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Not as good as the debut - 70%

PowerPlantWorker, September 15th, 2006

Here we are with the follow up to their great debut Iron Maiden; for the second and last time we can hear the screaming voice of Paul Di'Anno, but, differently from the previous one, he is not at his best this time. Despite this, the overall sound of the album is not bad even if, having heard certain tracks of the debut album, some expectations are not met with this one. I cannot exactly state what is not working here: it just seems it is a little flatter than Iron Maiden and not as involving as that was, though it is still good. Also, the heavy rock influence which could be heard on that one is a little less audible here, as their sound is more decisely steering towards heavy metal; well, actually they are defining what heavy metal is.
Another positive note is that lyrics are starting to get more serious and smooth along the album: the main themes here are about killers (yes, you could have guessed it), murders and death in general; this last one, particularly, will return in many following albums - Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Death just to mention some of them.

I don't care much about the brief instrumental opening The Ides of March, which is quite mediocre compared to other instrumental pieces they have done; after that we get right into the album with Wrathchild which, despite being so famous, is a little boring in my opinion. Murders in the Rue Morgue is better and has quite interesting lyrics too, about a typical psychotic killer, which cannot tell if he really killed two girls or not.

Then we get to three 3-minutes tracks: Another Life, Genghis Khan and Innocent Exile.
Another Life has very short lyrics and a quite disturbing riff: I don't know exactly what it is and if they wanted it to sound as it actually does, but it has the power to raise some evil thoughts inside you; if you like it or not really depends on your personality and your mood in the moment you listen to it.
Genghis Kahn is another good instrumental, but I still have to compare it with Transylvania and the latter wins; the following track is Innocent Exile, which passes away without leaving any particular emotion.

We are now to the title track, Killers, which is the best one on the album: great screaming, nice riffs, interesting lyrics and, mostly important, that irony about death which is so typical of Maiden and I like so much: good work from Paul Di'Anno here; the next is Prodigal Son, the not so good ballad of the album.
The following Purgatory raises the pace once more and has a nice melody and powerful riffings, in the style of Aces High, even if not so fast and appealing; Twilight Zone is a bonus track which still goes under some rock influences and Drifter, the last one, is not memorable, too.

Conclusion: the follow up to their great debut, still interesting but not as good as that one.

Highlights: Murders in the Rue Morgue, Killers, Purgatory.