Today we commemorate the final passing of Iron Maiden, some thirty years on from them being so cruelly taken from us by whatever it was they morphed into thereafter. I know that quality was waning on the previous release, but the fact is that No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark where both important albums for me as a youth, being the first two new albums from a band I had discovered via someone else's vinyl collection to date back in 1989 that I could go out and buy and discover at the same time as everyone else.
1992's opus was patchy to say the least. Opening track Be Quick or Be Dead set the bar low in all honesty and the anthemic From Here to Eternity lacked the same deftness to become a real Maiden banger as a Run to the Hills or Can I Play With Madness had achieved over the years. Things sounded a bit boring and upon reflection it is clear to see that this was the death knell for Dickinson and his first tenure with the band. He was critical of the studio (which Harris built in his own barn) and admitted that he felt the studio had limitations even though the overall sound was better than on the previous outing.
As the album draws on, the filler starts to become glaringly obvious and the end result was an album that sounded like a band just going through the motions. Despite there being glimmers of the trademark sound and style lavished sparingly throughout the twelve tracks, I only find the title track and the opening two tracks to be of note. Although memorable (probably because 16 year old me would play the album to death), the rest of the album falls far short of Maiden at their best.