Quite simply, Powerslave is one of the greatest Heavy Metal albums. It is both essential and a fantastic introduction to the genre for the uninitiated.

There’s no time to waste here! The album rockets off with a 1-2 punch of hits/signature tunes “Aces High” and “2 Minutes to Midnight”. Essential Maiden/Metal! While the next few songs are certainly very good and hold their own in context, one might consider them filler compaired to the final three. “Back In the Village” is one of the fastest in their repertoire and a fine sequel to “The Prisoner”, based on the seminal 1960s TV show. “Powerslave” is yet another one of Maiden’s best songs, bringing heavy metal to ancient Egypt, as depicted in the artwork (courtesy of the always amazing Derek Riggs).  Then, there’s the epic- “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. For almost 14 minutes, Maiden takes the listener through the wonders and horrors adapted from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s major poem. It is nothing astoundingly good. I was fortunate enough to see it performed live a few years ago, and it was unbelievable! Here, in its studio form, it caps off a unique, excellent album that’s second to none. 

There are several era supplements I should note. The B-side covers “Rainbow’s Gold” and “King of Twilight” are good and well worth seeking out, though not essential. Personally, I don’t find “Mission From ‘Arry” as ammusing as others.

I’ve owned several versions of this album, and all sound good. The original vinyl definately has a nice soundscape and range. I’ve been happy with the late nineties CD, and haven’t really needed to upgrade to one of the reissues.

UP THE IRONS!

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