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This is the difinitive Bruce Dickinson solo album. On anything Bruce has done, Samson, Maiden, this shows his best vocal work. This is one of those albums where the instruments play around the vocals, and the instruments are not bad either.
To start off with the best and obvious attraction of this album, Bruce's vocals. No where but here are they showcased the best. He sings with range, volume, and length, the chorus' are absolutly amazing. What allows Bruce to sing so well is that it seems the songs were written around Bruces style of singing. Whereas in Maiden I think the style of music writing caters more toward the guitar work. Here though nothing inhibits the full range and natural talent of Mr Dickinson's vocals. They are top notch in every track, and in several stand out above the rest.
Well with an album written around a vocalists style, a logical assumption would be that the instruments take a back seat and are a bit lacking. Well they do tack a back seat to Bruce's singing, and they no where near match the intensity or greatness of the vocals, but they are not lacking. This album has some great guitar work, with tons of riffs and guitars heavier than Maidens...its a nice compliment to the vocal work. Bruce doesn't hog all the attention with his singing, there are parts in songs with long instrumental segments that are quality as well. The bass is nicely done as well, there is alot of volume to the music. It doesn't sound empty or hallow at all, the bass definatly does its job by making the album have a feel to it.
I suppose the only flaw with this album isn't a flaw at all. That is that it would be nice if there were more of a balance with Bruce's vocals and the instruments. There is a chance though, that if that were to happen we would just have a maiden clone...and imperfect one at that since Maiden has some talented mucisians, more so than these ones. So this will never reach the level of Maiden greatest, but it provides its worth on a different level than Maiden by offering something else. The only other thing I can think of is that there are clearly some best tracks on this album such as (Chemical Wedding, Book of Thel, Jerusalem and The Alchemist) that overshawdow the rest of the work, and the rest of the work is good. If the songs were a bit more equal in terms of how great they were, the album would be a great listen all the way through. As it is though...it has difinitive great tracks...then a bunch of good ones. This really is a great album though worth a buy. For any heavy metal fans, or Maiden fans.