June 9, 2023
Iron Maiden

The return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith in 1999, followed by the Brave New World album, had convincingly demonstrated that Iron Maiden were still a force of the reckoning persuasion. Was it a one-off cash grab or were Maiden well and truly back?

The answer arrived on September 9, 2003, in the form of Iron Maiden’s thirteenth album, Dance Of Death. Opening with Nicko McBrain’s “One, two, three, four!” count-in, the band pile into Wildest Dreams with the same fist-pumping pugnacity that had dominated their earliest releases. With eleven tracks clocking in at just under seventy minutes, Dance Of Death aimed spotlights at Maiden’s innate ability to deliver the galloping power anthems that their fans expect while driving their sound inexorably forward into ambitious new realms. From the pulse-quickening velocity of New Frontier to the pastoral grandeur of Journeyman to quintessential Maidenesque epics like Montségur and Paschendale, Dance Of Death squarely established that Brave New World was not a fluke; quite the opposite — a new golden era had arrived.

With the album turning 20 this year, here are ten lesser-known factoids about Dance Of Death:

Metal Hammer line break

The band absolutely barrelled through the writing process

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