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Polarized Maiden/generic 80's rock - 75%

bobbo008, September 15th, 2004

Fear of the Dark, the second album without guitarist Adrian Smith and the last with Bruce Dickinson until a few years later. People have different opinions on this album, but almost everyone can agree it's nowhere near their best. I guess to put it simply: this would be quite a good album.... if it wasn't Iron Maiden.

OK, on to the argument, it definitely has some great moments, but those are mixed with equally horrible ones.

Bad points include songs such as Chains of Misery and From Here to Eternity (and I'm sure I'm missing a couple more) that have that standard 80's/90's "crowd chorus", for lack of a better term, making the songs sound like generic rock, although From Here to Eternity's chorus is almost catchy enough to be a cool song. The other problem of course is Bruce's raspy voice, which is just plain terrible compared to other albums he's been on. It's perceived by many as being obvious that Bruce just wanted out of the band.

On the other hand, you've first got Childhood's End, a song that, besides just being cool, has an awesome chorus that I myself consider very similiar to some of Dance of Death's choruses. Fear of the Dark is the most popular and well-known song on the album that has become one of the most popular live songs. This is for good reason, it creates an awesome atmosphere (that some compare to Dance of Death) and great riff(s), simply a great song and simply the gem of the album.

Overall, the album could use some Adrian Smith and no Janick Gers (Adrian's replacement). Bruce Dickinson's performance is arguably his worst of any album as well. In my and many other's opinion, this is one of the four worst Iron Maiden albums (but by no means THE worst), along with No Prayer For The Dying, X Factor and Virtual XI. Curiously, those are all of the Maiden albums from the 90's.

To put it bluntly, if you don't have Maiden's first 7 albums and their latest 2 (those are questionable be several people), you have no need to get this album.