I think Powerslave is arguably Iron Maiden’s most consistent album. Aces High is an incredible opening track with gorgeous guitar harmonies and soaring vocals, leading into 2 Minutes to Midnight, a Smith/Dickinson composition, and one of the band’s very best tracks, particularly when it comes to the lyrics, dealing with the Cold War, the arms race and the threat of nuclear conflict. The next track is Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra), an instrumental track, which lifts the mood of the album after the dark themes of the previous track, and there’s so much good stuff going on in the music that it doesn’t become self-indulgent. Flash of the Blade is a Dickinson composition with sword fighting as its theme. It has a hypnotic riff, exquisite guitar harmonies and a great chorus. The Duellists is a Harris-penned track. The notes in the chorus are so high that Bruce sounds a bit like Michael Kiske in late 80s Helloween. It’s a pretty solid track with a lovely bluesy Smith guitar solo and Smith/Murray trademark guitar harmonies. Back in the Village is another Smith/Dickinson track with a terrific, fast bluesy riff and a gorgeous middle eight. The guitar harmonies on this track, and throughout the whole album, are amazing. The title track is a Dickinson masterpiece, with its Egyptian theme, expressive vocals, multiple time changes and beautiful guitar work. The final track is the incredible Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Thirteen minutes of prog metal wonderment. The whole band excel themselves on this masterpiece, written by Steve Harris. I don’t think it’s easy to find any real weak points on this album. It really is one of their absolute best and the quality of the songs is strong and consistent throughout.
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