Maiden uniteD: Mind The Acoustic Pieces
ABSOLUTE GENIUS. BUY BUY BUY.
To be quite frank I am not a great lover of cover albums and I was totally sceptical of this album, a take on the much revered Maiden Classic "Piece Of Mind". The last album of this type I got some real merit from was Hellsongs "Hymns In The Key Of 666". The reason for this was that the approach taken was unusual with the band making the set pieces their own, funnily enough taking an acoustic route too which also included The Trooper. So open the studio doors, let in Damian Wilson, Joey Bruers, Ruud Jolie, Mike Coolen, Marco Kuypers and Anneke Van Giersbergen and two special things happen, first and foremost you are presented with a stunning line up of musicians and secondly a band called Maiden uniteD who have taken nine Maiden songs, not just any nine songs, but the whole of the classic and influential "Piece Of Mind" album putting their own acoustic stamp on each track.
Iron Maiden for all their foibles is a band that is never frightened to take risks with their subject matter, somewhat a thinking man's band per se, this album probably more so than any of their others. Maiden uniteD have capitalised on this really adding depth and character to the these songs, creating, and I don't say this lightly, a new and fresh dimension and approach to these masterpieces, which on first glance don't seem to be the obvious choices from such an impressive back catalogue.
This is a band that has an obvious love and affection for the music, which can be really felt as all the notes oozes and caress their way into the darkest recesses of your mind, the beast really has escaped. Damian Wilson, who has one of the most amazing rock voices out there, has I believe, just recorded his finest vocal recordings ever, so haunting and mesmerising. Even Anneke Van Giersbergen' vocal work on "To Tame a Land" are impeccable, which are soon accompanied by Wilsons awesome tones The rest of the well known cast are sublime in their creation, supporting the whole affair, not putting one foot wrong. I know these are all very strong songs in their own rights in their original state, but these versions are just as powerful.
Every Metalhead should and probably does own and know the influential original Piece Of Mind album like the back of their hand, so a track by track break down isn't required. Is there a standout version? Not really, just insert the disk and press play, as each song that has been committed here has such prowess and perfection in their own rights. One thing is for sure, you will be jumping all over the place when playing the CD, like a kid in a candy shop trying to decide which track is best and pressing repeat because you won't believe what you have just witnessed. This is an album that is going to be playing on my system for a long time to come, make no mistake about that.
When Joey Bruers the founder of the band came up this idea, I'm not too sure whether he knew how special this was going to be. Make no mistake; if you are going to do a cover of an album, then this is the way to do it. This really is a must buy album. Maiden fans new and old are going to love this to death as well as other metalheads. You've now read what I think of this. Stop wasting any more time and get yourself a copy of this stunning album.
As a footnote the band is taking this out on the road too, I implore you not to miss it. This is just simply stunning stuff.
1 Where Eagles Dare
2 The Trooper
3 Quest for Fire
4 Still Life
6 Die With Your Boots On
7 Flight of Icarus
8 Sun and Steel
9 To Tame a Land
Added: January 27th 2011
Reviewer: John OBoyle
Related Link: www.maidenunited.com
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|Maiden uniteD: Mind The Acoustic Pieces
Posted by Alex on 2011-01-28 14:04:09
Just wonder how brilliant Maiden would have been with Damian Wilson on vocals, as he had auditioned after Bruce left...
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