Ginger Nuts of Horror
You know Iron Maiden. I know Iron Maiden. Let’s not waste any time waxing lyrical about how amazing they were and still are. Or gush over the fact they remain one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time. They came, they saw, they conquered – with a unique sound instantly recognisable by even the most fickle of fans. That was until of course, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
The seventh album from Iron Maiden (hey, how’s that for a coincidence with the title! Wait, I’m just been handed a note…oh…ohhh!) was a huge change of direction, veering away from the epitome of British Metal and into the cobweb-filled laboratory, Eddie laughing maniacally with his hand on the knife switch ready to send one billion volts directly into a concept album’s hopeless corpse...
This is a fun game to play. Believe me. I've tried it.
Go anywhere a large crowd would gather. The mall. A sporting event. High Mass. Take a deep breath and yell,
If anyone responds with a glorious war cry, you will know you have found your people.
It's a secret code. A mating call. The Masons don't have anything on Iron Maiden fans. Fuck your secret handshake. We've got screams.
"Scream for me, Long Beach." It's a sigil you can say. Made famous by Bruce Dickinson on Live After Death, arguably the best live album ever recorded, that phrase ranks right up there with "Is there no help for the widow's son?" for obscure, crazy pass-phrases.
Exciting, enthusiastic, this is a band revitalised. I can’t wait to see what they did next.
SUMMER OF MAIDEN, MAIDEN VOYAGE 2 : POWERSLAVE
I’m going to confess a few things right now: Iron Maiden are not my favourite band of all time.
That’s not to say I’m not a fan. There are a lot – a LOT – of genuinely great metal bands out there, but to further outrage and dismay you all, I’m more of a hair metal fan myself. I love the singles put out by bands like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Metallica, Megadeth etc, but my bands were more your Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Guns’n’Roses, Extreme, Poison types – lustrous locks, power ballads, mainstream anthems, and lots of references to an American childhood I never had, though the kid who got me into Bon Jovi in 1987 actually came from New Jersey, so I’d say that’s legit. These are the bands whose albums I bought; these are the bands I can sing along to, knowing all the words.
started out a gritty punkish street metal band...stepped a time or two over the N.W.O.B.H.M. line before grabbing the rulebook and tearing it in two.
When Powerslave was released I was fourteen. I had only the summer before begun showing an interest in heavy metal music, after growing up on 70's hard rock and old country and trucker music--all genres I still adore. But what began in early 1983, with a listen to Quiet Riot's "Metal Health" and Motley Crue's "Too fast For Love" was now a growing growling thing. So when my friend, Tommy, brought over this album and we sat one afternoon and listened to it, it changed the game. Metal no longer had to be the party on anthems of the denim and leather clad hooligans.It wasn't all shout along choruses to drinking, fighting and fucking. Iron Maiden were smart, and also had a keen sense of wit. Maiden lyrics were like a history lesson. And with repeated listens after I procured myself a copy on cassette for myself, my brain cracked open.