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4.3 out of 5 stars66
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 March 2004
As Iron Maiden albums go, this is not the best, but the quality of the riffs and on the opening track "be quick or be dead" are typical of the band. This was at about the time when the band were going through their "hiatus" and their creative drive somewhat suffered when Adrian Smith left, but songs like "From here to eternity" still retain that Maiden rhythm and blast of guitars. "Afraid to shoot strangers" is wonderful in the way it starts and gradually builds to an amazing cacophony of Harris on bass and Janick and Dave straffing away, in quite superb fashion. We get the wonderful Maiden changes in rhythm which are a characteristic of the band, much imitated, but never bettered.
Also featured on this album are the Keyboards of Michael Kenny, which you either love or hate, personally I think they have added a dimension to Maiden that had been missing, but given that I'm also a huge fan of Rainbow that is not surprising. I've always liked Maiden for their use of mythology and religion in their lyrics, but this aspect is somewhat missing here except in "Judas be my Guide" and maybe "The apparition" with it's search for an answer to the inevitable question, what happens to us when we die. The Album ends with the Stadium buster "Fear of the Dark" which has become a fans favourite. Buy this Album, it contains some superb Maiden material, but there are better offerings out there from the boys.
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on 16 May 2004
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!)
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on 1 June 2016
Maiden, Maiden, Maiden, after the less than successful No Prayer for the Dying record in 1990, Harris and the boys needed to step up their game for the succeeding release, and so they did, it's no Powerslave but it's definitely on it's way

Track 1: Be Quick or be Dead - Low-Fi done right, one of Maiden's fastest and most aggressive tracks they've ever recorded, Murray and Gers cement a vast improvement from No Prayer, and Bruce showcases what he can really do with his throat, rather than the phoned in sound of No Prayer, Be Quick or be Dead is a superb opening track

Track 2: From Here to Eternity - Like Holy Smoke and Hooks in You, From Here to Eternity never takes itself deadly serious, and allows for another fun romp, with Maiden clearly becoming more comfortable with this style, it actually feels like Maiden, not a tribute band as No Prayer often did, a fun song which showcases some superlative range from the whole band

Track 3: Afraid to Shoot Strangers - If only it could last, an interesting intro doesn't go anywhere, musically the track often feels tired, rather than slow and contemplative as it is clearly attempting, Bruce sounds as if he hasn't slept in days, and it's almost pointless, McBrain provides some nice drumming but like the vocals, Murray and Gers seem uninspired

Track 4: Fear is the Key - Heavier, Intriguing, a decent track that perpetuates the strongest moments from No Prayer with some much more personal lyrics, delivered with much more ferocity than Strangers, one that feels surprisingly emotional, especially with the Dickinson penned line 'nobody cares till someone famous died' about his late friend, Freddie Mercury

Track 5: Childhood's End - Some mesmerising bridges can't save a song which feels like a missed opportunity, almost as if the concept was misplaced, Harris is superlative on the Bass as usual, and there is some enjoyable riffage towards the mid-section, not much to write home about

Track 6: Wasting Love - Another track to join the likes of Strange World in the bevy of Maiden tracks that go severely under appreciated, a ballad in the style of Children of the Damned with a much more personal touch, themes of Relationships, Moving on, and of course Love itself are wound up in some intricate guitar work by Murray and Gers, all compliment Dickinson's Vocals which show off some impressive range in one track, one that deserves much more attention, don't be put off by the title, a hidden killer

Track 7: The Fugitive - A track that feels heavy and volatile, much better and more interesting than filler like Public Enema Number One, yet stilling falling under that category for feeling as though it is sadly uninspired

Track 8: Chains of Misery - A fantastic under appreciated track, drenched in reverb, cheesy 90's metal at it's finest, short storytelling keeps the lyrics interesting, the way the lyrics weave in and out of the Riffs is reminiscent of Saxon

Track 9: The Apparition - Possibly the worst of the album, perpetually pointless and feels like useless filler, there isn't much to say, it is strangely reminiscent of No Prayer, feeling unnecessarily restrained, the guitar solo by Gers showcases his talent but is over too soon to redeem the track

Track 10: Judas be my Guide - One of the albums Highlights, fast frantic riffs from Murray and Gers compliment Dickinson's aggressive tones throughout, a Chrous that is as catchy as it is cheesy, one to not overlook

Track 11: Weekend Warrior - Genuinely a perplexing track, whereas Dickinson's vocals are impressive and Harris' bass work also adds value, it is ultimately forgettable, guitar work goes in one ear and out the other, a chorus that is cheesy without even being fun, a mediocre track

Track 12: Fear of the Dark - Ending on arguably it's strongest note, Fear of the Dark is a fan favourite, and a live staple, remaining a consistent member of setlists even up till the Book of Souls tour and presumably far beyond 2016, beginning slow and forboding, Fear of the Dark is potentially one of Maiden's strongest live moments, emphasising crowd interactions and ramping up the production on the studio release as the twin guitars solidify that Murray and Gers are capable of creating one hell of a Twin layered riff without Smith which is carried on throughout the song to marvellous effect

In the end, Fear of the Dark is low-fi Maiden done right, they fit their style into the production while keeping it small, and is a marked improvement from the disappointing No Prayer for the Dying, only being let down by instances of filler, yet containing some Truly excellent tracks in Be Quick or be Dead and the title track itself, but now with Bruce embarking on a solo career, what will become of Maiden?
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on 18 August 2015
I bought this CD version of "Fear of the Dark" by Iron Maiden as I wanted to update my vinyl collection. I chose this version of the album because of all the extras which include loads of live band photos and two promo videos as enhanced content. If like me you bought the original release on vinyl then this is the perfect version to get to update to the CD format. In hind sight I now really love this album but when it first came out I must admit that I was a little disappointed with it. There are some great tracks on this album but for me there was something missing in the overall feel of the album, little did I know that Bruce Dickinson would leave Iron Maiden shortly after the albums tour. Although this is not my favourite Maiden album it is infinitely better than the two albums with Blaze on vocals but that is another matter entirely. Any self respecting Maiden fan will of course already own this album on one of three formats. If you are just getting into Heavy Metal music then you can't go wrong with Iron Maiden and this album is a pretty good place to start although in my humble opinion you would do better to buy the first eight albums first.
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on 19 January 2002
While it is true that this album contains some tracks that make us despair of the good old band ("Chains of Misery" comes to mind), it also contains some of the best songs Iron Maiden have ever played, such as, to name a few, "Fear of the Dark", "From Here to Eternity" or "Afraid to Shoot Strangers".
This album marks the brilliant culmination a proccess of deep transformation in the bands musical output, the quality of which the band has been unable to equal since (though that does not mean that subsequent albums are bad in the least).
Both newcomers to the band and long time fans will very likely find much to enjoy in this album, and will get their money's worth.
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on 23 May 2005
Having read the previous reviews of this album I cannot understand what people have against it. I am a HUGE Maiden fan, they are my favourite band and I have purchased everything they've ever done. This album has some great songs and bruces voice is fantastic, especially on be quick or be dead. This is a massive step up from No Prayer For The Dying, which in my opinion is their weakest album. Wasting love is the worst song on the album but even this is ok. Overall I think this is a very strong collection of songs. The album also went to No:1 in the charts, not bad for an album most say is only 3 stars.
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on 12 September 2001
An incredibly enlivening beginning, Be Quick or Be Dead screams out of your stereo, and you must be dead or an accountant if you can sit down while listening to this. Slows down to a very moving song, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, and then back up in pace to some seriously buttock-prodding tracks (The Apparition is great to sing along to loudly when noone else is around), and finishes on a high note with the ever-brilliant Fear of the Dark. Not every song on this album is a classic, but then albums like Powerslave cannot be accomplished every time. Still gets five stars though, it gives me an adrenaline rush every time!
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on 21 June 2008
I was so surprised when i found out that in fact alot of maiden fans dont like this, whats not to like? Its filled with Iron Maiden classics, I personaly love this album (though i do love all Iron Maiden albums). This album has classics like The Apparition (why does noone like this song is beyond me), Childhoods End, Afraid to Shoot Stranggers wait what the hell am i doing all this album is a classic how can you not like this album. People even say The X Factor & Virtual XI is better then this, dont get me wrong they're awesome album but compared to this album it just doesn come close to this album. This album has great lyrics, great vocals by dickinson (duh), great solos & riffs & awesome drumming by nicko. Fair enough maiden fans having a slight problem with the departure of the awesome guitarist Adrian Smith but this album is a classic, In my opinion this album doesnt have a filler song on it it's all killer. Though my favourite would probably be The Apparition ( which is strangely underrated). This is a wicked place to start off with Iron Maiden. UP THE IRONS!!!!!!!!
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on 1 June 2015
If you know Iron Maiden you probably know already this is one of their best albums.

If you don't know Iron Maiden and wonder why they're so highly thought of by the music community this is an excellent introduction to a very versatile and creative band. Yes its metal. Its also thoughtful, clever and melodious as well as driving, powerful rock by world class musicians.
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on 27 December 2001
Fear of the Dark is packed with the most amazing metal music you will ever hear! Each song is brilliant in its own individual way and no two sound anything like each other. The guitar solos and lead guitar parts are amazing. I bought this album about 2-3 weeks ago and have listened to it every day since! 'Be Quick Or Be Dead' and 'From Here To Eternity' kick the album off and you cant beat finishing the whole amazing show with perhaps Iron maiden's best song-'Fear of the Dark' I think i have said enough-just buy it, put it in your CD player (or PC) and let the music do the rest!
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