Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier review



Reviewer:
7.2

1116 users:
7.40
Band: Iron Maiden
Album: The Final Frontier
Release date: August 2010


01. Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
02. El Dorado
03. Mother Of Mercy
04. Coming Home
05. The Alchemist
06. Isle Of Avalon
07. Starblind
08. The Talisman
09. The Man Who Would Be King
10. When The Wild Wind Blows


Iron Maiden have had ups and downs, but they consistently stuck to their unique style. 2006's A Matter of Life and Death saw a serious departure from that style towards a darker, more progressive sound - it was only a partial success. Unfortunately, Steve Harris and Co. felt encouraged, and decided to go further in their departures. The first 4 songs on The Final Frontier rank among the worst this band has ever committed and most of the time sound nothing like the Iron Maiden everyone knows. Departure from style my ass. If they wanted to depart again, the previous album was the way to do it.

'Sounds like shit' - this was my first thought when I heard the longish introduction to the album. "Satellite 15..." is so unlike anything that Iron Maiden have ever recorded. A crude, repeating drum pattern, distorted, spacy sounds, drunken guitars that go nowhere. Even the vocals, when they enter, sound strange. Not only does that intro suck, but it also sounds really weird. Fortunately, the song changes radically after 4 minutes into a remote semblance of a good song.

'What the hell have they done to Iron Maiden?' - that was my second thought. The opening tracks are decent enough for thousands of obscure bands who would be proud to have recorded them, but for Iron Maiden standards, they are sodding poor, and I mean really poor. "The Apparition" poor. "The Final Frontier" isn't utterly abysmal - resurrecting the spirit of the 70's metal, with a catchy chorus, it is remotely palatable. But to balance it, "Coming Home" is an Iron Maiden fan nightmare, sounding like it was recorded during the Fear of the Dark session, which, in my opinion, is the worst Iron Maiden album, with only 2 good songs.

The next six tracks brought back some of my faith in Iron Maiden. Long songs, catchy choruses, melodic solos, everything is seemingly in place. Seemingly - Maiden fans can at last feel at home, and utter a sigh of relief, because there will be no more experiments until the end of the album, at least not as blatantly obvious ones as the intro. But what follows isn't top-notch Maiden, it's mid-range most of the time. Solos aren't too memorable, vocal lines aren't too melodic, riffs don't stick in my head.

Only the last song, "When the Wild Wind Blows," can be honestly called excellent. The riffs supported by simple, but powerful drumming somewhere in the 7th minute of the song - in that solitary moment Maiden sounds really classy. The song isn't quite as good as Maiden's best classic tracks, but it's on a par with the good songs from the later period. Maybe the leading vocal theme sounds too joyful and optimistic, in spite of telling a grim tale, but the song is deliciously complex and rich, a real treat to end this album.

Having died during the first 4 abysmal songs, I was partially resurrected by some good ones that followed, of which, sadly, only one is brilliant. The Final Frontier clocks in at over 76 minutes, and most of these minutes are well spent, assuming you have a pair of paddles handy to shock you back to life after the cardiac arrest that you will undergo at the onset of this album. Better yet, start listening from "The Alchemist." You should be at least partially satisfied.
How do I rank this? I could try to turn a blind eye on the beginning of The Final Frontier. But 4 terrible songs out of 10 is quite a lot. Sorry guys, not this time around. I can't ignore 40% of the album. 1 point up for the last track.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 6


 



Written on 16.08.2010 by Writes overly honest and totally subjective reviews when fancy strikes him. Which is not often. Which is probably good, all things considered.

Guest review by
Death To Posers
Rating:
9.5
It seems like it's become trendy to dislike any music that becomes even somewhat mainstream. I am by no means bitter; I'm guilty of this prejudice quite often. So, when I saw the album votes go the way they did for The Final Frontier I wasn't shocked. But, in all honesty, I thought this album was pretty hard! This is one of Maiden's most successful albums to date and for a damn good reason. While it does sound different from anything they've done before, that doesn't make it worse. Do you really want three albums that sound exactly like Brave New World?

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published 18.01.2011 | Comments (46)


Comments page 9 / 9

Comments: 255   Visited by: 1001 users
22.01.2011 - 11:11
BitterCOld
Gringo
Just a point here... the album's score per MS users (notorious for over-inflating or tanking albums) is 7.5 with over 400 votes. of those 400+ votes, only 10 are 3 or less. virtually every album on the top 10 of all time releases has at least that many 1 votes from users engaging in gameplay with votes.

nutshell: lots of votes, but comparatively not that many low votes... and still mid 7.

for those who criticize the review, Dani P(hilth) wasn't far off from what metalstormers seem to thank.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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24.12.2011 - 23:56
Milena
Learning To "X"
Yes, I love commenting on old reviews, carry on...

