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I know I may have given all my Maiden reviews 100% before (which is why I think my last one was rejected) but I really think that if only 1 Maiden album could get 100% it would without any doubt at all be Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. An absolute masterpiece from beginning to end, I will go through all the tracks and my opinions of them in order.
Moonchild: An amazing introduction song, and my favourite on the album, the "7 deadly sins..." part followed by the synth intro is a great indication of the great song and album to follow.The lyrics are based on the "Liber Samekh" ritual supposedly used by The Beast to attain knowledge for it's holy guardian, a very fitting subject for the band that wrote Number Of The Beast! Moonchild is a great indication that the Bruce\ Adrian team that wrote 2 Minutes To Midnight didn't just stop there.
Infinite Dreams: Continuing the mystical theme of prophecies and visions of the album, Infinite Dreams is about a person who is trapped inside tormenting dreams every time they fall asleep, and is now afraid to fall asleep at all. There is also the question of what happens after death, and the possibility of reincarnation. The last single to be released, Infinite Dreams reached number 6 in the charts, at the same time as Maiden England was released at number 1.
Can I Play With Madness: A short song, and the debut single from the album, it is one of the least popular on the album, but strangely enough had the highest chart position, at number 3. It sounds very optimistic, like the later song Wildest Dreams, but the lyrics are about someone who goes to a prophet to learn the future, and finds that his "souls gonna burn in a lake of fire" which doesn't really fit with the optimism the music conveys. A video was also released, featuring a teacher, who after offending Eddie by confiscating a Maiden magazine from a pupil, is trapped in a labyrinth full of strange artifacts, and at the end of the song, presumably dies.
The Evil That Men Do: The 2nd single from 7th Son,reaching number 5, this is a classic Maiden song about a guy who is dismayed at slaughtering the innocence of his girlfriend, believes he is evil and is committing all sorts of rituals to try and redeem himself. A firm favourite with many, the song is classic Maiden at it's most typical.
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son:An absolute epic masterpiece, this is based on a book called 7th Son, by Orson Scott Card, and is about the abilities of prophecy supposed to be controlled by someone in the position of the title. The song also talks of the struggle between good and evil to control him (as in Moonchild, "Moonchild, you'll be mine soon child, Moonchild, take my hand tonight"), and the part his brothers play in shaping his destiny. An excellent song, this is an epic to rival Hallowed Be Thy Name and Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Full of atmosphere as well, this is the highlight of the album.
The Prophecy: Following on from the title track, this is about what happens when the seventh son is grown up, and prophecises the destruction of his village by dark forces, but he is ignored by the villagers, who then blame him when the disaster happens. A short song, The Prophecy finishes with a fading out acoustic riff.
The Clairvoyant: Starting with a bass riff that seems to pick up from the end of The Prophecy, the Clairvoyant was the 3rd single, reaching number 6. It is a song relating to Doris Stokes, wondering if she can foresee her own death, as shown in the lines, "couldn't foresee his own demise", obviously replacing Doris Stokes with a male character but retaining the principle. The favourite song from the album live, this is still a great favourite, like Die With Your Boots On or Heaven Can Wait, as was shown on the Give Me Ed Till I'm Dead tour.
Only The Good Die Young: Concluding the album, this tells of how corrupt and sinful people are, and is given in the form of a sort of lecture, as from an angel, finishing with the lines:"So I think I'll leave you, with your visions and your guilt, and until the next time have a good sin", giving the impression that the deliverer of the speech doesn't expect the guilt to last long. Another great song with a great solo and a catchy chorus, Only The Good Die Young finishes off the album nicely, featuring the "7 deadly sins..." part again at the end, only replacing "and your trip begins" with a sinister little laugh from Bruce, indicating that you've already gone down the sinful route to hell.
An amazing album all in all, 7th Son Of A Seventh Son reached number 1, the first album to do so since, Number Of The Beast, and showed the successfulness of Maidens' experimentation with synthesisers. All the songs that weren't singles tell the story of the 7th son, and the singles are related diversions, enclosed between 2 "7 deadly sins..." parts in Moonchild and Only The Good Die Young, this album is one of Maiden's best accomplishments, as was shown by the band's invitation to Donington and the subsequent video from Birmingham NEC Maiden England.
UP THE IRONS!!!