Author Topic: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls  (Read 584271 times)

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Offline nobloodyname

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10290 on: March 06, 2024, 12:05:08 AM »
Gave this a listen in the work van the last couple days, since I've been driving to a job much farther out that our normal jobsite radius. Just discovered I tagged all the songs wrong because I was reading the song titles on the back left to right by row first, and not by column first, so all the song titles were messed up.

That would have been great in the mundane stories thread :lol

(Also the sort of the thing I'd do... I feel your pain!)
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Offline DoctorAction

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10291 on: March 06, 2024, 09:19:54 AM »
I think the album is patchier than I was hoping, multiple more listens in. It's ok, though. I've made an edited playlist that is a fun 24 minutes. Basically removed everything from Eternity onwards with the exception of Mistress Of Mercy.

I'm not dissing it but quibbles:

The production and mix isn't great. You can hear there are some cool sound choices etc but it doesn't come over as well as it should somehow. Bruce's voice is often too loud and the drums sound very sterile.

The decision to include Eternity was a strange one, imo. We all know and love it from TBOS, but this is just a slightly different/inferior version.

Bruce sounds mighty throughout. Can't wait to see him soon.



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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10292 on: March 06, 2024, 09:26:09 AM »
The decision to include Eternity was a strange one, imo. We all know and love it from TBOS, but this is just a slightly different/inferior version.

I wonder if opinions would change if Bruce's version came out first.  i'm not sure which I like better, but TBOS just sounds better to me.  Something with TMP sound is just off to my ears with the production.  I think it makes it harder to listen to for me, even if I think the songs are good.  I do love the keys though, for some reason, those sound good to me. 

Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10293 on: March 06, 2024, 05:22:13 PM »
So, I've had another two listens of this album pretty intensely.  The album is totally fine.  A lot of the inital thoughts I had still stand but I'd say it's a pretty good, enjoyable record.  Still not sold on Resurrection Man, but it's growing.  Also still don't like Face in the Mirror and I really can't get into Sonata.  I think that's a major flop if I'm being honest.  Everything else is pretty enjoyable.

Mistress is funny to me.  Has the Freak riff but then has strong Skunkwork melodies over the top.
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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10294 on: March 07, 2024, 01:33:20 AM »
Mistress is sort of a Skunkworks / Accident crossover. It reminds me of both Headswitch and Freak. That's one of the songs that would truly benefit from a better production, though.

Offline nobloodyname

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10295 on: March 07, 2024, 01:39:49 AM »
Outside of a couple of songs, I never thought Accident of Birth was as good as most think. I find Accident of Birth and Darkside of Aquarious head and shoulders above the rest, the latter being one of my favourite tunes, possibly ever. I think the new album is a bit better from start to finish than Accident of Birth, but not quite as good as Tyranny. I still think Chemical Wedding is the pinnacle of his output.

I don't think anything comes close to the majesty of the live version of Tears of a Dragon, though. One of my favourites solos ever, anywhere.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10296 on: March 07, 2024, 02:19:48 AM »
Accident of Birth is awesome. The only songs I wouldn't call a masterpiece are Freak, Welcome to the Pit and Magician and they're all quite good anyway.
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Offline WardySI

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10297 on: March 07, 2024, 02:23:31 AM »
Accident of Birth is awesome. The only songs I wouldn't call a masterpiece are Freak, Welcome to the Pit and Magician and they're all quite good anyway.

Damn!  I love the old-school up and go of Magician.  Was a standout on first spin back in 97 and still remains an album fave now.

For me it's something like...

1. Darkside Of Aquarius
2. Road To Hell
3. Magician
4. Acc Of Birth
5. Arc Of Space

\m/

Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10298 on: March 07, 2024, 04:24:30 AM »
Outside of a couple of songs, I never thought Accident of Birth was as good as most think. I find Accident of Birth and Darkside of Aquarious head and shoulders above the rest, the latter being one of my favourite tunes, possibly ever. I think the new album is a bit better from start to finish than Accident of Birth, but not quite as good as Tyranny. I still think Chemical Wedding is the pinnacle of his output.

I don't think anything comes close to the majesty of the live version of Tears of a Dragon, though. One of my favourites solos ever, anywhere.

Which live version mate?
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Offline Dream Team

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10299 on: March 07, 2024, 06:36:00 AM »
I bought The Mandrake Project. The CD is sitting on my kitchen table, not opened yet. I'll get to it tomorrow. I've listened twice on Spotify. I like it. It's not Accident of Birth (which for me, his his solo high point), but it's a solid listen.

