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Perhaps the main reason that I had been attracted to heavy metal is the fact that the artists consistently utilize various works of literature, art, and other accomplishments of the human race throughout history as the subjects of their music. For some bands, mythology and culture received emphasis while others may focus on military conflicts of the past. For the band Iron Maiden, the focus has been on history and literature. When I decided to do a review on a Maiden album I decided not to do one of their earlier more influential pieces but rather the album they created when Bruce Dickinson returned to the band after a brief hiatus.
“Brave New World” is the album that Iron Maiden released in 2000. The album is created in the likeness of the novel with the same name, and the album returns to the general theme of the novel throughout its span. Certain themes such as the future, transformation, death, and companionship are all explored in this album.
One fascinating thing, to me personally that I feel I should mention, is that this album is released as the 12th full-length album by Iron Maiden. I find it damned impressive for a band to release so many albums and remain consistently good without allowing the perverting grasp of commercialism transform the band from an epic group of metal pioneers (like Metallica, pre-Black album) to a bunch of whiny pussies bitching about royalties and putting their music aside. Maiden’s legacy is, in my opinion, well-deserved and it is nothing but enhanced by this release.
Now, on to the music. The album opens with [i]The Wickerman[/i], an incredibly catchy tune that has some less than enlightened lyrics. Despite the fact that the lyrics are rather poor, the song utilizes Dickinson’s singing style better than most Maiden songs. The way that the band flows so naturally throughout the song is nothing but inspiring. [i]The Ghost of the Navigator[/i] is a filler song in a way, but it has some catchy guitar work and some interesting allusions (although not related to the novel that this album mirrors.)
The title track is a good track, but it certainly is not the best in the album. The chorus is somewhat repetitive and doesn’t really say much more than “brave new world!” over and over again. They have a few good strips of time where the band’s three guitars remind you why you love Iron Maiden. [i]Blood Brothers[/i] is another one of those songs that proves that the band knows how to flow and more importantly how to use their incredibly singer.
The following three tracks are vastly inferior to the opening tracks on this album. They are much longer and in all honesty they do not accomplish as much as the other songs do, despite taking an average of 2 minutes more per song. [i]Out of the Silent Planet[/i] is the archetype of a filler and is easily forgotten. The album ends with, [i]The Thin Line Between Love and Hate[/i], which is largely out of place on this album. It has quite a few slow spots on the song, which although not inherently bad, they do wanting to listen to the first four songs on the album again for those catchy riffs.
Iron Maiden would go on to release two more full-length albums after this release, and neither of them are as good as Brave New World. Regardless, Maiden will be forever cemented as one of the Gods of metal, and this album certainly doesn't disappoint.