Attention fans of good ol’ heavy metal. For those who were not lucky enough to be born around 1970, don’t feel bad. Iron Maiden is still going strong, which brings hope to all who have lost faith in the heroes of metal.
Founded in 1975, with 14 studio albums, nine live CDs, and four EPs, Iron Maiden shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, the band is doing the Somewhere Back in Time Tour, which relives their rise to fame in the 1980s.
A main contribution to their success was the “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album, arguably one of their most creative and acclaimed. Released in 1988, it demonstrates Iron Maiden’s versatility and shows a different side to their personality. It has many of the components that make their sound famous: harmonizing guitars, aggressive “air raid siren” vocals (courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), and clever writing and instrumental composition, mostly from bass player and founder Steve Harris.
One striking difference between this album and others from Iron Maiden is the synthesizers, which can be startling at first to old-school fans. But never fear, for they are used for dramatic effect throughout the album.
First and foremost, this is a concept album – a story revolving around a child born with supernatural powers – with lyrical themes about morality, mysticism, and the occult. The opening track, “Moonchild,” is the perfect tone-setter, with epic tension building and releasing during the song. The tracks that follow are able to duplicate this feat. “Can I Play with Madness?” and “The Evil that Men Do” are fan favorites and have become mainstays in the band’s live sets.
The title track, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,” is a 10-minute epic that expands upon the story of the mystic child, and pleases all fans of metal with amazing guitar solos guaranteed to melt a face or two, and amazing vocals that will have you on your hands and knees screaming, “I am not worthy!”
For a fan and musician like me, this album is a thrill to experience and has inspired me to be a better musician. Iron Maiden proves that it is among the greatest metal bands of all time, and can transcend age barriers, gaining fans among teenagers and adults alike.
Iron Maiden’s “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” is a must-have for those who like their rock ’n’ roll nice and heavy, yet with a touch of sophistication.
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