47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2001
This album was the last of the great five maiden albums before the more suicidal albums like "No Prayer for the dying" and "Virtual XI". Thankfully before the transtition to poor albums they ended their eighties existence with their best album to date! This album was a concept album based on an ancient legend about "the seventh son of a seventh son" and the songs were reflections on the legend. Talking about whether the child would use his psychic powers for the good of others and to aid healing, or whether he would use them for his own ends which could be evil. A cool idea for an album by all means and proved a good base for what was to become a memorable album. Here is my song by song breakdown: -
Track 1) - Moonchild
This track is quite fast paced and seems like a good opener to the album, not a classic track but certainly not weak!
rating - 8/10
Track 2) - Infinite dreams
This track is one of the four singles that was released from it and it is obvious why. The song is very melodic and quite slow in places, however the lyrics talking about visions of past, present and future do grab you and all in all is a worthy song.
Rating - 9/10
Track 3) - Can I play with madness?
This song is the one song on the album that doesn't fit the style of music. While the others are dark, grim and philosophical. This song is fast, upbeat and insane! However that isn't a fault and the fact it charted at number three backs that theory up.
Rating - 9/10
Track 4) - The evil that men do
This is one of Maiden's strongest ever songs. It has flash guitar, great vocals, fantastic lyrics and mass appeal. What is good about this song is the level of variation contained within it, at the start it is very slow solo guitar then later comes out all guns blazing. A storming track.
Rating - 10/10
Track 5) - Seventh son of a seventh son
The title track of the album and one that is not easily forgotten! This song is one of their epics lasting roughly 9 and a half minutes! The pace is also scattered from slow to quick. The lyrics seem to be talking about the main point of the album, the child becoming good or evil. Backing up this point is the chilling verse where Bruce Dickinson slowly talks out the prophecy. This song may well be long but do not hold that against it, this is proper metal and the best song on the album.
Rating - 10/10
Track 6) - The prophecy
This song is this albums weakest link. It is a very slow song and while it argues a good point about a person faking a claim to be the seventh son and abusing it it is let down by weak guitar and quite poor vocals. The song isn't bad, it just sticks out on this album!
Rating - 7/10
Track 7) - The clairvoyant
This track another strong song. What appeals about this song is the awesome use of the keyboards! Odd for a heavy metal outfit to use as music keyboard on a song like this but then again if it comes out like this do not complain! The lyrics talk of how the clairvoyant can predict anything except his own downfall. Powerful lyrics backed by powerful vocals and strong instruments. A very worthy song.
Rating - 9/10
Track 8) - Only the good die young
This song is very remniscent of the first song "moonchild" (the use of the opening verse proves this!). However unlike its opening counterpart this song is heavier and focuses more on the music than the vocals. It is a good song and the quote at the end of the song gives it a very continuous feel to it. Quite clever and a good way to close and awesome album.
So there you have it the album broken down so you can understand it. Be warned this is like "Somewhere in time" for how it fits in previous albums, this is not their heaviest album and therefore people may find it hardest to get into. However stick with it and you should have this is in your music player alot throughout your lifetime. I thorughly recommend it and having heard all of the albums I can safely say it is their best, buy it!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2004
Slated by fans and critics alike for using keyboards on the record, this album proved that Iron Maiden did exactly what they wanted. For a band at their commercial peak no fan expected what amounted to a heavy prog' rock album. Swirling keyboards on the title track to the accapella harmonies on "Can I Play With Madness" this lp has them all. Adrian Smith's lead guitar is outstanding on what was to be his (temporarily) swansong recording with the band. Quite simply the best Iron Maiden Studio album. It came out in 1988 - buy it now!!
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2008
All Iron Maiden albums from "The Number Of The Beast" to "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" are absolute classics and timeless masterpieces. I grew up listening to these records, and I know every lyric, every pause, every guitar tone and every tempo change by heart. So, more than sad, I'm really angry to have to say that all the "enhanced" 1998 releases are complete sonic disasters, "loudness war" productions with the audio dynamic range slaughtered by whoever was responsible for doing the remastering. It seems that the idea was to turn all the way up the sound of every single instrument and vocal line with no regard to the equilibrium between them within the music's context. I almost cried in anger when I heard those guitar chords at the start of the song "Moonchild", with the originally carefully distorted tone turned into a mass of just plain annoying, pointless distortion, and all the feeling lost.
