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Dickinson, Bruce: Tyranny of Souls

The almighty Bruce Dickinson returns with another solo effort, his first since The Chemical Wedding in 1998. Bruce once again joins collaborative forces with guitarist and producer Roy Z. With Ozzfest drawing nearer for Iron Maiden this summer, Bruce Dickinson took advantage of his time off by putting together a new solo CD called Tyranny of Souls.

The CD begins with the 1:30 intro "Mars Within", a moody piece featuring guitar (played with flanger effect) and church organ. "Mars Within" leads right into "Abduction", a typical Iron Maiden or Bruce Dickinson solo barnburner. "Abduction" comes complete with Iron Maiden's signature gallop, and great leads by Roy Z. Next comes "Soul Intruders", which does not let up, as the speed metal continues. "Kill Devil Hill" starts slowly, picks up the pace, and reminds of some of the early Maiden classics. "Navigate The Seas Of The Sun" would have to be my lowlight of the CD, as it is a bit too mellow, and repeats the title of the song too many times. "River Of No Return" continues where "Navigate" left off. Maiden fans who are looking to bang their heads are reawakened during "Power Of The Sun", which delivers more of that classic Bruce sound. "Devil On A Hog" delivers some nice vocal harmonies from Bruce on multiple tracks, while keeping the pace with some nice meaty rhythm guitar riffs. "Believil" explores a darker side of Tyranny of Souls, while keeping within Bruce's heavy metal roots in typical fashion. The CD finishes with the title track, which ends on a very high note, complete with more great guitar work by Roy Z.

Overall, Tyranny of Souls is a very solid effort by Bruce Dickinson, at times very heavy, while at times a bit too light. Bruce's vocal quality is as good as ever, so no worry there. If you are a long time fan of Bruce Dickinson and Iron Maiden, you will enjoy this release, which is set to hit stores May 24th, 2005. If you are looking to pick up a Bruce Dickinson solo CD for the first time however, I would recommend that you start with Accident Of Birth, as that was IMO Bruce in his finest solo hour.

Track Listing
1. Mars Within
2. Abduction
3. Soul Intruders
4. Kill Devil Hill
5. Navigate The Seas Of The Sun
6. River Of No Return
7. Power Of The Sun
8. Devil On A Hog
9. Believil
10. A Tyranny Of Souls

Added: October 4th 2005
Reviewer: Jack Toledano
Related Link: Bruce Dickinson Website
Hits: 3054
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Dickinson, Bruce: Tyranny of Souls
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-10-04 19:53:36
My Score:

As the charismatic front man of Iron Maiden; Bruce Dickinson certainly needs no introduction. He has been giving the people Metal at the helm of this band since he debuted with Number Of The Beast in 1982. He broke off from the band to do some solo records for a few years and eventually returned to Maiden for recording and touring full time once again. Somehow he managed to get another solo CD completed in the midst of the constant world touring he has been doing. His latest solo effort is an impressive piece of Metal and will appeal to all of his legions of fans who support him in Iron Maiden. Dickinson's last solo release was seven years ago with The Chemical Wedding (a CD that received a large amount of critical and fan acclaim and very rightly so). This was a dark and heavy CD that kept with Bruce's Metal roots and now with Tyranny Of Souls he is proving that lightning can strike twice on someone's solo efforts. Working on similar dark themes, this new CD is very much the solid listen from start to finish and perhaps this is partially Dickinson and partially the skills of guitarist/producer Roy Z. Z. not only worked with Dickinson before, but is also known for his work on releases by Helloween, Halford and the reunited Judas Priest on their CD Angel Of Retribution.

When you first play this CD you will notice how little this resembles an Iron Maiden record and I liked that fact the most. After all, we Metal fans have more than enough Iron Maiden music where we can hear Bruce in that context. It is nice to be able to enjoy his solo music separately from that. Given the fact that a fair amount of it is killer material, it makes listening to the CD a better experience. Among the number of notable tracks my favorites included "Soul Intruders" which is the heaviest track and holds the most Maiden like chorus. There are also numbers that cross into different Hard Rock styles as well and this is apparent on "Devil On A Hog". This tune could have been released from one of the big 70's hard rockers like Rainbow. There is also a ballad like number with "Navigate The Seas Of The Sun". An enjoyable piece but as others have commented repeats the title far too much for my liking. "Tyranny Of Souls" itself was also a favorite. Overall good song-writing, not a repeat of Iron Maiden riffing and a very solid production on every track. The liner notes reference that the CD was recorded entirely with Pro-Tools, a method many are choosing these days. All lyrics and interesting art are featured in the booklet included.

Comprising the band for the recording is of course Bruce Dickinson (vocals), Roy Z. (all guitars), David Moreno (drums), Ray Burke/Juan Perez (bass) and Maestro Mistheeria (keyboards). I highly recommend this CD as it was one of those records that you find difficult to turn off. It's not always easy to support a popular group members solo efforts but I found myself hoping that we could see some live gigs to hear this music performed live. Fans should also know that Dickinson has released & re-mastered expanded editions of his back catalog with bonus tracks, demo recordings and extended liner notes. Put this on your list with the remastered Chemical Wedding.

Dickinson, Bruce: Tyranny of Souls
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-05-24 20:19:39
My Score:

The latest solo record from Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is another heavy and boisterous affair that once again shows how much fire the singer has in his gut. Whatever the future holds for Maiden (and they show no evidence of slowing down at this point), Bruce will always have an audience for his solo releases, as he has continued to release strong albums over the years, and Tyranny of Souls is no exception. Raging metal rockers like "Abduction", the speed metal of "Soul Intruders", and the galloping Maiden-ish "Kill Devil Hill" are fueled by Dickinson's soaring vocal delivery and the crunchy guitars of Roy Z. There's intricate prog-metal on "River of No Return", as well as old-school NWOBHM on "Power of the Sun", complete with a ripping solo from Mr. Z, who is quite the capable guitarist. As solid as this CD is, you're not going to hear anything groundbreaking here, but it is enjoyable nontheless. Bruce is in fine form vocally, and there are plenty of headbanging moments that will thrill any fan of Dickinson's solo career or work with his main band Iron Maiden.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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