Iron Maiden-Brave new world, 2000
After two albums with Blaze Bayley the time that Maiden fans had been waiting for had come. Well actually two things happened. Bruce came back and perhaps even more surprising was Adrian Smith came back. Bayley was gone, but Janick Gers stayed on making the band a six member band which was very rare for hard rock bands who didn't have a full time keyboard player. Anyway the stage was set for a reunion, comeback or whatever kind of album you want to call it. Of course whenever one of these albums are released there are always expectations from the fans. As far Maiden goes it had been eight years since the last album with Bruce at the helm and 12 years since both Bruce and Adrian were in the band. Certainly the album cover was their best since 7th son, but what about the music? I think that I probably rate this one higher than most people. I am confident in my belief that is their best effort since "7th son of a 7th son", but that may not be saying a great deal. I do feel that the overall feel of the album is closest to Somewhere in time and 7th son however it's not quite as consistent as either of those albums. Most of the tracks have that layered Maiden sound with the chugging bass lines, Nicko's pounding beats, the double, ooops I mean triple guitar attack and Bruce's vocals are almost as impressive as ever. I think that I have two problems with the album. One is that there is filler here like the Nomad which like it's title just kind of wonders around and never really ends up anywhere. My other complaint is that almost every song is trying to be very long and involved. I have always felt that one of the great things about Maiden in their prime was their ability to do epic songs and "go for the throat" style songs on the same album. This album feels like most of the songs are trying to be epics and some work while others only work in parts. Still it's great that Maiden came back and I think they are still going pretty strong. Favorite songs are the title track, Wicker Man, Blood Brothers and Out of the silent planet.