Saturday, 1 April 2017

Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden (Self Titled) (album review)

Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden (self-titled) (Album Review)
Image result for Iron Maiden Album cover
original cover, pre-1998 remastered edition
year - 1980
Genre - heavy metal, new wave of British heavy metal.

Iron Maiden is the debut album by heavy metal titans Iron Maiden, starting not only the new wave of British heavy metal but also being the starting point for one of the Genre's greatest and most well known bands.

Iron maiden is one of two studio albums to feature Paul Di'Anno as vocalist, the latter being "killers", many people instantly disregard this album purely for the lack of (Bruce) Dickinson's vocals, however when given a fair chance Iron Maiden is no ordinary debut, it excels in places that many bands so early into their recording career could never achieve, simply because Iron Maiden doesn't have the more popular vocalist doesn't mean it is low in quality, featuring catchy hooks, melodic and memorable choruses and of course the fast and heavy distortion of any decent metal album.

Paul Di'Anno is highly underrated, his vocals are powerful, being great at highs and as well as fast paced almost shouted verses, Di'Anno is a highlight and should be considered a legend among heavy metal vocalists as his vocals on Iron Maiden do not fail once, his range is wide and his tone powerful.
Like every Maiden album released after this debut features the now iconic galloping basslines from, only member to remain in the band since its beginning, Steve Harris. Harris does not only show how bass lines can be used to add heavy riffs to the distorted dual guitars and actually lead the song but also beautiful melody, with tracks such as "phantom of the opera" being a notable example that springs to mind.
Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton (the latter making his first and only appearance on an Iron Maiden album) show incredibly fast and technical dual guitar riffs that are just as heavy as they are melodic and catchy, adding to the beauty of Maiden in which they cross the scope of being heavy or melodic, doing both incredibly well.
Clive Burr does an excellent  job on the drums, keeping a fast rhythm, while not exceptionally technical, they are exceptionally well played and add a steady backbone to the music, working with Harris' bass lines perfectly.

I think it should be noted that band themselves have come to criticise Iron Maiden's production quality, despite this, I personally do not hear anything wrong with the production quality, only that it makes a huge improvement on later releases such as "The number of the Beast", yet that doesn't necessarily mean this album lacks production quality, only when compared to later releases.

Iron Maiden features long songs, "remember tomorrow" being an example, that keep the listener absorbed into the truly ground-breaking musicianship. "Running Free" is the most famous song off this album, possibly because Maiden still play it live to this day, however no live performance from Dickinson can beat the original Paul Di'Anno vocals that fit the song in a way that Dickinson can replicate, but never fully have as his own, giving this album a special uniqueness to it in which it is almost impossible to replicate in a way that will ever match or surpass the original.

Is Iron Maiden their best? It's certainly debatable, I would say it isn't though, Iron Maiden is an album paramount in quality, especially for a debut, yet it isn't perfect when compared to later Dickinson-Maiden albums, however on it's own it is certainly an awe inspiring metal album that will leave listeners wanting to learn guitar, bass and drums.

9/10

for fans of - Metallica, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Dio
Best Tracks - "Phantom of the opera", "running free", "remember tomorrow", "Charlotte the Harlot"

By D.A. Clarke

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