Every time I get to write about a dear album destroyed by a "loudness war" remaster, I ask people to go to a search engine like Google and look up the expression (between quotes for an exact match). There are over 47,000 results for it on Google alone. The "loudness war" refers to a trend which started in the late nineties in the music industry to record CD's at increasingly higher volume levels, in an attempt to lure buyers into believing that they were getting a better product because it's a "remaster" and it sounds louder. What happens most of the time is the exact opposite - masterpieces like this album are sonically cannibalized, and often (although not the case here) the audio volume is pushed beyond the limits of the CD format's specitications, which causes parts of the sound to get "clipped" (cut off, lost) because they don't "fit" within the available range. I specially recommend that people at least read an online article called "The Death Of Dynamic Range" and watch to a very popular video available on YouTube called "The Loudness War", both of which explain in an easily understandable way what this thing is all about. Things have reached such an extreme point that you can find people on P2P networks sharing lossless files with digitized versions of the original vinyl recordings of entire discographies of seminal bands like Iron Maiden because the CD's currently available are just unbearable to listen to.
As always, it's hard to tell if the band had any say in these releases, but anyway, they are an unacceptable insult to the band's musical legacy and their fans. If you want to hear Iron Maiden closer to how the original records used to sound, look for the first "non-remastered-nor-enhanced" CD releases of their albums.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2003
This album is sheer class and it's no wonder Maiden released more singles off this than any other album. Can I Play With Madness, The Evil That Men Do, The Clairvoyant and a live version of Infinite Dreams were all released as singles and they all hit the Top 10. The album itself was no.1. Crrucial to this success is that it's a concept album. Play the 8 songs in order and they tell a story. This meant that no songs were fillers, as they all had a part to play and weren't added in to fill 5 minutes. Despite this, the songs can be listened to on their own and still sound great, they don't have to be part of the main album, especially the singles. My favourite tracks are the singles, but Moonchild and the title track are great too. Even my least favourite tracks are still great. I recommend this album to all Maiden fans. This is their best album, and should be one of the first you get. To anybody who is interested in Maiden but doesn't have any of their albums, i would recommend buying the Number of the Beast then this. After that you'll want them all I'm sure!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2003
"Seventh Son..." soars above the rest. The story-telling quality of the songs is vast, as the whole 'concept' album tells the epic story of the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which is considered in many cultures to bring good luck and prophetic vision. It's not as though you need to hear the whole album to like it though; each song is a masterpiece of epic heavy metal, as illustrated by the 4 hit singles released from it. The introduction of keyboards is another development from the synthesisers first used on "Somewhere in Time", and add a great depth to songs like "Infinite Dreams" and the 10 minute long title track. The whole album is about 45 minutes, which is about as long as most of the 80s Maiden albums. The artwork is stunning, with a sleeve only beaten so far by "Live After Death".
The minstrel verses close the album the same way it starts. Only one thing to do then... push the repeat button!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2013
This isn't a review of seventh son the album as plenty of praise has been heaped on it and indeed all of Maidens 80's output over the years,and rightly so,they're in a league of their own.This is about the 2012/2013 gatefold picture discs as stand alone items.
I didn't "need" these,is what i tried to tell myself.Being a fan of the band for over 25 years,I had several copies of each album already,so i hemmed and hawed about getting them and missed out on getting the box.But as those of us of a certain age know, all logic tends to go out the window where Iron Maiden are concerned and browsing through my local record store a short time later, I saw the piece of mind disc calling to me,so I bought it, just to see what they were like, and BOOM I was reeled in,had to get the rest!
On a positive note,and there are a good few to be found here,namely the richer colour of the sublime album artwork,the gate fold with band pics inside,some new,some slight variations on what we've seen before,all excellent.Then there's the discs themselves...Derek Riggs genius brought to life on a glossy heavy duty vinyl, speaks for itself really,lovely stuff,visually you can't fault 'em.
Admittedly I've always been a sucker for a picture disc,despite the often inferior sound quality,and it's with the sound and quality of the pressing that sadly we have to knock off a few points.
