|Classic Review: Iron Maiden - Powerslave|
Year released: 1984
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 18, 2002
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
1984 was a huge year for heavy metal music and this album was one of the main reasons. "Powerslave" has only 8 songs but lasts more than 50 minutes, mainly due to the last song, the epic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", which clocks in at 13:40!
The album starts with maybe the best metal song ever written, "Aces High". Amazing opener with this beautiful fast-paced song which contains a great intro, two amazing lead breaks, a huge chorus and a beautiful melody line on vocals by Bruce Dickinson. This song has been released as a single and an excellent promo video.
Next is a very well known song that Iron Maiden plays live every time, "2 Minutes To Midnight". This tune was also released has a single and a very good video-clip was recorded and went into heavy rotation at many video stations like MTV and MuchMusic (way back when they played music on those channels). (-: Curiously, this song has nothing a typical single usually contains: the tune lasts more than 6 minutes, has many long breaks and… rules! (-:
Next is "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)", an excellent instrumental song with lots of nice harmonies. This is one of my favourite instrumental songs of all time.
The intro with pull-off open strings on guitar tells us that "Flash of the Blade" is next. Again here, excellent harmonies (especially on the lead breaks). This is one of the best songs on the album.
"The Duellists" is a song about one of Bruce Dickinson's hobbies, fencing. This is another very good song. In fact, you will not find a weak song on this album. This CD flows well from the very beginning till the end.
"Back In The Village" is supposed to be the sequel to the tune "The Prisoner" from the album "The Number Of The Beast". Excellent chorus.
Next is the title track "Powerslave". The verse contains an excellent heavy Egyptian riff. There is also a nice mellow part in the middle of the song.
To conclude this opus, one of the best songs Steve Harris has ever written, the epic "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner". Nice lyrics, excellent change of riffs and tempos and a beautiful long mellow part in the middle, which build slowly and ends into a storm, an Iron Maiden trademark.
The covert art, again designed by Derek Riggs, is phenomenal. Eddie appeared like a gigantic carved pharaoh in Egypt with a pyramid. Like the music of Iron Maiden on this album, you can find many little details if you pay attention. Also, many songs off "Powerslave" have an Egyptian feel. This is without a doubt one of the best cover art ever released.
This is my favourite Iron Maiden album and one of my all-times favourites. Iron Maiden at its best. This is a classic album without a doubt. A must-have for all metal fans.
01. Aces High (4:31) 02. 2 Minutes To Midnight (6:03) 03. Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) (instrumental) (4:15) 04. Flash Of The Blade (4:05) 05. The Duellists (6:07) 06. Back In The Village (5:03) 07. Powerslave (7:11) 08. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (13:40)
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