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After the fans had become used to getting improvingly epic albums from Iron Maiden with equally improving productions, the band for some reason decided to release a back-to-the-roots kind of album as they were drifting at that point and looking for a way to be reborn. Dickinson had already tried some things solo and he brought in new guy Janick Gers to replace the unreplacable Adrian Smith.
This resulted in the ‘No Prayer For The Dying’ album on which Dickinson sung far less theatrical and more like a regular rock vocalist. To be honoust, this was of course beneath him and nobody saw the use of this. Neither did he in the end, seeing he’s back to square one these days and remembering his stroingpoints. Also the songmaterial was more compact and – except for maybe ‘Mother Russia’ - there were no epic songs to be found this time. Finishing it up was the very basic and dull straight forward production.
The titletrack would have been an instant classic if it had had the production of – let’s say – Seventh Son or Somewhere in Time. Try to imagine that and then tell me what you think! It is really a great song. Same goes for ‘Run Silent, Run Deep’. And how about ‘Fates Warning’ which still gives me goosebumps to this day when I hear the guitars interact while Dickinson sings the verses. If I would make a greatest hits collection, these songs would definitely be on it. ‘Tailgunner’ was a great uptempo opener by the way, but lyrically too much of an ‘Aces High part 2’.
The only thing I can complain about are - as said - the production and some of the songmaterial. ‘Holy smoke’ and ‘Bring Your daughter’ are both funny in their own way but not suit the album at all. I do not care if 'Bring Your Daughter' was a hit somewhere, it just did not fit the album. ‘Hooks in You’, ‘The Assassin’ and ‘Public Enema nr One’ are bearable and adequate at most. ‘Mother Russia’ surely does have its moments but never really reaches the magnificence of earlier epics.
I didn’t care they released an album without epics. They’d done that before on ‘Killers’. So what! I rather hear this than an album with only epics (boring!) If I say Iron Maiden, I say eighties. 'No Prayer...' did not come close to all their pervious work but it did have its moments. Enough moments actually to make this a decent album.