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Bruce's Best - 96%

MEGANICK89, September 11th, 2007

After "Accident of Birth" came out and the praise that it drew from critics for going back to his metal roots, Bruce knew he had to capitilize on it with his next record. Well, he came with another heavy metal album and his best solo record bar none. This is a classic and a must own for any heavy metal fan. Between Bruce's strong, powerful voice, some great song writing, and the once again great riff and solo work of Roy Z and Adrian Smith, this album is phenomenal.

This album is one the best written lyrically. The thought provoking lyrics and the way Bruce sings them make it interesting and more rocking. Bruce pours his emotion into each word and makes even the mediocore sounding songs, good ones. The poet William Blake seems to be a source of influence for some of the songs. I checked out some of his stuff and he is a good writer. His use of symbolism and the way his words flow is outstanding.

Now for the music. This album features a blend of fast, kick-ass songs, and slow, melodic ones. A great thing though is each song has its own unique feature which makes it good and every chorous on this album can easily be sung along with. The songs are really heavy sounding to which is another plus and is heard through the opener "King in Crimson" which has a heavy, low riff with Bruce angrily singing the vocals. "The Tower" features a neat bass intro with a soothing and catchy riff and chorous. The epic which is about eight and a half minutes long is "Book of Thel" which opens with this creeping mandarin sounding intro and then slowly erupts into a balls-out metal song that rocks the fuck out of you and then goes into a sweet, melodic chorous. Greatly done by Bruce and the boys. At the end of the song, there is this low voice reciting lines of a William Blake poem which sets the tone for the next song "Gates of Urizen." This song creates a nice atmosphere with the slow guitar starting and Bruce singing with a somewhat melancholic voice. This song can get a little boring after awhile though, but it is still a good song with a powerful chorous. One of the best songs on here is "Trumpets of Jericho" which features some awesome pounding drumbs and guitars flowing at the same time and rhythm compounded with shouted chorous where Bruce shows tremendous control of his voice.

The best song on this album and one of the Bruce has is "Jerusalem." The atmosphere created by the mandarin and the thumping drumbs is just excellent. I can visualize everything in this song with the lyrics taken from a Blake poem as it just flows beautifully into the solo and is very emotional to me with the way this one is sung. The shifty and melodic solo is the icing on the cake with this one. Overall, some great material on this album, but there are a couple problems.

At times this album suffers from repetitive chorouses. Some of them are just sung too many times and it brings songs "Machine Men" and the title track. Another problem is some generic riffing at times which brings down "Machine Men," the title track and as I said before "Gates of Urizen."

On a full scale though, this album is fantastic from start to finish and u will not be disappointed. Bruce and Roy Z again make a great album, but even more, a classic. If you love heavy metal, this is the album for you. Get it. Love it. Like it. Buy it.