Iron Maiden - The X Factor
This is one of the most interesting and most controversial records ever made. The mighty Iron Maiden in what you could call a different costume. The X Factor is clearly their most dark and personal record, just the ingredients that has made it one of their best.

The atmosphere on this record is simply astonishing, dark, gloomy, depressed and dramatic. If you really like this album depends on which style of Maiden you dig, perhaps this is one of those records that you either really like or just never got hooked by.

Sign Of The Cross is an 11-minute epic in the best Maiden Style, a story of a person's struggle with religion and his own questioning thoughts. The enchanting beginning with the gloomy chants sets the dramatic scene for this brilliant composition. There are some great changes in pace and the lead guitar parts are filled with melody and drive.
The chorus is stunning and Blaze Bayley sings the bombastic line amazingly well. His overall performance is really good; his dark edged and at times rough approach fits right into this record.
The detailed drums and the technical bass parts is something worth listening to on it's own, one of Maiden's absolute best songs, the creeping keyboard gives it an extra layer of excitement.

Lord Of The Flies is something very different, a hard pumping song with a lot of power and energy; pretty direct but also highly grooving in it's approach, and man is it good to hear Steve's bass up front, he throws in a very dominating and vigorous performance in this one.
The solo has a cool laid-back vibe and the way it goes over into a great twin lead melody sounds fantastic.

Man On The Edge is the albums fastest song, a classic melody and a right in your face track with very powerful drums. The brilliant opening guitar lead makes me think a bit of The Evil That Men Do. The fast bass is totally mean and the solo part sparks with intensity and skill, a huge song.

Fortunes Of War is about the mental pain and misery of a soldier who has returned home, a great lyric and a very dark track. I like the slow build-up that sets a comprehensive and dramatic setting, the acoustic rhythm guitar and heavy bass works splendid together. One of the best things about this one is the progressive nature it has, different lead melodies, hard breaks, and great accelerating parts makes it very interesting all the time. As a nice counterbalance to the otherwise very gloomy atmosphere we get a more melodic and dynamic lead melody in the middle, going into some genius and very varied guitar solos.

Look For The Truth has one of the most atmospheric beginnings I can think of, a totally hypnotising moment created by some distant guitar lines and a really cool and dynamic bass. Let me just say it once and for all, Steve Harris is my all-time favourite bass player; he just gives the songs so much extra depth and creativity. The ohh ohh chorus is nevertheless not that intriguing and makes it the least good song on this album. The background keys work out really well and the two guitarist spices things up with a vivid mid-section.

Up next is the The Aftermath, a track that has continued to grow on me for a long time. There is just something amazingly great about the innovative way the vocal parts are put into the structure, again the use of acoustic guitar rhythms is working out very dynamically as an underlying aspect. Blaze's strong performance reflects the hopelessness of the lyrics in just the right way.
A challenging and technical song with lots of great details and a structure that once again pushes the boundaries of how Maiden can sound like, always nice when bands that dare try something new out and still keeping the roots intact, The X-Factor as a whole represents this element.

Judgment Of Heaven is one of the most melodic songs on the record and it also has a very personal value for me. A fantastic lyric about life itself, the strength you have to find at times to carry on, the questions you have in your head and the doubts and sorrows you feel. A great melodic lead runs through the song, and the chorus part is stunning, just listen to the twin guitar parts in the middle, overly melodic.

Blood On The World's Hands begins with a bass intro from the master of them all, something that is pretty odd for Maiden, but I think it works well in creating a gloomy mood for this highly society critical song. The track has a special rhythm of its own, very slow, hard and epic. It is exactly a song like this that once again shows that Maiden can created something different with success, Blaze sings fantastic and the keyboard/acoustic guitar parts really enhances the variable flow.

The Edge Of Darkness (based on Apocalypse Now, in fact many of these songs have connections to movies) is another brilliant song. From the beginning you get sucked right into this intense story, again about war and madness. The part-wise dual solo is really fantastic, fast and yet with an immensely driving force.
This is one of the darkest and atmospheric songs Maiden has engaged in, featuring a dramatic ending. Oh and by the way check out Nicko's drumming in the fast part, that's really great skill and cool details.

2 A.M. is the slowest song of the record. A song about a person who has trouble with finding a meaning with his life, dealing with loneliness and hopelessness. It highlights a serious problem in the society of today, and the depressed atmosphere is very touching. One of the albums biggest pluses is that it takes up these "dark side of the world issues" in a very honest way. At times we all feel a bit down, listening to this record makes me think about things and understand that that is maybe just a process. Few albums have so great a personal meaning to me as The X Factor.
This song has mellow rhythm that fits in nicely with the vocal parts and the mood is captured very well, still it misses something in the middle where the solo sounds a bit too sedative, lacking some breaking element.

The Unbeliever ends this over 71 minutes long dark journey, and again we are dealing with one of Maidens finest moments.

Try release the anger from within
Forgive yourself a few immortal sins
Do you really care what people think
Are you strong enough to release the guilt

This is just a little bit of the great lyric. The musically side is extremely technical, brilliant varied drums, advanced bass chords, melodic guitars and some great vocal lines, this is as progressive as Maiden get and I truly enjoy that they have the insight to make such a complicated and totally thrilling song. In short a perfect track.

