Bruce Dickinson – The Mandrake project

8/10

Iron Maiden’s lead singer releases his first solo record for 19 years. The album starts with true Maiden metal (first single “Afterglow of Ragnarok”) and ends with a guitarsolo worthy of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour (the very epic “Sonata”). What lies in-between? Well, for instance….
* The Johnny Cash-esque verses and double guitar solos of “Rain on the graves”.
* The Quentin Tarantino goes Black Sabbath of “Ressurection men” (Dickinson himself on guitar).
* The orchestral (real strings?) heavy metal goes oriental of “Fingers in the wound”.
* A cover version (?) of Iron Maiden’s “Eternity has failed”, brought into life not least by its trippy solos on guitar and proggy synth.
* The acoustic guitar solo in “Face In The mirror” (Bruce himself, again). The artist’s relaxed singing in the same tune.
* The equally soulful (albeit not soul music!) piano ballad “Shadow of the gods”.
Throughout, the tunes are equipped withĀ  highly invocative, thematic lyrics into which I’ve just about dipped my old toes. Perhaps I ought to purchase the albums accompanying graphic novel?
Anything bad? Well, much of the record seems to be in the same key. And the very playful bass guitar deserves being higher in the mix.
….so is it any good? Yes, it’s a damn fine record, with a clearly passionate Bruce Dickinson fronting a great band. As good as today’s Iron Maiden? Better.
Artist: Bruce Dickinson
Title: The Mandrake project
Country: UK
Label: Warner
Date of release: 1/3-24
Rate: 8/10
Stand Out Track: Eternity has failed

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Bruce Dickinson – The Mandrake project

February 29, 2024

Iron Maiden’s lead singer releases his first solo record for 19 years. The album starts with true Maiden metal (first single “Afterglow of Ragnarok”) and ends with a guitarsolo worthy of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour (the very epic “Sonata”). What lies in-between? Well, for instance…. * The Johnny Cash-esque verses and double guitar solos of “Rain on the graves”. * The Quentin Tarantino goes Black Sabbath of “Ressurection men” (Dickinson himself on guitar). * The orchestral (real strings?) heavy metal goes oriental of “Fingers in the wound”. * A cover version (?) of Iron Maiden’s “Eternity has failed”, brought into life not least by its trippy solos on guitar and proggy synth. * The acoustic guitar solo in “Face In The mirror” (Bruce himself, again). The artist’s relaxed singing in the same tune. * The equally soulful (albeit not soul music!) piano ballad “Shadow of the gods”. Throughout, the tunes are equipped withĀ  highly invocative, thematic lyrics into which I’ve just about dipped my old toes. Perhaps I ought to purchase the albums accompanying graphic novel? Anything bad? Well, much of the record seems to be in the same key. And the very playful bass guitar deserves being higher in…

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