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Honestly the worst thing this band has ever done. Ever. Period. I've loved Maiden since as long as I can remember, but I can not bring myself to say something good about this album with a straight face. It's that bad.
Let's get something straight, Maiden has been doing the same thing ever since No Prayer for the Dying, nothing has changed since that album.... except the songs are exponentially longer, far more repetitive (if you can imagine such a thing), less imaginative, and for some reason I'll never understand, even more highly praised. The one phrase chorus has plagued this band ever since they got the good sense to boot Bayley out and bring back the god that is Dickinson, the annoyance experienced on Brave New World is amplified by some inhuman number on this atrocity. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns is the most boring, plodding, piss all annoying track I've possibly ever heard. And this is coming from Iron Maiden! The gods! WHY??! Steve Harris is one of my favorite bassists and possibly my prime influence in my own playing and writing, and here he is, talking a thousand steps backwards from the unabashed progressivism of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son!
I understand that they can never top the songwriting genius of Powerslave or SSoaSS, but this isn't even humorous. I can honestly compare this to Metallica, and feel perfectly justified. The deal with St. Anger, the whole "the only reason this song is 8 minutes long is because it is quite literally a four minute song repeated front to back twice" is ever apparent here. It takes damn near a half an hour to listen to the last three songs. Read that last sentence again. That's right. I could understand if the songs structures fucking varied every once in a while, but they never do. They're not epic, they're not progressive, they're boring and plodding.
To be fair, there are a few decent riffs thrown in here and there, but it's hard to find amidst all the recycled, boring, and unimaginative pap that fills this record.
As much as I love IM, as much as they've influenced me, this has proven once and for all that they are far from infallible. I'll never understand why the drooling fanboys eat this shit up so readily and are so quick to hail it as a masterpiece. Listen to this, then listen to Number of the Beast or Piece of Mind.... you'll see what I mean.
Ditch this shit.