The production of the record is dark, tight, hard and yet pretty transparent, matching the music in the most suiting style.

Lyrically it is simply the best Maiden has ever written, I love records that has this certain from start to end theme or mood, this being a perfect example of how to do this without making the lyrics or music monotone or uninspiring.

A very special and challenging album indeed, relying very much on mid-tempo tracks and huge atmospheres, but I think Maiden did the right thing with this one, making songs and lyrics coming straight form the soul.

With 71 minutes of music I'm not that concerned with the fact that a couple of elements aren't working out that well making a couple of songs lacking a bit behind, overall this is breathtaking and deeply striking music.
The personal relationship I have with these songs, the astonishing musically level and the brilliant atmosphere makes this a completely unique and genius album.

Written by Tommy
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
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RevelationZ Comments


Comment by The SkeiN (Anonymous) - Friday, April 12, 2002
Great Review... but, if you think this is a classic, then what is The Number Of The Beast, Powerslave, Seventh Son, Peace Of Mind, Somewhere In Time...Mega-Fucking-Classics?????? Hell, all Maiden albums are C L A S S I C S(maybe with the exceptions of No Prayer for The Dying and Virtual XI)


Comment by Venge (Anonymous) - Saturday, October 12, 2002
THIS IS SHIT LIKE THE OTHERS IRON MAIDEN ALBUMS


Comment by Holylander (Anonymous) - Friday, December 20, 2002
This album sucks, but the following (Virtual XI) is worse


Comment by Mike (Anonymous) - Tuesday, December 31, 2002
This album is a 10 in my book i think you fags should go listen to you wimp metal like Manowar.


Comment by Holylander (Anonymous) - Saturday, March 1, 2003
Only who began to listen heavy metal in the last years (teenagers)it can find this a classic. Classic are The Number, Piece Of Mind, Powerslave (fantastic), Killers.Blaze Bayley is a shit.


Comment by Saraswati (Anonymous) - Sunday, January 26, 2003
I agree with almost everything you say about the album - only thing is I must say LOOk for the truth is an absolute masterpiece - probably one of the best tracks on the album . This album is many many levels over Number of the beast - personally I dont like that much .


Comment by Ulrick (Anonymous) - Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Ohh Tommy. when will you learn. We have had this discussion a million times, but you just won't listen. So from now on you're on your own! i can and will not protect you anymore!!


Comment by Mads (Anonymous) - Wednesday, March 26, 2003
I can't understand that Steen didn't post my comment to this album...
Well I like this album alot but it's not the Best Iron Maiden Album but It's a great Metal album... I know that Ulrick don't agree but that is because he don't know a good metal album if it came and bit him in the Ass :) Mads@revelationz.net hahaha see ya at the next Extrava Maiden...


Comment by Chase the Ace (Anonymous) - Friday, April 11, 2003
i want to punch "Blaze The fag Baly" in the face
worse madien cd...tommy should get fierd 4 that review....just like ur bum buddy blaze baly.


Comment by Al (Anonymous) - Thursday, April 17, 2003
Firstly the X-Factor beats the shit out the previous two DICKINSON albums, that is an X-FACT! No chains of misery or half-assed vocals on this.

Great vocals, great lyrics, this is a down-to-earth Maiden and it really hits the mark.

Blaze is a great singer and he is having great success in his solo carrer. Good on him I say.


Comment by Mads (Anonymous) - Friday, April 18, 2003
@AL:
Hell yes you know what you are talking about... Blaze kicks ass on this album... Bruce would have sucked on this one... I think that Blaze kicks ass and that this is a great metal album... many forget that just because it says Iron Maiden doesn't mean that it has the same style as NOtB or PoM... The X Factor Kicks ass in my opinion...


Comment by Tommy (Member) - Saturday, April 19, 2003
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
Well a lot of different opinions about this album. This album calls for a lot of patience. If you haven't heard it many many times then it might continue to grow, at least it did so for me. I love Iron Maiden and think that they are one of the best Metal bands ever; all their albums are from good to genius. I think that this album still is classic Maiden in many aspects, but in a slightly different package. The brilliant dark atmosphere runs as a thin line connection every aspect of the album. The musical performance is stunning and the feeling and glow of each song is unique and very influencing. A very complete album with a great personal perspective that just makes it even better. I find it extremely interesting and perfectly fitting that they made this album just the way they did.

Tommy
RevelationZ Magazine


Posted by Tommy
Saturday, April 19, 2003

Comment by Rob (Anonymous) - Thursday, June 12, 2003
Pure genius. That pretty much sums it up. Although I agree that Bruce has a much better voice and vocal range, and he suits Maiden perfectly, I love Blaze's dark vocals on the X Factor. It's great to have a Maiden album completely different from its predecessors and of such amazing standard, Steve really conveys his emotions of that period of his life (he was having personal troubles) perfectly and it makes great listening.


Comment by Dr. Fetish (Anonymous) - Monday, June 23, 2003
What planet are you from, people??
This album is the second worst album ever just after Virtual XI.
If Blaze had been as kick-ass as you guys think, The band hadn't fired him calling Bruce instead.
The lyrics are poor and predictable...Blaze and Janick Writing songs??? Give me a break.




