Showing posts from November, 2020

Episode 13 - The X Factor (1995)

       This week on Beast in the Maze , we're taking on one of the more difficult, personal, and oft-dismissed albums in Iron Maiden's history. After the departure of longtime member and guitarist Adrian Smith in 1990, followed by powerhouse vocalist Bruce Dickinson in 1993, many were left wondering if the band could soldier on. This, combined with turmoil in his personal life, meant that the shit was really hitting the fan for bassist and band leader Steve Harris.     Featuring new (and lower-register) singer Blaze Bayley, the album ends up as a dark, moody, sort of brooding record, dominated with themes of introspection, shaken faith, and war. Few of the songs featured on the album would remain in rotation after Bruce's eventual return to the band, one notable exception being the eleven-minute epic "Sign of the Cross," which the band purposefully placed as Side 1 Track 1 on The X Factor.     While it's of course true that Iron Maiden without Bruce and Adrian

Other Bands We've Mentioned, pt.2

     Here at Beast in the Maze , we are mostly about two very different bands: Iron Maiden and Phish. However, those aren't the only bands we listen to (believe it or not)! Sometimes we make reference to other artists, either when trying to explain something, or because one of "our" bands reminds me of something someone else has also done.      In case you'd like a brief break from all this Maiden and Phish, here are some artists/songs we discussed in our last episode, The Story of The Ghost : 1. Talking Heads - ( Crosseyed and Painless ) - This band has come up a few times in our discussion, which actually makes quite a bit of sense as they are a clear influence on Phish, who has performed Talking Heads songs many times, including playing the entirety of their Remain in Light  album live. 2. Ben Folds 5 - Our guest Jonathon from New Ears  brought this band up in reference to a Page interlude. They're an NC alternative rock band which heavily features the piano. 3

Episode 12- The Story of the Ghost (1998)

      This week on Beast in the Maze , we're taking a look at Phish's seventh studio album, The Story of the Ghost.  Recorded as a series of extended jams in the same studio where Billy Breathes  was put down, it's got a sound all its own, a sort of a haunting yet mellow funky song the band would refer to as "cow funk."      We're joined to discuss the album by our good friend and podcasting colleague Jonathon Humphrey from the New Ears  and Bite of Passage  podcasts, the latter of which makes its debut this Saturday. To hear our takes, you can check us out on this site or on your favorite podcast provider. If you'd like some live picks or a link to the playlist of the album, check out our previous post .     You can check out Jonathon's music/album discussion podcast New Ears via this link if you'd like to hear about some bands other than Phish or Iron Maiden for once, or if you'd like to pick apart the "Twilight" series with creati

Coming up next: "The Story of the Ghost" with friends

      On the upcoming episode of Beast in the Maze , we're going to be taking a look at Phish's seventh studio album, The Story of the Ghost . And we brought a friend! Our pal Jonathon from the New Ears  and Bite of Passage  podcasts will be joining us to triple-team this thing.     Recorded in New York in a process of extended jam sessions, this album certainly has a feel all its own compared to what we've dealt with so far on the podcast. As it contains only songs either credited to the Anastasio/Marshall duo or the entire band, there are no "Page Songs" or "Mike Songs" here. Additionally, this is the first studio album we've taken on for which many of the songs hadn't been kicking around in live setlists for a few years prior to being put down on a proper album.     Tonally, the album has a more laid-back feel which is consistent across most of the tracks - the band describes it as "cow funk," something of an effort to highlight the

Episode 11 - The Soundhouse Tapes and More!

       This week on Beast in the Maze , we're taking a look at some of Iron Maiden's early recordings from the years just before the release of their first full-length album, Iron Maiden  (1980).     Specifically, we'll take a look at the first official Maiden release, The Soundhouse Tapes  (1979), as well as a BBC performance and a couple of bonus tracks. Recorded in the last two days of 1978, Soundhouse  was a three-song EP on 7" vinyl, and only 5,000 copies were made and sold, which has since made it a rare collectible, if a Maiden enthusiast has one, it's usually the crown jewel of their collection.     Like the debut album, the material we cover in this episode represents a "raw" Maiden, partly because of the limited production at the time, but partly because of sheer aggressive rock and roll attitude. It should make for a fun detour from our coverage of the main studio albums, and a timely return to the Di'Anno period before we move back into th