A LOT of people are always wedded to the classic albums bands produce. In Iron Maiden's case this could be Number of the Beast, the eponymous début, or even later works like Fear of the Dark.
It is, of course, difficult to separate that point when nostalgia can be dispassionately viewed, the great tracks can be isolated from the just plain good (Gangland? I mean it sounded good then, but how many of us air it now?).
Which, of course means we all have differing takes on new material from any act we loved some time ago. [I am discounting younger readers - too many of them talk about classic albums, but were not around, or even alive - when these albums were released, and thus have no perspective on their impact].
This all, in a rather meandering way, leads to Iron Maiden's latest offering, The Final Frontier.
I've been mulling this over for some time. It is a diverse, complicated and ultimately fantastic release. It would do a disservice to the album to try and dissect it here, rather I will throw the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons and say that The Final Frontier is their best album to date.
All the Maiden trademark sounds are present, but folded and wrapped by sophistication and accomplished arrangements.
But that is just the fantastic sounds of the album...I simply hate the cover...Eddie just isn't Eddie-ish enough :)
Will, at some stage succomb to the merchandise by buying lates Maiden t-shirts, but hope that they have a slightly better design than the cover.
Still - The Final Frontier shows the band themselves are still fresh, relevant, and most of all getting heavier as they get older!