Review: Brave New World (2000)

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It is not without flaws, but Brave New World has gained the status of classic album in Iron Maiden’s catalog. The return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith marked the start of the band’s second golden age.

Brave New World
Produced by Kevin Shirley, co-produced by Steve Harris
Released 29 May 2000

Iron Maiden had come to the end of the road they traveled in the 1990s. First guitarist Adrian Smith had left to be replaced by Janick Gers for No Prayer For The Dying (1990), and then singer Bruce Dickinson had left after Fear Of The Dark (1992) to be replaced by Blaze Bayley.

Steve Harris had taken charge of leading Maiden through these stormy waters, becoming the even more dominant songwriter and producing Maiden’s albums himself in his own Barnyard Studio in England. The resulting records, The X Factor (1995) and Virtual XI (1998) saw Maiden’s artistic and commercial decline worsening, and by the end of 1998 manager Rod Smallwood facilitated the exit of Bayley and the return of Dickinson.

Maiden History: The Blaze Era part 2, 1997-1998.

lineup1999.5

Iron Maiden, the brave new millennium edition: Dave Murray, Janick Gers, Nicko McBrain, Adrian Smith, Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson.

Another change was made in the Maiden operation at this time: Acclaimed producer Kevin Shirley was hired to record the band in the top-flight Studio Guillaume Tell in Paris, France. The result of this is powerfully apparent from the first chord of the album, the chugging guitars and thunderous drums of The Wicker Man quickly laying to rest the ghost of Virtual XI (easily Maiden’s worst record).

The Wicker Man is the glorious result of the returning songwriters Smith and Dickinson working with added input from Harris, who would from now on write more in conjuntion with the others and less by himself. His name is credited on every track here, but only one of them as lone writer. With the fairly prolific writer Gers staying in the band, and Dave Murray also chipping in with three tracks, Maiden have once again reached critical mass.

Several artists are brought in to add visuals to Maiden’s new music. Eddie originator Derek Riggs provides the face in the sky over Steve Stone‘s futuristic cityscape on the cover, integrated through the overall design of Peacock, while Mark Wilkinson dreams up the Wicker Eddie that would be a centerpiece of the new stage show:

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The case is immediately clear, Iron Maiden are back with a burning vengeance.

The first four tracks on Brave New World are strong enough to make any album good: Opener and first single The Wicker Man with its heavy emphasis on Smith’s riffs and hooks, the majestic Gers/Dickinson/Harris collaboration Ghost Of The Navigator, the melancholy Murray/Harris/Dickinson collaboration Brave New World, and then Harris’ singalong-classic-to-be Blood Brothers.

All these tracks are top-drawer Maiden songs.

Yours truly can remember being impressed by the first two on first listen, but it was the slow build-up of third track Brave New World that really clinched it. When the hauntingly beautiful quiet intro gives way to the controlled fury of the verse, with Dickinson soaring over the top on the wings of a brilliant melody, Maiden magic is happening once more and goosebumps are officially back. As Dickinson intones that “You are planned, and you are damned, in this brave new world,” there is no denying that everything works.

What it comes down to is the fact that Maiden had finally regained the ingredients needed to turn Harris’ basic aesthetic and philosophy into world-beating songs that would blast from stereos and sway stadiums once again: A good producer that could capture both the fire and the nuances of Maiden’s performance, musical and lyrical songwriting forces in the shape of Smith and Dickinson, and not least the frontman of frontmen to deliver world-class vocals and the proper onstage spectacle. It’s a sign of Maiden’s powerful return that songs would again inspire artists to create cool works like this Dan Mumford image of the navigator’s watery grave:

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Many fans seem to endlessly lament the absence of the legendary Martin Birch from Maiden’s post-1992 productions. Criticism of the Harris-helmed 1993 live albums, plus the studio records The X Factor and Virtual XI, are no doubt valid, but in this reviewer’s opinion Maiden found the right man for the job when they set out to record their 2000 comeback record: Kevin Shirley. The balancing of three guitars would get better with future albums, but the solid sound that Shirley facilitates takes Maiden into the 2000s without sacrificing their trademarks.

However, after the infectiously uplifting first four tracks on the record, there comes something of a snag. Truth be told, none of the rest of the album comes up to the quality of the opening. Worst of all is The Mercenary, a Gers and Harris throwaway song that sounds uncomfortably close to the uninspired run of tunes on the previous two Maiden albums. Without the great production and Dickinson’s delivery this would have been disastrous.

