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Iron Maiden was in a very successfull point of their career back in the 80's. Their best works are from that era, with world tours year after year. After that heavy metal bible, "The Number of the Beast", Maiden started to develop a new kind of sound, wich will known in the future as the 'Maiden' sound, a sound that made them unique and the best band of metal music. That sound is very progressive, and also with some power metal ingredients, something like Rainbow. In "Piece of Mind" and "Powerslave" those changes appear, and with "Somewhere in Time" it's clear that Maiden changed their way of making metal. "SIT" and also Judas Priest's "Turbo" were rejected by metalheads back those days, because those records were 'softer', because they used too many synths and keyboards. So everyone was expectant, waiting to hear if Maiden would improve after the 'failure' that "SIT" represented.
The result is "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". Every second of this album is perfect. That's the word: perfect. Everything here is right, everything is well done. Even the 'pop' song "Can I Play With Madness" is great. This is the peak of Maiden, a peak that only will be reached with "A Matter of Life and Death". Bruce Dickinson starts to sing great, with a cleaner and versatile voice. Murray's and Smith's guitar playing, as great as always, like the rest of the band, completed by the classic Steve Harris' 'galloping' bass playing, and the great Nicko McBrain's drumplaying. The whole band is great, and the change of a single element changes the sound completely... just listen "No Prayer for the Dying" or "Virtual XI".
Another great point is composition. Harris can write heavy metal anthems so easily that scares. And Smith's hand on composing is also outstanding, Maiden has a different level, a different maturity degree in their music when Adrian is present.
"Moonchild" opens the album. It starts with acoustic guitars and soft singing. Then, a synth part, that cuts dramatically into a fast rhythm, the first show of the 'progressive' elements of the album. The lyrics are good, the 'Lucifer's my name!!!' scream is fucking great. After this track, we have a beautiful ballad, "Infinite Dreams". Again, the rhythm changes are excellent, from soft and slow electric guitars to fast solos. "Can I Play With Madness" is conflictive. Back in the 80's, it was considered as 'pop', but it's very catchy and funny, and nowadays, this song is a classic. "The Evil That Men Do" is the perfect Maiden anthem. It follows the typical structure of a single, and has a goddamn catchy chorus. You just sing 'the evil that men do goes on and oooooon', all day long.
The title track is perfect. As simple as that. Those atmospheres, those rhythm changes, those choruses at the start... and Dickinson saying 'so it shall be written, so it shall be done...' it's another Maiden classic. The solos at the end are great. Next, we have "The Prophecy". The rhytm is catchy, more galloping metal, but a little slowler. Man, those acoustic guitars at the end of the song... I bow down to those guitars, after the loud part, represented by the 'metal' instruments (the electric guitars, the bass guitars and drums) comes that calmed part, closing the song. "The Clairvoyant" is another Maiden classic, featuring more galloping metal, with a great bass intro by Harris. Lyrics again are great, in my opinion, the best lyrics of the album. Finally, "Only the Good Die Young" closes the album, with more catchy choruses and an outstanding ending, with the same formula of "The Prophecy", after the loud ending, the acoustic guitars with soft singing, the same guitars and singing than in the beginning of the album.
This is a mandatory album, as simple as that. You must own it if you consider a true metalhead. Yes, it's progressive, but not the same as Dream Theather, this 'progressive' metal is much better played. Buy this one and bow down to the best Iron Maiden album of all time so far (and probably, the best metal album too).