Comment by 7thSon (Anonymous) - Wednesday, July 2, 2003
I think this album is a masterpiece. Everything is fantastic - except the production. Many times you can't hear what are the rythm guitars playing, and even the twin leads are very quiet. A better production (like Jugulator)would do justice that X Factor is Maiden's heaviest and darkest release yet. Get some tabs and play the riffs and solos with full distorsion on your guitar, and you'll be amazed how heavy is this album! With a cool production it would kick everybodys ass!
The songs are absolutely great; all of them are my favorites.
Blaze is an awesome singer, sure he's not Bruce, but very good. His dark voice fits fantastic the album.


Comment by the mads is back (Anonymous) - Sunday, July 6, 2003
this album kicks ass... perhaps not the best maiden album, but what a great metal album this is...


Comment by Spanish (Anonymous) - Thursday, September 4, 2003
This album is great. Steve Harris has said several times that this is in his Maiden top 3 (with Piece of Mind and Seventh Son). People hate it only because Blaze.

Saludos


Comment by Tommy (Member) - Thursday, September 4, 2003
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
I must say that I sadly fear you are right on this one Spanish. Many people don't like Blaze, and then automatically this is a bad album! Wrong.
First off, Blaze's voice fits perfect on this release and even though he isn't Bruce (who is? And get over it) he has a strong voice and also a flair for writing great songs (both aspects pointed out especially on The X-Factor and his solo albums), second this album reaches a depth and emotionalism never captured by Iron Maiden at any time again. This is one of Steve Harris' most thorough and capturing moments as a songwriter.

Tommy
RevelationZ Magazine


Posted by Tommy
Thursday, September 4, 2003

Comment by kris s (Anonymous) - Friday, September 26, 2003
boring this one 6.5/10


Comment by matt (Anonymous) - Tuesday, October 7, 2003
I think I'll go give it a listen. This is the only Maiden album I have not owned or listened to. Shame on me.


Comment by the soulcrusher (Anonymous) - Friday, October 24, 2003
jesus, Blaze really destroyed this album... I'm just going to pretend it never existed.


Comment by BOB~TheWickerMan~ (Anonymous) - Monday, November 3, 2003
I think that this is an excellent MAIDEN album, The songsare genius and Harris succeded to give a dark mood that allows to express emotions never reached beforein IM songs. Bayley is and will never be Bruce but He did a good job in this album. The Bass work is very strong and amazing, the sameforthe drums. Ithink that Gers sounds a little immature in his guitar playing. X factor deserves 8 or 9. Nice review Tommy. UP THE IRONS \m/


Comment by Mats L (Anonymous) - Wednesday, November 5, 2003
I actually agree in the statement that this is one of IM's best moments. This album has a a very dark and mysterious atmosphere. I like it. And Sign Of The Cross is one of Maidens best songs ever. This song in Rock In Rio With Bruce Dickinson is just fantastic! I compare it to Seventh Son Of a Seventh Son And Alexander The Great! Clansman is nowhere near in my eyes! Anyway, great review!


Comment by Max (Anonymous) - Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Utter plop.


Comment by Angel Of Death (Anonymous) - Wednesday, January 7, 2004
I think your review is excellent Tommy.this album is a masterpiece!I can't understand why however all of you are comparing Bruce to Blaze :Their styles are very different,you can't just say which one is the best,because each of them are the best in their category!!That was very intelligent of maiden to have Blaze for replacement,it shows they wanted to try something new.I don't think that it's very nice to say Blaze is a shit :the guy spilled his guts for Maiden and delivered their best album since ssoass.Some of you guys who are so quick to criticize him don't even have half his vocal capabilities!!By the way Hoylander I'm 15 and I already know all the classics,th X factor is just another kind of classic.(Are you related to Mr Hankey from South Park?).Venge, if you think all Maiden albums are shit then you are just a Christina Aquilera fan,and we cannot do anything for you man...


Comment by Paul Di'Anno (Anonymous) - Tuesday, January 20, 2004
This album is with Virtual XI the worst album Maiden ever made. Blaze sounds like shit ! Thank god the guys kicked him out. Bruce is the master, listnen to Dance of Death or Brave New World. And the artwork on the two bayley records are even worse than the songs. HAIL DEREK RIGGS and HAIL BRUCE DICKINSON !!!!


Comment by Mr Torture (Anonymous) - Friday, January 23, 2004
@Paul Di'Anno: you're insane. Blaze is a very talented singer, just listen to his live album. He sings every note live he sings on the studio albums - Bruce doesn't do that perfectly (just compare the Powerslave and the Live After Death version of Aces High). I also think that Bruce sounded better on his solo stuff then on Brave New World and Dance Of Death. (This doesn't means I don't like him, he still kicks some serious asses live!)
Anyway, I think the X Factor is one of Maiden's best, and it's in the same leage with Seventh Son or any classic album. All songs are genious. Sign of the Cross and The Unbeleiverare simply masterpieces, Lord of The Flies, Man on the Edge and Judgement of Heaven are perfect fast in-your-face tracks, Fortunes of War, The Aftermath, Blood on the World's hands and The Edge of Darkness are perfect dark, moody and at the same time hard and heavy songs, and Look for the Truth and 2 AM have very much feeling. Also the lyrics are incredible, very honest introspective and personal, with a lot of depth and meaning. Shame the album has such a muddy production. Nothing can be perfect, I guess... And the artwork and booklet is one of Maiden's best!
10/10



Comment by Croat (Anonymous) - Sunday, February 22, 2004
Meybe the both albums-THE X FACTOR AND VIRTUAL XI-is sound much better when all their songs be a instrumental things(like TRANSILVANYA).WITHOUT B.BAYLEY !!!