Then there is Dream Of Mirrors, another Gers/Harris song that seems to generate lots of love among fans and critics, but which this reviewer must admit to not liking. The build-up is promising, but the track gets annoyingly frantic and repetetive the rest of the time. Smith and Harris’ The Fallen Angel is much better, but it admittedly pales in comparison with the equally short and muscular The Wicker Man.

The album struggles through this middle part before finding its feet again with the Murray/Harris epic The Nomad. The Eastern raga-flavored riffs and melodies could easily have come off as Spinal Tap-ish, but this line-up in the hands of producer Shirley makes it sound good. The absence of guitar solos for the benefit of extended Eastern melodies in the song’s middle section is a refreshing change of style.

The album’s second single, the video seen above, is the Gers/Dickinson/Harris collaboration Out Of The Silent Planet. It’s a decent singalong romp, even if the band played it live just once or twice, but again the repetetive nature of the chorus (and the rabid intro should be mentioned as a point of shame) makes it a less fun song to revisit than many on Brave New World.

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The most surprising track on the record is saved for the end. Dave Murray and Steve Harris write The Thin Line Between Love And Hate, a melodic and introspective song that could have fallen short with a different singer and a less powerful guitar team. But the ingredients are there, including the right producer, for the song to become a thoughtful and uplifting coda to the album that also points ahead to future Maiden music to come. In fact, this song made our list of the top 10 deep Iron Maiden cuts.

In sum, there are four absolutely great tracks up front on this album. This includes Blood Brothers, which is the most successful iteration yet of what would become the perennial Celtic tones of Harris’ Em-C-G-D progression, in short you might call it Harris’ most completely realized folk epic so far. There is another jewel at the very end in The Thin Line Between Love And Hate, while The Fallen Angel and The Nomad are runners-up in the middle section. But The Mercenary, Dream Of Mirrors and Out Of The Silent Planet are simply not good enough in this company.

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Bruce Dickinson lights a fire and the six-man Iron Maiden of 2000 never look back.

Brave New World would come to achieve a status similar to The Number Of The Beast. The latter marked the start of Maiden’s classic era, while the former ushered in a new golden age. For the younger generation of Maiden fans in particular, Brave New World would simply be their entry point and thus a classic album. It is a huge compliment to band and producer that the album worked for older and newer fans alike. At the dawn of a new millennium the suddenly growing fanbase where thrilled to once again see the world in Eddie’s hands:

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Click here for our look behind the scenes of the 1999 Maiden reunion and the making of Brave New World!

The Brave New World Tour was a great success for Maiden and duly celebrated with a live album that wiped away the bitter memory of their 1990s live records: Rock In Rio (2002), recorded in front of a record audience of 250 000 people, and solid proof of the power of the reunited Maiden.

The key to Maiden’s longevity in the decades since 2000 has been the urge and ability to create new music alongside their period-revisiting world tours. New albums don’t come along very often, but regularly enough for Maiden to be much more than a nostalgia act. The quality of their new music is ultimately what makes the retro setlists valid, and here is the bottom line.

Their following album, Dance Of Death (2003), is ultimately the one that would prove that the new-look Maiden was in it for the long run.

Brave New World was so much better than what fans had gotten used to in the 1990s. It was indeed the best Iron Maiden album since Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son 12 years earlier. Not as great as the best of Maiden’s 1980s output, to be sure, but even so: An impressive reassertion of intent that would set the band on course for two decades and counting of ruling the world of metal once again.

Christer’s verdict: 4/6

6/6 Masterpiece
5/6 Great
4/6 Good
3/6 OK
2/6 Disappointing
1/6 Crap

32 thoughts on “Review: Brave New World (2000)

  1. Now and then when I go back to this album I realise this is such a great album. I love reading your reviews but I have to say 4/6 is not a fair score. It has to be 5/6.
    Look forward to your behind the reunion story.

    • Oh yes it’s fair, because in my opinion the record is not as good as The Number Of The Beast, Powerslave and Somewhere In Time, all of which I’ve given 5/6. But it’s certainly the best Maiden album since the 1980s.

      • I’d take No Prayer for the Dying any time of the day instead of Brave New World. Brave New World was Maiden’s attempt at sounding new and fresh. Although it is a decent album, it lacks the Maiden magic that even No Prayer for the Dying has in a few places.

