Iron Maiden

Virtual XI (CMC Records)
Enslain Magazine Issue #5
Order Issue #5!  This review included.
The beast soldiers onward. I would really like to say that I am not disappointed with this one, but if I did I would be lying. I won't say that I hate this one, but it isn't the Maiden that we all knew and loved. The songs themselves tend to be long and drawn out, the more epic side of Maiden as they say. Now this would be all well and good if they didn't put you to sleep half way through. I think the best song on the album is Futureal, probably because it isn't long enough to bore me to death. I wish I knew what happened to the band. It seems to me as if it all started going downhill with the departure of vocalist Bruce Dickinson (who has a brilliant solo career going right now with ex-maiden guitarist Adrian Smith). The band just hasn't been the same since.
The fact that the band canceled the better part of their US tour isn't going to help the album out either. A lot of people like me wanted to go see them (even if it was just to see them play the old stuff ) . I am confident that the true Maiden/Helloween fans will like this album but am doubtful that anyone else will really get into it. But if anyone wants to hear what Maiden should sound like then here is what I would suggest. Go to your local record store and pick up Bruce Dickinson's albums - Accident Of Birth and his new one Chemical Wedding. That will take care of any new music cravings that us Maiden die-hards have. As much as I hate to say it, it might be time for the end, unless they can pull something amazing out of their hats. -- Chris L.