Metal Mofos’ Isaac Sauers gives us a holiday treat as he counts down 25 days till Christmas with 25 of his favorite must own metal and hard rock albums. Join us daily through December 25th to read the latest entry.
Iron Maiden released their 5th album Powerslave on September 3rd 1984, and it just happens to be my favorite. Most people will tell you Number of the Beast is Iron Maiden’s best album, or the real old school fans will tell you their first two albums with Paul Di’Anno on vocals are their best albums. For me the best Iron Maiden album is Powerslave, and I’ll highlight a few of my favorite songs here.
“Aces High” is just a perfect way to start an album or a concert as Iron Maiden often does. How cool is that opening riff? It’s also a cool song lyrically as it deals with the Battle of Britain air raids during World War II. This song is simply a must know for any fan of heavy metal.
“Two Minutes to Midnight” is another Maiden classic. The song is about needing to get to bed because it is 11:58 PM! Not really. The song deals with impending war during the Cold War era and the so called Doomsday Clock where nuclear holocaust would come when the clock strikes 12:00. At one point the clock reached 11:58 PM when the USA and USSR both created Hydrogen Bombs. It is a must to sing along to the chorus of this song whenever it is played.
“Flash of the Blade” is another song with a great opening guitar riff. The chorus has a really great vocal melody performed by Bruce Dickinson. The lyrics are about a sword fight which vocalist Bruce Dickinson knows all about as he is a master at the sport of fencing among his other skills such as flying airplanes. The dueling guitars of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray are great in this song.
The title track, “Powerslave”, is one of my all time favorite Iron Maiden songs. I feel people don’t talk about this song as much as they should. It’s got that really cool Egyptian sounding guitar riff after the Bruce sings the lines to the verses. The lyrics reference Egyptian mythology.
The closing track, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, is a 13+ minute epic just filled with great riffs throughout the song. Some people don’t like long songs, but I don’t mind one really long one once in awhile and Iron Maiden are masters of them.
This album also has my favorite album artwork from Iron Maiden. I’ve always had a fascination with the ancient world so seeing Egyptian references is cool for me as I’m sure it is for some of you as well. Although it may not be everyone’s favorite from Iron Maiden, Powerslave is an album we can all certainly bang our heads and pump our fists to.
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