Powerslave – Iron Maiden

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.

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

Adrian Smith & Bruce Dickinson
  • 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].