellar performances on the recEnt Flight 666.

El Dorado further proves this poINT, with Bruce Dickinson sounding as if unmotivated or as if the sound Engineer had INTEntionally mixed his vocals lower than the other instrumEnts. (More about this track can be read in my review whEn the single was released.) Songs like Mother of Mercy make the band sound whiney, especially Bruce's vocals. On other tracks such as Isle of Avalon Bruce sounds as if he were struggling to hit the high notes. And no, not evEn a nice INTroductory song to the album like AMOLAD such as Avalon','en');" onmouseout="killInfoAlbum()">Different World was presEnt to at least give a ray of hope.

Songs that run on average 8 minutes meant that listEners with short attEntion span (such as myself) tEnd to stop listEning and paying attEntion within the first half of the album. Note that this album is perhaps the longest full lEngth studio release by the band, clocking at approximately 1 hour and 16 minutes. By the time WhEn the Wild Wind Blows Ends, I was heaving a sigh of relief, glad that the long boring ride was over.

One good thing that I took away from this first listEn though: on the whole, The Final Frontier is definitely more easy listEning compared to 2006's AMOLAD, which had a dark overtone throughout the Entire album.

However, I was not satisfied condemning the latest album from my all-time favourite band after just one listEn and decided to have a few more spins, to see if it will grow on me just as AMOLAD evEntually had. And was I glad I did.

SubsequEnt impressions:

I have to admit that I still find the first half of Satellite 15... redundant, and the MV, well... Can't say I liked it either. However, what follows that is just 1 hour and 12 minutes (minus the 4 minutes of the INTroduction) of gEnius. Realising that I totally neglected the instrumEntal section of the album on my first listEn, I made conscious effort to take note of the instrumEnts on subsequEnt listEns and it certainly provided me with a differEnt experiEnce.

While the number of ballads on the album are not typical of an Iron Maiden album, songs such as Coming Home, Starblind and WhEn the Wild Wind Blows certainly displayed each of the guitarists' ability to convey emotions and feelings on top of their technical prowess, something that so many bands neglect nowadays in the quest for speed.

And Bruce's vocals? I hate to admit it but this is no longer the air-raid sirEn that we are familiar with. However, he does handle songs well and like the guitar trio of MaidEn, his vocals reek with emotions and certainly shine on softer parts of the album. Faster numbers such as The Alchemist are sufficiEntly MaidEn-ish and are certainly fun listEns as well. Songs like Isle of Avalon have such feel-good and memorable riffs that it is almost impossible to not have them imprINTed in your mind after a few listEns.

To top this off, there is also the awesome album artwork (especially on the double LP version).

Final verdict:

If you are expecting "classic" MaidEn in the veins of The Number of the Beast, Powerslave and Piece of Mind, and you don't like "new" MaidEn (i.e. Brave New World onwards), thEn forget about this album. But if you are looking for some good progressive-influEnced heavy metal, thEn put this album INTo your record player, play it loud and play it proud. Give it a few tries though, and it shouldn't take longer than how long it took to get you INTo AMOLAD to start Enjoying the album.




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Review
19 / 20
    Scandals, Thursday 13 January 2011 Talk to your friends  
The gauntlet is thrown down, and there are no challengers to Maiden’s supremacy as titans of heavy metal.

WhEn you hear the album title, coupled with the news that Judas Priest are retiring this year, you have to worry about Iron Maiden’s future. So far, there appears to be no concrete evidEnce that this will indeed be MaidEn;s final album, but if it is thEn they’ll have gone out on a high. ‘The Final Frontier’ takes them on a far more progressive journey than they’ve beEn on in many a year, and its a refreshing change.

MaidEn are one of these bands that metalheads can rely on. Like Motorhead and AC/DC, you know what you’re getting with an Iron Maiden album. Although perhaps not this time, as the trademark gallop and catchy choruses are reigned in to a greater extEnt than previous efforts, and the band have takEn time to write some really epic prog metal songs. A natural follow up to its progressive predecessor, ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, ‘The Final Frontier’ challEnges all preconceptions of Iron Maiden’s style. The opEning title track leads of with about 4 minutes of strange, spaceshipy noises with Bruce Dickinson in the background before it starts proper. It’s a decEnt opEner, not as instantly classic as most MaidEn lead-off singles are but thEn again its better than ‘Wildest Dreams’. ‘El Dorado’ follows with a more traditional MaidEn guitar sound, galloping riffs surrounding a memorable chorus and arguably one of the better, ‘accessible’ tracks the band have writtEn in many years. ‘The Alchemist’ is another MaidEn galloper, catchy and traditional.

From there, the band veer off INTo slightly more uncharted territory. Epic prog is now the order of the day, with most tracks over 7 and a half minutes. In fact this is the longest album they’ve ever writtEn, including titanic closer ‘WhEn the Wild Wind Blows’. They all follow a similar pattern with acoustic, soft INTros building up INTo the main songs. Yet, with such talEnted guitarists, MaidEn unplugged is always something special. It’s also incredibly refreshing to see a band, thirty years after their debut and proclaimed rightly as legEnds, willing to mess with their sound, write albums and songs that they want to, rather than what is expected. Highlights are the less traditional MaidEn tracks, such as ‘Starblind’ and ‘Isle of Avalon’, while ‘El Dorado’ is a serious grower. I wasn’t sure of it the first time I heard it, yet it’s now one of my favoured MaidEn tracks outside the classics from ‘Edward the Great’.

The Final Frontier’ is a staggering achievemEnt. In a day of watered down imitations, bands who are contEnt to release album after album of the same thing and bands who are happy to rest on the laurels of previous achievemEnts, it’s so satisfying to see pioneers of the gEnre mix things up so successfully. Iron Maiden have writtEn one of the most ambitious works of their career, each listEn providing you with new things to notice. The gauntlet is thrown down, and there are no challEngers to MaidEn’s supremacy as titans of heavy metal.




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