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Slater922
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:24 pm
Posts: 198
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:55 pm 
 

Since the album ranking trend is already beginning to die out, I figure I do one last post on it with one of the best heavy metal bands of all time. At least until it comes back up again. Here's my list:

BEST: The Number of the Beast
2: Somewhere in Time
3: Piece of Mind
4: Powerslave
5: Iron Maiden
6: Killers
7: Fear of the Dark
8: No Prayer for the Dying
9: The X Factor
10: The Book of Souls
11: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
12: Brave New World
13: Virtual XI
14: A Matter of Life and Death
15: The Final Frontier
WORST: Dance of Death

I don't find any of Iron Maiden's albums bad, but everything from Brave New World and below are forgettable, with Dance of Death having a couple of poor moments. I personally couldn't get into Seventh Son of a Seventh Son besides Moonchild and The Prophecy, and The Book of Souls and The X Factor are decent. I also find No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark underrated, as they both got plenty of great riffs and some good lyricism. The first two albums of them are great, but they haven't exactly got their sound yet. Powerslave is fantastic, and Piece of Mind beats it by The Trooper (obviously). Somewhere in Time is mind-blowing, and The Number of the Beast is basically the definition of "perfect".
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Terri23
Veteran

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:53 am
Posts: 2612
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:34 pm 
 

I concur that the ranking fad has run its course. However, this is my favourite band, so I will bite.

1 - Iron Maiden
2 - Powerslave
3 - Piece of Mind
4 - Somewhere in Time
5 - Seventh Son
6 - Number of the Beast
7 - Killers
8 - Dance of Death
9 - Fear of the Dark
10 - The X Factor
11 - The Book of Souls
12 - A Matter of Life & Death
13 - Brave New World
14 - The Final Frontier
15 - Virtual XI
16 - No Prayer

The debut does have its critics, but for me it is timeless, with enough variation to keep it interesting even after listening to it for over 20 years. Phantom of the Opera is up there with the greatest songs ever written. The next 3 are just about perfect, with very little filler on them. Somewhere in Time is probably slightly weaker, with Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Alexander the Great being imperfect. Seventh Son is a brilliant album, but one I find myself revisiting less than I probably should. Number of the Beast is very lopsided, with side A being far weaker than side B. Hallowed be Thy Name is in their top 3 of greatest tracks ever written alongside Phantom of the Opera and Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Killers is decent, but it's almost entirely b sides from their 70's era that didn't make it onto the debut. It has better production, but the songs aren't as good, Wrathchild and Killers aside. Dance of Death is an album that seems to be controviersial among Maiden fans. I love the Maiden epics, and this has quite a few of them. Paschendale is brilliant, and so is the title track. Fear of the Dark would probably be bottom without Afraid to Shoot Strangers and the title track. The X Factor is one that I actually enjoy. It's a decent record. I find that it flows quite well, without any real stand out hits, nor real filler. The next few on my list are all somewhat forgettable, with a couple of tracks on each I enjoy, and the rest I can do without. No Prayer fucking sucks.
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King_of_Arnor
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:35 pm
Posts: 16
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:35 pm 
 

1. Powerslave (one of my all-time favourite albums)
2. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
3. Somewhere in Time
4. The Number of the Beast
5. Iron Maiden
6. Killers
7. Brave New World
8. Piece of Mind (overrated)
9. Fear of the Dark
10. No Prayer for the Dying
11. The X Factor
12. The Book of Souls
13. A Matter of Life and Death
14. Dance of Death
15. The Final Frontier
16. Virtual XI

I think that No Prayer for the Dying's title track is the most underrated Maiden song. On the other hand Piece of Mind is easily their most overrated album with a few songs that don't really go anywhere, especially towards the end. The Trooper, while an undeniable classic, doesn't salvage the rest of it which I found less inspiring than Number of the Beast and Powerslave. Number of the Beast has my top two favourite Maiden songs (title track and Hallowed Be Thy Name) but there's some meh moments and filler that drags it down, so Powerslave wins out for being more consistently enjoyable throughout. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is THE example of how to do a long epic right.

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Oxenkiller
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 2847
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:06 pm 
 

I am not as familiar with their later albums so it wouldnt be fair for me to do a comprehensive ranking, but albums one through six are pretty timeless. I'd rank "Number of the Beast" as tops, followed by "Killers," then "Piece of Mind," then the debut and then Somewhere in Time, but Powerslave fits up there nicely too. "Piece of Mind," Somewhere in time" and Powerslave" were marred by some filler tracks, while the debut had a couple tracks that, while still great tunes, sounded a bit dated. I honestly never got into "Seventh Son" as much but it's still a good overall listen.
There is something about "Killers" that I always really dug, just the punkish, raw youthful energy of it, and with the possible exception of "Purgatory" there really isnt any sub-par tracks (that I can think of) on it- even "Purgatory" is a great tune. "Piece of Mind" and "Number of the Beast" are quintessential Maiden and those two albums really raised the bar. Although as mentioned in the post above, there are a couple tracks from "Piece of Mind" that wouldnt be missed; hence I wouldnt rate it as my #1 overall.

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Cosmic_Equilibrium
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:03 pm
Posts: 382
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:11 pm 
 

1. AMOLAD
2. Somewhere In Time
3. The X Factor
4. DoD
5. Iron Maiden

These are my top 5 and don't usually change. AMOLAD and DoD are both flat out masterpieces. SiT is really good too, a very consistent album that you can pretty much play at any time and enjoy. The X Factor, by contrast, is more of an album I have to be in a particular mood for, but I rate it highly as it's very consistent and is one of the few albums I listen to for catharsis when I'm feeling down (most times when I feel like that I just don't listen to music). Sign Of The Cross is Maiden's best song and the version from Rock In Rio is probably their finest hour. The debut has somewhat basic production but its own charm, sharing (with Killers) a sort of East End noir atmosphere, and it's just a great set of songs and vibe.


6. Powerslave
7. FOTD
8. NOTB
9. SSOASS

These four albums I find very hard to rank as they're all classics and about as consistent as each other, with great songs aplenty etc. FOTD is a much more consistent and diverse album than most realise, and the band were on superb form live for the first half of the tour for it too.


10. BNW
11. Piece Of Mind
12. The Final Frontier

These three albums are all good but either don't reach the incredible heights of the ones after them (BNW), have some shaky moments (POM), or are a comedown from what came before (TFF). Still very consistent albums though.


13. NPFTD
14. VXI
15. Killers
16. TBOS

These albums are all still listenable but are in the bottom category. NPFTD has some very good songs on it (Run Silent Run Deep for example) but is a massive comedown after 7th Son and the production is shite. The Assassin is also hands down the worst Maiden song ever written. VXI is likewise a big step down from The X Factor, looks cheap and sounds rushed, with very thin production. There are some good songs on it (The Clansman, Como Estais Amigos) but some lesser ones too (oddly a few stronger tunes were held over for BNW) and there is no need for The Angel And The Gambler to be ten minutes long. Killers has great cover art and production but, as mentioned by someone above, most of the best songs in the band's early repertoire went on the debut and with some exceptions (such as the title track) the lesser songs went on the second album, and you can clearly tell as a few sound more like B-Sides (Innocent Exile). It also lacks an epic a la Phantom Of The Opera and had one been included then I would rate it a few places higher. Finally, The Book Of Souls didn't need to be a double album and has some songs on it which sound half finished.


As a bonus, here's my top 5 live album rating (I've not heard them all yet)

1) Beast Over Hammersmith
2) Donington 1992 (Video only, NOT the CD. The performance is great but the CD mix is really muddy and the guitars are too quiet. The video mix is perfect however).
3) Rock In Rio
4) Flight 666 soundtrack
5) Live After Death

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Xytras71
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:57 am
Posts: 339
Location: Toronto, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:20 pm 
 

As I've mentioned in other thread, I am one of very few people in a world who prefers DiAnno's albums. The unbridled enthusiasm on those is so pure and despite being rough around the edges, both albums rock without even trying too hard. Anyway...

1. "Iron Maiden" has a very special place in my heart as it's almost solely responsible for introducing me to Metal over 35 years ago. And for that I'll be grateful forever. Still contains three of my top ten tunes: "Prowler", "Remember Tomorrow" and "Phantom Of The Opera" and easily top ten Metal album of all time in my book.

2. "Killers" easily on par with a debut, just doesn't hold the same sentimental value as I already was fully aware what I was walking into, haha

3. "The Number Of The Beast" probably my fave of Bruce's era. Excellent compromise between "old" and "new"...though I can do without the one of most overhyped songs in Metal "Run To The Hills" for its annoying chorus

4. "Powerslave"
5. "Piece Of Mind"
6. "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son"
7. "Live After Death"
8. "Somewhere In Time"

9+ Everything else in no order. This is where I started to lose them as my Metal hunger was firmly striving toward Death/Black Metal by late 80s. But if I must pick the Best of the rest, I'd go with "No Prayer..."


Last edited by Xytras71 on Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MetlaNZ
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 618
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:32 pm 
 

My list is subject to change depending on the moon, what side of the bed I got out of and various other factors.

1. Iron Maiden
2. Killers
3. Number of the Beast
4. Piece of Mind
5. Powerslave
6. Live After Death
7. Somewhere in Time
8. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
9. No Prayer for the Dying
10. Fear of the Dark

Everything else blows.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 28881
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:52 pm 
 

1. Somewhere in Time
2. Seventh Son
3. Piece of Mind
4. Iron Maiden
5. Powerslave
6. Number of the Beast
7. Killers
8. The Final Frontier
9. The Book of Souls
10. A Matter of Life and Death
11. Brave New World
12. Dance of Death
13. The X-Factor
14. No Prayer for the Dying
15. Virtual XI
16. Fear of the Dark

Pretty much all the first seven I go back to every so often - just classics with this really identifiable, unique musicianship, amazing vocals, energy, etc. They carved out a niche and just kept going. SIT is my favorite - just a feast of melodies and this great colorful sound. A tremendously evocative, adventurous piece of music. Seventh Son is sharp, majestic storytelling. Piece of Mind has some of their best riffs and songs, and some of the most creative stuff they'd done to that point. Most of the others are almost interchangeable in rating for me, really, though Killers has always been a bit of an odd duck - but not bad at all.

Their recent few albums are also standouts for me as they've found new ways to branch out the sound and there are some truly grand stuff on there. "Isle of Avalon" and "The Talisman" I still say are my favorite songs of theirs since the 80s. TFF as a whole has held up great over the years; still play it frequently and like the sweeping epic vibe, and it's my favorite thing they did post-80s personally. TBOS has some really powerful shit on it and AMOLAD is a really different kind of album for them in a great way.

