Thursday, May 10, 2018

MAIDEN UNITED: EMPIRE OF THE CLOUDS (2018). My review...

I am sure that many people aren’t familiar with the name Maiden United, so I will begin this post by providing some info about them.
  Maiden United is not a band; is an acoustic side project, including musicians from many English and Dutch bands. They are driven by the charismatic singer Damian Wilson (ex-Threshold, Ayreon) and the guitar player Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation). They are active for almost a decade now and their discography consists of 4 studio albums, with Empire of the Clouds being their brand new one.
  As you can understand from their name, they are some kind of an Iron Maiden tribute band, but they sound like no other. For the needs of the project, many musicians from different bands joined together to play an all-acoustic tribute to Iron Maiden; but all the songs are played with new arrangements. In their live performances, they have a very big list of guest musicians, including Paul Di’ Anno, Blaze Bayley and Anneke among others.
   This year, they decided to record an extended version of Iron Maiden’s epic Empire of the Clouds, which became a 24-minute long song, divided into 4 parts and it includes a dramatic narration. The result is simply wonderful! 
  The song tells the dramatic (and true) story of the R101 airship, which crashed on its maiden voyage in northern France on 5 October 1930. The narration parts help us understand what exactly happened back then, and they add a lot to the song’s dynamic.
   Empire of the Clouds is available in digital format and a double-CD edition. For the vinyl lovers there is also a vinyl edition available. 
  The first CD includes all 4 parts of Empire of the Clouds. The 2nd CD includes again the same song, but in a wonderful live version, that was recorded in Amsterdam and includes lots of guest musicians. The last track of this double CD is a very interesting cover version of Killers, which is totally changed and really difficult to recognize.
  I think that this is a very interesting, enjoyable and rather unique release, which I recommend not only to the fans of Iron Maiden, but to all the fans of Rock music. Now I have to find their older releases, because these guys totally worth it!
                  My Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars.