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Caught Somewhere In.... Backwards...Time - 85%

GuntherTheUndying, May 19th, 2008

It was many years ago when Iron Maiden became a fundamental name in metal’s household, but taking a little trip back in time can make those days alive again, and with compilation like so, you’re suddenly back in 1985! Intended for newer fans, methinks “Somewhere Back in Time” does an ace-shot job of introducing basic anthems captured between 1980 and 1989, which showcases the finest offshoots of Eddie’s masters. If you‘ve heard of Iron Maiden’s rewarding legacy and wish to understand why they’ve remained one of the genre’s best for such a long period, “Somewhere Back in Time” will rightfully be the proper choice when deciphering the essential numbers of England’s metal masters.

As it’s sniping for those unfamiliar, questioning how enjoyable this effort is doesn’t make much sense; instead, a clueless newbie must identify with Iron Maiden’s signature sound: first-class heavy metal. Right from the start, Adrian Smith and Dave Murray cast forth sweeping harmonies while exercising memorable riffs that stick in your head hours after putting them down, not to mention those crazy solos! Although guitars are primarily leading, Steve Harris’ bass refuses to remain dormant during tunes like “Children of the Damned” in which his finger-plucking madness overrides tiny gaps of blankness, usually appearing like a smoker that just won’t stop. Together with such precision, Bruce Dickinson’s high-flying vocals now infiltrate all the above atmosphere, leading to an epic voyage only this band could lead you on. That, my friends, is Iron Maiden in a paragraph.

“Somewhere Back in Time,” however, lives up to the moniker it represents by barraging unsuspecting newcomers with Iron Maiden’s definite emeralds from their set of legendary recordings. Starting with the famous ones like “Number of the Beast” and “Aces High,” curious subjects will soon find the speed and utter catchiness to match Iron Maiden’s undeniable intelligence, even when observing those duel-melodies on “The Trooper” or Adrian Smith’s knifing solos; just exposing these basic qualities is the only goal, and it is accomplished entirely. Also, the addition of “Wasted Years” and the two aces from Iron Maiden’s seventh opus gives our virgin listeners a chance to hear an experiment of evolutionary electricity and lunar potency that literally rewrote everything the band had acquired, marking a magnificent sub-section of the dynamic seven-album streak that still radiates power like Odin’s valor several years later. It’s how the boys did business, baby!

The amount of compilations in Iron Maiden’s discography is quite outrageous, and trying to pick the right one can be rather straining, but with “Somewhere Back in Time” now on the shelves, you no longer need to shuffle through disc after disc; this here is THE honest taxonomic chapter of Eddie’s creators, capturing every blazing note of Satanic vision and divine prophecy that have carved in a dynasty unlike any other. Fact is, Iron Maiden shined like a supernova from 1980 straight into the final seconds of 1989, making this kicker truly fit for the material it holds within, and unlike previous collections, we aren’t missing a single gem. All other best-of releases are just best-of releases, so execute what doesn’t look fit and enjoy the only Iron Maiden compilation worthy of anyone’s time or money.

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