Iron Maiden have gone their own way during the last seven or eight years since the release of “Dance Of Death” album. Something which ended in more progressive ideas concerning the music style of their work, more complex and longer tracks. Maiden’s intentions were shown in some tracks of “The Dance Of Death” album and in their last album “A Matter Of Life and Death”. Their preference to move into progressive paths is shown in full in their new album “The Final Frontier”. Iron Maiden have always been and, especially nowadays, still remain a band that didn’t care for marketing targets of the music industry. Since their first formation they did just what they wanted to and they continue to act this way even 30 years later growing even bigger and constantly gaining new fans.
Every new album of Maiden has its own new facts; an unplugged ballad “Journeyman” in “Dance Of Death”, tracks such as “The Legacy” in “Matter Of Life and Death”. Well so does “The Final Frontier”, an album that sounds a lot different compared to Maiden’s past work and we’ll have to admit that someone who has not followed Maiden’s work through the last 10 years will not be able to understand the band’s work in this album.
“The Final Frontier” begins with a 4 minute –approximately- intro which could as just well be a separate track or even out of the album. The main song is a typical opening track of a Maiden album that gets us going and maybe if Maiden change their current tour setlist, it will be a very good opener. “El Dorado” was and still is a song that I never liked since I first heard it in June. Maybe now I understand how it fits to the rest of the album but even if this track was missing, it wouldn’t make any difference.
“Mother Of Mercy” is another anti-war song similar to “The Pilgrim” of “A Matter Of Life and Death both in music style and in lyrics. Next, Maiden talk about their nostalgia of home with “Coming Home”, a very emotional song with melodic riffs and a catchy chorus. “The Alchemist” is a typical up tempo song of Iron Maiden, something that exists in every single album that the band has made since “The X Factor”. Nice song but not the best of its kind. Until now, “The Final Frontier” is a typical Iron Maiden album, high quality but nothing has really changed comparing to their past work. The album really takes off with “Isle Of Avalon”, “Starblind”, “The Talisman” and “When the Wild Wind Blows”. This is where the whole band stick together and put their creativity and skills into work and make something really unique with the exception of the typical “The Man Who Would Be King”. The performance of the whole band is exceptional one more time however the production of “The Final Frontier” doesn’t help the tracks in any way and at many points, it confused me.
To sum up, if two and a half tracks were missing, we would be talking about another very good album. I am talking about the intro of the first track, “The Alchemist” and “The Man Who Would Be King”. If those were missing, the album wouldn’t have any well shown weaknesses. But even with these, we are talking about a respectable work that will win over all those who liked “A Matter Of Life and Death”. Maiden, even though they do so, don’t need to gain new fans and make music just as they want to. And surely, someone can appreciate their work and every bands work, not by comparing but by listening.
|Track List||Line Up|
01. Satellite 15….The Final Frontier
02. El Dorado
03. Mother Of Mercy
04. Coming Home
05. The Alchemist
06. Isle Of Avalon
08. The Talisman
09. The Man Who Would Be King
10. When The Wild Wind Blows
|Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar, backing vocals
Janick Gers – guitar
Steve Harris – bass, backing vocals, studio keyboards
Nicko McBrain – drums, percussion