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The Iron Maiden frontman offers a record that's perfected down to the last detail.  | Photo: adels
The Iron Maiden frontman offers a record that's perfected down to the last detail. | Photo: adels
Martin Hošna -

Bruce Dickinson's Solo Album Storms with Dark Emotions

After nineteen years, Bruce Dickinson decided to join forces with Roy Z, his previous musical partner from the 90s, to record another solo metal masterpiece, The Mandrage Project. Ten tracks full of dark and heavy riffs, that don't bore for a single moment, show the Iron Maiden leader's rich rock versatility.

We could hardly find a more Renaissance man than Bruce Dickinson. With Iron Maiden he left a deep mark on the world of hard & heavy, as a solo artist he can captivate the listener and create a heavy metal soundtrack that stands as a sort of counterpoint to his home band. But there's no doubt that The Mandrake Project is a catchy record that, despite the newly reincarnated musical elements, is aimed at fans of Iron Maiden who will appreciate the melodic nature of the songs or the colourful instrumentation.

Dickinson tells the story of power, abuse, the search for identity and the contemplation of life and death in a theatrical but believable way. Epic riffs dominate the opening track "Afterglow of Ragnarok", the album's most prominent song, while impressive flamenco influences in "Ressurection Men" (which are interrupted halfway through by dark stoner rock in the vein of "Clutch", a hard rock trip in "Rain on the Graves" or oriental film melodies in "Fingers in the Wounds") enhance the resulting sound effect of the mystical atmosphere that Bruce manages to recreate very convincingly.

A bluesy hard rock riff opens another urgent song, "Many Doors to Hell", while the exotic percussion and shifting melodrama in "Eternity Has Failed" are a loose continuation of "If Eternity Should Fail" from Iron Maiden's Book Of Souls. There are also a few ballads like "Face in the Mirror" and "Shadow of the Gods" with a weeping piano accompaniment, but they don't reach the quality of the hit song "Tears of Dragon" from the 90s.

The album closes with the ten-minute "Sonata (Immortal Beloved)", where synths, slow strumming, and slow drumming create a gothic atmosphere, while the partially spoken and sung words surrealistically lull the listener into oblivion.

What can you appreciate about the album as a musician?

Dickinson's record is perfected to the last detail, including The Mandrake Project, a comic strip that uncovers the mystery of Necropolis, a scientific genius seeking to bring the dead back to life while asking philosophical questions as in the poem "The Raven" by E. A. Poe. Unlike Iron Maiden, Bruce plays with his own voice, bringing more colour and harmony to his statements and building them into darkened temples of his own creativity. The seventh solo album The Mandrake Project doesn't disappoint, and the high-pitched vocal lines of the 65-year-old metal guru are as movingly triumphant as when he was young.

​Bruce Dickinson – The Mandrake Project

Bruce Dickinson – The Mandrake Project  

BMG, 00:58:47

heavy metal

80 %

Tagy Bruce Dickinson Iron Maiden Recenze alb

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Martin Hošna