1984 the guys of IRON MAIDEN came back with another milestone of their band-history. "Powerslave" has been the title of the new output and it still is a great one. MAIDEN managed once more to create some timeless and brilliant gemstones.
The first song is gripping, "Aces High" is a true hit, which every Metalhead should already have heard some time in his life. The hooklines and the super-catchy melody make this album a really catchy tune, which you can sing along after the first listen. And "2 Minutes To Midnight" continues this. Also very catchy, which is a live-classic as well. These two songs alone would already be enough to have to get this album, but it gets even better.
Track no. three is "Losfer Words (Big´Orra)" and is a nice instrumental. Especially Adrian Smith and Dave Murray show their skills on the six-string. You can count this instrumental one of the better ones, because there is no superfluous soloing and it stays in an acceptable range. "Flash Of The Blade" continues the series of catchy hits, but the song is pretty much unknown, because the band only very rarely, of ever, plays it live. A pity, because the song is no second to "Aces High" or "2 Minutes To Midnight". "The Duellists" reminds me a little of the "Number Of The Beast"-album, where this song would not have been out of place. Especially remarkable are the very nice and very melodic guitar-duels, I guess that's why the song has its title.
"Back In The Village" then cannot keep the standard, not bad, but exchangeable. With the title-track "Powerslave" MAIDEN are back to form again. The song is a live-favourite, just think about the nice mask of Bruce Dickinson! Time and again "Powerslave" builds up a great atmosphere, which culminates in the cool singalong-chorus. And in the middle the band also uses some calmer sounds. Very varied. And for the end the band still has a extra ear candy to offer, the longest MAIDEN-track ever, more than 13 minutes long: "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner". No MAIDEN-song has had more variety, progressiveness and tension. A more than worthy closer for a killer-album.
Like mentioned in the beginning, "Powerslave" is a milestone. Mr. Dickinson has rarely sung any better and also the band's song-writing-skills have been on an all-time-high. IRON MAIDEN for the first time combine incredibly catchy melodies with some complexity. The band, of course, doesn't sound like DREAM THEATER, but a lot more mature than on their first albums. If you look at the album as a whole, then you really can only call one song a little less great. The sound still is up to par, even 17 years later, and you cannot complain about anything here. Conclusion: "Powerslave", essential for every Metalian!!!
Check-out-tips: "Aces High", "2 Minutes To Midnight", "Powerslave".