A buddy of mine, Richie, from the Focus on Metal podcast, mentioned on FB the other day that Roy Z is absolutely underappreciated for what he's done for the solo careers of both Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. I couldn't agree more.

I was thinking of this yesterday. Without Roy Z it's possible Dickinson never goes back to full-on metal mode and the reunion never happens. So far all those who can't get enough of Blaze, all those reunion albums you love wouldn't have happened if Blaze was still in the band. I bring this up because I think there is a large crossover between the Blaze fans and the reunion era fans. The reunion era sound had its germination in 1995.

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10300 on: March 07, 2024, 07:02:52 AM »
Outside of a couple of songs, I never thought Accident of Birth was as good as most think. I find Accident of Birth and Darkside of Aquarious head and shoulders above the rest, the latter being one of my favourite tunes, possibly ever. I think the new album is a bit better from start to finish than Accident of Birth, but not quite as good as Tyranny. I still think Chemical Wedding is the pinnacle of his output.

I don't think anything comes close to the majesty of the live version of Tears of a Dragon, though. One of my favourites solos ever, anywhere.

I suppose I should go back to revisit, but I don't have AoB or CW "head and shoulders" (my words) above the rest either.  And I have two live versions of TotD, one from the "Scream For Me Brazil" set, and one from a live Skunkworks show, both on his "Anthology" DVD.

Offline Grappler

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10301 on: March 07, 2024, 08:59:46 AM »
I bought The Mandrake Project. The CD is sitting on my kitchen table, not opened yet. I'll get to it tomorrow. I've listened twice on Spotify. I like it. It's not Accident of Birth (which for me, his his solo high point), but it's a solid listen.

A buddy of mine, Richie, from the Focus on Metal podcast, mentioned on FB the other day that Roy Z is absolutely underappreciated for what he's done for the solo careers of both Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. I couldn't agree more.

I was thinking of this yesterday. Without Roy Z it's possible Dickinson never goes back to full-on metal mode and the reunion never happens. So far all those who can't get enough of Blaze, all those reunion albums you love wouldn't have happened if Blaze was still in the band. I bring this up because I think there is a large crossover between the Blaze fans and the reunion era fans. The reunion era sound had its germination in 1995.

I saw a comment online last week about Blaze - HE RUINED THE BAND!  The old-school, 80's Iron Maiden fans that love Number of the Beast because it came out when they were in high school will never accept Blaze.  A lot of fans turned around and embraced those two albums for what they are, but there will also be detractors as well  Less and less as the years go on, but still there in the background. 

Offline nobloodyname

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10302 on: March 07, 2024, 09:45:21 AM »
Outside of a couple of songs, I never thought Accident of Birth was as good as most think. I find Accident of Birth and Darkside of Aquarious head and shoulders above the rest, the latter being one of my favourite tunes, possibly ever. I think the new album is a bit better from start to finish than Accident of Birth, but not quite as good as Tyranny. I still think Chemical Wedding is the pinnacle of his output.

I don't think anything comes close to the majesty of the live version of Tears of a Dragon, though. One of my favourites solos ever, anywhere.

Which live version mate?

Sorry mate... just checked and I got the Scream for me Brazil solo mixed up with the recorded version. But the recorded version is still one of my favourite solos ever, anywhere :biggrin:
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Offline fibreoptix

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10303 on: March 07, 2024, 12:09:23 PM »
So, how about an early days ranking?

After a fair few listens over the last week, I think at the moment I'm feeling something like this:

1. Shadow of the Gods
2. Many Doors to Hell
3. Fingers in the Wounds
4. Eternity Has Failed
5. Rain on the Graves
6. Resurrection Men
7. Afterglow of Ragnarok
8. Sonata
9. Face in the Mirror
10. Mistress of Mercy

Offline TAC

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10304 on: March 07, 2024, 01:09:06 PM »
Dream Team..love you man, but....


I was thinking of this yesterday. Without Roy Z it's possible Dickinson never goes back to full-on metal mode and the reunion never happens.

Yikes, that's lathering it on Roy Z pretty thick, no?
When and how did Roy Z get Bruce back into full on metal mode? I mean, is this something that Bruce has mentioned?

I don't think it had anything to do with the Reunion, honestly. Bruce was sick of playing clubs...he has said that, and it didn't work out with Blaze. Bruce and Steve reuniting was a business decision. Turns out, they needed each other.

