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Yeeees!! Our dreams have finally come true. Bruce Dickinson, the ultimate metal singer has returned back where he belongs. Okay, he has done very well in his solo career but this band is his home. Steve Harris realized, at last, that the experiment with Bailey wasn’t getting anywhere and that they were running out of time. So he sent him back to the nothingness from where he came. Now the Iron Maiden strikes back! Forget the Priest-Halford fairytale. This IS the ultimate reunion! And even more as now Maiden have three, (yes three!) guitarists. Adrian Smith has also joined them once again to give them fresh ideas. Hell yeah!
They knew there wouldn’t be another chance. Their reunion album would either bring them to the throne of heavy metal or it would sign their death sentence. So, they charged full ahead and they won. Brave New World brings Seventh Son… ten years closer, being a natural development in the band’s glorious history. It is almost flawless, proud, inspired and it widely unfolds all the elements that created the legend of Iron Maiden.
So, what is there in this album? Ten songs that will rock your ass off! Filled with great guitars, superb bass, pounding drums and majestic vocals, the songs vary from good to perfect. From the first hearing you realize that the compositions are made exactly to fit Bruce’s vocals. He is in such a great form, just like the old days. The opener track, The Wicker Man is a classic Maiden piece. Explosive and rhythmic, it features heavy riffs, imposing vocals and McBrain’s dynamic double-boots playing on the drums. The album’s first single and what a way to start off! Then follows Ghost of The Navigator, with a beautiful melodic intro, multiple breaks, inspired lyrics and an astonishing performance by Bruce that reminds us of the Powerslave era. Simply brilliant.
The self-titled song is of mid-tempo mostly but there are quite a few changes in the rhythm that make it very interesting. And it has a very nice chorus that sticks to your mind. And behold, Blood Brothers, with violin (!!) melodies and Bruce’s epic way of singing, creates an atmosphere not to familiar of Iron Maiden. Yet again, it’s another surprise by the band. After all, why should they be so monotonous every time? Yeah, right, you’d wish! The Mercenary is the next in line and the aggressive, sharp guitars are here to get us in motion. The old chaps haven’t forgotten how to rock.
Dream of Mirrors is truly a dreamy song. Nine minutes of unrepeatable melodies, sudden breaks, an amazing Dickinson and a feeling of paranoia is floating in the air. Definitely, it is one of the best moments of the album. I wonder where Maiden and Bruce would be if they hadn’t found each other. A volley of guitars and drums blow us away on the demonic The Fallen Angel. It’s a heavy metal blaster with three great solos from the fantastic trio, Murray/Smith/Gers. And here comes the absolute masterpiece, a rough cut diamond titled The Nomad. Maiden feed our hunger for greatness with another nine minute oriental storm, with breaks, solos and an imposing atmosphere. Divinity is the only word that comes to my mind for this one.
The remaining two songs are nice and catchy, though some of you may find them a bit mediocre. Mostly I’m referring to The Thin Line Between Love and Hate that might confuse you since it is a bit out of place. On the other hand, Out of the Silent Planet starts kind of slow but turns into well played heavy metal. They are just a step below the rest of the album.
Brave New World sounds like a traditional Maiden album and it consists, as a total, of the best composing ideas they have had for ten years. Let’s be honest, it cannot replace the “holy trinity” (The Number… Powerslave… Piece of Mind) but it stands proudly along their side. I have no doubt that their faithful fans were delirious, those who questioned their abilities were forced to rethink and their few enemies just kept singing the same old song. Let them fuck of and die while you dive in the ocean of Maiden’s majesty. Their banner waves high again!