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Iron Maiden - X Factor (1995/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: X Factor
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1995/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 01:11:06
Recorded: 1994 – August 1995 at Barnyard Studios in Essex, England


The X Factor is the tenth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 2 October 1995 through EMI. It is the band's first album to include Blaze Bayley, formerly of Wolfsbane, as vocalist, replacing Bruce Dickinson who left the band following their previous tour to pursue a solo career. It is considered Iron Maiden's darkest album due to the lyrics being based on personal issues surrounding Steve Harris at the time, who was in the midst of a divorce, and the album cover, which depicts the band's mascot, Eddie, being graphically mutilated through surgery.
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Iron Maiden - Virtual XI (1998/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Virtual XI
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1998/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 00:53:13
Recorded: Barnyard Studios, Essex, England, 1997 – February 1998


Virtual XI (pronounced: Virtual Eleven) is the eleventh studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 23 March 1998. It was the second and final Iron Maiden album recorded with vocalist Blaze Bayley and last as a five-piece.
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Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast (1982/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: The Number Of The Beast
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1982/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 00:40:22
Recorded: Battery Studios, January – February 1982


Routinely ranked among the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, The Number of the Beast is the birth of Iron Maiden as we know it, a relentless metal machine lifted to soaring new heights by the arrival of erstwhile Samson frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson's operatic performance here made him an instant metal icon, challenging even Rob Halford for bragging rights, and helped launch the band into the stratosphere. The Number of the Beast topped the charts in the U.K., but even more crucially -- with Judas Priest having moved into more commercial territory -- it also made Iron Maiden the band of choice for purists who wanted their metal uncompromised. Maiden took the basic blueprint Priest had created in the late '70s -- aggressive tempos, twin-guitar interplay, wide-ranging power vocals -- and cranked everything up faster and louder. The album's intensity never lets up, the musical technique is peerless for its time, and there isn't a truly unmemorable song in the bunch. Blessed with a singer who could drive home a melody in grandiose fashion, Steve Harris' writing gets more ambitious, largely abandoning the street violence of old in favor of fittingly epic themes drawn from history, science fiction, and horror. The exceptions are "22 Acacia Avenue," a sequel to "Charlotte the Harlot" that sounds written for Di'Anno's range, and the street-crime tale "Gangland," which Harris didn't write; though the punk influences largely left with Di'Anno, these two definitely recall the Maiden of old. As for the new, two of the band's (and, for that matter, heavy metal's) all-time signature songs are here. The anthemic "Run to the Hills" dramatized the conquest of the Native Americans and became the band's first Top Ten U.K. single. It features Maiden's trademark galloping rhythm, which in this case serves to underscore the images of warriors on horseback. Meanwhile, the title track's odd-meter time signature keeps the listener just slightly off balance and unsettled, leading into the most blood-curdling Dickinson scream on record; the lyrics, based on nothing more than Harris' nightmare after watching a horror movie, naturally provoked hysterical accusations of Satan worship (which, in turn, naturally provoked sales). "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is perhaps the most celebrated of the band's extended epics; it's the tale of a prisoner about to be hanged, featuring some of Harris' most philosophical lyrics. It opens with a superbly doomy atmosphere before giving way to a succession of memorable instrumental lines and an impassioned performance by Dickinson; despite all the tempo changes, the transitions never feel jarring. Elsewhere, "The Prisoner" is a catchy retelling of the hit British TV series, and "Children of the Damned" is a slower, heavier number patterned after the downtempo moments of Dio-era Black Sabbath. CD remasters integrate "Total Eclipse," first released as the B-side of "Run to the Hills," into the running order. Though some moments on The Number of the Beast are clearly stronger than others, the album as a whole represented a high-water mark for heavy metal, striking a balance between accessible melodicism and challenging technique and intensity. Everything fell into place for Iron Maiden here at exactly the right time, and the result certainly ranks among the top five most essential heavy metal albums ever recorded. A cornerstone of the genre. --Steve Huey
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Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time (1986/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Somewhere In Time
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1986/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 57:17
Recorded: 1986 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas and Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands.