The earlier reformation albums are good but just not as epic or cool for me.

The Blaze years were just uninspired - some interesting stuff but it was clear they were out of steam. And I've never been that huge on those early 90s hard rock ones; just not a style they really resonated for me with. There might not have been anywhere to go after SSOASS but that doesn't make the material any better to me, albeit a few good ones like "Fear of the Dark" title track.
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Last edited by Empyreal on Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Demon Fang
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 am
Posts: 141
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:58 pm 
 

16. The Final Frontier
YAWN. I liked "Where the Wild Wind Blows" back in 2010, but we all know how tastes can change in over a decade... yeah, this album literally just exists.

15. Virtual XI
"Futureal" is a great song, and I've always had something of an affinity for "The Clansman", but everything else ranged from snoozeworthy to dreadfully boring - which is worse than being plain dreadful.

14. A Matter of Life and Death
"Brighter than a Thousand Chorus Repeats" pretty much sums up this album, although it has a little bit more lift than The Final Frontier did at least, so there's that.

13. Dance of Death
It's A Matter of Life and Death but better. That's about it.

12. The X Factor
An interesting album for its time, at least within the confides of Iron Maiden's discography. The first few songs are good, if not outright bangers, but then it drops off into a more boring territory.

11. No Prayer for the Dying
It's the first where the album isn't really boring, but it's also not terribly exciting either. Some bangers here and there amidst some decent filler tracks.

10. Fear of the Dark
The titular song is an out and out classic, and there are a few cool songs here too. The rest is at least more exciting than the filler tracks on No Prayer.

9. Brave New World
8. Book of Souls
Modern Maiden that actually has some pretty sick tunes like the first four songs off Brave New World, "Speed of Light", "The Red and the Black" and especially "Empire of the Clouds".

7. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
I actually don't think anything here stands out as a strong, standout classic except for the titular song and "Only the Good Die Young". It took a bit of time for this to sink in since I didn't exactly come into Iron Maiden's music, expecting outright synth rock. But once their melodies sunk in, this album ended up being pretty sick overall.

6. Number of the Beast
Strong classics, but damn, this is back-loaded - the latter half is stronger than Eddie Hall, but the first half is mostly good and enjoyable. "Children of the Damned" is dull, hurting the momentum started by "Invaders", although "The Prisoner" regains that and "22 Acacia Avenue" is a fun, fun track. But then you get to "Number of the Beast" and things get really good! Like, here's where its classic status really shows! Mainly in "Number of the Beast", "Run to the Hills" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name".

4. Iron Maiden AND Killers
Interestingly, I agree with Noktorn's take on the self-titled album - what "Phantom of the Opera" is doing in the middle of the album is still beyond me - and yet, the sheer enthusiasm in the performances makes up for some of the shakier "first album" aspects. Killers buffs those out, but it doesn't have as many classics and the classics aren't as strong. It's difficult to really choose, they're both great albums in their own right.

3. Piece of Mind
"Flight of Icarus" and "The Trooper" are indisputable classics, and songs like "Die With Your Boots On", "Still Life" and "Sun and Steel" are similarly high quality.

2. Powerslave
Would be my number 1 pick based on the first two and last two tracks. Everything sandwiched between is still good, but come on, the quality drop off from the out and out fucking banger "2 Minutes to Midnight" to the fun enough instrumental "Losfer Words" is real, as is the upward hump from "Back in the Village" to motherfucking "Powerslave" and the epic to end all epics "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

1. Somewhere in Time
Yeah come on, pretty much every song here is a fucking banger! Absolute masterpiece, overall 11/10.

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Gravetemplar
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
Posts: 2017
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:53 pm 
 

This is a band I've listened a lot but I can't really order their albums. Their early stuff and the newer stuff scratch completely different itches and are on opposite ends of the "album band/singles band" spectrum. For example The Number of the Beast has 3 of their best songs and 3 songs that are completely worthless. Same goes for most of their classic stuff except for Seventh Son which is mostly great but still has one of the worst heavy metal songs ever written (Can I Play With Madness). Their newer stuff on the other have doesn't have songs as amazing as their best singles from the early days but the albums work a lot better as a whole. Yes, they can be a bit long but I don't think Brave New World or A Matter of Life and Death have a single weak track. I have to admit that I do like a lot of songs from their classic albums but they are very overrated, they have a ton of filler songs too.

I'd also like to point that I only enjoy the albums with Bruce, the rest of the singers they've had weren't any good in my opinion.

So, I don't really know. Apple's and oranges. My favourite albums are probably Seventh Son, Brave New World, A matter if Life and Death and Somewhere in Time but it's like rating albums from two completely different bands.

