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4.2 out of 5 stars
203
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 18 August 2015
The album starts out with a menacing instrumental intro section of "Satellite 15" that sounds a bit thrashy and is darkly atmospheric. It catches you off guard and makes you perk up and pay attention. The atmosphere deepens as Bruce begins to sing and becomes more sinister as you get the impression that he is completely isolated somewhere out in space. Lyrically the message that is sent to Earth Control comes across desperate and urgent. This is music at its best! The album is almost cinematic in its scope and if you close your eyes you can almost see the scene unfolding in the cold, dark and lonely void of space. The album has a harder and faster edge to it then its predecessors and I am hooked, line and sinker! Maiden are sounding better than ever and I am in Heavy Metal heaven! Every self respecting Iron Maiden fan or Metal Head needs to buy this album!
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on 24 May 2017
Brilliant album. The first song did not need all the noises for 4 minutes or at least could have had better screeching guitars & a better drum roll, but what follows is pure heavy rock. Great songs, lyrics, solo's, everything you would hope for from Maiden.
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on 21 April 2017
Very good condition and plays brilliantly. A quality rare item.
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on 3 April 2017
Another brilliant Iron Maiden album
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on 26 April 2017
Well made item and an excellent price
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on 12 January 2015
The final track " When The Wind Blows" is up there with Maidens progressive best but the rest of the album falls somewhat short, most of these songs simply aren't good enough to be four minutes in length never mind ten...Disappointing and lacking the dark, frenetic energy that made A Matter Of Life and Death so good.
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on 22 March 2017
Worth the price for 'When the wild wind blows'!
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on 26 August 2010
Firstly, to get it out of the way, I must gush about how great it is to have Iron Maiden back on top of their game, this far into their career. The album may say The Final Frontier but I hope we haven't heard the last of them just yet. Especially when they keep rolling out epics like these every 3 or 4 years. As someone whose first metal album was the awesome Piece of Mind (unaware that not all music was that good), it is such a great feeling to hear a new album that can compare to many of their classic `80s output. Secondly, this is not an album to devour on the first sitting. Give it a generous 5 or 6 spins. It'll be worth it. Only then will the album open up and reveal more than first expected.

I will now do one of those sad track-by-track reviews that will be far too long and involved and irrelevant as everyone else has already beaten me to it, but I feel that Iron Maiden deserve a bit of time spent when critiquing their work and I just want to do it , so there; it's not every day that you get to enjoy brand new material from one of the best bands on the planet.

Satellite 15...The Final Frontier - 10/10
Very proggy first half that explodes into one of the catchiest and hummable tracks they have written in years. Pure, classic Maiden, but with a fresh angle. It's not really comparable to any other album, it is wholly identifiable as a `new' Maiden track and it is breathtakingly good. Will begin many a live show.

ElDorado - 8/10
Nothing too special but an excellent, very `pre-Blaze' Maiden song; a bit dirty with some leery vocals from Bruce, but with a tune so catchy it matters not that what came before and what is to come is so much better. Fun Maiden.

Mother of Mercy - 7/10
Saying that, Mother of Mercy is quite hard to like as much as the others, despite it being a perfectly brilliant track. You need to give it a few spins to really appreciate it but it is one of the tracks that sticks the album together, bridges the gaps between the beginning and the middle and makes it sound a complete whole. It almost sounds like it could have fit on A Matter of Life & Death, especially as it concerns war. Middling, but no slouch.

Coming Home - 10/10
Oh em gee... This is a truly mammoth track. If this isn't a single then I will be shocked (although they're not really a `single' kind of band). On first listen it kind of passes you by but the more you hear it, the better it becomes. It's not groundbreaking, it is basically one of the simplest tracks here with a basic verse/chorus/solo etc structure, and is one of the shortest. It also is indicative of maybe their B-sides from the Somewhere in Time era (Reach Out, Juanita etc), while its real identity belongs with the first track as it is almost like new territory for Maiden. For such a simple sounding song, it is huge and is a new Maiden classic, along with The Final Frontier and ElDorado.

The Alchemist - 8.5/10
Not quite filler, as it is such an immediate and likeable song, but just missing out on being immortal. It's catchy, fast, tuneful and heavy. It finishes the first half of the album off perfectly and introduces the monster that succeeds it. As with the remainder of the album, it deserves a few listens to let the tune bed.

Isle of Avalon - 9.5/10
After the `single'-centred first half, we move into epic territory with the 9 minute second half opener. Swirling melodies and strong time changes abound and it must be listened to many times before appreciation is granted. Bruce is on top vocal form too. This is evidence why Maiden are now being revered by many. A truly dense, yet playful and exciting track. Stunning. More please.

