Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier
It’s a new Iron Maiden album with crap cover art and an accompanying game. When you put it in the player, it does not blow you away. Flashbacks to Blaze-era Iron Maiden right, the band are finally played out? Well, not really. This is the most proggy album Iron Maiden ever released. It's far more Opeth than it is power metal, and it’s a band doing what they want to do. They are taking their next big step into power prog, and once you realise that it's pretty good.
Songs like “Coming Home” are epic in scale and rival the best prog epics. I suppose if there is any anthemic metal on her it would be “The Alchemist” which has quite a bit in common with songs like “The Trooper” et al. It’s a track that would have fit snugly in Bruce’s solo epic “Chemical Wedding”. In fact, it is arguable that this is the album where Bruce's best solo material and Iron Maiden finally merge. That said, even this track is not instantly approachable.
The album is a bit of work and requires patience with repeated listens. You give it a chance; it rewards in droves: both lyrically and musically. Subtle nuances abound, and the playing on here is first rate. It's Iron Maiden, but it's got touches of Pink Floyd and oodles of metallic progressive music. It's an album that screams to be played in its entirety live.
In the patheon of Iron Maiden is it one of their greatest? Probably not, but in the pantheon of music as it exists right now, it's one of the best things you will have heard in a long time.
The New Czars: Doomsday Revolution
The title sounds like something on a death metal album while the band’s name reminds you of members of the current administration. Is this band death or politics? Nah, nothing of the sort. They are a good, old hard rock band that knows how to have some fun. You get all kinds of stuff from heavy rock to ballads to stompers on here. Members of this band have worked with everyone from Alice Cooper, Bruce Dickinson through to Pink and Country Love.
They are a three piece with solid rock roots, who have a bit of a Cooperish vibe to their sound. You can tell they have been at these tracks for a while, with a full sixteen appearing on this debut. Now most debut albums can barely muster eight decent tracks, but this bunch have enough experience to pull it off. If anything can be said about this album, its that it's too diverse, running the gamut from almost Cheap Trick-esque pop to proper hairy-bar, hard rock. “Brush with the Devil” drips with that same Hollywood sleaze that oozes from Guns n Roses and laterly from their inheritors like Buckcherry.