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No Sophomore Slump Here! - 95%

caspianrex, May 15th, 2009

Killers is a NWOBHM album of exceptional quality. If Paul Di'Anno hadn't been so fond of the old nose candy, I think he could have a had a great future with Iron Maiden. However, along came Bruce Dickinson, and the rest is history. But before that happened, he really did some good work on this project.

"Ides of March" is a great opener, but surprisingly short. I hadn't looked at the timing of the track before I heard it, and when it came to an end, I thought, that's it? But you don't really have much time to lament the shortness of the opener, because "Wrathchild" really kicks it into high gear. I really think this is Paul Di'Anno's finest moment. His vocals actually kick major ass on this tune, and it's too bad he couldn't sustain that kind of quality all the time. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" sustains the adrenalin rush, with an almost punk-style frenzy. I don't think the vocals are quite as good here, but there is a nice snarly tone at work on the tune." Makes me wonder if the guys had been listening to a lot of punk (or mayber just Queen's song "Sheer Heart Attack").

I could go on track-by-track, but I won't. The thing that one notices on the first listen of this album, though, is how high the energy level is throughout. The guitars tear along at breakneck speed, and the drums and bass are right there with them. I mean, it's not Megadeth, but for the time, they were really on fire! As on the debut album, the guitar work is of exceptional quality, maybe even better than the first one. Welcome, Adrian Smith! Also, as I write this, and "Genghis Khan" is playing, my hat goes off to the amazing drums of Clive Burr. Wow. The combination of those glorious guitars with that super tight drumming is, quite simply awe inspiring. In fact, I would have to say, "Genghis Khan" is the best track on the record. That being said, though, I don't think there's a bad track on this album. If Iron Maiden's career had ended with this album, they could still have held their heads high.

Since I've given props to pretty much everyone on this album, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention Steve Harris's kick ass bass playing throughout, most notably on the excellent "Innocent Exile." Not to simplify too much, but every member of the group gives his all on this album. If the first two Iron Maiden albums were the only ones that existed, I would have said that they had set the bar about as high as it could go. However, "Number of the Beast" was about to come along, and that showed that that bar still had another notch or two left above it.