As anyone who's been around vinyl will attest to picture discs are a hit and miss affair.I have some that sound pretty good and some that are unplayable they're that poor.These Maiden ones sound ok to me as it goes,some might even say good, again considering they're pic discs,and i'd have been more than happy with them if it weren't for the fact that on certain tracks on certain albums there are skips.Skips are what put a stick in the spokes here for me,we're not talking about alot, but for brand new vinyl, one is one too many in my book and i have to admit it's a letdown.Just to reiterate, these weren't bought to be played really,but it's nice to have the choice,and know that if you decided to play them, that they'd play through ok.Sadly this ain't the case here,and in 2013 as legit Maiden releases it should be.To wind it up,Make your own choice folks,most of the diehards have them already anyway.For those in two minds i'd say,awesome to look at,should have been better on the turntable.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Still at their peak of success and right in the middle of metal's first era of world domination, Maiden released their most ambitious album to date. At number 7 most bands are ready to call it quits, but Maiden were still creative, trying new sounds, styles, and ideas. This is the band's most clear attempt at a traditional concept album and it must go down as one of their best, both artistically, and critically. After this the band would suffer a drop in quality with guitarist and writer Adrian Smith leaving. Many of the themes and lyrics, and the overall concept are based on the folklore tale of the title and on much of the other literature based around it. On top of this we get the usual discussions on good and evil, life and death, and prophecy. The band continue to use many of the sounds first heard on Somewhere In Time and the artwork again is classic Maiden. As with most of their albums, at least one or two of the songs would go on to be hit singles and live favourites. This is the last great album of their first hit period and as such is a must for fans of the band, metal lovers, and one which adventurous music lovers should try.
`Moonchild' opens the album with Dickinson's theatrical distant whisperings, setting up the initial concept before synths and guitars fade in to give an epic introduction. Soon we are galloping along in typical Maiden style, the guitars charging ominously in the background until the main chorus riff. The lyrics are based around the occult ideas of the seventh son, the seven deadly sins, the seventh seal etc and many signs of prophecy are mentioned to forward the idea that something potentially destructive is approaching, that forces outside of human control are growing with a vicious inevitability. The solo is very fast here without being overly complicated and becomes one of the most unusual in the band's catalogue.
`Infinite Dreams' is an unusual single by the band as it doesn't have the big choruses or hooks we are used to. The song opens with a soft dual solo before Dickinson starts to sing over a funky Chilli Peppers-esque line. The song continues to build while the lyrics cover the worries of the main character- he dreams or has visions of a terrifying future and is too scared to wake in case the visions he sees come true. The pace is fairly slow for Maiden, plodding along, but kept interesting by a variety of drumming and sub-sections, while the middle gets slightly faster, but no more melodic.
`Can I Play With Madness' is one of the group's most famous songs, and probably has their most famous video thanks to lots of recent play on new metal channels. While the lyrics of the song deal with an argument between a young man and an older prophet, the video depicts a school boy Maiden fan drawing pictures of Eddie rather than drawing an old church which his art teacher (Graham Chapman) has taken him to. The song has one of the band's most famous choruses, lots of memorable guitar parts, a great solo, and a catchy rhythm throughout.
`The Evil That Men Do' continues the high point of the album with the second big single, and another which has become one of the band's most played and well known. The lyrics are notably darker than the previous song, dealing with Evil throughout history and how it leaves a stain on all those who follow. The melodies are memorable throughout, the galloping pace is high, and the bridge and chorus are among the best the band have written. This is the band managing to be at their most commercial but without selling out.
`Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' is the epic title track and in typical Maiden fashion it expands and descends through various phases; the growling verse to the chanting, melodic sultry, to the basic chorus. The lyrics tell the tale of our hero in famous Maiden storytelling fashion and many of the albums concepts are touched upon. The song shifts at around 4 minutes in, stopping things from becoming repetitive, and we enter a more subdued phase. Dickinson recites the lyrics here in his most theatrical voice before the choir of monks chanting builds the song up once more to ominous effect. We then get a couple of solos and riffs interrupted by further burst of chanting and keyboards which lead us charging to the end. This has enough of interest to keep things from seeming overlong, but in the face of some of the longer songs that the band has written recently it lacks something which makes it one to listen to repeatedly.
`The Prophecy' continues the trend of softer introductions with distant reverb distilled guitars playing off somewhere towards the horizon. The main tempo of the song begins shortly after, a stomping affair which doesn't really fit well with the rest of the album. Lyrically there isn't a problem with talk of impending disaster which follows the story of the album, but melodically and rhythmically it is messy. It almost feels like this was meant to be a much longer song but they decided last minute to condense everything. The more ambient centre and solo are ok but there is nothing else remarkable here. The final minute fades out into another acoustic affair which sounds like a left over from another, better song.