Sure, Roy Z proved to be an admirable partner for Bruce through much of his solo career, but let's not overstate things.


So far all those who can't get enough of Blaze, all those reunion albums you love wouldn't have happened if Blaze was still in the band.

Who are these people? I have never seen one instance of someone wishing Blaze was still in Iron Maiden.


The reunion era sound had its germination in 1995.

Sure. I won't dispute that.


would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Zantera

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10305 on: March 07, 2024, 01:12:42 PM »
If other people started lukewarm on the album and are warming up to it, I would say my curve is somewhat the opposite and 5 listens in I feel like it's hit a ceiling (for now at least) where I'm still enjoying it but maybe at a 7/10 (or 7.5/10) level. For me the standouts I enjoy the most are Mistress of Mercy, Fingers in the Wounds and Face in the Mirror. The latter 2 have a different vibe compared to most of the album and Mistress of Mercy has a great riff and a catchy chorus. Most of the album is good though, it's just missing more standout tracks for me to rate it higher.

Offline WardySI

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10306 on: March 07, 2024, 03:14:43 PM »
I was thinking of this yesterday. Without Roy Z it's possible Dickinson never goes back to full-on metal mode and the reunion never happens. So far all those who can't get enough of Blaze, all those reunion albums you love wouldn't have happened if Blaze was still in the band. I bring this up because I think there is a large crossover between the Blaze fans and the reunion era fans. The reunion era sound had its germination in 1995.

Well I guess that would include me then.  Love those Blaze records and and enjoyed almost everything he's done since.

But certainly wouldn't want to have changed anything.  The reunion with Bruce and Adrian was one of the best things for metal at that time and a  couple of those reunion albums are well up there too. 

For curiosity might have been interesting to have had another Blaze fronted IM album but personally wouldn't have wanted it any other way?

Offline Mosh

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10307 on: March 07, 2024, 03:45:36 PM »
Blaze has said in interviews that his third album with the band would have been where that lineup hit its stride, but I never bought that. Maiden minus Bruce had some real problems, mainly nobody to challenge Steve or play off his ideas the way Bruce does/did. The album would have been made in Steve's barn and there would still be no producer. We know what songs would be included to some degree - some version of Blood Brothers, Dream of Mirrors, The Thin Line Between Love and Hate, The Nomad, The Mercenary, probably some songs that ended up on Silicon Messiah like Stare at the Sun. But Silicon Messiah worked because the songs were written to fit Blaze's vocals and it was given a really modern Metal production. Brave New World worked because it had a producer and it was a much more collaborative effort than what we got on Virtual XI. Those first three songs alone each have Bruce, Steve, and one guitar player in the writing credits. Just a lot more variety in the songwriting that makes the album a lot more vast than what Maiden were doing without Bruce and Adrian.

Funnily enough, Senjutsu was kinda eye opening in showing that Steve's writing style hasn't changed that much in 25+ years. It's the most Steve album since Virtual (several songs are credited to him alone as opposed to only one solo Harris composition per reunion album previously). Lost In a Lost World in particular sounds like it came straight out of the X Factor sessions and you can easily imagine Blaze tackling the low vocal melodies. I really enjoy the album, but recently it seems like Bruce only wants to write with Adrian and I hear a pretty stark contrast between the songs they wrote together and the rest of the album.
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Offline DoctorAction

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10308 on: March 07, 2024, 04:01:31 PM »
What you say there is really interesting. I'd love to hear from the band about their creative process. Maiden is quite tight-lipped about their interpersonal and creative dynamics. Maybe that's a good thing. Mystique is probably more important than I care to admit.
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Offline Glasser

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10309 on: March 07, 2024, 08:06:17 PM »
So, I've had another two listens of this album pretty intensely.  The album is totally fine.  A lot of the inital thoughts I had still stand but I'd say it's a pretty good, enjoyable record.  Still not sold on Resurrection Man, but it's growing.  Also still don't like Face in the Mirror and I really can't get into Sonata.  I think that's a major flop if I'm being honest.  Everything else is pretty enjoyable.

Mistress is funny to me.  Has the Freak riff but then has strong Skunkwork melodies over the top.

This one is growing on me a lot. Resurrection Man has that cool riff in the middle,  a quick breakdown.

Offline WardySI

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10310 on: March 07, 2024, 10:19:41 PM »
So, how about an early days ranking?

