First Time Listening To: No Prayer for the Dying
What’s up guys, hope you guys had a good holiday season. Been a little while since I did Seventh Son, but now I’m back. Was going to do this yesterday, but alcohol… This time with No Prayer for The Dying. I did look up the context for the time that this album came out. So, Adrian Smith left cause he didn’t like the direction the band was going. Kinda ominous reading that before diving into the album. From what I can tell, this album doesn’t get a lot of love. Not completely sure why. Sure, it’s not as good as most of their catalog up to this point and definitely can’t touch the previous albums, but overall, it’s a solid album. It was bound to happen at some point right? I mean, their catalog just kept getting better and better. Expectations were ridiculously high I’m sure. What is the reason this album gets some hate? You guys gotta let me know.
Contextually, this one sounds like it’s in the same realm as Aces High, only in the back of the plane. It’s got some pretty cool riffs and melody. I was a bit worried that Janick Gers wouldn’t sound right with the band, but he holds his own damn well here. Not much to say about this song though. It’s a cool song, but it would’ve been better to be placed somewhere else in the album. This is by far, Maiden’s worst opener in their catalog up to this point. Yeah, Moonchild is hard to beat, but even all the way back to the debut album Prowler is hyping up the album damn well. Just a poor opener, but a cool song if that makes sense. Maybe I’m weird, but the last few albums had epic openers. Was expecting more.
I don’t like this song. I haven’t admitted that since Killers. There’s a harmony of guitars that lead the song, but the melody just doesn’t do it for me. The song just doesn’t flow very well either. Why this was chosen as a single is a mystery to me. I know it sounds like I dislike this album already, but I think it just starts really. The later song redeem the openings though!
No Prayer for the Dying:
Ahh…the first song on the album that I really like. Title track delivers again, though not like Seventh Son did, but regardless, this is an awesome song. The melody that leads the song is flat out beautiful. Hell, the whole song is beautiful. It flows really well from a soft introduction to the highs that are the chorus and then the solo section. Also got to talk about how the song flows once the solos are done. I expected the song to go back to the softer parts of the beginning of the song, but they kept the song at a high point. They didn’t blow their load! All backed by great lyrics from Bruce. Then it goes back to that pretty melody. Love this song!
Public Enema Number One:
There’s a Harmony that I can get behind! Really cool little intro to this song. The highlight of this one is without a doubt the chorus. It’s so damn catchy! Funny that they write “enemy” as “enema,” but given the way it’s pronounced, it makes sense. The song has a basic structure, but that’s fine. It works well for this song. I’m probably giving a pass for that because the lyrics and chorus are so damn good. Sure, it’s not an epic or trying to do anything new, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad song. Really like this song!
The intro reminds me of “The Prophecy” for some reason. The subject matter here is really cool. This song would fit well in Seventh Son I’d wager. It’s pretty damn progressive and a lot of ways. Listen to it and tell me otherwise! There’s a lot of little things that make me say that. The vocals melody in the chorus is great too! Wished the song ended a bit differently though. Another good song. Not great, because I’m starting to get impressions that the band is running out of ideas for fresh/new music. Still though, I like this one.
Now this is a personal favorite of mine. It reminds of “To Tame a Land” in some parts. Again, going back to the idea that the band was running out of ideas, but regardless this song is so damn cool. I love the way the song builds and comes down to this eerie atmosphere. Come to think of it, that’s what a lot of these songs are missing: Atmosphere! Anyway, this song has it and I like about as much as the title track. Tell me the section at 0:43 doesn’t sound awesome! It’s got peaks and valleys, but I think the band controls it just fine. I gotta learn how to play this one on guitar. Not gonna lie, I sing along to this one in the shower.
Run Silent Run Deep:
Another soft intro to build to the song. Should probably try something different…Despite that, this song kicks ass. That verse riff absolutely roars! I at least got to learn how to play that part. This one reminds me of “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” for some reason. I may be hearing things, but whatever. That section in the middle of the song that leads to the solo is really damn awesome, wished they’d play around more with that. Another really cool song, but also another that’s pretty basic when it comes to structure. Though, it does end quite nicely I will say!
Hooks In You:
Adrian’s only contribution to the album and it’s pretty obvious. This honestly sounds like a classic Maiden song. Not a jab and Janick! It stays pretty grounded until after the second chorus, where, like a classic Adrian song, it slows down a bit and introduces a solo that changes the dynamic of the song. It’s fun to sing along to, but not sure what the song is even about haha. I like this one and it just reminds me that Smith isn’t in the band at this point. I know he comes back eventually, just not sure when. I’ll find out in later albums.
Bring Your Daughter…to the Slaughter:
The story behind this song is unique for sure! Bruce made this for Nightmare on Elm Street but was convinced that it would make a good Maiden track. I will that it does work well as a Maiden song. It’s crazy, but the lyrics are…different. That’s the only reason I learned how this song came to be. After learning that, it made sense! This really is just a fun little song and you can tell that they probably had fun making this one! There’s good energy on this track, though it’s not my favorite of the album, it’s a good one.
Closer time! My favorite part of these albums. Usually it’s some sort of epic song, if it’s not somewhere else in the album of course. Just because “Only the Good Die Young” is not what I’d call an epic. This album has lacked a song that I would consider an epic and after listening to this track…it still does. “Mother Russia” is one of the better songs on this album, but it lacks the length to match what I would include in the band’s best work. It’s better than Seventh’s Son’s closer barely, just because that had some clever context, and it’s better than the closers on “Iron Maiden” and “Killers.” It’s got that atmospheric effect that this album desperately needs. That section at the two-minute mark is amazing. Prior to this song, I wasn’t sure what would feel like Russian music, but this one feels like it. Blows me away at how these guys can convey that cultural feeling in their music. I’m a little sad that this song is as short as it is. They could’ve kept adding to it make it truly epic, but we still get a killer song in its own right. You know it’d be cool if they kept going with the clean section at the end and then build to a roaring conclusion. Looking at the lyrics, this one might be about the Russian Revolution, but it would be cool if it kept building into something that’s different but meshes well with the rest of the song. Oh well.
This one is not in the same realm as the masterpieces that the band was making previously. It starts really slow in my opinion and lacks that 8+ minute song to define the album. That hurts where I think this album ranks compared to the rest of the catalog. I don’t think the album is bad though. It’s a solid album that starts slow in my opinion. Once it does get its footing down, the album has some really catchy/cool songs. There’s also a lack of… I don’t know, feel? I was calling it atmosphere earlier, but it just seems like they’re just playing music and living it. If that makes sense? Only a few songs didn’t have that suffering. Really love the title track, “The Assassin”, and “Mother Russia.”
This one was tricky to rank. There are things that hold it back from being great, but I gotta place it around the same level as the debut album. 1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son/Somewhere In Time/Powerslave 2. Piece of Mind/The Number of the Beast 3. Killers 4. No Prayer for the Dying/Iron Maiden
Cover Art Ranking:
I like the idea of Eddie coming out of the grave, but not a lot is going on. 1. Somewhere In Time 2. The Number of the Beast 3. Powerslave 4. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son/Killers 5. Piece of Mind 6. No Prayer for the Dying 7. Iron Maiden
Submitted January 06, 2019 at 08:42PM by JumperCableBeatings
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