The first two Iron Maiden albums belong undoubtedly to the milestones of heavy metal. However, my first Iron Maiden album was their third release ‘The Number of the Beast’ which had a fascination for me because of the sound, artwork and lyrics. AC/DC were cool, Kiss were special with their make-up, but Iron Maiden was real.
Not really equipped with a lot of pocket money, not every good album was affordable for me as a kid at that time. Spotify and Co. were still in the distant future and therefore tapes had to do the job. One of these LP’s on tape was ‘Piece of Mind’, the fourth Iron Maiden album. Piece of Mind’ stands often in the shadow of the all-time giants, but has a lot of good moments. For the first time with their new drummer, Nicko McBrain, the band presents itself on the innersleve as a kind of “knights of the round table”, but the songs on the record are anything but from a bygone era.
The quintet starts with ‘Where Eagles Dare’, a six-minute opener before the brilliant ‘Revelations’ takes over. The galloping rhythm and filigree leads are at their best. The stunning ‘Flight of Icarus’ can certainly be considered as one of the highlights of the band and also ‘Die with Your Boots On’ can be found on the band’s setlists after all these years.
With the timeless ‘The Trooper’, Iron Maiden started into the B-side of the album which perhaps does not quite maintain the brilliance of the first four songs. Nevertheless, there are with ‘Quest for Fire’ and ‘Sun and Steel’ first-class songs on the bottom part of the track listing. That the five guys can write epic songs was already evident with ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ from ‘The Number of the Beast’. A song of this kind can also be found at the end of `Piece of Mind’. ‘To Tame a Land’ is a true metal epic that lays the foundation for many more songs of this type in the future. With seven minutes the track is long and rich in variety, but never gets lost in unnecessary details and stays true to its powerful baseline.
My old ‘Piece of Mind’ tape is still existing, but for some time now, the vinyl version is also in the collection, an album of a band, without which the history of heavy metal might have evolved differently.
- Where Eagles dare
- Flight of Icarus
- Die With Your Boots On
- The Trooper
- Still Life
- Quest fir Fire
- Sun and Steel
- To tame a Land
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: May 16th, 1983
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