IRON MAIDEN – 2019 Remasters
Pretty much everything that I have stated above also goes for "Somewhere in Time", which came out in 1986. Featuring guitar synthesizers and boasting one of the greatest album covers of all time, this is in my humble opinion Maiden’s crowning achievement and the very peak of their creativity. The record has always sounded remarkable and I cannot say that this newly remastered edition is a huge improvement on the original version, but there is a subtle hint of brightness to this one that suits it just perfectly, so yeah, the remastered version kicks ass too, and besides, you can never have too many different versions of this masterpiece in your collection. It is the epitome of musical greatness and it contains two of the most underrated compositions of all time, i.e. "Sea of Madness" and "Stranger in a Strange Land". If I could rate this 7 out of 6, I totally would, but alas, we will have to make do with 6 out of 6.
1988 saw the release of "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" and this one always makes me nostalgic and sentimental as it was one of my first albums by the band. It is arguably the most varied one in the discography, and it is a stunning album, but I must admit that "Can I Play With Madness?" has never done much for me and as such, it is neither as flawless nor perfect as certain other Maiden records, but that does not mean that it does not rule beyond belief, because it most certainly does. Thanks to the remastering, the record sounds brighter and more dynamic than ever before and this one is arguably one of the best in the entire series so far terms of audio quality. You cannot argue with masterpieces such as "Moonchild", "Infinite Dreams", "The Evil That Men Do", and the title track, so make sure you get a hold of this one. 5.5 out of 6.
1990 marked something of a departure for Iron Maiden in that guitar wizard Adrian Smith was replaced by former Gillan guitarist Janick Gers and the resulting album, "No Prayer for the Dying", is a rather funny one. For one thing, it marks a departure from all the epic and boundary-pushing records that came before and is way simpler in a sense. There are no daring musical experiments here as such, just straight-up heavy metal with wicked hooks to it. No, wait a minute, scratch that. What I meant to say was that "No Prayer for the Dying" harkens back to the first two albums by the band and has a simpler approach to the songwriting, so yeah, it was more of a no-frills rock ‘n’ roll record compared to "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", "Somewhere in Time", and "Powerslave", just to list a few examples. Admittedly, this is one of the albums that appeal to me the least and there are a number of daft songs on it, but I do think that it is unfairly maligned by fans and critics alike out there, and there are some really cool tunes to be found here. However, it kind of pales a bit in comparison to everything that came before and quite a few of the albums that succeeded it too. Not necessarily one for the history books then, but it has a peculiar charm and some endearing qualities to it, and the newly remastered version possesses clarity and bombast. 4 out of 6.