Comment by ola (Anonymous) - Wednesday, March 10, 2004
ola a todos mnbfkjnfgjnfkjnr


Comment by Leslie (Anonymous) - Wednesday, March 17, 2004
C'mon!!! Every Iron Maiden album is a butt-kicking classic!!!!

UP THE IRONS!!!!!!


Comment by Leslie (Anonymous) - Friday, March 19, 2004
And while Bruce Dickinson is really great, you can't deny that Blaze Bayley isn't pretty good himself. I mean, they wouldn't've had him on if he wasn't! So what if he left after a bit, it doesn't really matter, his voice is really good and it fits the album perfectly.


Comment by Tommy (Member) - Friday, March 19, 2004
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
You said it Leslie, they have their own style and both rule at it :)

Tommy
RevelationZ Magazine


Posted by Tommy
Friday, March 19, 2004

Comment by Tyke (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 16, 2004
Tommy, that is a great review you did! TXF is a very special Maiden album. It is without a doubt their darkest offering to date. The lyrics are at times almost poetry, and Blaze's voice fits the material perfectly. This album is mature, introspective and deep. Without a doubt one of Maiden's finest moments.


Comment by Virus UK (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 16, 2004
I really enjoyed reading your review Tommy. I agree with you. I think this is Maiden's finest album and I hope the next album is as dark as this but I doubt it will be. Blaze is a brilliant singer and the band are in top writing and playing form in The X Factor. It blows every other Iron Maiden release out of the water and I loved it from the moment I heard the chants at the beginning of Sign of the Cross. It sent chills down my spine and I knew that it was definitely something special. I was sceptical about buying it because of all the bad reviews but I'm glad I did. And you people with negative comments, unless you have something constructive to say then don't say it at all. 'THIS IS SHIT LIKE THE OTHERS IRON MAIDEN ALBUMS' isn't exactly constructive.;)


Comment by Reaper (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 16, 2004
Excellent review of an excellent album


Comment by SaSR (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 16, 2004
I'm glad there are more people who can see the excellence of this dark masterpiece.
Great review!


Comment by DaveH (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 16, 2004
excellent review of a brilliant album well done Tommy


Comment by Willum (Anonymous) - Sunday, May 16, 2004
Fantastic album. Great review too. Shame about the 12 year old comments we are getting here.

Those people should o back to the CBBC Top 40 website.


Comment by nihilist (Anonymous) - Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Hmmm, problem with "X-factor" is a poor Blaze singing, he sounds like an old owl...but they needed some change after disaster with "No prayer..." and Bruce pirate vocal phase...good album but only 7/10


Comment by zxc (Anonymous) - Wednesday, May 19, 2004
what´s next? a 7/10 in 3 years?


Comment by i.Ron S. (Anonymous) - Wednesday, May 19, 2004
a dark-styled album with the real-like cover included.
the first is one of the greatest Maiden songs ever. 12 minutes but not a second too long.
very interesting songs follow.
most of them complicated and not made for playing on radio but all so beautiful and enjoyable, maybe my most listened Maiden albums just because that complicated style. Just can't get tired of it.
could even call it a masterpiece. 9/10


Comment by I Maiden (Anonymous) - Saturday, May 22, 2004
A Dark moody album, I love it, a little slow and some songs are too long, but at least it is stable, and not about love and sreaming, and commercial shit

Bayley could kick dickinsons ass in a new york minute, he shows the power that has been lacking since seventh son.

oh well at least now a days they are back on track
excellent


Comment by Christopher (Anonymous) - Monday, May 24, 2004
I didn't really like this album when it was first released. After reading the glowing review I thought I would listen to it again and see if perhaps I was missing something. Regrettably I still find this album almost unlistenable. Personally I like Blaze's solo material much better than his two albums with Maiden. Maiden's albums have always had a lot of filler songs in them. For my money, their last album that was really consistent from start to finish was Powerslave - and that was 20 years ago!


Comment by Pete (Anonymous) - Tuesday, May 25, 2004
9.5????
I say 3


Comment by Creeping Death (Anonymous) - Friday, May 28, 2004
This album sucks ...Maiden is nothing without Bruce..


Comment by Leslie (Anonymous) - Saturday, May 29, 2004
Okay that's it. I'm sick of this. You guys feel so brave taking a swipe at Bayley when he's not around to defend himself... As if any of you creeps could sing half as well as him, or dare put him down to his face!

I'll tell you one thing, you cloth-ears, Dickinson is great, but he's not the only thing Maiden is about! In X Factor and Virtual XI they had a different lead singer and a different sound. And the music is still great.

