From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010
When a band’s been around for as long as heavy metal icons Iron Maiden has (35 years!), one greatest hits album just doesn’t cut it. When that same band has been churning out timeless electric poetry for as many years — arguably, never hitting a creative wall — they’ve got to not only put out one every decade or so, but they’ve got to make that baby a double disc.
From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010 picks up where Somewhere Back in Time – The Best of: 1980 – 1989 ended, and includes those five odd years in the mid ’90’s when lead singer Bruce Dickinson had left the band and been replaced by Blaze Bayley. Skating right past that era as if it never happened, on this compilation songs from that period are Dickinson-ized, leaving Bayley’s versions as a distant memory to be dug up on the pair of albums he contributed to during his short reign (The X Factor , Virtual XI ).
Hot on the heels of the band’s 2010 full length — their 15th studio album — The Final Frontier, this double serving of songs from Iron Maiden’s last twenty, celebrates the gear shifting train ride of their trademark metal from the straightforward (“The Wicker Man,” “Be Quick or Be Dead”) to the epic and otherworldly (“Blood Brothers”) to the just plain epic (“For the Greater Good of God”). The tongue-in-cheek “Bring Your Daughter… To The Slaughter” is included — a guilty pleasure Iron Maiden track if ever there was one — as are a handful of live tracks that give evidence to the British band’s age-defying prowess. “Sign of The Cross,” “Fear of the Dark,” and “The Clansman” roar and rage with the audience adding both mood and thousands of backing vocals.
The lot of the load ends with the quietly seething apocalyptic embrace, penned by band founder and bassist Steve Harris, “When the Wild Wind Blows” — a song that rivals Metallica’s “One” for title of best brutal ballad with a killer guitar solo. It’s a beautiful and bold choice to close out what is certain to be just one more era of Iron Maiden’s unstoppable career.
Iron Maiden: www.ironmaiden.com