Starblind - 10/10
I'll be shot down for this, but I believe that Starblind is one of the best tracks on the whole album. Many reviewers here and elsewhere do not seem to agree with me. Where I would have possibly jettisoned Mother of Mercy (although I wont), this behemoth of a song HAS to stay. It is simple but epic and has a driving force that sweeps clean through all of the other tracks. It is the energy of the chorus that overwhelms, together with some excellent percussion from Mr McBrain. It sticks with a rolling beat that chugs along through the entire song, which is where I can understand most people would have a problem as it could be conceived to be slightly dirgey and boring and the chorus is not so dissimilar from the preceding verse. But it is the small changes that give it its power. After everybody slated it, I was surprised that I grew to like it so much. It has the grungey tone of The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, only faster.

The Talisman - 10/10
Like a parrot, I'll say it again - you need to give this some time. These last 5 tracks are all around the 8 minute plus size and cannot be absorbed with a single listen. It's taken me now about 6 or 7 listens to this track for me to really get to grips with it as a whole. It begins with a very Matter of Life and Death - y intro that lasts for about 2 and a half minutes before bursting into a swashbuckling Maiden gallop that doesn't stop, reaching the crescendo of `Westward, the tide.' The melodies and tunes are all very subtle here and are easily dismissed. Stick with this (I was less than enamored even after my 3rd listen) and it will be its own reward.

The Man Who Would Be King - 10/10
Another similar to The Talisman; long and worthy. Following the same epic format, it starts slow and erupts into a metallic saga. Again, the choruses are subtle but you will be humming them in your sleep before long. And the middle section is simply sublime. Very musical. Another huge track.

When The Wild Wind Blows - 10/10
Yet another massive song. 11 minutes of perfect melody with musical twists and turns that accentuate the title wonderfully. It is a sad song but one that suits the source material well. Those expecting another Rime of the Ancient Mariner will be disappointed and it will never eclipse that monster of a song but it carries the album to its end well, tying it all up with a somber tone. Again, it has to be heard to be appreciated.

Whew! The Final Frontier is the most coherent album, in terms of tone and content since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Musically it is closer to Somewhere in Time. It is not their heaviest album but it is certainly not lacking in power and it is definitely the most exciting collection of songs since Brave New World. Another total triumph for the Irons. 15 more please!
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on 19 October 2010
I've purposely waited a while to review this album, as my first impressions weren't great. On the strength of the first few listens, I initially thought that Maiden's creative roll of the last decade had finally come to an end. But, as with all Maiden's output since Bruce's return, "The Final Frontier" needs digestion and is a real grower. It just seemed to take longer for me this time, this is a highly-complex album. It's that complexity that I struggle with, it takes time to absorb but it always pays off in the end. Ultimately, however, Maiden have once again proven their uniqueness and class. There is a quality and intelligence to their output that is incomparable to anybody else in their genre. They are simply in a league of their own and easily make their nearest rivals seem positively Neanderthal in comparison (whoever they may be, I absolutely have no idea). Don't get me wrong, it's not all great. There's an abundance of lyrical howlers on this but, after a while, they seem to fit in to the overall framework. Leaving you questioning your initial cringes. There's also a prodigious amount of Maiden's trademark `gallops', that have been (thankfully) missing from recent output ("Lord Of Light" aside). But, even they seem to melt quite nicely into the whole affair after repeated immersion. Even the album's weakest songs (i.e. "Mother Of Mercy" and "Starblind") have great hooks and musical nuances that will rouse you from any temporary lethargy. Stand-out tracks here are "Satellite 15....The Final Frontier" (lengthy industrial intro segueing into the fast-paced title track, Nicko at his very best), "Coming Home" (catchy aeroplane ditty which wouldn't be out of place on Bruce's "Skunkworks" album), "The Talisman" and "The Man Who Would Be King" (two impressive, complex and weighty mini-epics). Finally, the closing blockbuster "When The Wild Wind Blows" is quite simply one of the best songs that Steve Harris has ever written. And that is, quite frankly, a hell of a boast. Overall, "The Final Frontier" is an ambitious, epic (again!!) and cohesive work that merits a lofty status in Maiden's catalogue. As a Maiden fan of 30 years (and counting) I rarely listen to anything pre-2000 these days, their last four albums have really redefined them and they show no signs of compromise or simply going through the motions. I suspect they'll be playing the whole thing on the 2011 tour (as they did for the last album) and I, for one, would welcome that. Although I do hate the cover, a band of Maiden's maturity and class really need to apply some subtlety to the cartoon imagery these days. But that's just my opinion. Nuff said.
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on 25 June 2016
Luckily for the band this really wasn't the 'final frontier' as many fans feared at the time, reaction to the Final Frontier was, and still is mixed, it isn't strong enough for Maiden to go out on as they teased, but not bad, great infact, better than dance of death and sitting comfortably underneath Brave New World and A Matter of Life and Death of New Maiden's progressive catalogue, and the succeeding tour provided the fantastic live album 'En Vivo'