What's wrong is that everyone was so disappointed that Dickinson left they immediately made up their minds that whoever came after would be rubbish, and it would be "unfaithful" to Dickinson to like the new guy!!!

If Bayley had joined some other band or had been with Maiden since the beginning, everyone would have been raving about him!

Dickinson is really great. I love his voice and I'm not trying to put him down. But Blaze Bayley is superb. I think he fits the album bloody perfectly. And I think (because I came really late to the scene and listened to all the albums in order, after Dickinson rejoined) that in fact, Maiden was losing it just a teeny little (microscopic!) bit in the last two albums (before Blaze Bayley joined). You can't pretend they had the same power as the pre-1990 era!

Anyway, Tommy, great review, and hats off to you for not being biased or afraid to state your view about this masterpiece!

As for those of you who haven't heard this, I can't say if you're gonna buy it and listen to it with an open mind. But if you are, then you should go and buy it. But if you're going to be a Dickinson sycophant and say that no one else comes close without even considering the matter, then you probably won't like it, so don't bother!

Album rating: 10/10. You can shove your stinky ratings in your pipes and smoke it (or up any other place you prefer).

BLAZE BAYLEY RULES!


Comment by Pat (Anonymous) - Saturday, May 29, 2004
People stick with first impressions way too much. If you're going to explore something new, it wont be music to your ears right off the bat. Usually it takes time to get used to and appreciate it, play the album, say, more than once and it might grow on you. Matter of fact, I couldn't stand my favorite music for awhile. It just sat there until I came by a review or something, and got interested all over again enough to play it and love it the way I do now. Perfect examples: Train Of Thought by Dream Theater, and Anthems Of Rebellion by Arch Enemy (couldn't stand the vocals on that last one).


Comment by Skippy (Anonymous) - Monday, May 31, 2004
who does the voise in the beginning of Alexander The Great?


Comment by dusk8 (Anonymous) - Saturday, June 5, 2004
this is a album for smart ppl :)


Comment by TSIPPO TSAR (Anonymous) - Saturday, June 26, 2004
THIS CROCK OF SHIT DOES NOT COME CLOSE TO A REVIEW OF MY GREAT AND MIGHTY THOUGHTS. DI'ANNO! DI'ANNO! DAMNIT!!


Comment by Terra (Anonymous) - Friday, July 9, 2004
It's been said before, but do not have a go at Bayley just because he's not Bruce. He's very talented , and complemented Maiden's music perfectly.

However, the reason that this album is so good, in my opinion, is because Bayley has a very solemn voice, and so Maiden had to adapt their style to fit in with that. This switch allowed for maiden to explore new frontiers in music, and take a break from the rather stale music they were creating before. (holy smoke was terrible, and bring your daughter seemed a bit cheesy)

This era of music also allowed Maiden to evolve their music, something they didn't appear to be doing beforehand. Consequently, when Bruce finally returned (with Adrian Smith), the music was going to be brilliant. Brave New World was decent, but Dance Of Death really was a masterpiece, and is my favorite Maiden album to date, and is just better the TXF in my opinion.

Oh and give virtual XI a good listen again - it's pretty good, and i preferred it to SSOASS - it had energy, and futureal is simply brilliant! It's my second favourite maiden track, after Rainmaker from Dance of Death

I speak without bias, since i am only 16 and i have only gotten into maiden with the last year or two, and i bought various maiden albums in no particular order, so i don't mind which singer i listen to.

TXF is overall brilliant, but i think that the intro to the sign of the cross is too quiet, and it's hard to hear what Bayley is saying at first. Other people have mentioned poor production issues, so that will probably be why.


Comment by wqrshwqhsr (Anonymous) - Monday, July 12, 2004
I bought this album on release in 1995 and it remains in my stereo even now - nine years later. It's perfect, my favourite Maiden and probably the most atmospheric Metal album I have heard. Excepting the lyrics (which I believe to be a bit too superego-influenced), not one thing about this album is off or wrong - the compositions are stunning, the musicianship - possessed, and the production gives it an ambient flair which the LP would, in my humble opinion, suffer without. I believe that those who bash this one haven't really bothered to listen to it and take it for what it is - and strictly speaking, "Heavy Metal" it is NOT. Finally, a disclaimer. I have been listening to Iron Maiden prior to this album, heavily. I knew -and know- their previous opuses by heart. They're excellent music, Bruce rules, etc, etc, but they are nowhere near "The X Factor" in terms of overall inspiration and cohesion.
Cheers to those who bothered reading my comment, and to the writer of the review himself for his fine taste in music.


Comment by verdelak (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 13, 2004
I wasn't crazy about this album when I first heard it, but I listened to it about 10 times in the car and it GREW on me. It is a dark and twisted classic done in the Maiden tradition and I love it! Maiden had THREE different singers, why compare, what the fuck?, they all served their purpose.


