- Audio CD (March 26 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Enhanced
- Label: Toshiba EMI
- ASIN: B000063DGM
- Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
I'm saying this is their worst album because overall it has the smallest amount of good songs (not to mention only 8 of them, slightly over half the length of the X-Factor).
Note that I am NOT a Blaze Bayley hater at all. In fact I think the X-Factor was Maiden's finest moment since 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'
Here's a Quick Take on the Songs..
Futureal: 9/10 It's a good opener, but its NOTHING compared to the opening masterpiece that would arise on 'Brave New World'
The Angel and the Gambler: 8/10 it's a good song... but its freakin 5 minutes of the same chorus. And it's not that good a chorus!
Lightning Strikes Twice: 8/10 Musically very good, but the chorus isn't and once again it's repeated too much at the end.
The Clansman: 10/10 As everyone will tell you, this song kicks ass. And indeed, it does, kick ass.
When Two Worlds Collide: 9/10 Same sentiment as 'Lightning Strikes Twice', but the chorus is better.
The Educated Fool: 8.5/10 A decent song. The solo is really nice.
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger: 8/10 Decent, but TOO LONG.
Como Estais Amigos: 9.5/10 Outstanding ballad with a great instrumental section. A real surprise.
So, as you can see the album is only 8 tracks long. Which is fine. Many great albums have only 8 tracks or fewer. But the fact is that I'd trade the 8 tracks from 'The Number of the Beast' 'Powerslave' and 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' over Virtual XI any day. Any Iron Maiden fan would.
So if you like Iron Maiden, you should pick this up.
If not, check out the pages on 'Powerslave' and 'The Number of the Beast' first...
Unfairly low rated, but really a Masterpiece !
Do a favor for you're self and buy the Virtual XI and X Factor
Some of the greatest Maiden albums.
Futureal - This opening track is not bad at all. A good, solid rocker. I think it opens the album well.
The Angel and the Gambler - The hit off of this album, but unfortunately, it isn't that great at all. Not really Blaze's fault, but the chorus is weak.
Lightning Strikes Twice - The best track on the album. This one's a midtempo rocker/"gloom and doom" ballad hybrid. It's pretty good and Murray's blistering solo is brilliant.
The Clansman - The big epic of the album. I have absolutely no complaints with this song and Blaze's vocals are excellent.
When Two Worlds Collide - This song is just bizarre to me. After hearing the previous two tracks, Blaze just doesn't sound good here at all. I wonder if perhaps this was last minute?
Educated Fool - Ugh, the weakest song on the album. Kind of has a galloping structure, but doesn't quite come off well.
Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger - Not bad, but Blaze's vocals kind of derail this one. He's certainly not a bad vocalist, but he sings this one rather lowkey. You have to wonder if Steve Harris wrote this one with Bruce in mind.
Como Estais Amigo - The ballad of the album. The instrumentation is quite good and Blaze's vocals are good, but this one has some poor lyrics in my opinion.
The problem with this is not Blaze's fault. Virtual XI maintains the sound of Maiden (which X Factor didn't), but X Factor seemed tailor made to fit Blaze's singing style. Had Bruce sung this one and some of the songs been tweaked a little, this COULD HAVE been one of the best Maiden albums ever.Read more ›