A five year wait, a cancer scare, a double album, the first track made available, our review….
So, we arrive at the Speed Of Light and Iron Maiden’s long overdue return which will undoubtedly be greeted with mass hysteria by the majority of Metal-heads around the globe. But this is a review – so casting aside our dedication and 100% love and affection for Metal’s greatest band – we’re talking about one song and one song only.
Kicking off in true Classic Rock style – the opening sounding uncannily like prime 70’s Deep Purple – Nicko’s inimitable drumming (and cracking use of cowbell) ushers in a meaty Maiden riff as satisfying as the Dickinson scream that accompanies it. Carrying over the space themes that opened The Final Frontier, strangely it’s Bruce’s melodies that appear to be the weak spot, failing to match the typically high standard of soloing that forms the centrepiece of the song.
The band are on fine form and comparisons are inevitable and we’d liken “Speed Of Light” to the streamlined, quick-fire rapidity of “Be Quick Or Be Dead”, “Wildest Dreams” and “Different World”. Maiden will undoubtedly embrace the unfeasibly epic on The Book Of Souls but right now “Speed Of Light” gently eases us into the new material; resolutely Maiden in construct and fairly safe, Maiden purists will lap this up and rightfully so.
Hardly travelling at the speed of light, Maiden’s first single finds them semi-coasting on laurels but this is Iron Maiden, doing what Iron Maiden do best and although not an immediate hit to the gut, “Speed Of Light” could be a ‘grower’ and is still a tantalising glimpse into the beast that will be The Book Of Souls. 7/10