Track 1: Satelite 15... The Final Frontier - Opening with the title track, that feels more like 2 tracks to be perfectly honest, whereas I love the almost cheesy, live anthemic feel to The Final Frontier, the prog alien that is Satelite 15 takes the high ground, it really is alien, intentionally, creepy and the distorted vocals create a hollow feeling inside that emphasise just how lost this explorer is, the true star here is McBrain's who's drumming has his whole heart put into it, and carries Satelite 15 into the Final Frontier, practically perfect as a snow opener

Track 2: El Dorado - Named after the treasure of the same name and derived from it, although it is applicable to any treasure to be honest, a light and punchy track that is a highlight among the album featuring some impressive key changes and production that isn't quite head banging, but appreciable

Track 3: Mother of Mercy - Not bad at all, but feels so long.. Honestly it's 5 and a half minutes that feel like 20, considering the 11 minute closer goes by in a hearbeat that isn't a good thing, the lyrics are the most interesting thing here and the musicianship/production, while impressive is forgettable

Track 4: Coming Home - I really do love this song, The Final Frontier excels at slow/mid paced tracks, lyrics and as an extension Dickinson shine here especially, with some incredibly emotional lyrics, that not only resonate with the band themselves but with any listener who's been away from home, a solo that echoes Smith's from Powerslave, whereas a very different track has that alternative jazz feel about them in the solos and it works magnificently

Track 5: The Alchemist - Resembling something from the better half of Dance of Death, it is a shorter, faster track, Dickinson feels like he isn't really going for it here, apart from his rhythmic delivery in the Chrous, not a standout here, the two which do however are drum and bass work, working in perfect harmony to create a heavy feeling typical of new Maiden, a good track regardless about the life and trajedy of the events that occurred around the life of John Dee

Track 6: Isle of Avalon - Honestly, not bad at all, but apart from an interesting intro that feels like a more airy Clairvoyant crossed with Lord of Light, derivative of it's own album and is honestly quite hard to talk about as a result, nothing stand out, nothing bad

Track 7: Starblind - Another track that I love along with Coming Home, a track that feels like what other songs here like Isle of Avalon, The Talisman and The Man Who Would Be King wish they were, and feel like they were aiming to be, incredibly lyrics that are massively emotional resonant without any real right to be, the 7 minutes never loose steam, great, clean production helps the track chug along, Dickinson's voice gives one of the albums best performances

Track 8: The Talisman - Too long for it's own good, Maiden seem to have written a fantastic intro and then just played until it wore out, which usually works but here it doesn't, theatrical throughout, the star is the guitar work of Smith, Murray and Gers and the Vocal work, all of those feel wasted by the end of the song, if it was more compacted, it would be much more enjoyable

Track 9: The Man Who Would Be King - continuing the trend of amazing intros that book you, The Man Who Would Be King opens with some magnificently intricate riffs, vocals reminiscent of the opening in Starblind or the closing moments of Dance of Death, this song is, yet again, not bad, but just not Maiden caliber, in it's length and production, definitely, but in terms of actual songwriting sadly it's not, feeling like a high end Blaze track from his solo career is how I would describe it, and perhaps it would suit his style more, The Man Who Would Be King, not bad but... I'm sick of saying this, not amazing

Track 10: When the Wild Wind Blows - A track that deserves it's length, finally, opening with literally wind and a very relaxing and tentative riff over some layered drum work, the track plays into a very solemn atmosphere, such forboding lyrics have never felt so comforting, funnily enough I can never fall asleep to music, whether it be orchestral or metal, this is the one song I've ever fell asleep too, and that doesn't mean it's boring, rather it's easy to listen too, in it's slow and mid paced sections, feeling very theatrical, even more than anything from the preceding albums, lyrics continue to perpetuate this and provide some.. Relatively subtle commentary, Dickinson's delivery is fantastic and the whole band perform the best they have on the entire album, The Guitar solo is riveting, much like the rest of the track, it is very 'metal' but never feels out of place thanks to incrediblely well accoustomed production, going through many passages, a track I never get bored of, a masterpiece, perhaps the only one on the album

Overall, The Final Frontier just leans passed the boundary of a great album, for every When the Wild Wind Blows, there is a The Man Who Would Be King, and that's a shame, consistency is just lost here, but since it really wasn't the end, it's not a lost cause and provides some truly fantastic tracks in it's runtime, if overall a tad too long, however, nobody could expect what was to come
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