Somewhere in Time is the sixth studio album by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 September 1986 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in North America. (It was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 1998). The studio follow-up to the hugely successful Powerslave/Live After Death pair, it was their first album to feature guitar synthesisers. Since its release, it has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having sold over one million copies in the US alone.
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Iron Maiden - Powerslave (1984/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Powerslave
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1984/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 50:58
Recorded: February – June 1984 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas. Mixed at Electric Ladyland, New York. Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York.



The third in a trilogy of legendary Iron Maiden albums, Powerslave is frequently ranked as the fan favorite of the bunch, capping off a stellar run that sealed the band's genre-defining status. If The Number of the Beast was the all-time metal landmark, Powerslave is perhaps the quintessential Maiden album, capturing all the signature elements of the band's definitive era in one place. The album opens with Maiden at their catchiest, turning in a pair of metal classics right off the bat with the British hit singles "Aces High" (a high-speed ode to a WWII air battle) and the apocalyptic "2 Minutes to Midnight." Next we get an instrumental, "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)," of the sort that Maiden periodically deployed to keep fans in awe of their technical chops. A pair of their best and most overlooked album tracks follows; "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duellists" exemplify the glory-minded battle hymns that made up such an important part of their lyrical obsessions, even if both are about sword fighting rather than modern military history. By the end of the album, we're seeing Maiden at their most progressive and ambitious. The seven-minute title track builds on the previous album's "To Tame a Land" with its use of Middle Eastern melodies, delving into Egyptian mythology for a rumination on power and mortality. This leads into the biggest, most grandiose epic in the Maiden catalog -- "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a multi-sectioned, thirteen-and-a-minute prog-fest adapted from the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem. Though it isn't exactly what you'd call hooky, its shifting moods and lofty intellectual aspirations made it a live favorite. This latter material helped ensure that Powerslave was the Maiden album with the biggest impact on the emerging progressive metal genre (which, in its earliest form, essentially fused Rush with this sort of Maiden material). In this context, "Back in the Village" gets somewhat lost in the shuffle; it's a thematic sequel to "The Prisoner," though not quite as memorable. So even though we don't hear the punk influences of old, Powerslave catalogs every major facet of the band's personality during the Dickinson years, and does so while firing on all cylinders. Perhaps that's in part because Powerslave is the first Maiden album to feature the same lineup as its predecessor, creating a definite continuity and comfort level. Or perhaps it's simply that we're witnessing a great band in its creative prime. Whatever the case, it's entirely arguable that Powerslave summarizes why Iron Maiden was so important and influential even more effectively than The Number of the Beast, at least on a purely musical level. It may not be quite as accessible, but it's every bit as classic and essential. --Steve Huey
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Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind (1983/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Piece Of Mind
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1983/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 00:46:09
Recorded: January – March 1983 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas


The second of three straight iconic Iron Maiden albums, Piece of Mind marks the debut of what many regard as the definitive Maiden lineup, with the arrival of new drummer Nicko McBrain. McBrain's ability to duplicate the complex patterns of the guitar and bass riffs gives the band a seamless ensemble unity. Even Steve Harris, whose busy basslines were never exactly groove-oriented, has never felt more integrated into the overall sound. Perhaps part of that feeling comes from the less frantic pace; the average tempo has slowed somewhat from the preceding album, and the hold-over punk influences still present there have been completely eradicated. Instead, we get a few moodier, heavier pieces (especially "Revelations") that make the album darker-sounding overall. We also get greater involvement in the songwriting from Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, whose themes are perfectly in tune with Steve Harris' epic storytelling. Nearly every song here was inspired by movies or literature, whether it's history, mythology, sci-fi, or fantasy; this approach got them tagged as a thinking-man's metal band, and certainly provided a lyrical blueprint for Anthrax. No less than four songs are about battles and warriors, and a couple are about flying, underscoring the heights of the drama that the band is aiming for. The centerpiece of the album is, of course, "The Trooper," an all-time genre classic that boasts Murray and Smith's most memorable harmonized lead riff, plus that trademark galloping rhythm. A retelling of the Greek myth "Flight of Icarus" was the other British hit single, boasting an appropriately soaring chorus. Album opener "Where Eagles Dare" is the other flight song, recounting a WWII spy thriller and featuring one of McBrain's signature performances with the band. If much of Piece of Mind ranks as state-of-the-art heavy metal, it is true that the second half dips a bit from the first. "Quest for Fire" is many a die-hard fan's least favorite track from the glory years; the melody is rather stiff and simple, and the lyrics are about cavemen, rendering Dickinson's operatics ("In a tiiiiiime when dinosaurs walked the eaaaaaarth") a bit ridiculous. Among the serious-minded Maiden faithful, there's no less forgivable sin than silliness (no matter how entertaining it might be). Fans also bemoan the relative simplicity of the samurai tale "Sun and Steel." However, the album closes on a big, progressive note with "To Tame a Land," an epic retelling of Frank Herbert's Dune that evokes the desert planet via Middle Eastern guitar melodies. In the end, even if Piece of Mind is the most obviously inconsistent of the classic Maiden trilogy, its many high points are no less awe-inspiring, and it's no less essential for anyone with even the most basic interest in heavy metal. --Steve Huey
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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden (1980/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Iron Maiden
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1980/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: www.onkyomusic.com
Duration: 00:37:42
Recorded: January 1980, Kingsway Studios, London

There may be no better place to hear how both punk and prog rock informed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal than Iron Maiden's self-titled debut. Often overlooked and overshadowed by the glorious Bruce Dickinson years, it's easy to forget that Iron Maiden was itself a game-changer when it appeared on the scene in 1980. That year also saw important albums from Motörhead, Saxon, and Angel Witch, but Iron Maiden vaulted its creators to the head of the NWOBHM pack, reaching the U.K. Top Five and establishing them as an outfit with the talent to build on Judas Priest's late-'70s innovations. On the one hand, Maiden was clearly drawing from elements of punk rock -- the raw D.I.Y. production, the revved-up velocities, and the vocals of rough-and-ready growler Paul Di'Anno, who looked and sounded not like a metal god, but rather a short-haired street tough. On the other hand, Maiden had all the creative ambition of a prog rock band. Compositionally, even their shortest and most straightforward songs featured abrupt changes in tempo and feel. Their musicianship was already light years beyond punk, with complicated instrumental passages between guitarists Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton and bassist Steve Harris. When Murray and Stratton harmonize their leads, they outdo even Priest's legendary tandem in terms of pure speed. The lyrics have similarly high-flying aspirations, spinning first-person stories and character sketches with a flair for the seedy and the grotesque. Add it all up, and Iron Maiden performs the neat trick of reconciling two genres seemingly antithetical to one another, using post-Priest heavy metal as the meeting ground. The seven-minute "Phantom of the Opera" is a landmark, the band's earliest progressive epic and still among its best; with its ambitious fusion of musical styles, its multi-sectioned construction, and the literary retelling of the lyrics, it seemed to encapsulate all the promise of both the band and the NWOBHM. Two of the simpler, punkier rockers, "Running Free" and "Sanctuary" (the latter left off the U.K. version but added to subsequent reissues), made the lower reaches of the British singles charts. The flasher tale "Prowler," one of the band's more enduring numbers, is in the same vein, but ups the instrumental complexity, while the title track still remains a concert staple. Elsewhere, the band offers the first of many instrumentals with "Transylvania," introduces the recurring title character of "Charlotte the Harlot," and reimagines Judas Priest's "Beyond the Realms of Death" with the "ballad" "Remember Tomorrow," which starts out soft but closes with a speed-freak guitar section. Perhaps the only hint of a misstep comes on the more restrained ballad "Strange World," the only song from this album that was never re-recorded in a live or alternate version by the Dickinson lineup. Nonetheless, the whole project explodes with energy and ideas, and while the band would certainly go on to refine much of what's here (including the cover painting of mascot Eddie), Iron Maiden would still rank as a landmark even if the Dickinson years had never happened. --Steve Huey
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Iron Maiden - Dance Of Death (2003) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Dance Of Death
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Columbia/Portrait Records
Release Date: 2003
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 1:08:00
Recorded: January – February 2003 at Sarm West Studios, London, UK