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lordcatfish
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 735
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:20 am 
 

Something like this:

01 The Number of the Beast
02 Brave New World
03 A Matter of Life and Death
04 Piece of Mind
05 Powerslave
06 Killers
07 Somewhere in Time
08 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
09 Dance of Death
10 Iron Maiden
11 The Book of Souls
12 The Final Frontier
13 Fear of the Dark
14 No Prayer for the Dying
15 Virtual XI
16 The X Factor

Top six has been locked for a while, but the top four rotate a fair bit. Everything up to and including slot 12 (The Final Frontier) I'd rate highly. 90s era definitely has all the worst albums, but there's still some great songs there.
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Terri23
Veteran

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:53 am
Posts: 2612
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:27 am 
 

Interesting seeing so many rate Somewhere in Time as their favourite. I have personally viewed it as one of the slightly weaker records, though the title track is killer. Also good to see the debut getting so much love.
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lord_ghengis
Still Standing After 38 Beers... hic

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5662
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:39 am 
 

Terri23 wrote:
Interesting seeing so many rate Somewhere in Time as their favourite. I have personally viewed it as one of the slightly weaker records, though the title track is killer. Also good to see the debut getting so much love.


It was my favourite for many years because the peaks are so, so high, but yeah, it's pretty up and down. Still my 2nd best with the top two being a long way above the others.
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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 864
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:18 am 
 

I love the album ranking threads and we should do more. It invites some thoughtful discussions and appraisals of a band's full body of work and is a way for newer fans or folks who never really took the time with some albums to get some perspective. If we're doing bands with 20+ albums like Overkill or Rage, perhaps a top 10 of your favorites would be better suited.

I hope at some point someone gets a Zappa ranking going in The Tavern cause I honestly don't know where to begin.

I only have six favorite Iron Maiden albums in the following order;

Somewhere In Time
Powerslave
Killers
Piece of Mind
Brave New World
Iron Maiden

I love songs off the others but not in totality - and yes that includes The Number of the Beast and Seventh Son. I revisit Final Frontier and The Book of Souls a lot and they will become favorites eventually. I really appreciate what they are doing in this newer era. AMOLAD also has its lovable moments for me. Fear of The Dark is middle of the road tripe to me still. I like The X Factor but not its follow up and solo Blaze is great - but solo Bruce is heavenly!!!
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MatsBG
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:02 am
Posts: 95
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:26 am 
 

Hands down my favourite band of all time, so this will be extremely hard. I don't find any of their albums "bad", although some of them are less exciting than others.

1. Powerslave

My favourite album of all time, any genre. I love everything about this record. Everything is just pure nostalgic familiarity. It's heavy, it's sharp, it's atmopsheric (I use this term a lot :lol: ), it's adventurous, it's just a hands down masterpiece! I can hear and feel the adventure that the cover art illustrates! Like being a kid again.

2. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

This album always posed as something really magical to me. You can really hear and feel the occult themes, and the tracks are both heavy and mettalic, as well as mysterious and floaty. Absolutely amazing! "Infinite Dreams" is the perfect mini-epic that ever existed.

3. Somewhere in Time

As with Powerslave and SSOASS, you can both hear and feel the theme that the record was going for. It looks futuristic, it sounds futuristic, and it perfectly blends the heaviness with the spacey production. Especially the (semi) title track, the two singles, TLOTLDR and "Deja-Vu" captures this.

4. A Matter of Life and Death

Now this is where things get hard. From here on, the rankings change almost daily, depending on my mood and what I "crave". I've always loved AMOLAD, as I feel it perfefctly blends the darkness of TXF and the more anthemic style of their 80s albums. "Lord of Light" was one of my favourite Maiden tracks for the longest time.

5. The X Factor

I remember the first time I heard this album. Prior to finding it at a discount price in a record shop, I had never heard of it or seen it. The artwork made me think that it was a completely different band, but since I had loved everything else I had heard from the band, I had to buy it. And boy was I in for a surprise. I lvoed it from the get-go, and for 6 months or so, it was my absolute favourite album in the world. I just adored the darkness and the way Blaze was singing. I couldn' compare it to anything else. I still to this day really love this album, and it made me a lifelong Blaze fan!

6. The Number of the Beast

7. Piece of Mind

These two albums almost always end up interchanging their place in my Maiden heart. I find that neither are perfect albums, but they both have some of the best Maiden has to offer. The production of POM is still one of my absolute favourites ever, and Hallowed be thy Name is rightfully regarded as Maiden's amsterpiece.

8. Brave New World

The first Maiden album I heard in its entirety. At the time, it felt like a "best of compilation" to me, with every song being a banger. As the years moved on though, I revisit it a lot less then what I used to, but I still really enjoy it. "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate" probably being my favourite of the bunch.

9. Iron Maiden

10. Killers

Some days I prefer the debut, other days it's Killers. That being said though, Di'Anno SLAYS on these albums! I alawys get pumped when I hear these albums, and "Purgatory" and "Twilight Zone" (I know, I know, it's originally a US bonus track) are some of my favourite Maiden tracks. I enjoy Kilelrs for it's higher highs, but the debut is more consistent I think.

11. The Book of Souls

Way too long, and home to some recycled Maiden. That being said though, the album is book-ended by some of hteir best tracks, and the title track scores high as one of their greatest in recent years. If Maiden learned to trim their albums some more, it would do them wonders.

12. The Final Frontier

First Maiden album I bought at release day. Was incredibly hyped. Probably too hyped, as the album wasn't quite what I wanted. Still, "Starblind" is probably my favourite modern Maiden track, and "Isle of Avalon" and "When the Wild Wind Blows" are goosebumps inducing.

13. Fear of the Dark

Some days, I'd rank this higher up, as it includes some fantastic tracks. "Afraid to Shoot Strangers", "Judas Be My Guide", "The Fugitive", and ESPECIALLY "Childhood's End" are just what I want from the more "back to basics, but still retaining their epic sound" period that Maiden went through at the time. Sadly, the album is also the one Maiden album that has a lot of weird fillers.

