Review of the Album Brave New World by British Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden
Brave New World: the Return of Bruce Dickinson & Adrian Smith
“Brave New World” is the 2000 studio album released by Iron Maiden and the title track and the album's cover art are based on the novel of the same name by author Aldous Huxley. The album marks the return of Bruce Dickinson and even I welcome his return as I have always felt that he is the right vocalist for Iron Maiden. This album also marks the return of Adrian Smith who returned after a 10 year absence away from the band. Brave New World also is the best vocal performance for Bruce since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son in 1988. He does not strain his voice and it doesn't feel like it is forced like the last two albums in which he sang on.
Brave New World Is a Better Album Than the Last Two By Iron Maiden
Although the album is a long one, clocking in at over 65 minutes, it has a nice blend of progressive metal, rock, and traditional Iron Maiden sound in it. How does Brave New World compare to albums such as Virtual XI and The X-Factor? Well for one thing, the vocals are better and none of the songs on this album have a weird sound which is always a plus. Iron Maiden seems to always rise to the occasion when Bruce is in the band. His voice may not be as high pitched or raspy as it was back in 1982 when he first joined but his voice has always been that kind which an avid fan of the band can appreciate.
Out of the Silent Planet even though it has repetition in the beginning, the guitars rise to the occasion as the song lyrically is about what happens when nations decline as there is a reference to the fact that the punishment is death for all humans. The vocal parts in this song can be clearly understood by most of us as there is a reference lyrically in the song that sometimes our dreams have the potential to die off if we are not careful.
Brave New World Is An Album That Sees Iron Maiden Really Mature As a Band
The Wicker Man” starts off this album and Iron Maiden sticks to their style of starting albums off in this fashion as it is a good progressive metal style song even if it is not as dramatic a start as Fear of the Dark in 1992. Bruce's melodic singing style returns. Finnish progressive metal band Machine Men had their musical style influenced by Iron Maiden.
The song Ghost of the Navigator in terms of its riffing style is similar to the song Can I Play With Madness. The song is lyrically about a group of sailors that get lost at sea. I write this review at a time when my appreciation for the United Kingdom is on its way up which is always a good thing. The United Kingdom is not just a nation that is great at soccer but it has always been a sort of breeding ground for great heavy metal bands even today. The title of the album is rather interesting being named after a book by a famous author. For Iron Maiden, Brave New World represents a departure from the darker, somber lyrical themes of the time that Blaze Bayley was in the band.
Blood Brothers is a song that Steve Harris wrote in dedication to his late father. Lyrically you can see the wording in the song. When a person we love passes away, only the memories remain. If we were really close to that person, wounds can be reopened after their loss. What is love really? Can we ever really know the answer to that question? “The Mercenary” lyrically is similar to the song The Trooper which was written back in 1983 but it is not exactly similar to the at song. Listening to this album reminds me of Finnish metal band Machine Men and I bring it up because this album has that progressive metal sound in it that would later influence the band that has already been mentioned twice. “Dream of Mirrors” lyrically is similar to the song Deja Vu and those of us that recall that beautiful 1986 song will see it as nostalgic. When we feel that the future is the past and that we have been in a certain place before, we might have experienced these kinds of things in a past life. We may think that we are in a dream and wonder whether this is part of our reality. The song features Bruce who keeps on singing the words “the dream is true” as the song is a pleasant progressive metal listen. “The Nomad” is sort of like Fear is the Key is terms of its structure and style. It has an exotic kind of feel to it but then again this is Iron Maiden and they have the kind of skill to be able to craft these kinds of songs. When Bruce Dickinson says the word “Nomad” I notice that he is as close to being back to his old form of singing. The song is about a nomad traveling through the desert looking for his next home. “The Thin Line Between Love and Hate” is a song that asks the question what does it take for a man to choose the right or wrong road? Upon our deaths the soul will live on forever while the body just disintegrates.
"The Wicker Man"
Final Thoughts About Brave New World
Overall, the album Brave New World is a great addition to the history of Iron Maiden as it not only marks the return of two members that made up the classic lineup in the 1980s but also Iron Maiden returns to their progressive roots though they are not quite like they were in the 1980s. The strongest songs in Brave New World are several including The Wicker Man. Is this album an entry for Iron Maiden into a new world musically? It is a departure musically from their last two releases before this one and Iron Maiden entered the 2000s still on a high note. We must be grateful that Steve Harris decided to rehire Bruce Dickinson as the front man because fans would have objected to it if he had not. For me, Bruce Dickinson is more than just a great vocalist. He is one of United Kingdom's best celebrities and the UK is a better place with people like him being a part of it. How far can Iron Maiden go musically? It is not likely that they will ever attain their peak that they had in the 1980s but still they more than likely are the best heavy metal band to come out of the UK.
"Ghost of the Navigator"
© 2020 Ara Vahanian