Friday, 19 June 2015

Iron Maiden - Powerslave (2015 iTunes Remaster)

Genre - Heavy Metal / NWoBHM
Label - Parlophone Records (BMG/INgrooves Music Group for the USA)
Track listing:
01 - Aces High
02 - 2 Minutes To Midnight
03 - Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)
04 - Flash Of The Blade
05 - The Duellists
06 - Back In The Village
07 - Powerslave
08 - Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
As previously featured here, let's continue with IRON MAIDEN catalog albums which have been Remastered for iTunes, encoded from 24-bit / 96 khz high resolution masters. All these albums have been freshly mastered with iTunes in mind, delivering the music to listeners exactly the way the artist and recording engineer intended.
These are brand new 2015 remasters from their original analog sources, exclusively produced for iTunes.
Now it's time for "Powerslave".
The third in a trilogy of legendary Iron Maiden albums, "Powerslave" is frequently ranked as the fan favourite of the bunch, capping off a stellar run that sealed the band's genre-defining status. If "The Number of the Beast " was the all-time metal landmark, 'Powerslave' is perhaps the quintessential Maiden album, capturing all the signature elements of the band's definitive era in one place.
The album opens with Maiden at their catchiest, turning in a pair of metal classics right off the bat with the British hit singles "Aces High" (a high-speed ode to a WWII air battle) and the apocalyptic "2 Minutes to Midnight".
Next we get an instrumental, "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)," of the sort that Maiden periodically deployed to keep fans in awe of their technical chops. A pair of their best and most overlooked album tracks follows; "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duellists" exemplify the glory-minded battle hymns that made up such an important part of their lyrical obsessions, even if both are about sword fighting rather than modern military history.
By the end of the album, we're seeing Maiden at their most progressive and ambitious. The seven-minute title track, "Powerslave",  builds on the previous album's "To Tame a Land" with its use of Middle Eastern melodies, delving into Egyptian mythology for a rumination on power and mortality.
This leads into the biggest, most grandiose epic in the Maiden catalogue: "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a multi-sectioned, thirteen-and-a-minute prog-fest adapted from the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem. Though it isn't exactly what you'd call hooky, its shifting moods and lofty intellectual aspirations made it a live favourite.
Steve Harris continues; "Now with this fresh mastering, the guitars are louder, the drums more substantial and the overall tone is so very much improved, in my opinion.
Tony Newton and Ade Emsley, who worked closely with me on the project, did a terrific job recapturing everything from the original masters, and together we've re- mastered them all digitally and I'm really happy with the results."
Tony Newton adds: "The process started with locating all of the original album mix tapes (or whichever format they were mixed to). Then the choice of analogue to digital convertor was chosen for the most accurate capture to make it as close as possible to the sound of the mix as it was intended by the band.
When a lot of these tapes were last captured it was in the 1980s, early days of digital and only 44.1khz/16bit files were possible. On top of this, the new A/D convertors are far superior now, and, of course, it is possible to produce files of far higher resolution.
The result of this is that the songs now sound more defined with added depth and warmth.
And you can tell it: on this new remaster of "Powerslave" there is definitely a difference with the previous versions of this album, perhaps the most notorious of this new batch of remasters.
Its clearer, fully sounding and well, just bloody well awesome!
Very, Very Highly Recommended!!!
Rating - 10/10

Simply A Classic!!

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