14. Virtual XI

Blaze saves this one for me. I enjoy it, and if any other band had released it, I think it would stand as a pretty good album. "Futureal", "Lightning Strikes Twice" and "Educated Fool" are really fun numbers that feel energetic, yet still a bit floaty. It's cool!

15. Dance of Death

Again, an album that switches around a lot. I love half of it, but is more reserved for the other half. "Rainmaker", "No More Lies", "Paschendale", and " Face in the Sand" are really cool and great numbers, but then you also have "Wildest Dreams", probably their worst track ever together with "Weekend Warrior".

16. No Prayer for the Dying

To me, this one has always ranked lowest. Still, I don't think it's a bad album. I find it rocking, fun, and almost feel-good. It's missing the patented Maiden magic, but I still put it on from time to time to get a burst of fun energy.

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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 1287
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:27 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
1. Somewhere in Time
2. Seventh Son
3. Piece of Mind

Pretty much all the first seven I go back to every so often - just classics with this really identifiable, unique musicianship, amazing vocals, energy, etc. They carved out a niche and just kept going. SIT is my favorite - just a feast of melodies and this great colorful sound. A tremendously evocative, adventurous piece of music. Seventh Son is sharp, majestic storytelling. Piece of Mind has some of their best riffs and songs, and some of the most creative stuff they'd done to that point. Most of the others are almost interchangeable in rating for me, really, though Killers has always been a bit of an odd duck - but not bad at all.


Completely agree with your top three - there's not much else to say there. SIT the song opens the record with six minutes of non-stop 'this is how to play guitar, thrash bands', and then they drop straight into one of the best sing-along 80s metal numbers ever ? Show offs. The music video for 'Wasted Years' is great, too, proper run through their own lives on the road, very evocative as you say. Agreed on Piece of Mind - it's always fun realizing that you know many of the stories they're singing about on that record, and where you don't, you're going to go out and get the movie / read the book.

I'm sticking to a top-ten+, and including live albums, as the live experience is something Maiden really mean as core to their music / concepts / etc., and also as I gave up on the new stuff after 'AMOLAD' (bored me into going to the bar during that show)

I can't choose between BNW & Dance of Death for 10 - they both have some excellent songs, both have some utter plodding dullness. The dip into 'we're going to sound like the production staff are tone deaf' really set in with DoD too, and I can never get past that. Fear of the Dark I really enjoy, I see it lower down a lot of lists, but it's got some of the last great songs that Maiden did before they went full Wakeman for 10 minutes on every other track after Bruce came back. Maiden England was the first show played at the venue I first saw Maiden in, it's on the Seventh Son tour, and everything is just immaculate in a way that it isn't quite for Live After Death or anything later - listen to the version of Infinite Dreams on there & tell me that isn't better than the album version (you're lying if you do).

1 - Somewhere in Time
2 - Seventh Son
3 - Piece of Mind
4 - Number of the Beast
5 - Maiden England '88 (Live)
6 - Fear of the Dark
7 - Powerslave
8 - Iron Maiden
9 - Live After Death (Live)
10* - Brave New World
10* - Dance of Death
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LordStenhammar
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:46 am
Posts: 2224
Location: The 9th Circle of Hollola
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:02 am 
 

I'm trying but I don't know. This is even harder than the Bathory one. Should I put the Bruce comeback albums higher on the list, because those are the ones I mostly listen to nowadays? How do the first two albums compare with what was to follow? What's number one of the equally great albums - Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, Seventh Son?

One thing's for sure: Blaze albums rank quite low. And it's not Blaze's fault, I like his voice. Last time I listened to The X Factor it felt like too fucking slow, and Virtual XI is what it is.

1. Powerslave (A life changing album for me, so it brings the first position in a very tough race.)
2. Seventh Son
3. Piece of Mind
4. Somewhere in Time
5. Killers
6. Iron Maiden
7. The Number of the Beast

No surprises there. And here's the rest of the shit:

8. A Matter of Life and Death
9. Brave New World
10. Fear of the Dark
11. Dance of Death
12. Book of Souls
13. The X Factor
14. No Prayer for the Dying
15. The Final Frontier
16. Virtual XI

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Slater922
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:24 pm
Posts: 198
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:28 am 
 

LordStenhammar wrote:
One thing's for sure: Blaze albums rank quite low. And it's not Blaze's fault, I like his voice. Last time I listened to The X Factor it felt like too fucking slow, and Virtual XI is what it is.

If Blaze's work was from a different band, they would be considered great. However, since they're still in the Iron Maiden name, they end up being compared to Bruce's work, and they just don't compare.
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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3006
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:37 am 
 

I've been an Iron Maiden fan for 25 years, and i've seen them live a couple times. I own all the albums up until Dance of Death (and have heard all the other ones digitally), but they have never been a "full album" band for me. Oddly enough, my all-time favourite is Brave New World.

After that, I would be basing my ranking strictly on individual tracks, because every single album has at least one or two songs I cannot recall. Some of the albums like No Prayer For The Dying and Blaze albums, I only remember 1-2 songs from.

