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Inconsistent. That’s the best word to describe ‘Fear Of The Dark’. After the hardrockish and far from epical ‘No Prayer For The Dying’ Iron Maiden attempted to make an album incorporating all styles they’d played sofar and more. This time the production was good again. Being transparent and not too much in your face. Gers was getting used to be in the band by now and Bruce Dickinson was singing like he used to again. So far, so good.
‘Be Quick or Be Dead’ could have come straight from the ‘No Prayer…’ sessions and was a perfect speedy opener for the album. With ‘Afraid To Shoot Strangers’, ‘Fear Of The Dark’ and ‘Chilhoods End’ the band presented their fans a threesome of extremely high quality epic songs which were simply mindblowing in all facets. Unfortunately ‘Fear is The Key’, ‘The Fugitive’ and The Apparition’ were typical Iron Maiden songs yet lacked something. Kind of what you would like to call ‘fillers’. Adequate yet soon to be forgotten.
So here we have described about 58% of the album. How about the rest? That’s were it all went terribly wrong. The hideous attempt at immitating AC/DC with a hint of Golden Earing called ‘Form Hell To Eternity’ is a farce an absolutely unworthy. ‘Wasting Love’ is everything Iron Maiden oppososed in the eighties: a hideous radio friendly rock love song. And it’s not even a good one! The aweful singalong choruses of ‘Chains of Misery’ and ‘Weekend Warrior’ are so cheesy it’s almost impossible to describe! ‘Judas Be My Guide’ was deadly boring by the way.
Only four songs worthy of their legacy. Simple math would say:
4/12 really good songs: 33,33 points. Plus good sound and excellent performance by Dickinson = 53 points.