`The Clairvoyant' is an interesting single from the band, dealing with a famous psychic who had died recently with Harris wondering if she could have predicted her own death. The lyrics follow this idea with the main character having visions of their own death, with the final part of the song taking place after they have died. There are nice riffs throughout and the chorus is potent with the guitars and lyrics blending together to create an effective mood. A breakneck solo fits the 2 halves of the song together, Dickinson lets out some of his most vicious vocals to date, and it is another Maiden song which reminds me of F-Zero (for any gamers out there). This is a strong single which not many people remember.
`Only The Good Die Young' ends the album on a high and is almost part 2 to The Clairvoyant as it is fairly similar lyrically except our character here refuses to listen to the nonsense of prophecy and laugh in the face of fate. Musically this is high paced, melodically it is fine, and the chorus is strong even if it lacks a huge sing-along quality. Naturally the song and album closes as it opened in true Floyd style.
This is a consistent album by Maiden with really only one song which you can skip. There is the usual mix of commercial hits and epics with the odd forgotten classic. After the massive world tour which followed this album the weight of expectation and excess, along with weariness and some loss of creativity would cause a downfall of sorts. The nineties were looming which singnalled the death of rock excess and most of the metal bands whose success relied on the nature of the eighties. Although Maiden had always transcended most of this, the pull of the new world would force them to change some of their ways and arguably this would fail. It would be another decade until their return to greatness- Seventh Son is the last great album of their rise.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2011
The most perfect album I have ever listened to, from thousands, because each song is so good, and lead into each other so well. Musically extremely proficient, lyrically inventive, and conceptually marvellous. One of the few albums, if not the only one, where I feel I must listen to each song in order. There is no real reason for this, aside from Iron Maiden choosing this, and me nearly moved nearly to tears as one song ends and another begins.
The best Iron Maiden album, if not the best music album for its inventiveness, the epic feel and the impression you get that you are listening to genius rock musicians with a decade of ground-breaking music producing experience.
I love many things in life, but I think this one album demonstrates the very best of teamwork, imagination and talent. The 1980s can seem dated from many perspectives, but Seventh Son of a Seventh Son makes me extremely proud to have been part of it.
What makes this all the better is that this album exited at a time when all other music was, for me awful. Ironically, my least favourite song from this album, Can I Play with Madness, did well in the charts. It is a good song, but I just prefer all the others as they are more thought provoking and inventive, says it all perhaps...
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2000
This album is fantastic! Killer guitar riffs, excellent vocals, and Epic songs all make up the classic Maiden Album! 'Seventh Son' is, in my opinion, among the best four Maiden albums!
The album opens up with 'Moonchild'. Perhaps one of Maidens heaviest tracks, Moonchild is just brilliant! 'The best song, in my opinion, on the album is 'The Evil That Men Do'. This song is a soppy love song turned hard, uncomprimising, and Wicked! I think that this song alone is one of Maiden's all time greats! The album is based on an ancient myth about the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son beingone of the luckiest blokes on earth!
This album gels together and just works better than any past Maiden album! Unfortunately this was to mark the end of an era with Adrian Smith leaving shortly after the completion of the album! But he's back now together with Janick Gers (the man who replaced him) and Dave Murray on the latest masterpiece 'Brave New World'!
Album Highlights are: 'The Evil That Men Do', 'Moonchild', 'Only The Good Die Young', 'The Clairvoyant' and the epic title track 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'!
This album is a definate buy if you want a hard rock!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2006
This is beyond any doubt one of Maidens finest moments. The band utilies`s keyboards well here, they enhance not overide the music. The playing here is spot on by all band members. There`s plenty of those twin rythm riffs & leads here, giving that distinct Maiden trademark sound.
The first 4 tracks here are simply brilliant. [Moonchild, Infinite Dreams, Can I Play With Madness, & The Evil That Men Do ] As has been said "Moonchild" is a great opener that`ll have you walking away singing the chorus for weeks afterward. In fact its not untill track 5, "7th Son...." that maiden start to employe more intricate passages & Mood changes. "Clairvoyant" & "Only The Good Die Young" close this fine album. At a touch under a fiver how can you go wrong ? This is a fantastic Metal album, making the likes of Korn, Soad, Slipknot etc look woefully inferior. Buy Now !