IRON MAIDEN: Another 'The Final Frontier' Track-By-Track Review Available

A track-by-track review of "The Final Frontier", the new album from British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN, has been posted on the Metal Hammer web site.

IRON MAIDEN's 15th studio LP, "The Final Frontier", will be released in North America on August 17 (one day earlier internationally) via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). The effort will be made available in a unique limited-edition collectors' "Mission Edition" CD case and will feature access to extra bonus content, including the director's cut of a video for the edited version of the opening song on the album, entitled "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier"; band "Mission Debrief" interview footage; wallpapers; photos; and the exclusive game "Mission II : Rescue & Revenge". MAIDEN is also for the first time making the album available as an iTunes LP with bonus content as well as the traditional digital format. There will also be a limited-edition double picture disc.

The "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier" video was produced by award-winning production company Darkside Animation Films. Darkside's creative team consists of animators who've created effects for feature films, including "Lost in Space", "Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down". The script was written by the director of BBC Radio's "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", and the live action was co-ordinated and directed by Nick Scott Studios.

As well as working round the clock to turn out over three months of animation in eight weeks flat, the Darkside team developed entirely new technology to bring to life as never before IRON MAIDEN's mascot, Eddie, in his new alien incarnation. A total of 141 shots combined live action with integrated CGI as well as full 3D animation, resulting in a complete running time of five minutes — that's over seven thousand frames, taking up to half an hour to render each frame!

Intriguingly, some of the integral footage was shot at Rendlesham Forest in Southern England, which is associated with The Rendlesham Forest Incident due to a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights and alleged landing of a craft of unknown origin.

The band reunited with long-time MAIDEN producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in early 2010 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau to record the album and then moved to The Cave Studios in Malibu, California to finish the recording and do the mixing. Compass Point Studio is very familiar to the band, it was where they recorded the "Piece Of Mind" (1983), "Powerslave" (1984) and "Somewhere In Time" (1986) albums.

"The Final Frontier" features artwork illustrated by Melvyn Grant.

The track listing for the CD is as follows (total running time 76:35):

01. Satellite 15....The Final Frontier (Smith/Harris) (8:40)
02. El Dorado (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (6:49)
03. Mother Of Mercy (Smith/Harris) (5:20)
04. Coming Home (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (5:52)
05. The Alchemist (Gers/Harris/Dickinson) (4:29)
06. Isle Of Avalon (Smith/Harris) (9:06)
07. Starblind (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) (7:48)
08. The Talisman (Gers/Harris) (9:03)
09. The Man Who Would Be King (Murray/Harris) (8:28)
10. When The Wild Wind Blows (Harris) (10:59)

IRON MAIDEN guitarist Dave Murray recently told Billboard.com about "The Final Frontier", "We breezed through the album, really. We actually finished it in six weeks. We were getting down a track a day — all playing together as a band, Bruce (Dickinson) singing, all in the same room, so there's a very live-in-the-studio feel to it. Once we finished a track we'd jump straight into doing some extra guitar bits. It was very quick for us."

Murray said the 10-track set mixes "straight-ahead, uptempo rock songs with good grooves with some other tracks that are kind of longer and more complex." The album closer, "When the Wild Wind Blows", is an 11-minute track that's one of the longest songs IRON MAIDEN has ever recorded. "The rhythm's a little bit different from what we've done before, and there's lots of melodies," Murray said. "It's a big song. We learned it in sections just because it was such a complex arrangement, but it sounds quite natural (on the record)."

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