Comment by Sick cannibal (Anonymous) - Tuesday, July 27, 2004
this album is great and is up there with the other classics.Just because,like some others said,it's Blaze singing you can't appreciate.Its because of you cunts who criticise Blaze that music today is so commercial.Fuck you suckers,I'm almost happy your heads ached when you first put St. Anger in ya stereos


Comment by Mario (Anonymous) - Friday, August 27, 2004
hey you mother fuckers fags, Iron Maiden is the best of the beast rockers, Blaze sounds great like Bruce, and go to the hell all you bastards iron maiden rules. From Mexico


Comment by PE (Anonymous) - Friday, August 27, 2004
Blaze can never replace Bruce....I think they made a great album with Blaze,I dont think they can make it better with Blaze on vocals....They have to adapt to the material that they have,and this was what they haved to work with.....good album,but also different with Blaze....But Bruce is just the essence of Maiden,and he can never be replaced...

Stål "PE"


Comment by Mads Aanum (Anonymous) - Saturday, August 28, 2004
@ pe:
Do you even have this album? hahaha It's a great album one of my faveourite but, not the best Maiden but a great metal album... and that is the truth... both singers are great... don't want to choose...


Comment by Joe (Anonymous) - Sunday, September 26, 2004
Blaze bailey cannot sing, full stop. The main letdown about this album is his vocals. Some songs on this album work ok with his voice others are awful. The best songs are sign of the cross, lord of the flies, judement of heaven and man on the edge. This album doesn't stand up against maidens early 80's work. Nearly all of the blaze era songs covered live after bruce rejoined sound MUCH better. Take the clansman from virtual XI for example, crap song studio, but amazing live on rock in rio with bruce singing. Same applies to lord of the flies. Such a better song with bruce singing over it.


Comment by Nakrophile (Anonymous) - Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Excellent review, my friend. The X Factor is indeed a masterpiece, and it pains me to see far too many Maiden fans shitting all over it. Cheers mate.


Comment by marco (Anonymous) - Tuesday, October 12, 2004
This is the last maiden classic...a perfect album...


Comment by Rapidfire (Anonymous) - Tuesday, October 12, 2004
wtf are yall smoking, X-factor is nowhere near a true classic, it has a few great songs don't get me wrong on that... but NOTB, POM, Powerslave, and 7SOA7S are the true maiden classics


Comment by Caroline (Anonymous) - Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Brilliaont for once someone gave an HONEST review to this album


Comment by Chris (Anonymous) - Monday, October 25, 2004
I personally think this album is excellent. I very much like Blaze's vocals, even though he is no Bruce. But come on...stop comparing Blaze to Bruce and see the music for what it is- brilliance! Dark, gloomy brilliance. Yes, Bruce is Maiden's classic vocalist, and an amazing one at that, but to say someone sucks just because they're style differs, because they sound different? C'mon, gimme a break!


Comment by J Leeson (Anonymous) - Monday, January 10, 2005
THIS IS THE WORST IRON MAIDEN ALBUM and i am a huge fan of theirs. wot the fuck were u doin maiden!?! there is nothing good about this album. 9.5/10?!?!?!?! wtf?!?! fukin idiot. more like 3/10


Comment by mjr.Dizazter (Anonymous) - Friday, January 21, 2005
well its quite obvious that there's a difference in blaze's singin n bruce's. blaze's voice is lingerin its quite obvious that pepole who comment on blaze so much don't know jack about him. many pepole hav just either got to know maiden thru rock in rio n they think that bruce is da only 1. well my friends let me tell u that there r other vocalists of maiden. if any of u hav an original copy of live after death please refer to the maiden history tree n make your commernts. and plz take sum time 2 appreciate the music and not just look at the people


Comment by Scott (Anonymous) - Friday, January 28, 2005
OMG why do so many of you hate blaze?!?!? Can no one see how amazing this album is? Why does everyone have to compare Blaze to Bruce.....they're both brilliant singers in totally different ways. The amount of effort Blaze put into this album is instantly clear, his vocals are amazing and if i was to compare this with any of the earlier maiden albums i'd probably say this was my favourite!

I think that at the time it was released, it was the only maiden album where every track is a classic which you can listen to over and over again- all I can say is it is a masterpiece. And i have to say that Sign of The Cross is the best song i've ecer heard, it's gripping all of the way through and still sends shivers down my spine when i hear it!

I don't see why people didn't give Blaze a chance back then or now. Can't you see he did Iron Maiden a favour....do you really think they would be still be around now if Bruce hadn't left then? I don't, I mean how crap was NPftD?! It was terrible because it was clearly visible that at this time Bruce was bored with the whole thing. His vocals are usually amazing but the early nineties were really a bad time for him, and any one who argues that im obviously not a fan of Bruce is totally wrong, I have all of his solo stuff, which are brilliant. If anyone reading this hasn't got Accident of birth or The Chemical Wedding I advise you to buy them....NOW!

If any of you out there who do like Blaze and do not have his solo albums, you are missing out greatly! If you think Blaze's vocals are at there best on the X Factor you are mistaken! His solo albums are probably the best metal I have ever heard and at there hasn't been anything other than Blaze in my CD player for months now! There is an amazing version of Sign of th Cross on his live album, buy it now and be amazed with how brilliant his performance.

I think everyone should give Blaze a chance!

