Well, what can I say? I’m pretty sure I first listened to this after I had poured over the detail in Live After Death. There’s something remarkably clean about a studio album once you’ve digested the live version. My experience with Megadeth recently went the other way, the live version from Argentina made me revisit all the songs with a fresh perspective.
I used to spend time as a teenager lovingly looking over the album covers of the Iron Maiden albums trying to memorise every detail. The Powerslave album is one of the best covers I have ever seen, maybe Somewhere In Time comes close but I really enjoy the colours of the Powerslave cover.
Adrian Smith & Bruce Dickinson
The body bags and little rags of children torn in two,
And the jellied brains of those who remain to put the finger right on you
- Aces High – continuing the theme of Empire and the greatness of Britain this song extolls the virtues of the Few who defended our island whatever the cost may be. A great song even if the over-arching themes of this East End band are tired and colonial.
- Two Minutes To Midnight – well crafted and one of the best. It’s written by Adrian Smith you see and that adds a certain level of clever to it. I’ve been fortunate enough to play this on stage with a bunch of better musicians.
- Losfer Words – it’s an instrumental. It’s ok.
- Flash Of The Blade – I guess it’s Bruce harking back to his upper class hobby of fencing. To be honest it’s a good song. Proper Maiden.
- The Duellists – is an OK song over-shadowed by the rest of the album. Another Maiden song about fighting for things I don’t understand.
- Back In The Village – The opening riff of this is amazing and I love it. The whole song is a return the the Prisoner theme of earlier tunes. It’s pretty good.
- Powerslave – Everything about this song is amazing but [oddly] my favourite bit is the end. THIS is how you write the end to a song. Fuck all you who use fade out. Write a proper ending.
- Rime Of The Ancient Mariner – It’s over thirteen minutes long but doesn’t really feel like it. I mean the opening riff sounds like The Flight Of Icarus but the rest of it chugs along giving all the time.
The top songs on this album are: 2 Minutes and Powerslave followed by Aces High and Back In The Village, although the field is crowded. Go and listen to this album. It’ll burn your soul [well, it won’t will it but you can claim such].