IRON MAIDEN had already attained legendary status in the Metal world at the moment that "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" was released, with killer albums as "The Number Of The Beast", "Piece Of Mind" and the stunning live album "Live After Death". Hence everybody expected that their already seventh studio album would be no exception to this rule.
And what a killer it is! It is graced by some fantastic artwork, a really weird Eddie on an arctic background. Not only is this one of Steve Harris' favourite albums, this is also the only MAIDEN record that starts the same way it ends. This whole album flows perfectly; it is an experience listening to it. Some (or many people) will argue that "The Number Of The Beast" had more classics on it, which is true, but overall this album is better then any other because you listen to the album as a whole, not the individual songs. It kicks of with the fabulous "Moonchild", a rather atmospheric song with a great intro and superb vocals from Bruce. Then we get "Infinite Dreams", my favourite song and very underrated. It starts off very slowly, with great musicianship and superb singing throughout the whole song. Just before the speed goes up we get a great instrumental part with Nicko on top performance after which it ends with a very catchy melody.
The next songs are actually the most well known tracks of the CD if you don't count "The Clairvoyant". Even though they are great they aren't my favourites. Especially the very upbeat "Can I Play With Madness" seems not to fit with the rest of the songs. "The Evil That Men Do" is just a fine, fine classic with a great chorus. But then there is the title track, a melodic start with a fast chorus, after which we get a fantastic interlude, with nice keyboards, Bruce utters the memorable words: "So it shall be written! So it shall be done!" here. "The Prophecy" also perfectly blends in with great musicianship by 'Arry and his troopers. "The Clairvoyant" and "Only The Good Die Young" are both fantastic songs, among the best ever by MAIDEN, and that says a lot!
Well, then there's also the concept... yes, Arry once said that this is a concept album but I have yet to find the concept. And I don't believe that there's anyone who has found it.
All the songs seem to have some kind of connection with each other, like "The Prophecy" and "The Clairvoyant", and "The Evil That Men Do" and "Only The Good Die Young".
The more important thing however, concept or not, remains that this is the very best done ever by the best Heavy Metal band there is! Now we must wait for "Dances Of Death" to see if this legendary release will be bettered. I doubt it though...
There is only one more thing to be said... Up The Irons!!! (Online September 4, 2003)