Iron Maiden Brave New World (Portrait/Columbia)

Brave New World (Portrait/Columbia)

Record Reviews

Iron Maiden

Brave New World (Portrait/Columbia)

Iron Maiden has impressive numbers: 20-plus years together and over 50 million albums sold. Yet the British band has had its ups and downs, especially in the membership department (only bassist Steve Harris remains from the original lineup). That said, there's something special about having lead siren Bruce Dickinson and fret-burners David Murray and Adrian Smith all back in the fold. Include the big bang of drummer Nicko McBrain and Janick Gers' additional power-chording and you've got one potent Maiden. Brave New World is the band's 12th studio album, and an uptempo outing at that. A concept album, BNW is held together by a guiding mood rather than a clear storyline per se, so it's more like Rush's Grace Under Pressure than Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime. Lyrically, the millennial honeymoon is over, and Aldous Huxley's dire predictions are ever nearer. Musically, the band smokes in classic fashion. "The Mercenary" is an update on their classic "The Trooper," "The Wicker Man" is a flat-out rocker, and "Ghost of the Navigator" is guaranteed to bang metal -- not just Maiden -- heads from Stockholm to San Antonio. While Brave New World shows that the Maiden is concerned with both shredding and song composition, it's probably not the album that will convert unbelievers to the Way of Metal. It will, however, make the jean-jacket-and-leather set happy as hell.

***


Iron Maiden plays in San Antonio at the Sunken Garden Amphitheatre Sept. 3 and 4.

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