Maiden UniteD are an acoustic tribute to the band Iron Maiden. It was an idea of Joey Bruers from Iron Maiden tribute band Up The Irons and Ruud Jolie from Within Temptation.
There are a lot of musicians from well known (progressive) rock and metal bands present on this album. Remembrance is Maiden UniteD's third album. Don't expect rough and screaming guitars, pumping bass and drums all over the place, but lovely, sweet (and mostly) acoustic music with a progressive twist.
I love Iron Maiden, I've been a big fan for more than 10 years and saw them live once, so I was extra excited to hear this album. I've never heard the other two Maiden UniteD albums, so I did not know what to expect. I have to say that it is a quite innovative and creative idea. I had to listen to this a lot of times to actually appreciate it, not because it's not good, but I had to get rid the fact that this isn't an Iron Maiden copy. It is a band that puts the Maiden songs into a brand new jacket. The album sounds great and is very enjoyable to listen to. Damian Wilson (Threshold and Headspace), who does the lead vocals on most tracks on this album, is a very good singer and I really enjoy his voice on this album.
The album starts with the track Strange World. A very good album opener that contains a lot of energy. The (Hammond) organ and piano are powerful, just like the vocals. Charlotte The Harlot carries the same power and atmosphere Strange World has, but I hoped it had a bit more variation compared to the first track. Luckily Killers is something different. It only contains a lovely acoustic guitar and Damian puts a lot of emotion in his voice. The fourth track Remember Tomorrow starts with a lovely piano, bass guitar (which could have been a bit louder in my opinion, it's a bit too much in the background) and percussion. The chorus is a big eruption and Damian is reaching the high notes without any problems. Halfway through the song there's a lovely instrumental part with an acoustic guitar solo and piano solo. Burning Ambition has a very nice rhythm and has a positive vibe. It's quite a short composition, just as following track Futureal. Both tracks are under 3 minutes long. Futureal has Blaze Bayley on vocals. He was the lead singer of Iron Maiden for quite some years in the nineties and did the lead vocals on the original track. It is a very up tempo piece of music. I really love the seventh track Aces High, it makes me tap my feet and sing along! It still carries the magical feeling the original track has. It's my favourite track on the album. The vocals are provided by Wudstik and Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion) and they are doing a great job. The drums are really giving the track extra power. It is one uplifting track! Prowler features Paul Di'Anno on vocals, who was the first singer of Iron Maiden and also sang the original track on the first album Iron Maiden. Last track of the album is Still Life '15. It starts with a beautiful violin intro provided by Marcela. It's a lovely track to end the album with. Sadly the album is only 38 minutes short, I wish it had more songs on it.
You don't have to be an Iron Maiden fan and you don't have to be a fan of (progressive) acoustic music to appreciate this album. This is music that stands on its own. If you don't like rough metal like guitars and/or don't like acoustic music that isn't strong-bodied then this is the album for you.
****+ Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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