Now, granted, I may not be the BIGGEST Iron Maiden fan out there (I've only been into em since I got Brave New World from a trader on here a few years back), but I have listened to the rest of their work, religiously, and I truly feel that this CD, while not better than the rest, is still great in it's own aspect. It doesn't have as many killer double guitar solos Maiden is known for, but the rhythm section is tight. However, the vocals certainly aren't as polished as once before, and the lyrics seem pretty repetitive. The first few times through, I didn't think much of the CD, for those reasons. However, 4-5 listens later, it's really started to grow on me.
Rainmaker is truly an excellent song, if not the best on there. Dance of Death is also a superb track. But, what were they thinking when they made the cover art for this CD? It's a poorly rendered picture of some computer generated people dancing? Good concept, but horribly made. I like the disc art, however. You can truly see Iron Maiden's rougher side in this cd, such as the "1.. 2... 1, 2, 3, 4" in the beginning of Wildest Dreams, as if it was rehearsal (reminds me a little of Metallica's St. Anger). However, this CD is miles ahead of St. Anger in the sense that you can listen to it more than twice without being sick of it!
But, even without the blazing solos and deep lyrics you're used to, this album is still one of my favorites of theirs. It may not be another Number of the Beast, but it's truly a great listen. Pick it up if you haven't already. It's always great to hear new stuff from one of your favorite bands.