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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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