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8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier (2010/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 48kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: The Final Frontier
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 2010/2015
Label: EMI
Duration: 01:16:37
Quality: FLAC 48kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo

The Final Frontier is the fifteenth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released in 2010. This is the band's second-longest to date and their first since A Matter of Life and Death in 2006. The album received largely favourable reviews from critics and peaked at No. 1 in 28 countries.

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls (2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 48kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: The Book Of Souls
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 01:32:15
Quality: FLAC 48kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo

The Book Of Souls is the band's 16th studio album since their eponymous debut in 1980 charted at #4 in the UK, in a career achieving sales of over 90 million albums worldwide. The long awaited Hi-Res release in his proper length.

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – X Factor (1995/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: X Factor
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1995/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 01:11:06
Quality: FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: 1994 - August 1995 at Barnyard Studios in Essex, England

The X Factor is the tenth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 2 October 1995 through EMI. It is the band's first album to include Blaze Bayley, formerly of Wolfsbane, as vocalist, replacing Bruce Dickinson who left the band following their previous tour to pursue a solo career. It is considered Iron Maiden's darkest album due to the lyrics being based on personal issues surrounding Steve Harris at the time, who was in the midst of a divorce, and the album cover, which depicts the band's mascot, Eddie, being graphically mutilated through surgery.

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – Virtual XI (1998/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Virtual XI
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1998/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 53:13
Quality: FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: Barnyard Studios, Essex, England, 1997 - February 1998

Virtual XI (pronounced: Virtual Eleven) is the eleventh studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 23 March 1998. It was the second and final Iron Maiden album recorded with vocalist Blaze Bayley and last as a five-piece.

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast (1982/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 96kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: The Number Of The Beast
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1982/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 40:22
Quality: FLAC 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: Battery Studios, January - February 1982

Routinely ranked among the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, The Number of the Beast is the birth of Iron Maiden as we know it, a relentless metal machine lifted to soaring new heights by the arrival of erstwhile Samson frontman Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson's operatic performance here made him an instant metal icon, challenging even Rob Halford for bragging rights, and helped launch the band into the stratosphere. The Number of the Beast topped the charts in the U.K., but even more crucially --- with Judas Priest having moved into more commercial territory --- it also made Iron Maiden the band of choice for purists who wanted their metal uncompromised. Maiden took the basic blueprint Priest had created in the late '70s --- aggressive tempos, twin-guitar interplay, wide-ranging power vocals --- and cranked everything up faster and louder. The album's intensity never lets up, the musical technique is peerless for its time, and there isn't a truly unmemorable song in the bunch. Blessed with a singer who could drive home a melody in grandiose fashion, Steve Harris' writing gets more ambitious, largely abandoning the street violence of old in favor of fittingly epic themes drawn from history, science fiction, and horror. The exceptions are "22 Acacia Avenue," a sequel to "Charlotte the Harlot" that sounds written for Di'Anno's range, and the street-crime tale "Gangland," which Harris didn't write; though the punk influences largely left with Di'Anno, these two definitely recall the Maiden of old. As for the new, two of the band's (and, for that matter, heavy metal's) all-time signature songs are here. The anthemic "Run to the Hills" dramatized the conquest of the Native Americans and became the band's first Top Ten U.K. single. It features Maiden's trademark galloping rhythm, which in this case serves to underscore the images of warriors on horseback. Meanwhile, the title track's odd-meter time signature keeps the listener just slightly off balance and unsettled, leading into the most blood-curdling Dickinson scream on record; the lyrics, based on nothing more than Harris' nightmare after watching a horror movie, naturally provoked hysterical accusations of Satan worship (which, in turn, naturally provoked sales). "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is perhaps the most celebrated of the band's extended epics; it's the tale of a prisoner about to be hanged, featuring some of Harris' most philosophical lyrics. It opens with a superbly doomy atmosphere before giving way to a succession of memorable instrumental lines and an impassioned performance by Dickinson; despite all the tempo changes, the transitions never feel jarring. Elsewhere, "The Prisoner" is a catchy retelling of the hit British TV series, and "Children of the Damned" is a slower, heavier number patterned after the downtempo moments of Dio-era Black Sabbath. CD remasters integrate "Total Eclipse," first released as the B-side of "Run to the Hills," into the running order. Though some moments on The Number of the Beast are clearly stronger than others, the album as a whole represented a high-water mark for heavy metal, striking a balance between accessible melodicism and challenging technique and intensity. Everything fell into place for Iron Maiden here at exactly the right time, and the result certainly ranks among the top five most essential heavy metal albums ever recorded. A cornerstone of the genre. --Steve Huey

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time (1986/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 96kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Somewhere In Time
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1986/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 57:17
Quality: FLAC 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: 1986 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas and Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands.