After a fair few listens over the last week, I think at the moment I'm feeling something like this:

1. Shadow of the Gods
2. Many Doors to Hell
3. Fingers in the Wounds
4. Eternity Has Failed
5. Rain on the Graves
6. Resurrection Men
7. Afterglow of Ragnarok
8. Sonata
9. Face in the Mirror
10. Mistress of Mercy

1. Shadow of the Gods
2. Many Doors to Hell
3. Mistress of Mercy
4. Fingers in the Wounds
5. Resurrection Men
6. Afterglow of Ragnarok
7. Rain on the Graves
8. Sonata
9.Eternity Has Failed
10. Face in the Mirror

Offline Mladen

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10311 on: March 08, 2024, 01:50:34 AM »
I'll give it a shot:

1. Many doors to hell
2. Shadow of the Gods
3. Rain on the graves
4. Eternity has failed
5. Sonata
6. Mistress of mercy
7. Afterglow of Ragnarok
8. Fingers in the wounds
9. Face in the mirror
10. Resurrection men

I'm enjoying the album quite a bit, and it's no wonder it's so good if Roy Z and Bruce spent 20 years singling out the best bits.  :lol Interestingly enough, both the direct, catchy hard rock tunes are as well done as the more complex tracks. I'm not too thrilled about the sound, some of the songs like Mistress would profit from a better production. But still, a good release I'd put right behind Chemical wedding, Accident and Skunkworks.

Also, Bruce sounds truly impressive for a 65 year old.  :metal
« Last Edit: March 08, 2024, 03:41:42 AM by Mladen »

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10312 on: March 08, 2024, 04:00:25 AM »
It's hard for me to do a proper ranking, I'll go by categories:

- Absolute favorite: Shadow of the Gods
- Love them and would pick them for the live show: Afterglow of Ragnarok, Many Doors to Hell, Face In the Mirror, Resurrection Men
- Not OMG OMG OMG about it, but still I like them just fine: Rain on the Graves, Fingers in the Wounds, Mistress of Mercy, Sonata (Immortal Beloved)
- Can't really rate it 'cause I knew the Maiden version of the song for almost 9 years and now I find the same song but somehow different: Eternity Has Failed
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Offline Samsara

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10313 on: March 08, 2024, 11:42:35 AM »
After my initial excitement, I've cooled significantly on Bruce's latest. I'll keep it in rotation for a time, but not as blown away as I thought I'd be.
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Offline TAC

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would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline nobloodyname

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10315 on: March 11, 2024, 01:13:42 AM »
This is rather cool, thank you for sharing!

Loved those two guitar solos in Aces High!
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Offline nobloodyname

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10316 on: March 11, 2024, 01:21:27 AM »
Wow. This version of Run to the Hills is almost euphoric :metal

Enjoyed every second of that performance. Excellent interpretations of all three songs.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2024, 01:29:22 AM by nobloodyname »
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Offline MinistroRaven

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10317 on: March 11, 2024, 02:29:40 PM »

Offline DTwwbwMP

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10318 on: March 11, 2024, 02:54:18 PM »
^ While there's NO WAY I'd give TMP an 8 rating (I'd give a 6.5/7), that was an awesome review!

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10319 on: March 11, 2024, 03:01:45 PM »
^ While there's NO WAY I'd give TMP an 8 rating (I'd give a 6.5/7), that was an awesome review!

Yeah, nicely written Stadler.  I also agree, the album is a 7 to me.

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10320 on: March 11, 2024, 03:17:01 PM »
I couldn't really go into it in the review, because it's not about me, per se, but I know that when I hear the songs separately, I think "wow this is pretty good!"   When I hear them one after another and I'm inevitably thinking "so, how does this fit with that song?" it loses a lot of luster.  But, Mistress of Mercy and Resurrection Men are, I think, pretty fucking good songs.  I like them.  I don't know what the hell they mean in the big picture, but still!! 

Online Zydar

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10321 on: March 12, 2024, 07:52:35 AM »
Happy birthday to Steve Harris, who turns 68 years old today :birch:
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10322 on: March 12, 2024, 09:12:02 AM »
So West Ham Steve and our King share the same birthday.

It makes perfect sense.

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10323 on: March 12, 2024, 01:32:49 PM »
Happy birthday to one of the most important musicians in the history of heavy metal  :metal
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10324 on: March 12, 2024, 02:17:53 PM »
Happy birthday to Steve Harris, who turns 68 years old today :birch:

WoW!!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol