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Dickinson, Bruce: The Chemical Wedding (Expanded Edition)

After the ominous doomy power chords of the opening killer cut "King In Crimson", it's full speed ahead on Bruce Dickinson's stellar solo album The Chemical Wedding, long revered by fans as perhaps his finest solo outing and equal to anything Iron Maiden recorded in the last decade. Heavier than anything in the Maiden cannon, The Chemical Wedding, released in 1998, featues the dual guitar work of Adrian Smith and Roy Z (who also produced the album), Eddie Casillas on bass, and drummer David Ingraham. It's a killer line-up, and the songs on the album are for the most part brutal metal anthems, with thick down-tuned guitar riffs, dark lyrics, and one of the best Dickinson vocal performances in years.

There's really not a junker in the lot among the album's 13 songs (three are bonus tracks here on this special edition), and more than a few classics. The previously mentioned "King In Crimson" is an evil sounding metal monster, with a deliciously nasty vocal from Bruce and plenty of crushing riffs. "The Tower" is fairly Maiden-ish, with a galloping rhythm and loads of harmony guitar licks, not to mention a catchy chorus. The band headbangs with reckless abandon on "Killing Floor" and even throws in some Satanic lyrical imagery that Dickinson spews with plenty of venom, while the epic "Book of Thel" is 8-minutes of classy progressive metal that sees the whole band really firing on all cylinders. There's also the melodic "Jerusalem", the somber title cut, and the raging anthem "Machine Men", one of the heaviest tracks on the album and a tune that will easily get you pumping your fist in the air and singing along.

The three bonus tracks are all previously released in Japan but first time here in the US. They fit right into the feel of the original album as they were all recorded at the same sessions. The Chemical Wedding is not only Bruce Dickinson's greatest achievement as a solo artist, but it's also one of the hottest metal albums of the 1990's. The booklet contains some expert commentary from Dave Ling (Classic Rock and Metal Hammer) regarding the album, along with photos and lyrics. If you haven't yet heard this album, now's the time.

Track Listing
1. King in Crimson
2. Chemical Wedding
3. Tower
4. Killing Floor
5. Book of Thel
6. Gates of Urizen
7. Jerusalem
8. Trumpets of Jericho
9. Machine Men
10. Alchemist
11. Return of the King [bonus]
12. Real World [bonus]
13. Confeos [bonus]

Added: November 1st 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Bruce Dickinson Website
Hits: 3469
Language: english

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Dickinson, Bruce: The Chemical Wedding (Expanded Edition)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-28 05:47:20
My Score:

The Chemical Wedding is a no holds barred return to the Hard Rock/Metal roots and an end to the experimental & avant-garde material that was being showcased on earlier solo efforts of Bruce Dickinson. The welcome change to his fans from the Iron Maiden years would be considered his finest and heaviest of the solo albums released and making it more special would be the presence of Adrian Smith and Producer Roy Z. on guitars. Dickinson was holding strong onto a very productive solo career and Iron Maiden had slowed down a little bit with singer Blaze Bailey on the microphone. Blaze while a good singer did not command the appeal that Dickinson did and the material would also not hold much of a sway on the audience either with the exception of "The Clansman". The delivery of tracks like "The King In Crimson" and "Killing Floor" proved to many that Bruce was still capable of being heavy and these tracks had more punch to them than any of Maiden's offerings of the time. The remastered edition includes a couple of bonus tracks and expanded liner notes while his other catalog re-issues include a second CD with outtakes and live tracks. The band completing the lineup for the recording includes Eddie Casillas (bass) and David Ingraham (drums) and each compliment one another making this album a must-have if you are looking into beginning your collection of Bruce's solo work. This is perhaps his best of the entire back catalog and it would close out on Dickinson's solo career for a couple of years. Just after the release of the recording the singer decided to return to Iron Maiden and once again lead the charge with Adrian, Steve, Nicko, Dave and Janick (and let me not forget Eddie for fear of losing my head for it). Check this one out it is one of the best Metal albums around.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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