Fantastic album 10/10


Comment by Robert (Anonymous) - Thursday, March 3, 2005
this record was different... they did something different yet it didnt suck like some other bands attempts at being different *cough metallica*... blaze is the man, so he didnt fit big whoop its bruces job, blaze has more than made up for it


Comment by Skunkker (Anonymous) - Friday, March 25, 2005
Great review!


Comment by ThraX (Member) - Tuesday, March 29, 2005
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I really love this album yet at first I didn't like it or anything with Blaze singing & yes it is true he's not the vocalist that Dickinson is , but if you give this album a fair listen you'll realize that Blaze can actually sing very very good , The music is amazing & I agree with 9.5 rating because everything with Dickinson is a solid 10 for me!.....Take the time and listen to this wonderful piece of art!

Posted by ThraX
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Comment by ashley (Anonymous) - Monday, April 18, 2005
come on people be fair to blaze bayley, he worked his nuts off during his time in maiden, and i loved his work in wolfsbane, ok true virtual xi was a pile of shit, but the x factor for me is a fine piece of work, for once maiden try something a bit different and more in touch with reality than rambling on about the wonder of pyramids or the comic book stories of native americans. fortunes of war is a powerful and thought provoking number as are judgement of heaven and look for the truth. yeah ok they really should have hired a new producer rather than leave it in the hands of good old 'arry, but all in all x factor has a darker moodier drive to it as well as some brilliant melodic harmonies by the band.


Comment by Lancer (Anonymous) - Monday, May 2, 2005
Right, what gives here? the X-factor is BRILLIANT! The Edge of Darkness and the Sign of the Cross between them are probably two of the darkest and best executed tracks Maiden's EVER done, and much more importantly, they fit Bayley's voice to perfection. Bruce Dickinson is an awesome singer, but Bayley's voice is richer, and lends itself to the darker tracks much better. The Sign of the Cross sounds better on Bayley's vocals than on Rock in Rio by Dickinson.

Dissing Bayley and the Bayley albums is wrong. Bayley is BRILL and while he's no Bruce, Bruce ain't no Blaze either. The beauty of Iron Maiden is that they've had both.


Comment by Jumblee (Anonymous) - Thursday, July 28, 2005
The X Factor

Pros-Sign Of The Cross, Lord Of The Flies, Man On The Edge, Fortunes Of War, Judgement Of Heaven, Blood On The World's Hands, Edge Of Darkness

Cons-Look For The Truth, The Aftermath, 2 A.M., The Unbeliever

7/10


Comment by rich king (Anonymous) - Friday, September 2, 2005
BRILLIANT FANTASTIC, personally one of their finest albums x factor is great
shame they dont do these live because i wud think these songs are great live sign of the cross was great on with bruce on rock in rio and the new live album death on the road at last i get to hear lord of the flies live cant fucking wait


Comment by ???? (Anonymous) - Saturday, November 19, 2005
The part in the review that stated that listening to this record helps you think about life sums it up perfectly. This album truly made me think about my own life when I was going through a dark time. Bruce could never have done this. Blaze is awesome and so is this album.


Comment by Eddie II (Anonymous) - Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Good job on the review. It's a good thing that there are people out there that don't completely hate this album. People that think this album sucks are just mad because Blaze is the vocalist and that Adrian's replacement is Gers. Think about this, could you possibly imagine Bruce giving this album a dark mood? Bayley is exactly what they needed to make this album work. No matter anyone says, Janick Gers is NOT a sh*tty guitarist!!! Listen to Rock in Rio, Brave New World, or Dance of Death and compare Adrian and Gers' guitar solos. Gers is a staple in Maiden's songwriting process today. Look how many tracks he and Bayley wrote on The X Factor. Also take this thought into consideration, would you rather listen to Metallica's St. Anger or this when you're depressed? St. Anger has crappy songwriting. This is one of my 3 favorite Maiden albums along with Powerslave and the self-titled.


Comment by Little Drummer Boy (Member) - Friday, March 17, 2006
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when Bruce left, I was shocked. The end of an era. Who couple possible replace him. I recalled all the rumours around the industry of who will fill his shoes. Kiske was one that I recall being the strongest speculated replacement.

Blaze who!?

Tommy pretty much summed it up in this review. 9.5/10 for me as well.

Too bad the one to follow was so painful. And it had nothing to do with Blazes vocals. No one could have saved Virtual.

No one can deny that Bruce is the frontman for Iron Maiden, but I do have to say that if he had not left for his solo career this great achievement would not have come to be. Blaze was amazing and sould be given praise for his great work it.

I must add Blaze's solo releases are very good as well especially "The 10th Dimension". Fantastic!



Posted by Little Drummer Boy
Friday, March 17, 2006

Comment by HAGEN OF VALHALLA (Anonymous) - Wednesday, June 7, 2006
I MUST AGREE THAT THIS IS A WELL DONE REVIEW, I AM A MAIDEN FAN NO MATTER WHO SINGS AND WHO PLAYS THE GUITARS, THE X FACTOR ALBUM ITS A SOLID RECORD WITH SO MANY GREAT SONGS IN IT, "SING OF THE CROSS" STANDS HAND TO HAND WITH ANY OTHER MAIDEN EPIC, AND "LORD OF TH FLIES" ITS A GREAT SONG WITH SO MUCH ENERGY JUST AS "MAN ON THE EDGE" AS WELL. STEVE "GOD" HARRIS GIVES ONE OF HIS FINEST PERFORMANCES IN THE X FACTOR AND THE LYRICS WORKS WELL WITH THE DARKNESS OF THE SONGS. GREAT REVIEW OF A GREAT ALBUM JUST AS ANY OTHER MAIDEN ALBUM,'CAUSE ALL OF THEM ARE AMAZING AND GREAT.


