Episode 15 - Brave New World (2000)


    In the new episode of Beast in the Maze, we are taking on Brave New World, a milestone album in the history of Iron Maiden, featuring the return of vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith.

    An album which, despite containing plenty of heavy metal, leans in a progressive and drawn-out direction, Brave New World was something of a make-or-break album for the band, who succeeded marvelously. The band's new three-guitar lineup allowed for experimentation, and in places thickened the song to an almost orchestral level. Bruce, too, appeared not to have lost a step in terms of range or power, and although there are still plenty of Maiden fans out there for whom the first few albums are the best, Brave New World is undeniably good, and is a strong statement from a band that had been making albums for twenty years.

    Join us as we get into it track by track, discuss the songs, the art, the personnel, whether the band knows what nomads are, some controversy surrounding the tracks, and more. You can listen to the album here, and Matt has also selected some live picks for you:

1. "Sign of the Cross" from Rock in Rio. This performance is one of Maiden's most legendary live performances, and we may eventually end up doing an episode on it. This live pick sort of doesn't count because the song isn't actually even on Brave New World, but it was played during the "Brave New Tour" in support of the album, and is a Bruce Dickinson rendition of a song which we heard as sung by Blaze Bayley a couple of episodes ago in our X Factor episode.

2. "Blood Brothers" from En Vivo! This is a little over a decade after the release of Brave New World, and three additional studio albums had been released in the interim. Bruce's sense of style is most questionable, but the song is epic.

3. "Brave New World" from the Death on the Road tour. The title track, performed three years later in support of their follow-up album Dance of Death. An official release from the Death on the Road video, it admittedly contains some unnecessary audience shots, but it's a great performance by Bruce and features great guitar work, and of course the West Ham bass.