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Classic Review: Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
Iron Maiden
www.ironmaiden.com
Piece of Mind

Label: Sony
Year released: 1983
Duration: 46:03
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: December 30, 2002
Reviewed by: Iwarrior
Readers Rating
for:
Piece of Mind

Rated 4.59/5 (91.84%) (98 Votes)
Review


The first time I heard this record,I was about 13. It had already been out for about 4 years,and in that time it had been widely regarded as a classic. Once I heard the brief drum solo that opens lead track Where Eagles Dare, it was easy to hear why. There was something so fierce about Piece Of Mind. Perhaps it was the production of Martin Birch, or the primal screams of Bruce Dickinson. Maybe it was nine-round axe duel between Adrian Smith and Dave Murray or the masterful rhythm section of Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain. I think it was all of those, but most importantly, it was the songwriting that made this album the highlight of metal's most creatively stellar year,1983.

Listen to the aural acrobatics of the aforementioned Where Eagles Dare which features one of the best examples of daring riffery and acrobatic melody the metal genre has to offer. Even the album's weakest track, Quest For Fire, thrusts, dodges, lunges, and parries with proud cunning. Every composition on Piece Of Mind broke ground, and the album as a whole could not have been written by any other band. Piece of Mind is one of those records that always seemed to be not unlike an anthology of self-contained, yet vaguely related stories. When reading the acknowledgements, it comes as no surprise that the band thanks Alistair MacLean and Frank Herbert for the inspiration that their novels brought to their work. My young mind was engrossed in the richly British escapism of the lyrics and still is to this day. Where Eagles Dare sent us on a mission to infiltrate a castle in the Austrian Alps. The intricate dirge Revelations told a tale of Biblical intrigue. Flight Of Icarus brought the myth of one who tempts fate with man-made wings to a whole new generation. Die With Your Boots On gave us a warnings from Nostradamus. The Trooper, with its rousing, galloping twin-lead riff, put us right onto a battlefield during the Crimean war. Still Life told us a ghost story. Quest For Fire took us back to prehistoric times. Sun And Steel took us into the mind of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, and finale To Tame A Land thrust us into the futuristic world of Frank Herbert's desert world Arrakis. Never before or since has a album taken me to so many fantastic realms in such a short period of time. This, combined with everything else I have written, is what makes Piece Of Mind the definitive Maiden experience. All in all it remains a swashbuckling thriller of sound and fury that has withstood the onslaught of Father Time long enough to become my favorite album ever.


Track Listing:
  1. Where Eagles Dare
  2. Revelations
  3. Flight of Icarus
  4. Die With Your Boots On
  5. The Trooper
  6. Still Life
  7. Quest for Fire
  8. Sun and Steel
  9. To Tame a Land
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