Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
Label: EMI Records
Reviewer: Ahmad Saleh - 2012-07-04
Highlights: I suggest listening to the whole album
Nothing is quite more captivating to metal fans all around the world than the release of a new Iron Maiden album, this fact makes it pretty demanding for the heavy metal legends to produce an album that could live up to their fans' expectations and that is worthy of being included in the same league with The Number of The Beast and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. But you can always count on Maiden to carry the burden and raise the bar for heavy metal music as The Final Frontier had a huge mainstream success as well as positive feedback, to prove that the band hasn't said their last rites yet and they won't for some time.
The Final Frontier has an edgy feeling ,to me, as I wasn't quite sure what to expect. As many Maiden and metal fans I was happy to know that the band is on their way with another record, but then I had to limit my excitement as the stand out single ,El Dorado , issued prior to the album's release wasn't actually fulfilling and got me thinking that 35 years is definitely a great run. However, the first listen of the whole album got me hooked instantly with the mellow intros and the timely solos which is a steady fixture of the Maiden sound. The following listen unfolded the progressive sound of the preceding album coming fully alive with the smoothly paced songs and the complex arrangements that yet sound effortless and easily flowing, mainly naming, When The Wild Wind Blows.
The album kicks off with an unnecessary four minutes intro to the song Satellite 15... The Final Frontier, but from then on its Maiden being Maiden, beginning with Maiden's classic structures and managing to combine a glimpse of Maiden's different phases with songs carrying a huge resemblance to other releases of the band like Coming Home and The Alchemist, in the meantime holding its own identity with my favorites Starblind, The Man Who Would Be King and Where The Wild Wind Blows which definitely ranks the album comparable with Brave New World as the band's best album of this decade.
The Final Frontier is absolutely the highlight of metal music in 2010 not only because it’s a Maiden album, but because it has managed to meet the huge expectations and exceed them to become a mainstream hit which is only a luxury of making music for the band. So whether you are a Maiden fan or not this one is a must, for this band , in their fifties is sounding ever so young. And I am pretty sure that they still have something under their sleeve because Iron Maiden haven't said their final word yet.