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My main gripe with this album is that it contains too much filler for one of Maiden's golden 80s albums. I will admit though that the actual GOOD material here is better than the good material on the S/T debut put together, which is why I gave this album a pretty good score. The downside is, the bad songs here really do suck ass! My main problem with this album is the vocals, and the fact that most people claim this is Maiden's best album when it's hardly Maiden at their mature, calculating best. To me, this is a good album that displays youthful energy but not necessarily musical competence. It sounds too punky. Ya, give the "punk" Maiden better reviews than the "100% metal" Maiden, after this album. At least Virtual XI, didn’t have no punk reeking from it.
The album starts off well enough with the fantastic intro that is The Ides of March. Great solos by H and Dave, but the song is just too short! As we say here in the Philippines, bitin! Next up is Wrathchild, and honestly I can't understand why this song became one of Maiden's constant concert favorites. It doesn't build up to anything except a weak scream of Paul Di'Anno that sounds like he's pinching his nuts trying to execute a scream in the middle. It sounds just plain old generic. But I gotta give it credit, it gets you going and its raw! Murders in the Rue Morgue is an improvement, with a great acoustic intro. It's just too bad the song doesn't have a lead solo break in it. Another Life starts off with a great drum intro by Clive. It's an ok song. Genghis Khan is so far Maiden's best instrumental. I mean they only have this, Transilvania, Ides of March and Losfer Words. Again, just like Ides of March, this song is too short. Innocent Exile, pfft. Another song that goes nowhere. Killers, the title track, is the highlight, and undoubtedly my favorite song on the album. Great intro, buildup and solos with wicked lyrics. Pure class! Next up, Prodigal Son is one of the worst Iron Maiden songs EVER! Sounds like Steve and the band were so drunk that they decided to rip off 60's bands like the Beatles. Were they stoned or what? I don't know why people complain about great songs like Can I Play With Madness and Heaven Can Wait, when they've got 60's psychadelia BS right here! Purgatory is a fast, protoish-speed metal song which sounds great. The closer of this album is Drifter, which is simply a great song from start to finish. You can feel the rawness that heavy metal was built on in this song. They lyrics are a bit comical, being about a drifter who sings a song everywhere he goes, but it’s a "happy fun fun" (WITH BALLS!) song so it fits. Undoubtedly, songs like Drifter and Killers were part of what influenced so many young 80s bands to be metal. They just had that kick in the balls, ya know?
All in all an album that is 50/50. 5 good to great songs and 5 sucky to ok songs. Oh and btw, the bonus track, Twilight Zone rules too!