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This is Bruce's first solo album in years and his first solo album since rejoining Iron Maiden, yet he still manages to keep the magic he first had with his last two albums (Accident of Birth and The Chemical Wedding), I'm talking of course, about Tyranny of Souls.
This album's sounds is unlike anything Bruce has ever done before; it features dark, brooding tracks, a heavy as fuck headbanger which still keeps that Dickinson charm and some pretty decent rockers in between, including one of his greatest ballads.
We get started with a weird little opening where Bruce asks for some professor, not really important but it sill sounds cool. After this we are treated to 3 songs of pure heavy as fuck metal. First we get the murderous drum roll/riff combo that gives you ‘Abduction’ with its chorus that just screams Iron Maiden, definitely the best track on here. After this we get the borderline thrash song with awesome double bass drumming in ‘Soul Intruders’, some say this is similar to Accident of Birth’s ‘Star Children’ but I tell you this is only in lyrics as this is much heavier and so much more sweeter. Then we get the slower but still heavier song about the Wright Brothers in ‘Kill Devil Hill’, a good song with a great sing-along chorus however the second half becomes very ballad-like.
That slow ending of Kill Devil Hill takes us right into the ballad of the album, Navigate the Seas of the Sun, another great song about aviation with beautiful lyrics and even more beautiful music; this is definitely up there with Tears of the Dragon and Man of Sorrows as one of the greatest ballads in his career.
Next we get the first dark and brooding song, ‘River of No Return’, we get a slow soothing verse which has that dark feel to it (mainly due to the lyrics) and it eventually explodes with an amazing chorus, definitely a high point of the album. The heaviness returns with the very Iron Maiden-esque song ‘Power of the Sun’.
Tattooed Millionaire and Bon Jovi’s unhappy love child seem to find it’s way onto this album in ‘Devil on a Hog’ this song is a much more happier sounding song, and it seems like the song you’d listen to driving down the country towns of Australia. This is the albums only real flaw.
Suddenly the evil we heard in the intro comes back with ‘Believil’, a slow, dark and incredibly heavy track which is unlike anything heard before, well at least to the average Iron Maiden fan. The best part of this song is unsurprisingly the power chorus. Then this album comes to a close with the title track, ‘A Tyranny of Souls’. Much like ‘Believil’, this is another dark and heavy song. The chorus in this is out of this world, as is the part near the end. Bruce’s vocals are the best they've been since Powerslave in this one song here. This song always finds its way into being one of the most played songs on my iPod. This is definitely the best track on here, and man what a way to close this album.
So there we have it, Tyranny of Souls. An album which I feel outclasses Accident of Birth but doesn't quite match Chemical Wedding, but then again... what does? This albums only real draw back is that it's too short, just over 40 minutes I believe, and not one song goes for 6 minutes or more. This album is a must get by all metal heads simply for the mind-blowing amazing choruses in every single song.
After this, I can't wait to see if he can do it a fourth time....