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EldritchSun
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:51 pm
Posts: 204
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:21 pm 
 

Demon Fang wrote:
16. The Final Frontier
YAWN. I liked "Where the Wild Wind Blows" back in 2010, but we all know how tastes can change in over a decade... yeah, this album literally just exists.

15. Virtual XI
"Futureal" is a great song, and I've always had something of an affinity for "The Clansman", but everything else ranged from snoozeworthy to dreadfully boring - which is worse than being plain dreadful.

14. A Matter of Life and Death
"Brighter than a Thousand Chorus Repeats" pretty much sums up this album, although it has a little bit more lift than The Final Frontier did at least, so there's that.

13. Dance of Death
It's A Matter of Life and Death but better. That's about it.

12. The X Factor
An interesting album for its time, at least within the confides of Iron Maiden's discography. The first few songs are good, if not outright bangers, but then it drops off into a more boring territory.

11. No Prayer for the Dying
It's the first where the album isn't really boring, but it's also not terribly exciting either. Some bangers here and there amidst some decent filler tracks.

10. Fear of the Dark
The titular song is an out and out classic, and there are a few cool songs here too. The rest is at least more exciting than the filler tracks on No Prayer.

9. Brave New World
8. Book of Souls
Modern Maiden that actually has some pretty sick tunes like the first four songs off Brave New World, "Speed of Light", "The Red and the Black" and especially "Empire of the Clouds".

7. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
I actually don't think anything here stands out as a strong, standout classic except for the titular song and "Only the Good Die Young". It took a bit of time for this to sink in since I didn't exactly come into Iron Maiden's music, expecting outright synth rock. But once their melodies sunk in, this album ended up being pretty sick overall.

6. Number of the Beast
Strong classics, but damn, this is back-loaded - the latter half is stronger than Eddie Hall, but the first half is mostly good and enjoyable. "Children of the Damned" is dull, hurting the momentum started by "Invaders", although "The Prisoner" regains that and "22 Acacia Avenue" is a fun, fun track. But then you get to "Number of the Beast" and things get really good! Like, here's where its classic status really shows! Mainly in "Number of the Beast", "Run to the Hills" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name".

4. Iron Maiden AND Killers
Interestingly, I agree with Noktorn's take on the self-titled album - what "Phantom of the Opera" is doing in the middle of the album is still beyond me - and yet, the sheer enthusiasm in the performances makes up for some of the shakier "first album" aspects. Killers buffs those out, but it doesn't have as many classics and the classics aren't as strong. It's difficult to really choose, they're both great albums in their own right.

3. Piece of Mind
"Flight of Icarus" and "The Trooper" are indisputable classics, and songs like "Die With Your Boots On", "Still Life" and "Sun and Steel" are similarly high quality.

2. Powerslave
Would be my number 1 pick based on the first two and last two tracks. Everything sandwiched between is still good, but come on, the quality drop off from the out and out fucking banger "2 Minutes to Midnight" to the fun enough instrumental "Losfer Words" is real, as is the upward hump from "Back in the Village" to motherfucking "Powerslave" and the epic to end all epics "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

1. Somewhere in Time
Yeah come on, pretty much every song here is a fucking banger! Absolute masterpiece, overall 11/10.


Absolutely SPOT ON. I might exchange PoM with Power but they are basically equal in quality. Somewhere in Time is extremely overlooked and it simply rips. Loneliness... and Deja Vu are amazing songs that are rarely mentioned by anybody.


Last edited by EldritchSun on Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Spiner202
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:38 pm 
 

I only recently acquired a few of the 90s albums that were missing from my collection, but it was pretty quick to get a handle on them, so here's my ranking:

1. Piece of Mind
2. Somewhere In Time
3. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
4. Brave New World
5. Number of the Beast
6. Powerslave
7. The Book of Souls
8. Iron Maiden
9. Killers
10. Dance of Death
11. The Final Frontier
12. A Matter of Life and Death
13. Fear of the Dark
14. Virtual XI
15. The X Factor
16. No Prayer For The Dying

The top three are somewhat interchangeable. Seventh Son was my favourite for years, but over the last few years I've found the deeper cuts on POM and SIT to be especially strong. Brave New World was the first time I really got hooked on Maiden and I find it holds up well; that said, as I've bought the Blaze-era albums, it becomes clear that this album was every bit as formulaic as everything from Fear of the Dark onwards. The songs are so good that it still holds up. Number of the Beast and Powerslave are both great, but less consistent than the other Bruce albums of that era.

The Book of Souls had no right being as good as it was. While it is too long, my three favourite songs are the long ones. The title track really won a lot of points from me after seeing it live.

The first two albums are fun, but definitely a step down. Oddly, I find the debut to be way better than Killers, and if I had to put a few lines of demarcation into this listing, there would be one between those two records.

Not too much to say on DOD/TFF/AMOLAD - all good albums that are too long. The title track to Dance of Death might be the best Maiden song written subsequent to Fear of the Dark, and I feel like people don't talk about it very much.

I don't actually find the 90s to be as bad as their reputation. FOTD and Virtual XI in particular are good albums that are marred by overlong songs (and in the case of FOTD, a bit of filler). Lightning Strikes Twice is a top-tier Maiden track that I would love to see the band pull out live with Bruce. Blaze in general was just not the right singer for Maiden, and there's no doubt that both of his albums would be better with Bruce singing, but they still feel like Maiden to me and I do like them.

