The difficult second album. Stratton was out replaced with Adrian Smith and it was the last album to feature Di'Anno on vocals.
MAIDEN's hard work on the road had turned them into a well-oiled machine, but could they once again transfer the live energy into consistent product on vinyl? The first album had dented the UK-Charts at number 4 and even though "Killers" would not repeat this feat, it still holds up rather well.
The instrumental opener "The Ides Of March" mixed into the thunderous live classic "Wrathchild" was a great way to begin things: MAIDEN charging on all cylinders. The classic twin-guitar-assault now embedded into MAIDEN-history. 'Arry running along side with his bass and Clive Burr's drumming keeping it all very tight. And Di'Anno's vocals just fitting in nicely.
The production handled by Martin Birch is streets ahead of the 'hatchet job' as described by 'Arry on the production job for IRON MAIDEN. Just what the band needed. "Murders In The Rue Morgue", still in the live set until 1985, is a MAIDEN-classic. "Another Life" is a true MAIDEN-rocker, the instrumental "Genghis Khan" is every bit as good as "Transylvania" with its superb guitar-passages.
"Innocent Exile" fits the bill, but is the albums weakest track, but it by no means a bad song. The title track is MAIDEN at the best. building from a mid-tempo start and bursting into the song proper. This is how the legend was forged! The ballad-esque "Prodigal Son", the much underrated "Purgatory", very punky and thrashy and the album closer "Drifter" are testimony to a great band and great music.
Very few bands can or could deliver such a strong second album and guess what, the third one was even better!