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Bruce Dickinson – Tyranny of Souls

Label: Sanctuary Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Iron Maiden’s frontman grabs the bull by the horns on his latest solo release, taking the heavy guitar sound of "The Chemical Wedding" (although not the modern approach) and combining it with Maiden elements and even a dash of European Power Metal.


‘Abduction’ the lead off track, shows a European influence and guitars do have a very similar Brainstorm sound with the solo breakdown resembling a Maiden piece. Producer Roy Z played all the guitars so somewhere subconsciously I guess he has had some influence from the Power Metal movement? A great leadoff track and sets the sound for the rest of the disc. Followed by ‘Soul Intruders’, it sounds as if it was written around the time of Maiden’s “Fear of the Dark”, both the verses and especially the chorus have that familiar arrangement and treatment to the chorus (‘Fear is the Key’, ‘The Fugitive’). ‘Navigate the Seas of the Sun’ is almost an acoustic song, musically its laid back and relaxed in spirit to go with lyrics like “We sail our ships to distant shores” “Flowers in the garden of the Gods”. The momentum settles a bit more in the next track ‘River of no Return’, still strong in delivery but not so high in energy.

I must say that again on this song as well as others, Bruce’s bridge has a very familiar ring to it like an Iron Maiden song, pretty cool how that happens. The opening guitar lead to ‘Power of the Sun’ reminds me of old school Helloween “Walls of Jericho”, but not the harmonies. If you are looking for something more singable, ‘Devil on a Hog’ has that commercial sound to its chorus and a "Tattooed Millionaire" ring. ‘Believil’ is the more modern sounding track with dark keyboards and an accentuating church bell in the background.

On each solo album Bruce breaks out of the walls within the Iron Maiden fortress and proves that even though he writes lyrics with Maiden his creative pool does not dry up. Must be a fountain somewhere.

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