No Prayer For The Dying is just a confused, underwhelming effort. I do like quite a few songs from it (title song, Hooks in You, Bring Your Daughter), but I feel like it should be better than it is. Obviously I wasn't around when it came out, but I find the historical context of the other 90s records to make it easier to forgive their failings compared to this one. The modern Maiden formula wasn't established on this record, so I can't help but feel that it should be way better than it is.
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TheLoneForest
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:16 pm
Posts: 417
Location: Quebec
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:56 pm 
 

1. Somewhere in Time
2. Piece of Mind
3. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
4. Powerslave
5. A Matter of Life & Death
6. Dance of Death
7. Brave New World
8. Killers
9. The Number of the Beast
10. Fear of the Dark
11. iron Maiden
12. No Prayer for the Dying
13. The Final Frontier
14. The Book of Souls
15. The X Factor
16. Virtual XI

Iron Maiden was the first band I ever saw live (Matter of Life and Death tour). I was 7 years old, so that's why that album is so high up for me.

Can't stand Blaze and that era. Dance of Death is also super underrated

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MorbidEarth
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:39 am
Posts: 430
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:28 pm 
 

Iron Maiden, along with Metallica, were one of the first bands that I seriously got into and their music has meant a lot to me over the past 20 years. I'm sticking to studio releases only for my list just to make things a bit easier. Here's how I currently rank them:

1. Powerslave
2. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
3. Somewhere In Time
4. Brave New World
5. Piece Of Mind
6. The Number Of The Beast
7. Iron Maiden
8. A Matter of Life And Death
9. Killers
10. Fear of the Dark
11. Dance of Death
12. The Book of Souls
13. The Final Frontier
14. The X Factor
15. Virtual XI
16. No Prayer For The Dying

This list is by no means set in stone but the Top 3 consistently rank as my favourite Maiden albums. I actually think Somewhere In Time is pretty underrated. It has some great stuff on it that they never play live for some reason (How awesome would it be to see them play Caught Somewhere In Time or Sea of Madness?). I'm generally quite favourable to their more modern albums as you can see from my high ranking for Brave New World although I did find their last two records a bit of a chore to get through. I'd still rank them above the Blaze era and certainly No Prayer For The Dying which I think is particularly weak. Everything above The Number of the Beast are the albums that I go back to the most and that's unlikely to change anytime soon.


Last edited by MorbidEarth on Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HR90
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:57 pm
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:03 pm 
 

Very easy for me to rank Maiden albums.

1.- Somewhere in Time
2.- Killers
3.- Powerslave
4.- Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
5.- Piece of Mind

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Lord_Lexy
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:06 pm
Posts: 716
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:28 pm 
 

1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

The most epic of them all, all killer and no filler. The title track in particular is a wonderful track, an entire story of itself in almost 10 minutes.

2. Brave New World
3. A Matter of Life and Death


Practically tied for second place: the very rocking BNW and th darker, more chewy AMOLAD. The reunion record was an instant hit with me the moment I heard it, for the 2006 release I needed a long time to properly digest and appreciate it.

4. Powerslave
5. Somewhere in Time


Two clearly different albums from the same period and same DNA. A few less interesting moments on both that are eclipsed by the high points. The track Powerslave in particular is an incredible song, the artwork for the album unparallelled.

6. Killers
7. Number of the Beast


Two more straightforward albums without the more grandiose sounds the later albums of the 80s would bring.

8. The Final Frontier

I've always thought of this one as two ep's one disc: the more easy-going rock part and the longer, proggy and experimental second half. The rocker are fun, the proggers even better. The climax of When the Wild Wind Blows is phenomenal. The artwork is, together with AMOLAD, the best not done by Dereck Riggs.

9. Piece of Mind

The Trooper and To Tame a Land are some of Maiden's best but the rest of the album never quite got me as well as tracks on the albums above.

10. The X-Factor

Blaze is a great singer, as others in this thread have mentioned. His voice fits the darker tunes on this one. The highs are not as high as before, but the lows aren't too deep yet.

11. Iron Maiden

A fun record but it pales in comparison with what Maiden would bring from Killers on.

12. Dance of Death

An innocent album that does what it must do, but doesn't go out of its way to achieve more. No More Lies is the best track on here.
The artwork is what it is. In 2003 CGI had produced life-like armies of Orcs fighting Men before Helm's Deep but Maiden could not get better than this?

13. Virtual XI

Half of the tracks are good, really good. I absolutely love Lightning Strikes Twice, Futureal, The Clansman - the latter of of their alltime best. Something like the Angel and The Gambler I can enjoy, but what is Como Estais Amigos?

14. The Book of Souls
15. Fear of the Dark
16. No Prayer for the Dying

Their biggest offense is being boring, Maiden shouldn't be boring. The Red and the Black is long but has no epic feel to it, Empire of the Clouds is an artificially long track. Fear of the Dark has one good song, the rest has a sound that contrasts too much with what came before. I rarely listen to No Prayer for the Dying because why would I when there are other albums available? Jannick Gers had to replace Adrian Smith on these last two but the songwriting was lackluster. Luckily we got The Talisman from him later on.

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Face_your_fear_79
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:18 am
Posts: 389
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:54 pm 
 

Not a huge fan of this band but do like them considerably. There are three or four releases from them I have not heard yet so with that in mind here is my ranking.

