Music » CD Reviews

Iron Maiden

Dance of Death (Columbia)

by

comment
Dance of Death is Iron Maiden's second album with returned frontman Bruce Dickinson, and much of its best material stands up to comparisons with the band's late-'80s classics. The title track, in particular, is tremendous -- more than eight minutes long, without a single wasted note. It's not the only marathon workout either: Four of the album's 11 tracks exceed seven minutes.

The production is rawer than on previous Maiden discs: The record begins with a 1-2-3-4 countoff that launches the single "Wildest Dreams." A short, punchy, hard rocker, it's actually one of the record's weaker tracks, compared to the prog-metal epics found elsewhere. Still, it's well played and properly anthemic. Everything here is. Dickinson's vocals are at full strength. The triple-guitar front line (Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Jannick Gers) rips into the material with shocking energy. Steve Harris's bass, long the lead voice on Maiden discs, is actually somewhat muted here; he's loosening his grip on the proceedings, and the resultant sense of freedom is refreshing. Dance of Death isn't an attempt to get on the charts; it's a gift to Iron Maiden's longtime fans, and a damn welcome one.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.