Witness here the dawn of the New Age of Heavy Metal with 1980's pulsating debut from the East London's finest metal merchants - Iron Maiden. Amazingly, it took nearly five years and a number of line up changes before this vital incarnation of the heavy metal supergroup were committed to record. What's evident from the outset, however, is that all those years performing outside of the recoding studio have only worked in favour of Steve Harris' monstrous creation as they start like they aim to finish - at the top of their game. From the rampaging opening number 'Prowler', through perennial Maiden favourites "Running Free", "Phantom of the Opera" and "Charlotte the Harlot, on to the band's sensational self titled signature tune, Iron Maiden is a pure expression of every metalhead's dream - fast and furious full noise fun.
Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton trade blazing harmonised guitar licks that soar above Harris' incessant bass excursions and Clive Burr's solid skins. Bruce Dickinson is often considered the quintessential voice of Iron Maiden but its Paul Di'Anno up front lending his lung power here and he does the job with a raspy, almost punkish quality that defiantly brings home the bacon.
There is, it must be said, potential for a whinge about the somewhat lacking big band bluster you might expect from a more modern production but if you're serious about experiencing the sonic nirvana that can be found exploring these works from the early metal masters you really shouldn't notice because you'll have the thing turned up too damn loud anyway. To get the most out of Iron Maiden is pretty simple - get a copy, wind the volume and give it a jolly good thrashing!