Metal's high priests, still boldly going...
Given that [a]Iron Maiden[/a]’s 15th studio album is, at 77 minutes in length, their longest yet, and containins extended, densely layered meditations on ageing and dying, it certainly won’t win them any new fans. But given that they’re Britain’s biggest metal band and have sold 70 million albums, they’re probably not really looking for new fans anyway. Survivors of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, they had an unparalleled ’80s but an artistically questionable ’90s. They started pulling out of this slump when singer Bruce Dickinson rejoined their ranks in 1999, culminating in 2006’s [b]‘A Matter Of Life And Death’[/b]. Now they’ve reinforced their position as the credible elder statesmen of metal, with a tightly focused, self-referential effort. ‘Satellites’ may open with a heavily phased and eerily psychedelic riff, but after five minutes it’s a pure concentrated hit of imperial period Irons. If only relative juniors Metallica still put this much effort into their albums.