Janick Gers

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Review

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Review

On October 5th, 1930 while flying over France on its maiden voyage, the airship R101 crashed, killing 48 of the 54 people on board. The ship was the jewel of the British empire and had been built with increased lifting capacity, and was (at the time) the world’s largest flying vessel. Much like the Titanic, the R101 is a story of hubris—particularly as told by Dickinson on the track “Empire of the Clouds,” The Book of Souls‘ 18-minute closer. The R101 never was put through its paces, having not done full endurance and speed trials, before it undertook its maiden voyage for India, and on that voyage it tragically crashed. As a closer, “The Empire of the Clouds” is an epic which pushes Iron Maiden into territory never before explored. As an analogy for The Book of Souls, it strikes a little too close to home.

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier Review

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier Review

Iron Maiden is the greatest heavy metal band to ever live. Thirty years after the release of their self-titled album, they are arguably just as relevant as they ever have been, not resting on their laurels and imitating a hits jukebox, but instead touring the world playing their new material to the joy of fans everywhere. After what was a rousing success with their most recent record, the 2006 release of A Matter of Life and Death, there is actually maybe a bit more pressure on the band to produce something that is quality, memorable and, frankly, classic. Especially with the rumors floating around that this is Maiden’s final album, spurred even further on by the fact that Steve Harris helped write every song on the record, the pressure cooker of fan scrutiny is reaching fever pitch. And so it falls to this Angry Metal Guy to try to put all of this into some sort of context; to try to listen to my favorite band with fresh ears, and I’ve come to some realizations about the band in the process.

Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day – Lawrence Paterson (Book Review)

Blaze Bayley: At the End of the Day – Lawrence Paterson (Book Review)

A few of you might have noticed that I have taken to reporting a lot on Blaze Bayley (the man and the band), and this is partially due to the fact that I have long been a fan of his solo stuff (and his tenure in Iron Maiden). As I’ve stated before, I think that X Factor is a classic album and I will continue to defend that to this day (though, I will definitely also point out that it is poorly produced, as was Virtual XI, which in my book was also poorly conceived). In any case, I, like others who gravitated to the Blaze-era Iron Maiden, continued to follow him afterwords and were happily surprised by the quality of the material that his newly formed band BLAZE had produced. Since then, I have paid attention, with a heavy heart often times, to an ongoing saga of an excellent underground band getting ignored, fucked repeatedly by labels, management and finally crumbling under the weight of outside and inside pressures. For me, the collapse of BLAZE and the rise of Blaze’s current self-titled incarnation was shrouded in mystery as I was just a fan witnessing it from the outside, but much of what I did not know is now available in a book written by current Blaze Bayley drummer Lawrence Paterson entitled At the End of the Day (and conveniently available for Christmas!).