Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., Sept. 10, 2010
Iron MaidenThe Final Frontier (UMe)
Having flagged any remaining uncharted territory on Flight 666, Iron Maiden mobilizes The Final Frontier. The British troopers' 15th studio album, a deep space oddity only a galaxy removed from the Sword's Warp Riders, matches the renewed vigor of millennial reboot Brave New World. Opening preamble "Satellite 15 ... the Final Frontier" sets the controls for stadium bombast before "El Dorado" jet-sets a classic 1980s gallop, an arms race matched only by "The Alchemist." Maiden's triple-guitar front overthrows Bruce Dickinson's narrative drama on the fantastical "Isle of Avalon" and emotive power ballad "Coming Home." Nearly 77 minutes, The Final Frontier calls for a harsher edit and, of course, Maiden's early punk tenacity.