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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 3 November 2014
Despite a quite horrendous run of poor albums in the 1990's and particularly the two without Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden have enjoyed a massively successful resurgence following the Millennium, spear-headed by their fantastic albums led by 'Brave New World' and backed up be the excellent 'Dance of the Dead.'
The third, post-Millennium release, 'A Matter of Life and Death' continues the trend and even tops it! Make no mistake, this is one of the bands best albums EVER, a sentiment echoed by bassist and principal songwriter Steve Harris.
My first impressions however were rather negative, as I saw the length of each track and the album totalling a whopping 72 minutes, I did feel a bit disheartened as, often, when metal albums get to that length it means a lot of filler or over used / overly repeated riffs (think Metallica's 'St. Anger' for lack of a better example). Thankfully, my negativity was misplaced, as this epic album flew by in what felt like less than half the calculated time. 10 songs averaging 7 minutes of pure prog rock / metal gold.
You can pick any song as your highlight or favourite track, and all could be justified really. There isn't a hint of weakness in any of the songs. That said, my personal favourites are : 'Different World,' 'These Colours Don't Run,' 'The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg' and 'The Legacy,' ...but it's all good!
They went for a more 'live' sounding production on this album, and whilst that may make some sceptical, they need not be, as the rawness of this album really brings this album to life and suits its epic content and the riffs perfectly.
Some argue that this is a concept album, and you can see their point. The themes of most if not all the songs are based around war (especially), religion and death/horror, but then again how many Maiden songs aren't? The band have denied this and it is not as obviously a concept album as 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' but it does come close to being that format.
Is this the best Iron Maiden ever? It's definitely up there, and is certainly one of their most consistent albums. Whilst many would say its impossible to top the band's 1980's material, I would disagree to a degree, at least in the sense I wouldn't instantly dismiss one of their newer albums because of the year it was released. Whilst classic Maiden albums such as 'Number of the Beast' and 'Piece Of Mind' and the rest of their most celebrated albums are undeniable classics, they do often lack the sheer consistency and quality of this album, and that alone is testament to how great this album is and is easily in my top 3 Maiden albums. Can't recommend it enough.
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on 18 August 2015
As a long time Maiden fan I was elated when Bruce Dickenson and Adrian Smith re-joined the band in 1999 and I am still over the moon as the quality of the music since "Brave New World" is still of the highest quality. This album is catchy, interesting and as musically relevant as any of the classic Maiden albums that preceded it. The artwork is incredible and the lyrics are as thought provoking as ever. Musically the album is top notch and Bruce's voice is stronger than ever. Every Iron Maiden fan or Metal Head absolutely needs to buy this album as it is just that good! This version of the album is the best version to buy as it includes a DVD documentary of the "Making Of" "A Matter of Life and Death" which is informative and enjoyable. I whole heartedly recommend this album to any Maiden fan or Metal Head that has yet to buy it!
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I'm writing this review, not as a Maiden devotee, but as a recent convert. I managed to get to 40 years of age without owning a Maiden album, thinking they were too over the top, and preferring 'classic' rock such as Led Zep, Tull and so on. Oh my, I have been missing out BIG TIME. Perhaps strangely for some, I chose to get into Maiden by way of their more recent output, one day coming across their latest album, The Final Frontier and instantly liking it. This album, A Matter of Life and Death, is often considered one of their best, or at least the best of the last 10 years. I can see why. The musicianship is superb - it sounds like the band were just on fire when recording this album and it all gels together superbly - the drumming is complex, fast, masterful, the guitar work just perfect. And let's not forget Bruce's vocals - varied and powerful - very, very good. As I listened to each track I thought, oh wow, this is great, there must be a duffer coming up soon. Nope, each track is great - I can't believe how many great riffs they came up with on this album. I can understand why some say it's dark - after all, it's about war, including the nuclear variety, but the songs have majesty and power and the musicianship makes me smile, even if the themes are very dark. To me, this is as good as metal or hard rock gets - forget Metallica, nu-metal, prog-metal - this album kicks those groups and genres into touch. Brilliant. I'm struggling to find anything negative to say about this album. The songs are epic sounding, and I suppose if you like short, sharp 4-minute rock songs you are going to be in for a shock. But if you like long, epic tracks with great musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics, then do listen to this album. Seriously, I am a big Rush fan, and you don't get better lyrics and musicianship than Rush, but with this album I think Maiden match the Canadian trio on both scores.
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on 20 July 2017
Maidens A Matter of Life and Death is well another great album, love the the newer sound still has all the Iron Maiden traits stand out tunes are Different World, These Colours Don't Run, The Pilgrim, The Longest Day, Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, For the Greater Good of God and Legacy AWESOME Highly Recommended
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on 21 April 2017
Very good condition and plays brilliantly
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on 17 April 2017
10 songs of pure hard rock magic. For me "Brighter than a thousand suns" & "For the greater good of god" are the stand out tracks. "The longest day" is also truly brilliant.
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on 1 April 2017
A great album
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on 16 August 2017
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on 11 March 2017
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on 12 August 2017
Brilliant album!
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