Comment by Aaron (Anonymous) - Sunday, September 3, 2006
Virtual XI my introduction to Iron Maiden; it was the first Maiden album I ever bought and I bought The X Factor shortly after, before I even listened to Virtual XI. I was so turned off by Virtual XI that The X Factor just sat there untouched for years. I went on to listen to Dickenson and Di'Anno era Maiden and let Virtual XI and The X Factor fester. I eventually revisted Virtual XI and gave The X Factor a listen. While I still dislike much of Virtual XI, I found the X Factor to be a pleasant suprise. Not nearly as bad as Virtual XI and not nearly as bad as everyone says. Now, i think the reviewer went WAY to far in calling it one of Maiden's finest moments and giving it a 9.5/10, but it's no clunker. I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10.


Comment by ladic (Anonymous) - Friday, January 19, 2007
musically one of the most distinctive iron maiden albums. personally i don't like the vocals, but the today's live performances of x factor songs with dickinson vocals and 3 lead guitars sound fu*king awesome !

good review, i agree in majority of the points.


Comment by MacGyver (Anonymous) - Monday, March 26, 2007
Great review, and I fully agree on what you have written. The X-Factor is in my books one of the best Maiden albums. But it´s a shame Blaze didn´t really have a chance after Bruce. The fans would have hated anyone at that point.


Comment by George (Anonymous) - Monday, May 7, 2007
I agree with some of the things you said Tommy. You said in your review or one of your comments that you will either like the album or not like it. It kinda varies from person to person whether they like it or not. I never bought the album but I have listened to some of the pieces and they are quite good.
Sign Of The Cross: Too long. Much to long. At about 2 mins 47 it gets good. What was with the beginning? The beginning has this stupid chanting thing which is really not Iron Maiden.
Man On The Edge: Nothing wrong with this piece. The best on the album
Lord Of The Flies: Good piece. Nothing wrong here
The Edge Of Darkness: The first 2 mins are to quiet for to long. If they cut that bit down to about 30 seconds it would be better. The good bit starts when he starts sing "EVERY MINUTE. I GET WEAKER!!!!!"
That's all the pieces I've heard from the album. I must say that I'm starting to sort of like this album. It's not fantastic but it's goodish
My rating: 7/10 maybe 6/10


Review by notrap (Member) - Friday, August 7, 2009
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Mission Impossible: Replacing Bruce part I

Up the Irons!

Rating: 5/10

Posted by notrap
Friday, August 7, 2009

Review by LemmingDeMerciless (Member) - Sunday, May 8, 2011
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Ratings: 4
I think the shock of Dickinson leaving Maiden soured this recording even before it came out, but i think with age it still stands up as probably the best Maiden album, Yes Bayleys voice isnt as good as Dickinson, but the songs here stand up for themselves, The only other maiden albums i would give a ten to are Killers & Powerslave . Great review and agree with you all the way

Rating: 10/10

Posted by LemmingDeMerciless
Sunday, May 8, 2011










Review by Tommy

Released by
EMI - 1995

Tracklisting
1. Sign Of The Cross
2. Lord Of The Flies
3. Man On The Edge
4. Fortunes Of War
5. Look For The Truth
6. The Aftermath
7. Judgment Of Heaven
8. Blood On The World's Hands
9. The Edge Of Darkness
10. 2 A.M.
11. The Unbeliever


Style
Heavy Metal

Related links
Visit the band page

Iron Maiden - Official Website

Iron Maiden - Trooper Sounds - The Iron Maiden collectors web site

Other articles
Killers - (Ulrick)

The Number Of The Beast - (Ulrick)

Iron Maiden - (Ulrick)

Live After Death - (Ulrick)

Piece of mind - (Ulrick)

Powerslave - (Ulrick)

No prayer for the dying - (Ulrick)

Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - (Ulrick)

A Real Live Dead One - (Ulrick)

Live At Donington - (Ulrick)

Fear of the dark - (Ulrick)

Virtual XI - (Ulrick)

Best Of The Beast - (Ulrick)

Rock In Rio - (Ulrick)

Brave New World - (Tommy)

Edward The Great - The Greatest Hits - (Ulrick)

Somewhere In Time - (Tommy)

Visions of the Beast - (Hashman)

Dance of Death - (Hashman)

Dance Of Death - (Tommy)

Live At Valbyhallen, Copenhagen - 12th November, 2003 - (Tommy)

Live At Godsbanepladsen, Horsens - July 27th, 2008 - (Tommy)

The Final Frontier - (Stuart)



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Ratings
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2 - Terrible
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4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Good
7 - Very good
8 - Outstanding
9 - Genius
10 - Masterpiece
666 - Unrated

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