Iron Maiden - Powerslave
EMI
Heavy Metal
8 songs (50:58)
Release year: 1984
Iron Maiden, EMI
Reviewed by Brent

Doing this review is quite a treat for me, as I was sure that it would have already been reviewed. Powerslave is without a doubt my favorite Maiden album, and I believe this is when Maiden was in their prime and on top of the world. I love the layout of the songs in the order they are in, as they fall perfectly together in a puzzle like pattern throughout the album. I don't know what it is about it, but I also love the production on this album, as it just captures the listener's ear and drags them into the album itself and forces you to pay attention to every detail of every instrument.

And as with every single Maiden album I have ever listened to, Steve Harris's bass skills are outstandlingly acomplished and that is why I consider him one of the best in metal, if not the best. Dickenson's voice sounds as if he could double as an air raid siren, it is so powerful and carrys the vocals quite well, you can understand almost every word. At this stage in the band, Mcbrain was still just getting his beak wet, but he sounds like he has been in the band since the beginning. And of course, as always, the Murray/Smith dual guitar attack, makes Maiden top off their signature sound of the 80's era of the group.

If you are a fan of the band, this next paragraph shouldn't apply to you, as you already know it's contents. To those who might be getting into Maiden for the first time, or are prospective buyers of this beautiful masterpiece, please read on.

The album starts out with the classic, "Aces High", which as you can probably tell from the title, is about defending Britain (I assume this) from an air raid from the skies above. The next song, "Two Minutes to Midnight" used to be my favorite Maiden song, and is still closer to the top of the list. The third song on this album, "Losfer Words" is an instrumental, the only one on the album, and probably one of my favorite instrumentals from any band. Next up is "Flash of the Blade", what an awesome song, and I love the guitars on this one, they really stand out. "The Duellists" is next, probably my least favorite song on the album, but that isn't saying much, as I would rate every song on here over a 90 by themselves. I don't know what it is about the next song, "Back in the Village", but I really like it, it is catchy as hell. And for the last two on the album, I am gonna sort of set those off to the side and seperate them from the album as a whole. My reasoning behind that is they are both two of "Maiden's" most epic songs of their career, so they deserve more recognition. The first of the two, "Powerslave" is also the namesake of the album. I love the bass work on this song, it is incredible.

Finally the last one, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", based on the short story/poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, tells the story of a mariner, who was on a voyage. He and the sailors were out on the open sea one day, when they saw an Albatross following the ship, which meant good luck among the sailors. But the mariner was troubled by its presence and decieded he would kill it, which is what he did, with his crossbow. Once it was killed, he was confronted by the sailors for killing it, as it was believed it made the sailing winds blow. But once it was killed, and some time went by, the decided that it was the bird who actually made the fog heavier upon them, as it went away upon the birds death. They congradulated the mariner and thanked him for his deed. Strange things then started to happen, they became stranded out in the middle of the ocean with no winds for their sails, and slowly began to die off because of thirst, how ironic, as the song states "Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink". They began to again blame the mariner and hung the corpse of the albatross around his neck to make his wear what he killed. Eventually all of the sailors died, and upon dying, they cursed the mariner until they were all dead but he. He sat among their corpses for seven days, tortured by the site of them all, and on the seventh day, he mustered up enough strength to pray. Upon doing that, he no longer held a heavy heart and the albatross fell from his neck, and sank into the sea. Free now of the albatross's curse, he was able to sleep. The winds finally picked back up, and the ship was drenched in much welcomed rain, as he sailed back home. Guided on his way by the spirits of the men whom had died, whom were actually blessed souls, not cursed spirits. He was then confronted by two spirits that appeared. One wanted him to be able to return home, the other wanted him to pay more for his plights. The ship then felt as if it was in a tug of war, but finally broke free, homeward bound.

I never really thought about it before, but I consider that song on the same grounds as Iced Earth's Dante's Inferno. I believe this album is the best they have ever done, and they would be hard pressed to top it. I would quote is a 100/100, but it still wouldn't do it justice, so instead I am gonna give it a quote of CLASSIC, which is well deserved.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Brent quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Iron Maiden that we have reviewed:
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Iron Maiden - Killers reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
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