Out now on EMI
Review originally published in Feb 2004.
The second album from the reformed classic line-up (albeit still with Janick Gers on 3rd guitar), ‘Dance Of Death’ sees the band building on the basis that Brave New World provided and added a more progressive tinged sound. Make no mistake this is Maiden all the way but the majority of tracks do have an added energy, life and enthusiasm about them.
Opener “Wildest Dreams” is a standard obvious Maiden single fare and pretty uninspiring but things pick up considerably for the likes of “Rainmaker”, the stunning “Montsegur” (vintage Maiden) which is also home to some superb lyrics. The title track sees nice use of orchestration and is somewhat of a Maiden epic with a sublime almost celtic melody that just builds and builds. IMO Maiden should forget about the 3 1/2 minute “bland single” and concentrate on this sort of stuff. Proof of this is further enhanced by the war influenced” Paschendale” which is pure class. “Face In The Sand” is also another prog-tinged highlight.
“Dance Of Death” shows a band that has obviously still got something to offer and shows the band are still writing material that is as good as what is seen as the classic era. I am still not convinced as to the need for a 3 guitar line-up – but at least the band still have fire in their bellies. Music need Maiden and for that alone be thankful they are still out there bashing away.
Rating – 84%