They didn't drown their music in synths, they didn't trade guitar mastery for the ability to play with synths, they just added a new layer into their music and the result- it was much needed. The music here is just as heavy as ever. Dave and Adrian pull off some great solos and leads throughout this album. Steve is his usual self with his superb bass skills. Nikko is on top of his game here. The drum parts on these some of these songs are very interesting. The main star for this album imho, is Bruce! He decided to sing in a raw voice style and I personally think that this factor added even more to an already great album! The music:
"Moonchild"- I'll admit, it took a while for this one to grow on me. I always liked the opening on the acoustic and then the synth part but the actual song after that took a while to grow on me. Now that it's grown on me, I can say this is one of Maiden's heaviest songs and best as well. The synths add a great deal to the intro of the song and then the song itself after the synth intro is FILLED with amazing guitar work and just amazes me! Bruce's voice is a POWERHOUSE!!! His voice is so powerful on this song! I love it so much! Great, great song!
"Infinite Dreams"- A nice progressive little tune. I like how it's softer in the verses and gets power in the chorus and has a faster section with the solos and fun stuff. The song is just overall great. I love listening to this song's melodies and it's just a very unique song. I like that Maiden is experimenting with things.
"Can I Play With Madness"- Oh boy! This song is catchy! The guitar parts during the verses are pure awesomeness! Drumming on this one: Love it! This may be commercial, but hey! At least they didn't do a hairmetal song or something stupid like that! The synths are utilized during the chorus and just add a great tone to it. This song is just one of my all-time fave Maiden songs. Once again, Bruce is killing on vocals! He just has a great sound here and sounds very inspired!
"The Evil That Men Do"- This song is good! Bruce's voice in the verses is sinister and it sounds cool! Then in the pre-chorus ans chorus he goes up higher and gives us that signature high voice he's known for. This song is very catchy as well. I like the guitar work throughout this song and the high vocal harmonies are always awesome!
"Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"- This is great! I love the intro to it! The song itself is awesome of progressive! Some people who bash this album just don't like progressive stuff; I get that. I mean lots of progessive stuff is over 5 minutes. I personally love that, but obviously it's not for everyone. This song is great, but I would've liked to have more vocals towards the end. I don't like how after like 3 or 4 minutes of a song, they drag it out with long guitar solos. The soft drum interlude in the middle is pretty cool and the chorus/synth work is pretty cool. But if I wanted to hear 3 minute long guitar solos, I would've gone to a DragonForce album. Don't get me wrong; this song is fantastic, I just wish they would've had more vocals in it towards the end.
"The Prophecy"- This song is interesting. It's in a triplet feel and it took a while to grow on me too, but I like this one a lot as well. It has progressiveness to it and the intro is just awesome! I like how it starts off as a guitar/synth thing and then the electric guitar duo just comes out of nowhere and blasts you out of your thoughts! I like this one's verses are amazing as well. Bruce has some more sinister voices here. There's also some pretty tasty guitar work goin on in this song as well!
"The Clairvoyant"- This song is amazing! Love the guitar part that comes in right after Steve Harris' bass solo intro. There's GREAT guitar work and tone on this song! With the exception of the speed factor, the tones here sound like something DragonForce might do so I think these guys influenced DragonForce (I like DragonForce, but they are not nearly as great as the Irons and some of the other bands I like). But anyway this song is one of the best songs here (actually if asked my fave on this album, I don't think I could choose. I like all of them! Except "Only the Good Die Young). The verses of this song are heavy and the pre-chorus has soaring guitar melodies and then the chorus is heavy and sounds like a time signature change or something. It goes together very well, but you can tell there was a change from the pre-chorus to the chorus. Another great one!