What bugs me about Maiden is that people tank new albums partially because they don't line up with the old stuff, and if they do like them, they must absolutely mention that "it's not as good as Powerslave but still". For people who say "I don't expect them to release another Powerslave", well, does anyone honestly expect out of 50+ band just having fun to release their best quality albums? I sure as hell don't. That shouldn't even be mentioned. Why keep expectations high when they shouldn't be?

Out of the four "new" Maiden albums, I sometimes see AMOLAD as the weakest one and sometimes this one as the weakest one. I enjoy them a lot, though, but I think this one will "earn" that title in the end. These decent 76 minutes could have been very good 60 minutes. I'm a part of the prog crowd so I don't complain about length a lot but some of these meandered too much, like "Isle Of Avalon" and "The Man Who Would Be King". I didn't have a lot of alienation issues with the first half of the album because I already figured it would have been different, if not necessarily good, and I pretty much adore "Coming Home" (I'm getting tired of being the black sheep here ).

But I agree with the general feeling of the review. Some nice minutes to be found here, and "The Alchemist" should have been the intro, dropping that electro shizzle from the start of "Final Frontier" which would have come somewhere in the middle.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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25.12.2011 - 00:04
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Milena on 24.12.2011 at 23:56
What bugs me about Maiden is that people tank new albums partially because they don't line up with the old stuff.

As someone who only ever really enjoyed one Maiden album in his life (Seventh Son), I can still honestly say their more recent releases are terribly banal on their own, regardless of what the band did 20+ years ago.

This album is no exception. I think I said before I'd give it a 4/10 and I stand by that rating still. I mean I've come across some boring releases in my time, but this is truly special in terms of its complete lack of interesting traits.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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26.12.2011 - 00:09
RavenKing
Written by Milena on 24.12.2011 at 23:56

What bugs me about Maiden is that people tank new albums partially because they don't line up with the old stuff


Imo, all post-Seventh Son Maiden albums are sub-par and mediocre, even if you don't compare them to the 80s stuff.
Comparing them to the 80s stuff only makes it worse but the new albums are incredibly boring on their own.
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They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
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26.12.2011 - 00:18
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.12.2011 at 00:04

Written by Milena on 24.12.2011 at 23:56
What bugs me about Maiden is that people tank new albums partially because they don't line up with the old stuff.

As someone who only ever really enjoyed one Maiden album in his life (Seventh Son), I can still honestly say their more recent releases are terribly banal on their own, regardless of what the band did 20+ years ago.

This album is no exception. I think I said before I'd give it a 4/10 and I stand by that rating still. I mean I've come across some boring releases in my time, but this is truly special in terms of its complete lack of interesting traits.

Well, if you're not an Iron Maiden fan, I honestly don't know how you'd expect to find anything good in here... but you and RavenKing are not the type of posters that get on my nerves, it's the people who go all "well if it isn't Piece Of Mind I won't listen to it". Don't listen to it. But how would you ever expect another Piece of Mind? People grow old and tedious. This release and AMOLAD are pretty much fan-only albums. Brave New World was seriously awesome though, and Dance Of Death hosted some awesome ballads and mid-tempo songs.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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26.12.2011 - 00:34
RavenKing
Written by Milena on 26.12.2011 at 00:18

Well, if you're not an Iron Maiden fan, I honestly don't know how you'd expect to find anything good in here... but you and RavenKing are not the type of posters that get on my nerves,


Glad to know that I don't get on your nerves. I would not label myself as an Iron Maiden fan nowadays but I was an avid fan of them in the 80s and I still like the old albums.
Imo, anything post-Seventh Son is just not in the same league as the 80s stuff.

But we agree on a point. I think that people can't expect Iron Maiden to release an album similar to TNOTB or "Piece Of Mind" or "Powerslave". The guys are old now and things have changed. We're not in the 80s anymore.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
26.12.2011 - 00:39
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by RavenKing on 26.12.2011 at 00:34

Glad to know that I don't get on your nerves. I would not label myself as an Iron Maiden fan nowadays but I was an avid fan of them in the 80s and I still like the old albums.
Imo, anything post-Seventh Son is just not in the same league as the 80s stuff.

But we agree on a point. I think that people can't expect Iron Maiden to release an album similar to TNOTB or "Piece Of Mind" or "Powerslave". The guys are old now and things have changed. We're not in the 80s anymore.

Well that happens all the time with bands, a person and a band's music simply go separate ways. But some people still cling on to it. I mean, geez, not like there isn't a plenty of bands to choose from if you fall out from another.