  2. Great review. For me it’s a 5/6. The only tracks I don’t care for are Dream of Mirrors (better if shorter) and The Mercenary (agree that Bruce’s vocal saves it from disaster). I feel The Fallen Angel is a gem that should be played live. For me it’s the second best of the Reunion albums, just behind AMOLAD and holds a special place because it reunited the band the I grew up listening to in the 1980’s.

  3. Think I agree with the score. I’m feel the songs are mostly hit or miss, there’s not much inbetween. Ghost Of The Navigator however is up there with their best. It might even be my favourite “reunion” song.

    But ultimately the following two albums I feel have a higher hit rate of great songs.

  4. My ranking of Reunion albums would be be:
    1. A Matter of Life and Death (love the mood and low end sound)
    2. Brave New World (great to see my favorite band back)
    3. The Book Of Souls (uneven, but the good is really good)
    4. Dance of Death (a few excellent songs, but there’s filler)
    5. The Final Frontier (just can’t connect with this album and listen to only a few songs, never the album in it’s entirety)

    • I really like the songs on The Final Frontier. The Talisman has to be their best song in thirty years. Otherwise I agree.

      • I agree. The Talisman, Starblind, and El Dorado are the songs I pick to listen to from this album. The rest is pretty unremarkable.

      • I think “The Talisman” is a weak song that runs out of fuel soon after it starts. Just like “Ghost of Navigator” it’s a typical Janick composition, replete with palm-mutes and a desire to be heavy in a very pedestrian, cliched way. People unjustly complain about some of Steve’s epics being longer than they deserve to be, but “The Talisman” is truly not worth its runtime. I would even go so far as to say that “The Angel and the Gambler” is more deserving of its runtime than “The Talisman.” By the time “The Talisman” is done, you’re left wondering, what’s the point of all this?

        The problem with the song starts with its composer, Janick. I maintain that he, to this day, does not understand the band and (classic) heavy metal. The stuff that he turns out tends to sound like a parody of heavy metal. Perfect case in point, “The Alchemist.” Terrible song with an annoying opening harmony, which is quite a feat to accomplish, given this is Maiden, the masters of guitar harmony, we’re talking about. It is beyond tasteless and uninspired. It is also doubly unfortunate that Janick’s one-and-done short songs also end up stuck with the lamest, most rambling lyrics on the album. Again, “The Alchemist” is the perfect exhibit here. The lyrics are all over the place, largely the result of the lyrics being a slave to the narrow space left to vocal lines in the verses, so the vocals just end up kind of following the main guitar riff or chords, leaving little room for complex imagery or genuine, meaningful melody. While I find myself truly invested in wanting to know about the whore from Babylon; the Kwisatz Haderach; the guy who’s thinking about throwing the race; the person having infinite dreams; or the young man full of hopes and dreams, who now feels like all is lost and nothing gained; I have no clue what the emotional or philosophical payoff to “The Alchemist” is supposed to be.

  5. “For the younger generation of Maiden fans in particular, Brave New World would simply be their entry point and thus a classic album.” This. BNW was the first Maiden record I bought on release day. X-Factor was my first Maiden record a year before and I loved it. A few months later I got Powerslave, played it to death and then BNW got released, which kinda – at least to me back then – combined some of the brooding moments of X-Factor with the crushing energy of Powerslave and I was hooked for life.

    Rock in Rio with its absolutely fantastic renditions of a lot of BNW’s track just cemented that. Even “The Mercenary” is glorious on that.

  6. I understand why so many fans have a real attachment to this album, you just have to listen to Virtual XI then go straight into this and the differences are immediately very obvious. But I agree with your review, the first four songs are top quality, but the rest are not to the same level. Still a very enjoyable album though.

    • I think that’s an important point, in just two years Maiden fans went from enduring Virtual XI to getting this. When people criticize Shirley, I often go “man, don’t you remember how they sounded in 1998?” The first time I heard Brave New World, I could hardly fathom the improvement.

  7. I was deeply disappointed at first listen. My main gripe was the simultaneously mushy and clangy production. I still think it’s a mess, but somehow it works. The only real clunker to me is The Fallen Angel.

  8. I remember anxiously waiting for this album when I was 27 years old because it was the return of the Maiden line up I grew up listening to in the 1980’s. Because of that, the album is special for me. To this day I enjoy this album and it stands the test of time. Stand out tracks are The Wicker Man, Ghost of the Navigator, Blood Brothers, Brave New World, The Fallen Angel, and The Nomad. Decent tracks are Out of the Silent Planet and The Thin Line b/w Love and Hate. Lacking tracks are Dream of Mirrors and The Mercenary.

