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Hmmm... - 38%

sultoon, March 29th, 2004

...this 'thank you', commemorative, celebratory, whateverthefuckyouwanttocallit E.P. is substandard.

To start with, the 'thank you' requires the listener to purchase a four track E.P. and get a whole heap of exclusive stuff in return. The one I got cost me 6.50 English Pounds, which is less than what you'd expect to get it for in larger stores like HMV and Virgin. Did I get any value for money?

1. No More Lies: Studio version. Heard it on the album. Generic Steve Harris epic. Overlong late-90s-trying-to-be-brooding bass intro (c.f. Fortunes of War, Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger, The Clansman, The Educated Fool, yawn, yawn). Repetitive chorus (c.f. Fortunes of War, Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger, The Clansman, The Educated Fool, yawn, yawn), solo by Adrian Smith saves this one. Good on the live tour, but here in it's dull format in the studio. Worthless. Value so far: £0.00

2. Paschendale (Orchestral). Damn you Kevin Shirley. Firstly, you manage to roll over like a dog and allow 'Arry to fuck you in the arse with his textbook songs which have been done to death (Dream of Mirrors, The Gonad, Blood Brothers). Secondly, you decide to alter the volume settings on a couple of songs and pass them off as 'alternate versions' for release on singles. Twat. Piss off back to Dream Theater and produce some of their limp-wristed wankfests like you did so expertly on Metropolis. Totally shit, barely different from the album version, which is massively over-rated anyway. I'm deducting a pound.

3. Journeyman (Electric version). Ah yes, that's better. I don't know how the hell the acoustic version made the final cut for the album, because this one beats it hands down. Not a concrete solo as such, but loads of lead fills (mostly, if not all, by Adrian) all over the song. A bit of slide guitar to start and a slightly more open composition and arrangement. It's basically a much less boring version than on the album and nicely ambient. Plus 2 quid.

4. Age of Innocence...How Old? Hidden track at the end of Journeyman. It's exactly the same music mix fom the studio, with Bruce's vox cut out and drummer Nicko McBrain ad libbing over the top. Mildly amusing, but not much point if you ask me. I'll give it 25p for novelty value.

Video/DVD - this is a 'live' version of No More Lies from the Dance of Death European tour. However, the music itself is from the studio version just with the audience spliced onto the top and a few chorus sections cut in favour of the crowd singing 'No More Lies'. Good video actually. Been shown on Kerrapp! numerous times though so you've probably all seen it. Another 25p? Yeah go on then...

There's a wristband in the package too so you can prance around your bedroom pretending to be one of the Maidenites if you really want to. Hmmm, £1, if that.

So, total worth of the package? I would say something trite like "you do the math" but I'll spell it out: £2.50 tops = NO VALUE. Literally all you would want to hear is the electric version of Journeyman which is pretty good. Download this, it should be available on soulseek/kazaa lite as I type.

'Thank You' EP? More like 'Fuck You'. Carry on filling the coffers of Sanctuary Towers, it's time for a re-read of The Metal Fetus methinks...