The Final Frontier - Iron Maiden

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Maiden have long had a knack for the lung-busting chorus, but what impresses here are the complicated arrangements.
  2. There are more ideas here than many bands manage in their entire career, but in inimitable Maiden style, it's woven together beautifully.
  3. Now they've reinforced their position as the credible elder statesmen of metal, with a tightly focused, self-referential effort.
  4. The Final Frontier might sound alien at first, but Iron Maiden's DNA is splashed all over it.
  5. While sometimes The Final Frontier seems to mine the Maiden groove until the canary chirps its last, the better songs are an indication that they aren't yet trading solely on their reputation.
  6. The delicately crafted "Coming Home" is Maiden's most effective power ballad ever, while "The Man Who Would Be King" delivers a slice of medieval mayhem. And the jam section during the cut "Isle of Avalon" suggests a metal take on the Grateful Dead. With all that, The Final Frontier boldly goes where few metal bands have gone before.
  7. The Final Frontier still brings Iron Maiden closer to their aesthetic legacy and triumphant year 2000 rebirth than its two predecessors.
  8. The Final Frontier is the kind of record that takes several listens to truly appreciate, but it's definitely worth it.
  9. The Final Frontier becomes less an exercise in experimentation than old-fashioned endurance, and the hushed-intro-bombastic-chorus dynamic begins to grate a little.
  10. Nearly 77 minutes, The Final Frontier calls for a harsher edit and, of course, Maiden's early punk tenacity.
  11. Iron Maiden has put together the best late-career run metal has ever seen, and the only thing we can hope is that it lasts for at least one more album.
  12. Only Iron Maiden know if this is their last hurrah. But if it is, they're going out the same way they came in: fearless, adventurous, and with a record that'll still bowl you over in a decade's time. [7 Aug 2010, p.50]
  13. 60
    The Final Frontier, its scratchy, clattering intro resembling The Mars Volta and signifying that this national institution's quest for adventure remains unabated. [Sept. 2010, p.98]
  14. 60
    Opener "Satellite 15" might hint at something dark and abrasive, but they're soon back on track, rattling through robust, enjoyable nonsense like the multi-part epic "When The Wild Wind Blows." [Nov 2010, p.93]
  15. Steel-plated national treasures hit the epic button. [Sept. 2010, p. 117]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Aug 22, 2010
    Brilliant comes to mind.
    Listen to it a few times in its entirety, its honestly too big to digest in one listen, you may ask yourself along
    the way if they can do this or that the way they did and then you will come back to it again latter and say yes, yes they can and then you smile as it just keeps getting better and better. Full Review »
  2. Sep 12, 2010
    This album is absolutely amazing. I've been a Maiden fan for years and I have never been more excited about hearing an album of theirs ever, and the way it starts is awesome, as soon as you hear it you know that this is going to be an epic album and it doesn't disappoint. I advise everyone to listen to this album start to finish many times so that they can fully appreciate what a truly awesome album it is. Also the cover art is awesome. Cant wait to see them live next year because the only thing better than Maiden on cd is Maiden Live Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2010
    I'm one of those old timey Maiden fans who thinks their absolute creative peak was "The Number of the Beast" and their last really good album was "Seventh Son". Since then they were producing auto-cloned and sub-par versions of their own music, progressively less interesting as the years went by. Listenable in a pinch, but why would you want to listen to weak Maiden when you have the first seven strong albums? This time, they don't even sound like themselves and you might feel that's a good thing, but it isn't. Instead of the uninspired and tired music you kind of like, you get uninspired and tired music you might not necessarily like as much.

    Still, even here, with the "new sound" we get the obligatory syncopated "Alexander the Great" clone and the assortment of adolescent, movie and history channel inspired themes understandable when the musicians are barely legal, but kind of sad when coming from the 45+ lot. This is their third consecutive album which I have listened to once and never had the need to listen to again. Even the album cover is among the worst in their discography. I love Maiden and they will always have a special place in my heart but this is just not good. As ever: Up the Irons!
    Full Review »