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Virtual XI [Enhanced]

Iron Maiden Audio CD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 53.61
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4.0 out of 5 stars Make no mistake... this is their worst album March 12 2004
Format:Audio CD
And what a statement that is. Iron Maiden's worst studio album (out of 13 releases) still gets 4 stars.
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...
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2.0 out of 5 stars One of Maiden's lows May 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
After the introduction of vocalist Blaze Bayley, they recorded X Factor in 1995 and got mixed results from fans. The band continued with Virtual XI in 1998, which is now considered one of the worst albums in Maiden's career. Here's the lowdown:
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars X factor part 2, but a little better. Oct. 16 2002
Format:Audio CD
Virtual XI can be seen as the sequel to the X factor, Iron Maidens previous offering. Blaze Bayley is back on vocals, and th songs tend to work a bit better with his vocal style which is much different thasn Bruce Dickinson, who is the true voice of the band. Like the X Factor, one must NOT approach listening to this album as Iron Maiden, because it's not. It's a bit closer to the Maiden sound than the X Factor, but it's NOT teh Iron Maiden we all know and love. In comparison to the previous "X Factor", I believe this offering to be the superior effort. The songs are quicker, more energetic, heavier, and simply better. Janick Gers and Dave Murray seem to be working better together than the rest of their albums together. It's shorter in length and number of songs which is better. It resembles the effects driven production of the Somewhere/Seventh son era, but hardly as good in quality of material. The first song "Futureal" is back to the traditional fast paced opener that is typical of Maiden album openers. It's not a bad song. The next song "Angel and the Gambler" isn't actually a bad song, it's the length and repetive nature of the song that gets annnnoying!!! It's about 10 minutes, which mostly contains the same chorus over and over into oblivion. It makes you HATE a not so bad song. "Lightning strikes Twice" isn't much to mention other than the solo. "The Clansman" is the best song on the album and it's worth getting just for this song. It's a long epic classic style Maiden anthem, and it's a great live song. Great opening, chorus, and best of all the instrumental and solo's in the middle. The rest of the album isn't that exciting. The final track is actually not bad. Great vocals, and great chorus. A very good ending, though you might want to skip from the Clansman to the end. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Number of the beast?...what's that?
this cd is friggin awesome. Every track on here is great( to listen to and to play). I'm a pretty new listener to Iron Maiden, and this was the first of thier cds I ever bought,... Read more
Published on May 1 2004 by ...
5.0 out of 5 stars The Angel and the Gambler has a great chorus!
I don't know why that in many of the reviews I have read about this album, there are some hideously awful reviews! Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by Duncan Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrific.
Easily the worst album Maiden ever released. Futureal is a good opener but there is nothing good about this album whatsoever. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by Michael Tobey
1.0 out of 5 stars Virtual sub
A fairly good album with just a little non finished flavour in it
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Harri
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlu Under-Rated
Despite poor album sales and poor reviews, I consider this to be a great album. It gets me, personally, going. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2003
With Blaze Bayle who actually is an excellent vocalist
with a gloomy, apocalyptic, low, and melodic voice. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2003 by Jorge Rojas Antillon
2.0 out of 5 stars Really weak
If the songs were at least more well produced or played with more energy, they could at least disguise a little the lack of quality on them. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by Carmarthen
3.0 out of 5 stars The worst Iron Maiden album
Yep, this is it right here. Of all 12 studio Maiden albums, this is the worst one. The playing is fine, but where are the songs? This pales in comparison to even the X Factor. Read more
Published on May 17 2003 by J. Wesley Townsend
1.0 out of 5 stars A Flat out bad album
I bought Virtual XI thinking it would be another great Iron Maiden album. From song 1-8 it was horrible, The instrumental was unbelievable but the vocals were flat and it sounded... Read more
Published on April 8 2003 by Gone Shootin'
4.0 out of 5 stars It ain't that bad
Everybody's saying that this album is horrible. It's not actually that bad. Sure, Blaze Bayley is no Bruce Dickinson, but that's like saying a Ferarri is no Lamborgini. Read more
Published on April 1 2003 by Daniel Rauscher
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