  9. A largely forgettable album, with the title track being the only track I feel invested in. “The Nomad” has some potential, as it has some interesting gothic-leaning key changes by Dave Murray, who often serves up tasty gothic material (e.g., “Man of Sorrows,” “The Age of Innocence,” “The Prophecy”), but the song suffers from repetition and an unflattering production.

    Although one should not judge a book by its cover, that rule should be suspended in the case of Iron Maiden. Maiden’s albums covers of the past were works of art. I to this day have Maiden vinyl mainly for the artwork alone. That is why I felt so offended when I saw the lame cover art for Brave New World. A cheap, generic computer-generated image of London, with “Eddie” looming over it in the form of a cloud. Not only does the cloud look nothing like Eddie, but this must also be the lamest reincarnation of Eddie to ever grace a Maiden cover. I can’t believe Derek Riggs agreed to be associated with that piece of junk. There is nothing about the image of London or the “Eddie” that I care to know more about.

    Contrast that to something as simple and beautiful as the cover for the Running Free single, with its beautiful warm yellow tone and its consistent imagery of Eddie roaming in and haunting the streets of London. In the cover, we see action and movement in progress (an outstretched hand, Eddie in the far left, a person in the middle, who looks like he’s done something or is running away from something) and it all makes us want to examine the art more closely and find out what is happening there.

    Brave New World was Maiden’s attempt to reinvent themselves as a revitalized and cool and modern heavy metal band. They weren’t fully sure what that would sound like, so we get Brave New World, which attempts to cater to the new members tastes as well as to everyone else. Given the lackluster results from this attempt, it is not a surprise that Dance of Death, an arguably cliched transitional album, would help the bend pivot back towards more classic heavy metal.

    The production on Brave New World is a mixed bag. On the one hand, everything sounds crystal clear, but on the other, it is too crystal clear and too clinical, lacking warmth, for lack of a better word, and creating too much separation between the instruments. I would describe it as Piece of Mind with its grooviness and soul sucked out of it. Clearly, Kevin Shirley was in the very early stages of learning how to best produce the band’s sound. I don’t think he ever fully succeeded, but Brave New World ranks among his most annoying Maiden productions.

    Finally, and this is a personal complaint of mine, that whole reunion era seems to be plagued by a collective drop in taste in pants and clothing in general, with it all so painfully on full display in the Rock in Rio concert. Hell, even Nicko, Janick, and Adrian, who normally always look timeless, manage to look dated in the pictures in the booklet. And who could forget Bruce’s light denim vest. I know, this is superficial, but it’s just one more thing to turn me off from this album, which I haven’t picked up and listened to in years and years.

    • I do enjoy your comments Seventh Son, even if I don’t always fully agree with them! This album is certainly not one of my favourites, but I do like the first four songs. The Wicker Man is a great song, even if just because of the return of Adrian Smith and his fantastic guitar work, very much sorely missed throughout the 1990s. And it is a shame that The Nomad has the rip off of the Beckett tune in it, rather spoils it and makes you wonder what else they might have copied through the years.

      I can’t say that I prefer No Prayer to Brave New World though, that is a step too far for me as No Prayer is my least favourite Maiden record. It managed to put me off Maiden for many years. I know that many people consider that Iron Maiden would not be the same without Steve Harris, Dave Murray or Bruce, but they never managed to record a decent record without Adrian Smith in the band, so to me he is essential to Iron Maiden.

      • It’s perfectly fine to disagree. We all bring valid points that help us see Maiden’s work in a more complete light.

        You mentioned “The Wicker Man” as a notable song on the album. Although I agree that it is a pretty solid opener, it has its flaws.
        First, the US promo version (the one with the big chorus) kicks the album version’s butt. It is incomprehensible how the US promo version didn’t make it on the album.
        Second, although I agree that Adrian’s lead work on that song is quite impressive, it does come off as a bit clinical and lacking in melody in a relative sense. I believe that this was due to the fact that Adrian’s approach at that point was still more the way he would have played on Bruce’s solo albums. Note also how this is one of those rare instances where an Adrian solo contains multiple phrases that are repeated. Therefore, it comes across as a bit perfunctory and uninspired. In my comments under the review of Accident of Birth, I complained that the album lacks emotion for me. I have the same problem with the “The Wicker Man” solo, as with the rest of the album. It’s a bit too by-the-numbers for my taste.