Somewhere in Time is the sixth studio album by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 September 1986 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in North America. (It was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 1998). The studio follow-up to the hugely successful Powerslave/Live After Death pair, it was their first album to feature guitar synthesisers. Since its release, it has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having sold over one million copies in the US alone.

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1988/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 44:05
Quality: FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany, February - March 1988

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the last great Iron Maiden album, reconnecting with the band's prog rock roots and reversing the signs of decline that had been evident on their previous record. By this point, Maiden had earned the respect of metalheads the world over with their steadfast adherence to unadulterated metal and their grandiose aesthetic. They'd made concessions neither to pop-metal nor to thrash, and their passionate fan base would never have tolerated a radical reinvention. But what do you do when your epic ambition itself has become a formula? You go even bigger and make a concept album, of course, and that's what Maiden does here, breaking out of the creative rut they'd fallen into on Somewhere in Time. The concept is based on the European folklore which held that the seventh son of a seventh son would be born with special powers that could be used for good or evil (and probably also in part by fantasy author Orson Scott Card, who'd touched on this idea in his own work). As such, the lyrics are Maiden at their most gothic, obsessed with supernatural mysticism of all stripes; the story line concerns the title character, born with a gift for prophecy but mistrusted by his village, which ignores his warnings of apocalyptic doom and makes him a tormented Cassandra figure. Musically, this is Maiden at their proggiest, with abrupt, stop-on-a-dime transitions between riffs, tempos, time signatures, and song sections. Yet nearly every song has a memorable chorus, with only "The Prophecy" falling short in that department. They've also switched from the guitar synths of Somewhere in Time to full-fledged keyboards, which are used here more to add atmosphere rather than taking center stage; this restores the crunch that was sometimes lacking in the shinier production of the previous album. No less than four of this album's eight songs reached the British Top Ten in some version (concert standard "Can I Play with Madness," "The Evil That Men Do," "The Clairvoyant," and "Infinite Dreams"), while the album became the band's first U.K. chart-topper since The Number of the Beast. The title track is this album's extended epic (though the songs are longer in general), and it's moved out of the closing spot in yet another subtle statement about shaking things up. If Seventh Son doesn't epitomize their sound or define an era the way the first three Dickinson albums did, it nonetheless ranks among their best work. Adrian Smith left the band after this record, closing the book on Maiden's classic period and heralding a dire --- and distressingly immediate --- creative decline. --Steve Huey

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – Powerslave (1984/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 96kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Powerslave
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1984/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 50:58
Quality: FLAC 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: February - June 1984 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas. Mixed at Electric Ladyland, New York. Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York.

The third in a trilogy of legendary Iron Maiden albums, Powerslave is frequently ranked as the fan favorite of the bunch, capping off a stellar run that sealed the band's genre-defining status. If The Number of the Beast was the all-time metal landmark, Powerslave is perhaps the quintessential Maiden album, capturing all the signature elements of the band's definitive era in one place. The album opens with Maiden at their catchiest, turning in a pair of metal classics right off the bat with the British hit singles "Aces High" (a high-speed ode to a WWII air battle) and the apocalyptic "2 Minutes to Midnight." Next we get an instrumental, "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)," of the sort that Maiden periodically deployed to keep fans in awe of their technical chops. A pair of their best and most overlooked album tracks follows; "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duellists" exemplify the glory-minded battle hymns that made up such an important part of their lyrical obsessions, even if both are about sword fighting rather than modern military history. By the end of the album, we're seeing Maiden at their most progressive and ambitious. The seven-minute title track builds on the previous album's "To Tame a Land" with its use of Middle Eastern melodies, delving into Egyptian mythology for a rumination on power and mortality. This leads into the biggest, most grandiose epic in the Maiden catalog --- "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a multi-sectioned, thirteen-and-a-minute prog-fest adapted from the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem. Though it isn't exactly what you'd call hooky, its shifting moods and lofty intellectual aspirations made it a live favorite. This latter material helped ensure that Powerslave was the Maiden album with the biggest impact on the emerging progressive metal genre (which, in its earliest form, essentially fused Rush with this sort of Maiden material). In this context, "Back in the Village" gets somewhat lost in the shuffle; it's a thematic sequel to "The Prisoner," though not quite as memorable. So even though we don't hear the punk influences of old, Powerslave catalogs every major facet of the band's personality during the Dickinson years, and does so while firing on all cylinders. Perhaps that's in part because Powerslave is the first Maiden album to feature the same lineup as its predecessor, creating a definite continuity and comfort level. Or perhaps it's simply that we're witnessing a great band in its creative prime. Whatever the case, it's entirely arguable that Powerslave summarizes why Iron Maiden was so important and influential even more effectively than The Number of the Beast, at least on a purely musical level. It may not be quite as accessible, but it's every bit as classic and essential. --Steve Huey

8Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – Piece Of Mind (1983/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 96kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Piece Of Mind
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1983/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 46:09
Quality: FLAC 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: January - March 1983 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas

The second of three straight iconic Iron Maiden albums, Piece of Mind marks the debut of what many regard as the definitive Maiden lineup, with the arrival of new drummer Nicko McBrain. McBrain's ability to duplicate the complex patterns of the guitar and bass riffs gives the band a seamless ensemble unity. Even Steve Harris, whose busy basslines were never exactly groove-oriented, has never felt more integrated into the overall sound. Perhaps part of that feeling comes from the less frantic pace; the average tempo has slowed somewhat from the preceding album, and the hold-over punk influences still present there have been completely eradicated. Instead, we get a few moodier, heavier pieces (especially "Revelations") that make the album darker-sounding overall. We also get greater involvement in the songwriting from Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, whose themes are perfectly in tune with Steve Harris' epic storytelling. Nearly every song here was inspired by movies or literature, whether it's history, mythology, sci-fi, or fantasy; this approach got them tagged as a thinking-man's metal band, and certainly provided a lyrical blueprint for Anthrax. No less than four songs are about battles and warriors, and a couple are about flying, underscoring the heights of the drama that the band is aiming for. The centerpiece of the album is, of course, "The Trooper," an all-time genre classic that boasts Murray and Smith's most memorable harmonized lead riff, plus that trademark galloping rhythm. A retelling of the Greek myth "Flight of Icarus" was the other British hit single, boasting an appropriately soaring chorus. Album opener "Where Eagles Dare" is the other flight song, recounting a WWII spy thriller and featuring one of McBrain's signature performances with the band. If much of Piece of Mind ranks as state-of-the-art heavy metal, it is true that the second half dips a bit from the first. "Quest for Fire" is many a die-hard fan's least favorite track from the glory years; the melody is rather stiff and simple, and the lyrics are about cavemen, rendering Dickinson's operatics ("In a tiiiiiime when dinosaurs walked the eaaaaaarth") a bit ridiculous. Among the serious-minded Maiden faithful, there's no less forgivable sin than silliness (no matter how entertaining it might be). Fans also bemoan the relative simplicity of the samurai tale "Sun and Steel." However, the album closes on a big, progressive note with "To Tame a Land," an epic retelling of Frank Herbert's Dune that evokes the desert planet via Middle Eastern guitar melodies. In the end, even if Piece of Mind is the most obviously inconsistent of the classic Maiden trilogy, its many high points are no less awe-inspiring, and it's no less essential for anyone with even the most basic interest in heavy metal. --Steve Huey

7Aug/16Off

Iron Maiden – No Prayer For The Dying (1990/2015) [Metal, e-Onkyo, FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit]

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: No Prayer For The Dying
Genre: Metal
Release Date: 1990/2015
Label: Parlophone Records
Duration: 44:05
Quality: FLAC 44.1kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Recorded: June - September 1990 at Barnyard Studios, Essex, England

With their first album of the '90s, Iron Maiden wanted to return to basics. Comparable to their more straightforward early work, No Prayer for the Dying quickly shot up the charts all over the world, but it was clear that the songwriting wasn't up to snuff when compared to such classics as Killers or Number of the Beast. The album also signaled the debut of new guitarist Janick Gers, best known for his stint in Ian Gillan's solo band and on Bruce Dickinson's solo album, Tattooed Millionaire. Featuring a pair of U.K. hit singles --- the anti-televangelist diatribe "Holy Smoke" and Maiden's lone number one, the controversial "Bring Your Daughter...to the Slaughter" (which was banned by the BBC) --- plus another that should have been issued as a single (the opener, "Tailgunner"), No Prayer as a whole doesn't measure up to the hits. The title track contains an opening too reminiscent of their 1988 single "Infinite Dreams," while other tracks such as "Fates Warning," "Run Silent Run Deep," and "Hooks in You" never catch fire. And even though the epic closer "Mother Russia," "Public Enema Number One," and "Fates Warning" are standouts, they just don't hold up well when compared to past classics. While Maiden retained their solid following elsewhere in the world, No Prayer for the Dying would prove to be their last gold-certified album in the U.S. --Greg Prato

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