Iron Maiden - Dance of Death
With 2000's "Brave new world," which was the first album not only to feature all three guitarists (Dave Murray, Janick Gers, Adrian Smith, who returned after a decade), it was also the long awaited return of Bruce Dickinson, who had spent most of the 1990's releasing stellar solo records; it was also the first so-called "Millennium Maiden" album, one that had the influence and the guitar chops of all three axemen, creating a mixture of Maiden on all levels, working towards a new more articulate sound that was praised among many a Maiden fan.

But for "Dance of Death," it seems as if Maiden has gone back to their earlier sound (at least songwriting wise), kind of making Gers' influence step back a little, bringing the punchy rawness of the era for when Dickinson first joined, while coinciding with all the rejuvenations of all the bands recent endeavors, putting the guitar work and the songs up front, while adding a new sense of production mastery with the occasional orchestration, making this record a complete in-your-face masterwork.

Opening up with the riffs of "Wildest Dreams," reminiscent of a brighter sounding "Number of the Beast" crossed with "The Wicker Man" type sound structure, it is made clear that this album is going to be filled with nothing but complete Maiden, all the way across, leaving their weaker mid-nineties era material behind them (sorry Blaze), an era that I refer to the "lost years." Cuts like "Rainmaker" and "New Frontier" are heavy driving opuses complete with Maiden's patent guitar harmonizing and Dickinson's lyrical structuring, for which his vocal endurance on this record is as stellar as always.

"No More Lies," written solely by Harris, finds us going back to his dark lead bass intro, mixing in Mellotron-like strings giving this dark cut a moody feel in the vein of classics like "Infinite Dreams" and "Heaven can Wait" while "Montsegur" keeps the same driving tone of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The title cut is where the record takes its more moody tone, complimenting the dark lyricism. "Gates of Tomorrow" is the cut that has the most influence from Gers, having a guitar intro reminiscent to AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock" arpeggio. "Paschendale" is probably one of the more elaborately produced cuts, complete with orchestration, which is proof that Maiden can dabble in the progressive connotations of Metal with ease. "Face in the Sand" finds this record going back to its moody tone while "Age of Innocence" almost has the vibe of some early King Crimson material. Ending this record is an acoustic ballad, complete with strings called "Journeyman" closing Dance with Death on a more laid-back vibe.

Well Maiden fans will not be disappointed; again they have outdone themselves, creating another album that will be listened to over and over again. We knew what to expect, but this record particularly exceeded all my expectations, and will probably exceed yours as well, forget about Queensryche and Metallica releasing new disappointing material, not to mention all the carbon copy bands out there, these guys are the real deal, and here is yet another record to prove it.

Written by Hashman
Monday, September 15, 2003
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Hashman: 9/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by nihilist (Anonymous) - Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Album is excelent,Bruce sings like he is in best years,Pashandale is THE best song in album...

Comment by Torkild (Anonymous) - Tuesday, September 16, 2003
I thing this album is boring as h...

Comment by Mads Aanum (Anonymous) - Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Yes truly one of the better maiden albums... and Pashendale is the best song in my opinion...

Comment by MIGS (Anonymous) - Wednesday, September 17, 2003
totally agree with the great hashman!
this record is at the same level as the 80's production , but with 3 guitars finally kicking hard

Comment by Ulrick (Anonymous) - Wednesday, September 17, 2003
A great album that just seem to grow and grow. And the production being similar, in my ears at least, to both Powerslave and BNW. #18 on the Billboard charts speaks for itself!!!

Comment by Arun (Anonymous) - Thursday, September 18, 2003
10/10! Except for Gates of tomorrow, which is kind of weak, the album rocks!

Comment by VonSeux (Anonymous) - Saturday, September 20, 2003
yah, but how could they release such an UGLY coverart?
it's bizarre!
seems like 3D tech from 1994

Comment by Jeff (Anonymous) - Saturday, September 20, 2003
At first i did not like it.. know I love it. Yeah it is power and not death so maybe it is boring at times, but great music nonetheless and I am very impressed with it. It reminds me of Piece of mind/ Powerslave era and I love it. remember guys it is stil Maiden and we would not even have styles such as mellow-death or symphonic black without them. Who would have set up the roots for those styles if it wasnt for these guys songwriting and lead play! Great album.. all bashers of this album stick to and leave other styles alone as you are clueless!

Comment by Torkild (Anonymous) - Sunday, September 21, 2003
Back off Jeff, I have been into Maiden since the Killers album, this new one is plain boring, however, this is my opinion which naturally is very subjective.

