Fear of the Dark is generally under-rated, but it does have plenty to offer, even to a non-maiden fan. Perhaps this is the reason why it is critized by maiden fans, it is different from their old stuff (not quite as heavy). Songs such as 'Wasting Love', 'Childhood's End' and 'The Fugitive' show this. Many people critize that their stuff is generally weaker on this, which it is, but they are comparing it to Maiden's earlier work which was amazing; the songs on here are still very good. Plus, there are some absolute classics on here, including 'Afraid to Shoot Strangers', 'Be Quick or Be Dead', and of course 'Fear of the Dark'. The reason I did not give this album 5 stars is because it is a bit weaker than maiden's previous stuff (such as Number of the Beast, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Powerslave...), and there is a song which i don't like on this album 'The Apparition' (too repetitive).
Overall, a very good album which has plenty to offer, and should be apart of your maiden collection, so buy it! (remember, if it was not for this album, we would not have had the Blaze era, and the return of Bruce for the great albums 'Brave New World' and 'Dance of Death' (which is one of my favourite maiden albums!)