... though my reasoning comes to bite me in the ass with Dream Theater, so far the first band to "betray" me... so we shall see how will I stick to these "rules" in the future - I might be just as annoying. That thought scares me.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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26.12.2011 - 00:47
RavenKing
Written by Milena on 26.12.2011 at 00:39

Written by RavenKing on 26.12.2011 at 00:34

Glad to know that I don't get on your nerves. I would not label myself as an Iron Maiden fan nowadays but I was an avid fan of them in the 80s and I still like the old albums.
Imo, anything post-Seventh Son is just not in the same league as the 80s stuff.

But we agree on a point. I think that people can't expect Iron Maiden to release an album similar to TNOTB or "Piece Of Mind" or "Powerslave". The guys are old now and things have changed. We're not in the 80s anymore.

Well that happens all the time with bands, a person and a band's music simply go separate ways. But some people still cling on to it. I mean, geez, not like there isn't a plenty of bands to choose from if you fall out from another.


Exactly. When a band takes a direction I dislike, I still listen to the old albums but don't care for the new ones. Or I listen to other bands.
For me, there is something unrealistic and pathetic when I see people still expecting a new "Ride The Lightning" or "Master Of Puppets" from a band that sold out and changed completely like Metallica.
Or still expect Death Metal from a band like Amorphis or Therion... I could find dozens of examples.
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They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
26.12.2011 - 01:02
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by RavenKing on 26.12.2011 at 00:47

Exactly. When a band takes a direction I dislike, I still listen to the old albums but don't care for the new ones. Or I listen to other bands.
For me, there is something unrealistic and pathetic when I see people still expecting a new "Ride The Lightning" or "Master Of Puppets" from a band that sold out and changed completely like Metallica.
Or still expect Death Metal from a band like Amorphis or Therion... I could find dozens of examples.

We're pretty much the same in that department sir.
Bands change styles. And people complain if they do. But also complain if they don't.

Our "subculture" in general is being way more childish than it should be. You can still find a lot of people who'll stick to the bands till the end, liking some releases better or worse, or dropping out on bands and not being butthurt about it if the band changes style. I have the fortune to be surrounded by such IRL so I know that these types of people are not the argumentative types. They don't join discussion boards and don't argue with know-it-all metalheads on parties and gatherings. They're usually the ones to say "my god, such idiots, can't they enjoy the music?" and walk away. I wish they were more out there, supporting good nature and manners in metal.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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26.12.2011 - 01:07
RavenKing
Written by Milena on 26.12.2011 at 01:02

Our "subculture" in general is being way more childish than it should be. You can still find a lot of people who'll stick to the bands till the end, liking some releases better or worse, or dropping out on bands and not being butthurt about it if the band changes style. I have the fortune to be surrounded by such IRL so I know that these types of people are not the argumentative types. They don't join discussion boards and don't argue with know-it-all metalheads on parties and gatherings. They're usually the ones to say "my god, such idiots, can't they enjoy the music?" and walk away. I wish they were more out there, supporting good nature and manners in metal.


Unfortunately, metal and idiocy often walk hand in hand.
----
They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink
They say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end
But everybody's only looking out for themselves
And you say who can you trust I'll tell you nobody
Loading...
26.12.2011 - 01:32
Void Eater
Crunkcore Fan
This is probably my favorite post Seventh Son album... A lot of the riffs remind me of their old days, but with the extended songwriting of their current albums-Kinda like Brave New World, but the shorter songs on that album were pretty dull, while the ones here are much better. Isle Of Avalon and Where The Wild Wind Blow could use some trimming, and the intro is a complete waste of time, but it's still pretty good.
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26.12.2011 - 02:39
Milena
Learning To "X"
Written by RavenKing on 26.12.2011 at 01:07

Unfortunately, metal and idiocy often walk hand in hand.

Idiocy walks hand in hand with everything

Written by Void Eater on 26.12.2011 at 01:32

...could use some trimming... but it's still pretty good.

You can see by the comments all over that it's pretty much just the opinion of us fans
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
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26.12.2011 - 05:06
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Milena on 26.12.2011 at 02:39
...

I was gonna start a long-winded response, but RK said everything I wanted to.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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04.05.2012 - 12:34
Dark Cornatus
Powerslave
I am ashamed to say, that i just realised i haven't even listened to the album before just now (i've had it for a year or so haha). So far i'm liking it more than AMOLAD, but not the other two post reunion albums. AMOLAD was so damn repetitive and Bruce's voice was so horrible. Most songs were decent, but nothing great besides 'For the greater good of God' maybe.

I agree with one point most people say though. The songs just drag on A LOT in places.
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24.03.2017 - 20:26
Bad English
Masterchief
I like actually opening part I had same WTF, but no re listen, ok it wont eb so bright and shine in spot lioght as 80's but I think somehow this deserves second chanhe to listen, but will I do it again? maybe after 5 years
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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