Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time

In 1985 Iron Maiden was on top of their game. They completed their World Slavery Tour, which was their longest tour, and they had 5 succesfull classic metal albums. How do you follow up something like Powerslave? Well, some say that this is the beginning of Maiden’s downfall, but do I agree?

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now, I really like this album, and it used to be my favorite, untill I bought the classic albums prior to this one ( Number Of The Beast, Piece Of Mind and Powerslave. ) I prefer each and every single one of them above this one. But why? Well, this album isn’t bad, as said earlier, but Maiden’s music started to change during this time. Somewhere in Time was the first Iron Maiden album to feature guitar synths, you hate them or you love them. Iron Maiden wasn’t the only band expirementing with guitar synths during this time, Judas Priest did the same with their Turbo album. But back to the synths, I like them, they build a cool atmosphere ( as in Sea Of Madness for example ) and they really add to the futuristic theme that the album cover has.

Another big change this time around, is that guitarist Adrian Smith wrote many of the songs on this album (including the singles “Wasted Years” and “Stranger in a Strange Land”). Smith and Harris provide most of the songs on this album, instead of Dickinson / Smith / Harris. Murray has co written one song, Déjà Vu. So Dickinson’s song material was refused in favour of the songs of Adrian Smith. Each of Smith’s songs are catchy and interesting, like for example Wasted Years. But, what about the songs? Well, the album opens up with the furious Caught Somewhere In Time. The song starts with guitar synths and builds up and up and up untill it explodes in a frenzy of riffs as Steve Harris gallops along on his bass. Dickinson’s voice is really outstanding, though it sounds a bit forced on the chorus. This song has some epic guitar dueling, and Smith really shines in this track, his solo ( the second solo ) is one of the best guitar solo’s ever, it’s a long solo and it’s plain amazing. Wasted Years is a upbeat rocker and is without a doubt one of the bands most commercial songs, and it’s a pretty good song as well. Wasted Years is a very melodic song and, it’s the only track of the entire album without synthesizers. Next we have Sea of Madness which starts off with a cool riff. This is once again a very catchy song, especially during the chorus. The band slows down around 3:00 and it’s a cool little interlude. Harris deserves to be mentioned as well, his bass playing is really solid on this track.

Heaven Can Wait is a upbeat track which starts with a cool bass intro and after that the band kicks off. This song has another instantly accessible chorus which is yet again very catchy ( Heaven can waaaa-aaaait ). This is a very catchy and melodic track, but it has some nice riffs and guitar solos as well. Not to mention Harris’ galloping and Dickinson’s fine vocals. We get a slower section at around 3:00 with some groovy bass playing followed by the famous ‘oh-oh-oh’ sing a long part. We get some sweet guitar solos after the ‘oh-oh-oh’ part and the song continues with another verse and we hear the chorus for the final time. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner has an excellent build-up with fantastic guitar playing by Smith and Murray. The song kicks off after about a minute and Bruce belts out the first verse as the song gets quicker. This song really sounds like a race, which was obviously their intention. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner has some sweet melodic sections and the solos once again rule supreme and take this song to a higher level.

The sixth song, Stranger in a Strange Land, is a slower song, which is welcome after the frantic song prior to this. Stranger in a Strange Land is another song written by Smith and the second single of the album. This song is, like Wasted Years, very melodic, and pretty commercial. Harris starts this song with a groovy bass line and some guitar synths follow together with the rest of the band. Dickinson delivers a outstanding vocal performance and the chorus is, dare I say it, catchy. After a cool harmony section Smith plays a godly solo, starting very slow, but speeding up very quickly. Smith’s guitar solo is the highlight of this track, and is one of Smith’s best. Déjà Vu is the earlier mentioned track on which Murray contributed. This song is one of the less popular Maiden tracks, and I can’t say that I disagree. Murray starts the song with a harmonic guitar solo and the song goes into overdrive afterwards. This is a real up-tempo track, and it has some insane guitar sections. It’s good, but not as good or memorable as the other tracks on this album.

My son, ask for thyself another
Kingdom for that which I leave
Is too small for thee
(King Philip of Macedonia – 339 b.c.)

This spoken part opens the final song, Alexander The Great. It is another Harris epic and it’s pretty damn epic ( lame I know ). It isn’t as epic as Hallowed Be Thy Name, but it comes pretty damn close. This song is about, as to be expected, Alexander The Great. It features long instrumental sections and a bunch of guitar synths here and there. The lyrics are pretty cool containing historical detail as well. This song ends the album with the following lyrics: He died of fever in Babylon. This marks the end of the song, and the entire album.

Conclusion – This is a pretty solid Maiden record. As said before, I prefer Powerslave, Piece Of Mind and The Number Of The Beast above Somewhere In Time. But why? Well, I really like the meldodic sections and the fantastic guitar solos, but I miss some of the power which was found on previous albums. Overall, a good Maiden album, but not a classic. Their next classic would be the follow up to this album, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son ( though Bluto disagrees, just read his review on this site to find out why ).

Rating – 85/100

Review by JustinMetal88

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~ by Justin on April 27, 2008.

4 Responses to “Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time”

  1. Thats a fair rating. Caught Somewhere in Time and Sea of Madness are two of the heaviest songs on this album, and pack such a freaking punch man! Wasted ears and a Stranger in a strange land are a litte bit of a departure but the still kick a lot of ass. I think this is Maiden’s last great record of the 80s, and even though Ive had t for ten years I never get bored of it. Solid , sing a long tunes. I can’t wat until I see maidenon their current tour and everyone sings the chorus to Heaven Can Wait.

    Solid review.

  2. Deja vu isent “less active” its kinda of a heaven can wait continueing song, like charlotte the harlotte-22 acacia avenue.

  3. Although I think your review is pretty good, I disagree when you wrote that Deja Vu isn’t “as good or memorable as the other tracks on this album”. In my opinion, followed by The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, this is the best song of the album. Murray is an amazing composer. If you have already listened to the song “Brave New World” and “Rainmaker” you know what I’m talking about.

  4. UP THE IRONS 4ROM THE US

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