on 11 December 2003
After buying Fear Of The Dark and loving it, despite mixed reviews, I thought I'd try my hand at this album. With my first listen it blew me away, I can honestly say that this is my favourite Maiden album of all time (I own quite a few now). I had never heard any of the songs before and was drawn in by the cover art, which as alway remains classic, and it is now usually found firmly rooted in my CD player. Now onto the tracks, they are all very good, generally exceptional, I think Alexander The Great has to be one of my favourite tracks of all time.
It starts with a very singalongable song, Caught Somewhere In Time.
It then moves onto track 2, funnily enough, Wasted Years, which is just one of those tracks that you cannot get bored with.
Track 3, Sea of Madness is a very fast paced song, with again a good chorus.
Track 4, Heaven Can Wait, has a nice creepy intro and some well structured guitar work.
Track 5 has possibly the least sexy title ever, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner, but has that typical Maiden galloping feel to it and a nice melodic chorus.
Track 6, Stranger In A Strange Land, is on of the stand out tracks of the album and is again very melodic and has a pretty class guitar riff in the chrous and nice slow solo in the middle.
Track 7, De Ja Vu, it's nothing special and is at moderate Maiden standards, but nonetheless I think it brings the album together quite well. It has some great guitar work by Smith and Murray in the verses.
Track 8, Alexander The Great is probably one of the best Iron Maiden songs ever. It's the longest on the album, as the last track usually is, but it is a great way to finish a brilliant album. Great solos, catchy riffs, amazing singin by good ol' Bruce and fantastic drumming by Nicko.
To sum it up, again!, I think that is Cd should have a home in everybody's collection, regardless to whether you like Iron Maiden or not. :)
Maiden's Sixth album is another album of transition and ambition, and may well be my favourite. It has some excellent singles, it has the usual hallmarks of concept, speeding guitars, has some of their best artwork and ideas, and retains the progressive elements of the two albums on either side of it whilst eschewing the epic for a more direct feel. Although the second half doesn't match up to the heights of the first it keeps the high quality of their other central 80s records. At this time in the decade thrash was king, with bouffant synth rockers clambering for position at the top of the charts. Maiden keep their own distinct style mixing punk and prog, but also take use of some of the new technology available and indeed make it effective creating a sound that is at once, 80s, futuristic, and timeless. Many feel this is one of their weaker releases, but with the first four songs it is easy to argue otherwise.
`Caught Somewhere In Time' is one of the band's most underrated songs and openers. It introduces us to the new sound with synthesized guitars sounding cool rather than immediately dated. We have a couple of memorable riffs, a soaring chorus, and a blend of high and mid paced tempos as well as strong atmosphere. The overall concepts of time and fate are covered, Harris' lyrics are fairly strong, while Dickinson lets his pipes loose on every syllable.
`Wasted Years' shows how Adrian Smith had grown to become secondary songwriter, this time on hiw own without the help of Brucie. It is one of the bets singles the band has released with an immediately recognizable introduction, chugging chords, strong melodies, and a wonderful chorus. Alienation, touring, and time passing all too quickly are the central themes and give an excuse for some great singing and guitars.
`Sea Of Madness' is, like the first song, an underrated song. It opens with a fairly groovy riff and builds to an interesting chorus which doesn't sound much like anything the band have done before or since. It is another Smith song which lends a different creative flavour sorely missed when he left the band. It has a nice middle section which explores new territory before once again building to a triumphant conclusion.
`Heaven Can Wait' rounds off the excellent opening quartet, an epic song which could perhaps have benefited from being a bit shorter whilst still getting the point across. Having said that, it doesn't drag at any point, is very fast, highly melodic, and has yet another brilliant chorus. This remains a firm live favourite which garners much crowd interaction with its sing-along vocals and lyrics. The middle section shifts in melody, tone, and timing and has some effective, non-Maiden like choir woo-oohs. We then return back to the original form where the song continues for a few minutes till the end.
`The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner' begins promisingly enough with a soft, atmospheric part. This shifts into a quicker paced section with some good background guitars and typically belted out vocals. This one lacks the melodic power of the previous song and sounds longer than it actually is, although this seems to fit the subject matter quite well. The effects on the guitars stand out here and sound quite unique, and the middle solo is strong. The song chugs along to the end quickly enough and is a good addition, but after the first four songs it seems like a slight come down.
`Stranger In A Strange Land' picks things up again with another Smith song. This is actually one of the band's most interesting songs, having many different shifts and rhythms. There are groovy parts, fast fist pumping guitars, big riffs, and a big chorus with and edgy tone. The lyrics fit well with the varying sounds to create an imaginative mood which Dickinson takes full benefit of.
`Deja-Vu' continues with the futuristic, technologically enhanced guitars opening in typically moody fashion, seemingly setting the tone for another melancholy epic. This suddenly changes into a high paced collage of melodies and riffs. This melds all the themes of the album, speaking of a character who may be dreaming or remembering these visions of the future as if has lived them before. We have a big chorus, though not as immediately catchy as others, a middle break of synth and overlapping solos before returning to the main riff and verse. Like many of the songs on this album this one has been forgotten amongst the wide collection of singles and better known songs.
`Alexander The Great' closes the album, going way back through the years to the time of this great leader. It is suitably epic considering the way Alexander conquered most of the world. We open quietly, quickly moving on to trotting chords and lyrics which tell us of the man's life in simple, devoted terms. We get some of the synth and effects of previous songs but in many ways this sounds out of place on the album as it doesn't have the futuristic feel. Perhaps that is the point- that after all the looking to the future we end up in the past. After an interesting middle section of complex guitars and shifting pace we return to the main portion which rambles on for another few minutes. This may be the weakest song on the album but considering the high mark achieved throughout that isn't much of a slight.
While Somewhere In Time is in many ways the archetypal Iron Maiden album, it is also one of their most unique. Never before or again would they sound so futuristic, like a bunch of time traveling guitar wielding assassins. There is a powerful coherence to the album in terms of music, style, and lyrical themes and content which they would struggle to equal again and the album manages to fit the restrictions of the `concept album' without resorting to overtly complicated or long songs. The ambition is still on display, though everything is condensed and focused when compared with the sprawling predecessor and follow up. Aside from a greatest hits and Number Of The Beast, this is perhaps the album you should give to newcomers to welcome them into the mouth of hell.
on 27 August 2007
The above title seemed appropriate when comparing this album to it's predecessors.
Somewhere in Time, to me, is one of Maiden's strongest albums along with Powerslave and Seventh Son. From the opening title track that sets the tone for the album to the epic finale from the magnificently composed Alexander the Great, I loved it (although The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner seemed a little weaker when compared to the other songs).
The inclusion of synths, although different to the previous albums, was a nice touch for the themes portrayed in the album and I don't really see a problem with them.
The instrumental was strong throughout and the guitar work was some of the best yet with songs like Stranger in a Strange Land and Alexander the Great displaying just how good the band was, with memorable riffs and well crafted solos from Adrian and Dave. The vocals by Bruce are as good as they were in previous albums and retain their trademark sound.
Overall, it's a good album with a successful venture from the band, not to mention one hell of an excellent cover from Derek Riggs. The B-sides of the singles are worth a look into as well.
on 26 March 2007
This album is a definite to be added to any Maiden collection. In my opinion, it isn't quite up there with Powerslave, but it's pretty darn good nonetheless. "Caught Somewhere in time", "Heaven can wait" and "Alexander the Great" are the three best songs I think, although the remainder have a lot to offer.
You gotta buy it! It will not disappoint!
on 29 December 2000
I bought this album together with 'Powerslave', and since i bought it i haven't had it off my Hi-Fi! I would recommend this album to everyone! The songs do fit in well with the suggested theme of the album, and it has to be said that the songs are well ahead of their time!
'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' has got to be my favourite pick, Despite the title! It has beautifully structured riffs aswell as powerful vocals! 'Cought Somewhere in time' and 'Wasted Years' are also excellent, especially with the truly metal riff, and the building up of instruments into one of the best metal songs, i believe, of all time! I mean how can you go wrong with an album if you have these three tracks on it! 'Heaven can wait' is also a mint song! another one of the more melodic tunes! All songs reflect the mood of the album, and all songs are going to have you rockin in your rooms! As Nicko McBrain says 'it's 'kin great'! WELL DONE LADS!
on 26 February 2008
If I could have 1 maiden album, it would be Live After Death. If I could choose an extra, this would be my pick. It's stronger than the first 5 IMO and is interesting. My least favourite is probably The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which although heavy, is basically just a weaker version of Sea of Madness. As with a best track, it changes on every listen. Overall it'd be Stranger in a Strange Land or Alexander the Great. A few tracks are a bit forgettable (mainly 1 and 8), but those are actually among the best songs here. Epics are never particularly memorable at first. You enjoy them when listening, but once you finish listening to them, you forget everything except awesome. For that reason I won't rate those two songs.
02 - Wasted Years: This is about being on the road. The music is quite upbeat, and rather melodic. I think this is one of Bruce's favourites (check out on Youtube, Wasted Years '86 Gothenburg show). 9/10
03 - Sea of Madness: Also upbeat. This is heavier, not so happy like the previous song. Check it out as I really like this one and I think most people do. 10/10
04 - Heaven Can Wait: My second least favourite song here. Despite a great chorus, the rest of the song is not really that special. 8/10
05 - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner: My least favourite. Read what I said above. 7.5/10
06 - Stranger in a Strange Land: Thankfully this album doesn't go into mediocrity. (4 & 5 suggest a continuous turn downhill) But this is a favourite of mine. It's very melodic, with one of my favourite guitar solos ever.
07 - Deja Vu: A good song, this is a very progressive metal song in the vein of Dream Theater. 9/10
Highlights - Sea of Madness, Stranger in a Strange Land and Alexander the Great.
on 8 June 2001
This is brilliant Iron Maiden, and if you havent got any of their albums this is probably the best one to get first. The guitar riffs are really good, the solos are the best ever, and Bruce Dickinsons vocals are exelent, making all the songs really great. Also it is well produced with some synthesiser enhancement. There is more emotion in the songs than in earlier albums, but the other best ones are Piece of mind, Powerslave, and the best one after this is Seventh son of a Seventh son. If you don't know Iron Maiden your missing out on the best metal band ever! Up the Irons!
on 19 September 2003
This is one of my favourite albums ever. Maiden just at their full flowing best.
1) Caught Somewhere In Time: The opening track hooks you in straight away with a brilliant intro. Which then builds into a truly storming Maiden song. What I would give to hear this live again.
2) Wasted Years: Just incredible. A brilliant riff, again, to draw you in and then Maiden go in for the kill with the first single from the album. For those more well educated Maiden fans aren't you glad they didn't call it Golden Years.
3) Sea Of Madness: The heaviest song on the album. Hit all the right notes is Dickinson's voice on this track. A quite rare but quite awesome bass solo part from Harris. Simple but effective.
4) Heaven Can Wait: It gets better and better and better. The albums blistering early pace kept up with the second 7 minuter. Still a favourite of mine live.
5) Lonliness Of A Long Distance Runner: The song title ripped straight from the movie of the same name. Just when you think the album is slowing down with a melodic intro.... Oh no my friends. Another classic.
6) Stranger In A Strange Land: I just can not put it in words so i'll just say the best song by Maiden ever. Everything is right.
7) De Ja Vu: Seventh song on the album still going strong. De Ja Vu is another incredible track with well thought out lyrics.
8) Alexander The Great: A absolutely barn storming, roof raising epic. Dubbed, by Harris, as the greatest Maiden song never to be played live he was right. An awesome tale told about the Macedonian warrior with a truly incredible Adrian SMith solo to boot.
1986 was 17 years ago. But with music like this I wish I had a time machine. If you do not own this album buy it. If you haven't heard it buy it. Everyone else but it!
on 2 November 2000
This was the first heavy metal album I ever listened to, coming from electronic music. And it was convincing. After 13 years, I still like it the same. The sound and style are as consistent through all songs as always with this band (maybe except for "Deja-vu", which is closer to earlier albums), and there is more emphasis on overall effect than on headbanging. There is a great feeling of space you won't get with earlier Maiden's albums, and bigger than that with following ones. Together with lyrics, it speaks irresistibly to your imagination. This album also is a milestone in guitar-synth era - introducing the so-hated-before instrument to heavy metal. But do not get fooled by the presence of the synths - the music is as heavy, as it had always been with Iron Maiden.
on 16 June 2006
this is a maiden album that some have criticised because of guitar synths thrown into the mix,maiden would go further on seventh son of a seventh son album by adding proper synthesizers,but this album was the first to throw in a more computer operated sound that left some screaming for the exit doors,but in truth the guitar synths add to what is an exciting collection of songs.
the album opens with the classic caught somewhere in time which will leave you bopping and singing along,the bass line is strong here and the melodies are glorious,maiden at this point were masters of creating a catchy song so no change here then,we then have other classics to cherish including wasted years,heaven can wait,stranger in a strange lad and alexander the great,dear lord i must listen to this album again after this review,its an album that just feels right and if im honest it is possibly the first maiden album i heard many moons ago so im always gonna praise it.
Special mention must go to the album cover which is filled with maiden songs and loves all hidden throughout it so if you didnt know that have another look and get those horns up baby and lose yourself.