1. Powerslave
2. The Number Of The Beast
3. Somewhere In Time
4. Piece Of Mind
5. Iron Maiden
6. Killers
7. Brave New World
8. A Matter Of life And Death
9. The Book Of Souls
10. The Final Frontier
11. Virtual XI

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 28881
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:35 pm 
 

Methuen wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
1. Somewhere in Time
2. Seventh Son
3. Piece of Mind

Pretty much all the first seven I go back to every so often - just classics with this really identifiable, unique musicianship, amazing vocals, energy, etc. They carved out a niche and just kept going. SIT is my favorite - just a feast of melodies and this great colorful sound. A tremendously evocative, adventurous piece of music. Seventh Son is sharp, majestic storytelling. Piece of Mind has some of their best riffs and songs, and some of the most creative stuff they'd done to that point. Most of the others are almost interchangeable in rating for me, really, though Killers has always been a bit of an odd duck - but not bad at all.


Completely agree with your top three - there's not much else to say there. SIT the song opens the record with six minutes of non-stop 'this is how to play guitar, thrash bands', and then they drop straight into one of the best sing-along 80s metal numbers ever ? Show offs. The music video for 'Wasted Years' is great, too, proper run through their own lives on the road, very evocative as you say. Agreed on Piece of Mind - it's always fun realizing that you know many of the stories they're singing about on that record, and where you don't, you're going to go out and get the movie / read the book.


Yep... SIT is just nonstop things to hook the ears to. Hard to even pick standouts. The whole thing is just cool as fuck.

Piece of Mind has a few of my all time favorite tracks - Where Eagles Dare, Revelations, Flight of Icarus. Those combined with the Powerslave title song and "The Evil That Men Do" would probably be my favorite individual Maiden songs. Hearing those as a teenager probably paved the way for much of my tastes later.

edit: Throw in the NOTB title track to that list too. What a fucking song. Even now, so goddamn fiery.
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Chaosmonger
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:59 pm
Posts: 1125
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:26 pm 
 

you know, it's weird, I've been into Maiden for about 22 years or so now and I still couldn't give you my definitive order.

I'll go with this today:
1. Powerslave
2. Piece
3. Seventh Son
4. Number
5. Somewhere
6. s/t
7. Killers
8. Fear
9. Brave
10. Dance of Death/Matter of Life and Death (tie)
11. No Prayer
12. X-Factor
13. Virtual XI

haven't heard the last two all the way through

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kluseba
Making Metal Archives Reviews Great Again!

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 787
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:04 am 
 

This would be my ranking as of today:

1. Somewhere in Time: the only album of the band without any fillers and only killers
2. Powerslave: heavy/power metal at its very best at the start and at the end with a slightly less impressive middle section
3. The X-Factor: consistent gloomy atmosphere from start to finish, was once my favourite album of the band
4. The Number of the Beast: a heavy metal milestone that only suffers from an average opener and a dud in the second half
5. Dance of Death: this record includes the band's greatest tunes since the reunion that pardon for a few fillers

6. Piece of Mind: the first six songs are heavy metal classics but the last three tracks drag the album down
7. A Matter of Life and Death: the record has a clear guiding line from start to finish with gloomy atmosphere and excellent performances
8. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son: this record needs to grow but six out of eight tunes are absolutely great
9. Fear of the Dark: the album includes several lows but the highlights are absolutely timeless
10. Brave New World: the record starts on a high note with strong atmosphere but loses some steam towards the end
11. Iron Maiden: several decent tracks but inconsistent songwriting and terrible production
12. The Book of Souls: the opener and the closer are instant classics but the record includes too many fillers
13. Killers: four tracks are very good but the middle section includes too many fillers and two instrumental songs are too much

14. No Prayer for the Dying: too many fillers and only two decent tunes on here
15. Virtual XI: hard to sit through due to overlong songwriting
16. The Final Frontier: bloated and overloaded record that suffers from terrible production issues
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MetlaNZ
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 618
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:14 am 
 

Somewhere in Time has 2 glaring fillers, Deja Vu and Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Deja Vu gets a pass as being a really good filler but Runner doesn't, the lyrics and topic suck all the way, that's the cracks starting to show from Harry. Great album other than that tho.

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 2145
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:54 am 
 

I've discovered and got into Iron Maiden during the early 2000's when I was in high school, and even though I got into their music way past their classic era, they were still a very important band in shaping my tastes for metal music. At the time, I listened to albums more than I listened to bands entire discographies, namely because downloading wasn't quite the same at the time, there was no legal streaming platforms, and I listened mostly to music that I bought. So in a way, my ranking might be a little biased as I didn't get my hands on classic records like Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and Somewhere in Time when I was getting into the band, so I do not feel as strongly about them as others who hold a big nostalgic value for me. The top spots of my ranking are deeply grounded in my appreciation of the band and how much I loved these records (and for the S/T and Killers, in my revisiting and first genuine exploration of pre-Dickinson era Maiden), but as I lost interest with the band around the turn of the 2010's, I have to say that I do not feel strongly about the most recent releases either way. So, here goes!

1. Powerslave
2. Killers
3. Piece of Mind
4. Iron Maiden
5. Number of the Beast
6. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
7. Somewhere in Time
8. Fear of the Dark
9. Brave New World
10. A Matter of Life and Death
11. No Prayer for the Dying
12. The X Factor
13. Virtual XI
14. The Book of Souls
15. The Final Frontier

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