        To provide some context for my criticism, consider that Dave and Adrian, and especially Adrian, are some of my major influences. There are many post-reunion albums that I love in terms of the lead guitar work, The Book of Souls being the most recent example of some beautiful guitar work, so my criticism of Brave New World is not a symptom of general discontent with the post-reunion era output, but rather a reflection of my opinions about the merits of the album in its own right.

  10. I have never been a fan of Kevin Shirley production. Each album in the reunion era has its flaws. The best for me is AMOLAD, even though the vocals are a bit loud in the mix. The live recordings from this era tend to sound better. For me the best sounding studio albums are Killers, NOTB, Powerslave, and Somewhere in Time. Piece of Mind and Seventh Son are great albums, but the production is not the best (need more low end, sounds thin).

    • We seem to have two very different pairs of ears. I always thought the exact opposite, namely, that the vocals on AMOLAD are mixed too low. In my opinion, Kevin Shirley consistently buries Bruce’s vocals in the mix. That style of mixing vocals is supposed to give the albums a “live” sound, but to me it just sounds like Bruce is struggling to be heard in the mix. I think Kevin Shirley makes Bruce’s voice sound more strained than it really is. Another reason why I think Kevin Shirley mixes vocals very low is, because it is a more American and modern way of mixing rock. Shirley is going for a more radio-friendly mix, presumably with the goal of creating a rougher sounding mix and thus appealing to the American taste in rock music.

      • I think this is taking speculation about Shirley’s motives too far. What we know for sure is that he mixed AMOLAD with the intention of proper mastering, but Harris nixed it. One of the things mastering often does is highlight the frequencies that carry lead vocals and lead guitars. Shirley stated at the time that after two non-mastered Maiden albums (DOD and AMOLAD) he would never again mix Maiden with the intention of conventional mastering. And certainly The Final Frontier sounded a little different.

        What Shirley said at the time of TFF was that he would do three mixes of each track: A dry Harris mix, a wet Smith mix, and a compromise mix on his own. The latter was usually the one they selected for the album. In my opinion, Shirley does not get enough credit for making Maiden as a unit happy enough to be on their sixth post-reunion studio album without a line-up change.

    • @ Christer Bakke Andresen
      According to the following interview with Kevin, he gave Steve a rough mix of DOD with digital clipping all over it, and Steve liked it so much, that he sent it to the record company to be used as the master copy.

      I think Kevin went out of his way to mention that story, because his reputation depends on his output and he doesn’t want to be seen as directly responsible for the screw-up on DOD. In the same video, he also complained about the low quality of work from today’s mastering engineers. Whether that is true, or whether he used that as a convenient excuse for mastering his own work, is unknown, but I think the decision to not master AMOLAD was more likely Kevin’s “idea,” rather than Steve’s. Considering the experience with DOD, it is plausible why Kevin might have decided to master AMOLAD himself.

      I was a little skeptical of your claim that “The Final Frontier sounded a little different,” as I never noticed anything that would suggest that the record wasn’t mastered. In fact, there is a very unfortunate and lengthy volume drop on “Starblind,” which is a sign of improper application of compression in the mastering process. This happens when the compressor grabs the music, brings the volume down, and fails to release it quickly back to the original level. I think the drop starts around 6:34 and ends somewhere around 7:48. That’s quite a screw-up and extra unfortunate, because it happened on the best (most magical) song on the album. I looked up the info on TFF on Wikipedia and Discogs, of which both list Bob Ludwig of Gatweway Mastering as the mastering engineer. So, unless there is something that I am missing, it appears that TFF was in fact mastered.

      • I know TFF was mastered, that’s partially what I meant. You can believe Shirley or not, but he claims to have approached that record a little differently because of the experiences on DOD and AMOLAD. I also agree with Shirley that a lot of modern day mastering is awful. All of this was happening in the age of Death Magnetic, after all. You’re free to speculate that not mastering AMOLAD was Shirley’s idea, but from Maiden’s production history I think it’s much more likely that mastering issues with certain Maiden records are primarily Steve Harris’ doing or undoing. And Nights Of The Dead is pretty grim proof that his hearing is shot.

    • @ Christer Bakke Andresen
      That makes sense. I totally see your point.

