IRON MAIDEN

(UNITED KINGDOM)

BRAVE NEW WORLD

(2000)
LABEL:

EMI

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
Epic, High-pitched vocals
"Mixing the best of its different eras and sealing Bruce Dickinson's return to Iron Maiden, "Brave New World" is an album worthy of the band's heyday."
NOISE (11.02.2008)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (4)
The "Virtual XI" tour ended in Argentina in a very heavy atmosphere. Despite his undeniable efforts, Blaze Bayley didn't really convince and on stage he alternated between the good and the not so good. As for Bruce Dickinson, he's not doing much better. His solo albums, excellent though they were, didn't sell, and the singer was confined to small venues or even opening acts, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band's long-time manager, Rod Smalwood, then decided to organize a reunion, announced in February 1999 - barely two months after the last concert with Blaze - which formalized Bruce Dickinson's return to Iron Maiden and, more surprisingly, that of Adrian Smith, who had left the band 10 years earlier. The album was released on May 30, 2000, bringing to an end a long wait interspersed with a highly effective promotional campaign and numerous articles in the specialist press. 

"Brave New World" begins with a typical album opener, 'The Wicker Man', in the tradition of 'Aces High' and 'Man On The Edge'. Inspired by the 1973 Christopher Lee film of the same name, the track is fast-paced and features a superb solo from Adrian Smith.

Ghost Of The Navigator' is the album's first highlight, reminiscent of the atmospheric "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". Evoking a maritime epic, it begins with an acoustic intro before picking up steam and offering an instrumental part that makes the track almost progressive.

If 'Brave New World' is more classic, made for the stage with a chorus that's easy to sing along to, 'Blood Brothers' is one of the album's masterpieces. Steve Harris once again proves the extent of his songwriting talent with this mid-tempo track that evokes the father/son relationship and offers a view of the state of the world at this time. The music perfectly conveys the gravity of the lyrics, and the strong Celtic influences reinforce the nostalgic feel of the track, which features a splendid chorus.

After 'The Mercenary', a typical Iron Maiden track, neither good nor bad, which serves as a recreation, comes 'Dream Of Mirrors', the second masterpiece of this "Brave New World", written in part by Janick Gers. This track, about premonitory dreams, begins on an acoustic guitar accompanied by Dickinson's voice, then slowly evolves and becomes more frenzied as it goes along. Nicko McBrain's performance is noteworthy, and the track boasts one of the best refrains Steve Harris has ever written.

Finally, Iron Maiden delivers his third masterstroke with 'The Nomad', a song that has rarely been heard on stage. The song is about desert warrior tribes and evokes Lawrence of Arabia. It's a very long, atmospheric track, reminiscent of 'To Tame A Land', with slightly Arabian ambiences and keyboards present throughout.

The last two tracks may pass unnoticed, but they're well worth a listen. Firstly, 'Out Of The Silent Planet', which has only one flaw: it's slightly too long. Yet it's a very good mid-tempo song, with a nice acceleration in the middle, which will be released in a shorter format as the album's second single. Then there's 'The Thin Line Between Love And Hate', which brings "Brave New World" to a close in a very fine way, with its sometimes more hard-rocking aspects and gentle ending.

A winning return for Iron Maiden with "Brave New World", an album worthy of the great era, with flawless production. Iron Maiden blends the best of his different eras, proving that he is a force to be reckoned with in the early 2000s. An excellent tour followed, with some memorable moments, Bercy of course and the Rock in Rio show in front of 250,000 wild Brazilians. The album will be released on DVD.
- Official website

Did you know?

"Brave New World" was recorded at Guillaume Tell Studios in Paris, France, and was co-produced by Kevin Shirley, who worked with the band on several of their later albums.

The album title, "Brave New World", is a reference to the dystopian novel of the same name by British writer Aldous Huxley, published in 1932.

TRACK LISTING:
01. The Wicker Man - 4:36
02. Ghost Of The Navigator - 6:50
03. Brave New World - 6:19
04. Blood Brothers - 7:14
05. The Mercenary - 4:43
06. Dream Of Mirrors - 9:21
07. The Fallen Angel - 4:01
08. The Nomad - 9:06
09. Out Of The Silent Planet - 6:25
10. The Thin Line Between Love & Hate - 8:27

LINEUP:
Adrian Smith: Guitares
Bruce Dickinson: Chant
Dave Murray: Guitares
Janick Gers: Guitares
Nicko McBrain: Batterie
Steve Harris: Basse
   
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