Drummer Nicko McBrain kicks off Iron Maiden's 13th studio record with an uncharacteristic one-two-three-four before launching into the rousing opener, "Wildest Dreams." This bar-band sensibility permeates Dance of Death's first three refreshing yet unremarkable tracks before shifting into the more familiar fantasy rock of previous releases. That shift begins with the remarkable "Montsegur," a brutal, melodic assault that recalls the group's glory days and showcases lead singer Bruce Dickinson at his venom-spitting best. The anthemic "New Frontier" is a musical sibling to the band's 1982 classic "Number of the Beast" and eclipses any doubt about the band's ability to keep up with the phantom specter of age. Despite the dark imagery and the ferocity of the performances, there's a looseness to the record that conveys a surreal sense of fun. They enjoy playing together, and that more than anything shines through on old-fashioned rockers like "No More Lies" and "Gates of Tomorrow." No Iron Maiden album would be complete without a Dungeons and Dragons-style epic, and they deliver on the hammy title track and the lush closer, "Journeyman." The group's innate ability to consistently cater to its fans' stubborn tastes, while maintaining a level of integrity that other veteran bands displace with unintentional Spinal Tap zeal, is a testament to its talent and experience. While the keyboard-heavy sound of their previous release, the excellent Brave New World, creeps into some of the more indulgent tracks, Dance of Death is a triumphant return to form for these heavy metal legends. --James Christopher Monger
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Iron Maiden - Brave New World (2000) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Brave New World
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Columbia/Portrait Records
Release Date: 2000
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 1:07:02
Recorded: Summer 1999 – April 2000, Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris



The return of Iron Maiden's "classic" Dickinson/Harris/Murray/Smith/McBrain lineup (plus third guitarist Janick Gers) in 1999 led to an incredibly successful world tour that saw the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends commanding stages with the same unmitigated power and authority as they had during their mid-'80s heyday. But the question remained as to whether the reconstituted group would be able to carry this momentum into a studio setting and recapture the songwriting chops of its glory years. This question made Brave New World one of the most highly anticipated metal releases of 2000, and thankfully, the eventual answer to that question was a resounding "YES!" In fact, the album pretty much picked up right where the "classic" lineup had left off on 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son: with a faithful rediscovery of Iron Maiden's best-loved sonic aesthetic and compositional quirks, updated only insofar as was necessary to measure up to new-millennium recording standards. In every other respect (and much like Seventh Son of a Seventh Son), Brave New World's meticulously orchestrated three-guitar attack still allowed for a greater sense of space than early Maiden albums (as well as the use of subtle keyboard textures in a supporting role), while boasting a beefier, in-your-face mix à la Piece of Mind or Powerslave. The remarkable pipes of singer Bruce Dickinson actually seemed to have benefited from a less grueling touring schedule over the previous decade, and his renewed songwriting partnership with bassist Steve Harris (and other assorted bandmembers) yielded several new Maiden live standards such as punchy first single, "The Wicker Man," and the positively anthemic title track. Also worthy of special mention were Harris' emotional solo copyright, "Blood Brothers," Adrian Smith's distinctive solo licks throughout "The Fallen Angel," and six-string stalwart Dave Murray's Arabian-flavored contributions to "The Nomad." These highlights notwithstanding, a more lucid appraisal revealed that Brave New World was no Number of the Beast, once the initial euphoria died down. But as comeback albums go, its excellence was undeniable, and announced not only Iron Maiden's triumphant return, but an important turning point in heavy metal's long, arduous climb back to respectability after years of critical abuse. --Eduardo Rivadavia
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