Iron Maiden The Final Frontier

Iron Maiden The Final Frontier
Four years after the resounding impact of their last effort, A Matter of Life and Death, British metal masters Iron Maiden issue their 15th studio album, The Final Frontier, their longest work to date. Clocking in at an easy 75-plus minutes over the course of ten tunes, these fogeys have plenty to say and all the time they want to say it in. Despite its lack of expedience, The Final Frontier manages to display the exact same technicality, dexterity, sense of pace and emotion we've come to demand from our beloved Maiden. Incredibly, while The Final Frontier displays impressive musicianship and inherent dynamics, there's still an intense aura of simplicity and personality to many of the songs. In the past, some of Maiden's more operatic pieces were so progressively vast that they became complicated and contrary to their working class atheistic. Alternately, much of their work from the early portion of this decade found them floundering in self-consciousness and confusion in finding comfort in their severe elder statesman status. Resigning themselves, the end result is not just a solid release, but one that's enticingly odd ("The Final Frontier"), bare-bones gripping ("El Dorado") and grandiosely feisty ("The Alchemist" and "Starblind"). Yes, some of it overstates its point and other songs fail to maintain our undivided attention, but if these fossils are still capable of producing a record of this calibre, here's hoping this isn't the final frontier at all. (EMI)