Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death

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A Matter of Life and Death is Iron Maiden's fourteenth studio album, in a career that has spanned three decades. And yet, after all this time, Iron Maiden continue to improve, whilst most of their peers flounder. Simply put, A Matter of Life and Death is more than just a great Iron Maiden album; it's a great metal album. It revisits a theme that's familiar territory for the band, and rather boldly, devotes an entire album to it. A Matter of Life and Death is a concept album about war, and the closest thing to a prog album that the London-based metallers have yet created. And, at their age and at this point in their career, it's a step that just makes sense, adding a level of seriousness and dignity to a band that could have easily disappeared into Spinal Tap-style silliness. Instead, the six members of Iron Maiden sound rejuvenated, playing better than ever on tracks like "These Colours Don't Run", which starts out like an army recruiting anthem before revealing it's true nature as an anti-war song, and the nine-minute plus epics "For the Greater Good of God" and "The Legacy". Iron Maiden have enjoyed a creative rennaissance in recent years, but it's hard to imagine how they'll improve upon A Matter of Life and Death. --Ted Kord