Comment by NIEL P (Anonymous) - Saturday, September 27, 2003
The best damn Maiden album since '88s Seventh Son... Everything on this album screams passion and utmost brilliance !! UP THE IRONS !!!

Comment by Morten (Anonymous) - Wednesday, October 1, 2003
What can I say... m-mmmm this is a great disc.
Maiden is in top form, though I also think they were on Breve New World, this albums seems more together and whole though.
And I actaully like the cover!

Comment by Tiago (Anonymous) - Wednesday, October 1, 2003
This álbum follows Brave New World line. Excellent Heavy Metal álbum performed by the best musicians.

Comment by neil wilson (Anonymous) - Friday, October 17, 2003
i think i can confidently say that paschendale is the most incredible song maiden has ever written or performed.. the rest of the album is good and the keyboards really fit in with it! only song im not too keen on is montsegur, it lacks too much rythm.. but i cant be too critical its up there with the best albums! i cant wait for december 4th (nottingham on the dance of death tour) to see how they will fit the keyboards in!

Comment by Elessar (Anonymous) - Thursday, October 23, 2003
Maybe it's not at the same level than their 80's albums, but an album like this would be the best of any other band saving some exceptions. They are still the best. Up the Irons!!!

Comment by Jens C (Anonymous) - Friday, October 24, 2003
Amen Hashman! Only one thing... I my opinion the worst albums of the so called "Lost Years" were NPFTD and FOTD. XF is a good Maiden album :)

Comment by zgemboman (Anonymous) - Sunday, October 26, 2003
this album is a masterpiece. there isnt a single song that i acutally dislike, perhaps WD, AOI, GOT and NF are the only weaker points here. the intro to FITS 2 minutes 10/10 for me!!!

Comment by Jørgen (Anonymous) - Monday, October 27, 2003
Amazing, I just can't get enough of this album. I pray they will never stop making music like this...

Comment by michael e (Anonymous) - Sunday, November 2, 2003
Unfortunately,you're going to hear a lot of reviews that label the band "out-dated" and "past their prime".This is to be expected.Any band with the staying power Maiden has showed over the years would be labeled as such...(sarcasm)"oops,i'm wrong,unless your bands names are the rolling stones,paul mccartney,the who,aerosmith,black sabbath,and pearl jam everything you do is cutting edge and fresh.Not some goofy metal band from the 80' way!everything 80's is garbage." Where do some of these critics get off saying such terrible things about Dio,Iron maiden,and Savatage.Were they beat up by metalheads in high school,is that why?or are they just pissed off because they knew their favourite bands could never play with the same technical maturity and emotion like the bands i named.I hate trends, and the bands i love have all transcended them.not everyone can do what david bowie does by changing their sound on every F'in record.don't fix something if it isn't broken is my motto.relish in it and embellish upon it.that is exactly what maiden did on dance of death

Comment by qaz (Anonymous) - Saturday, November 29, 2003
very interesting... their best since seventh son

a 8.5/10 for me

Comment by bajram (Anonymous) - Monday, December 1, 2003
im real iron maiden's fans
i like all the albums but especialy brave new world and dance of death
thanks for the albums u know

Comment by i.Ron S. (Anonymous) - Friday, May 14, 2004
I still don't listen a lot to this album. My opinion is OK, but some songs are a little long like the angel and the gambler(on the virtual XI album).
Bruce Dickinsons voice doesn't sound really good on this album.
But of course it has still that Maiden-effect.

Comment by Ron Davey (Anonymous) - Saturday, February 19, 2005
Great Album, Steve has done a amazing job on writing some nice stuff, No More Lies is 1 Hell of a song, the leads(Riff) in the song are colosal...the idea of 3 guitarists is not jus unimaginable, but jus extraordinary stuff, all i can say Long Live Maiden, and hope they dont stop producing great albums, Jus hope they keep on coming

Comment by Saqib (Anonymous) - Saturday, May 21, 2005
Best Maiden album ever.

I just loved this review.


Comment by Alex13 (Anonymous) - Saturday, June 25, 2005
9. Good album, classic maiden witha small new era breeed. I believe we would rate their last 2 albums much higher if they were by another band, but this is maiden and u can only expect the best of the best

Review by Hashman

Released by
Columbia Records - 2003

1- Wildest Dreams
2- Rainmaker
3- No More Lies
4- Montsegur
5- Dance of Death
6- Gates of Tomorrow
7- New Frontier
8- Paschendale
9- Face in the Sand
10- Age of Innocence
11- Journeyman

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)

The X Factor - (Tommy)

Edward The Great - The Greatest Hits - (Ulrick)

Somewhere In Time - (Tommy)

Visions of the Beast - (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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