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“Brave New World” is the 12th studio album by Iron Maiden, and in my opinion, the best. This album has an amazing cover, and also brings back Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith to the lineup. The production quality and mixing on this album is top notch; everything sounds great and you can hear all the band members very clearly. The album’s cover and title track are based on the novel “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. I would suggest looking the book up for more information, because the description is very complicated. Anyway, let’s get on with the album.
This album is has very mixed styles, containing both melodic tracks, (Blood Brothers, The Thin Line Between Love and Hate) “Classic Maiden” sounding tracks, (The Fallen Angel, The Mercenary) and epic tracks (Brave New World, The Nomad). The solos on this album are all fantastic; In particular, the solos on Brave New World and The Nomad are some of the most epic things I have ever heard. I thought all of the tracks are amazing, particularly Brave New World, The Nomad, The Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and The Ghost of the Navigator. The Nomad is an especially great Middle Eastern sounding song.
The chorus’ on this release are generally more melodic than catchy, and the verses are generally more serious than on older releases. Many of the songs create very distinct atmospheres, examples including Ghost of the Navigator’s dark atmosphere and The Nomad’s desert atmosphere. The Thin Line between Love and Hate closes the album in a very fitting way, with its soft guitars and melody near the end of the song. On your first listen, shut the album off as soon as the closing track ends; the atmosphere may be ruined by some comic relief in the last few seconds.
Overall the album has a very epic feel to it. Even the more fast paced tracks have an epic feel to them. One major suggestion of mine is to listen to this with headphones or surround sound. The album does not as much atmosphere if you do not hear the music all around you. Some essential parts of the music will not be very apparent if you listen to this without headphones or surround sound.
The band members perform beautifully on the album. Bruce Dickinson’s singing sounds less high pitched than on previous releases and fits the feel of the album extremely well. All three guitars play in an excellent unison and create an amazing sound. The added rhythm guitars greatly enhance the sound of the solos. Nicko McBrain’s drumming sounds especially powerful on this album. And Steve Harris’ bass provides a more slow rhythm which also greatly fits the feel of the album.
As much as I want to give my favorite album of all time a perfect score, I cannot because of a few minor flaws, such as an annoying chorus’ on Blood Brothers and Out of the Silent Planet and the weird guitar during the chorus in The Wicker Man. The issue mentioned in paragraph four is another minor problem. I understand that some fans cannot enjoy this album; my guess is because the album has only a few songs that sound like classic Maiden. If you think a change to a slower epic style may annoy you, keep your expectations for this release low. I definitely think this is one of Iron Maiden’s greatest releases, along with Powerslave and Somewhere in Time. Up the Irons!