      Last night, I revisited TFF, checking it out over headphones to really zoom in on the sound. I was reminded of just how thin the guitars on the album sound. I have done quite a bit of experimenting with recording guitars at home and chasing the gold-standard Piece of Mind guitar tone over the past four years, and I can tell you that the guitars on TFF are about as thin as they can get. For anyone who thinks No Prayer for the Dying had the weakest studio production, get a load of The Final Frontier. Any bedroom producer with a mic, a decent guitar amp, and less than a day of researching how to get started on the recording journey could get the guitar sound on TFF. What’s more, the guitars are really low in the mix on TFF. Paradoxically, they not only manage to sound thin, but also bassy and muddy, all the while they’re pushed behind all other elements in the mix. My guess would be that the volume drop on “Starblind” I mentioned in my previous post was caused by those bassy palm mutes that fooled the compressor into compressing everything just to squash the bass on palm mutes. This is something that should have been addressed in the mixing stage by attenuating or compressing that frequency range on the guitars, so that they don’t keep triggering the compressor in the mixing stage.

      What’s, however, interesting about The Final Frontier, is that it has a lot of low end. The drums have a lot of low-end weight, as does the bass, probably. TFF was the biggest departure from Steve’s clicky trademark bass sound with Kevin Shirley at the desk. So, the whole thing gives off the impression of being a very heavy album, despite the silky and thin guitars. Maybe that’s also part of the problem that lead to the issues with mastering, but I suspect that the guitars are the main culprit.

      Considering all that, I actually find TFF a very well-mixed album in that it slams without there actually being anything to give it obvious heaviness, plus it’s a very warm and smooth sounding album, albeit quite muddy, as well. Production-wise, it reminds me a lot of Fear of the Dark, actually. If I had to mix an album like TFF, the thin guitars would have driven me crazy, but Kevin was able to polish everything into something that checked the “Good enough” box, so he deserves credit for perseverance in this case.

    • Everyone is welcome to suggest their writing to us, obviously including Seventh Son. 🙂

  11. I enjoy reading reviews of Maiden albums and the subsequent comments. It shows such a diverse opinion on Maiden. How some people like certain songs and albums and others don’t. My ranking for the tracks on BNW would be:
    1. The Wicker Man
    2. Brave New World
    3. The Fallen Angel
    4. Blood Brothers
    5. The Nomad
    6. The Ghost of the Navigator
    7. Out of the Silent Planet
    8. The Thin Line b/w Love and Hate
    9. The Mercenary
    10. Dream of Mirrors

  12. I remember being really excited about BNW, since it was the first album with Bruce and Adrian to come out since I discovered the band. With 20 years to reflect on it, it’s still a decent album, but now I very rarely listen to anything other than The Thin Line… I play The X Factor more often. (Album-wise lately I seem to start listening at Piece of Mind, run through to SSOASS, then skip to The X Factor, and skip again to AMOLAD, then it’s back to that drum intro; doubt that tells anyone anything interesting, but there you go)

    I should probably give it a few more spins to remind myself if I’m missing out on much.

    • Very few heavy metal bands have put out a string of great albums as Maiden did from NOTB to SSOASS. That run in 80’s is fantastic. The reunion era albums have been a mixed bag. Certainly not the same as the 80’s run. However AMOLAD is a great album on par with the 80’s efforts. My top 5 are Maiden albums are
      1. SSOASS
      2. NOTB
      3. Powerslave
      4. Piece of Mind
      5. AMOLAD

  13. Gonna heavily disagree with the comment on Out of the Silent Planet, to me it’s one of the best songs in the album. Honestly, everytime i want to hear something from Maiden, a lot of the times it’s the one i end up choosing. The chorus, the lyrics, and the riffs are well done in my opinion.

    In terms of the album as whole, it’s one of my favorite Maiden albums. I would unironically put it above the first album, Killers, and Somewhere in Time (these three albums are still fantastic) below it, with only the other four 80s albums being above it to me. And obviously it’s way better than the 90s output, even if i have a soft spot for Fear of the Dark.

    • Yeah, what you say here is a good example of Brave New World’s status among fans. Although most of them will never accept it being rated above Somewhere In Time. 😉

  14. Definitely a strong comeback. Still can’t get enough of the opening trio of The Wicker Man, GotN and BNW, but things run out of steam with the mawkish Blood Brothers and the overlong Dream of Mirrors. I rather like The Nomad (despite the length) and Silent Planet would have been much better with gallop and riffage from the start. The Thin Line kinda sums up what Maiden are now, a 70s (very) heavy rock band with 80s metal elements, but hey ho.

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