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Perhaps one of Maiden’s greatest hits, Powerslave not only ranks as one of the band’s best pieces of work but, perhaps one of the best albums in metal. So what makes this album so great? In the most straightforward terms, it has everything you could ask for. Soaring vocals, in depth lyrics, blazing solos, dueling riffs, grooving bass and hammering drums. You could be thrashing your brains out to a song like “Aces High” while, appreciating the ingenious songcraft of “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”. Here we see fusion many elements which propelled Maiden for the apex of their career.
Lyrically, the song themes you will come across are classic Maiden. Songs about battles and war are now completely encompassed by dog fighting in the air to classic sword fights. Pretty rare for a band to write about both types of warfare. Other songs include lyrics about Egyptian Mythology. This compliments the music 100% since Iron Maiden started to experiment with the harmonic minor scale which usually projects Middle Eastern sound. I hate it when the music does not blend with the words. Not an issue here. The harmony lines will simply blow you away. Two guitars truly prove to be better than one from the opening lick of the album all the way through the very end of the record. Trademark gallops, are at there pinnacle here as well. We see Adrian Smith with his bluesier, crunchy style perfect his style and finally become truly 50/50 with Dave Murray. Not that Dave’s role has been diminished. You will still hear his legendary legato trills more than ever. Steve Harris is one of the best bassists in metal. Finally something I can hear. However, I must have noticed that his volume on his PAN must have been lowered because it does not have the same kick as Piece of Mind and certainly not of the first albums. (This is not a complaint but rather just something I noticed). With the unfortunate and sad departure of Clive Burr, Nicko McBrain makes his sophomore appearance. Bringing less of marchy feel he does not disappoint here. The album is loaded with fills at every 3 measures keeps your mind from wandering astray. Constructive criticism and let downs are at a minimal. In fact there is none.
So what separates the album and why the rating of 100%. Easy. The songs can be classified as epic stories or headbanging thrillers. For those who want to sit down and really listen deep in the song, you are not disappointed. For those who just want to go balls out and raise hell you are not disappointed. For those who just want to cruise with their buddies on the highway while listening to highway tunes you are not disappointed. It has the adaptability to appropriately conform to any environment. There are no fillers here. You can listen to every single song and really have every single one as a regular song on your IPOD.
Even the cover is insanely awesome. It gives you the appropriate feel of the album while having bitching artwork to compliment the album. Eddie can be seen as a Pharaoh and a Mummy. (Eddie can be seen as a lot of people).
However, these reasons still do not make this the greatest album of all time. Only this does. It symbolizes metal. Elements of power, thrash, progressive, heavy, even some black metal can be found here. Many influences for many years will look back at this album as a reference.
In the most layman’s terms, this is why I got into metal. To hear a sophisticated style of music while still having fun. It is significant of me.
My personal favorite album, so no need to say that it gets a 100.
Sickest Songs “Aces High” “2 Minutes to Midnight” “The Duelists” “Powerslave” “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”