Bruce Dickinson Tyranny Of Souls Sanctuary Records
· Produced By: Roy Z

· Running Time: 43.34

· Release Date: May

· Released: WORLD

· Musical Style: Melodic Metal

· Links: Bruce Dickinson
Songs: 88%
Sound: 90%
Review by Mick Ward.
Accident of Birth was a classic. Skunkworks - although a departure - was one of the most underrated albums of the 90's and came at a time where I think it's safe to say Dickinson was still searching for a true identity. But then came Accident which was the true master finding himself again having returned to the genre from which he originated, and hence delivering one of his finest moments. Its follow up Chemical Wedding quite rightly received critical acclaim and it was then odd to find Bruce's next release was a greatest hits affair. Considering he was the key that brought about the successful reformation of the classic Maiden lineup, surely another well received solo album would have solidified the Dickinson onslaught, but instead it seemed good fortunes were to be the order of the day.
It may be a little belated but I'm happy to report that the release of Tyranny of Souls does nothing but show Dickinson is still in fine form as the album itself is up there with his best work. I therefore find it baffling to see early opinions of this album so varied. For fans of Dickinson to rate Tyranny of Souls a 6/10 is confusing to say the least. What on earth are these people hearing? What on earth were they expecting? To put it simply, although Tyranny of Souls may not threaten either of Bruce's previous efforts, it does on the odd occasion rear its head above the highlights of those very albums, but not often enough to be labeled equal.
The Intro to Tyranny is appropriately haunting and lead track Abduction kicks off sounding like a cross between Silver Wings and any track off the Chemical album, and pretty much sums up what's in store. Heavy, pacey, and straight to the point. Track two is one of those mentioned classics that rears itself above the pack matching anything Dickinson has penned in recent times, the verse thumps away sounding pure metal with what I think is a nod toward Accident's The Magician. Splendid stuff.
Things slow down with Kill Devil Hill, but mellow not. Perhaps not in speed but in delivery and lyric Kill Devil Hill is one of the heaviest tracks on offer here. Its atmosphere and lyric are engaging and this is becoming a favorite, its lyrics about crash landing an airplane into a hill (or something like that) manage to be anything but cheesy.
Next track Navigate The Seas of the Sun is my one and only gripe, an acoustic tune similar to previous works such as Man of Sorrows (less the bombast) Omega, Gates of Urizon or perhaps Tears of the Dragon (again less the bombast). Here's my gripe. This is a decent enough song and actually for want of a better word is interesting. But the necessity to include such a song yet again is a little tiring particularly when to be honest Navigate is not even close to those already mentioned tracks. Lyrically it's cool, I just find its inclusion unnecessary. Small gripe!
River of No Return is quite the turn around, its intro takes me back to 70's rock and purely for being that little different it's a true stand out. Power of the Sun is a simple rocker, a fantastic song that would not have been out of place on Brave New World had it been given that Maiden/Harris twist. Devil on a Hog is one of the best songs on offer here.
Devil on a Hog would have fitted nicely on Tattooed Millionaire, its brave return to classic rock riffing and its glorious chorus captures everything that was gold about the 80's and early 90's before the big change. Although Devil on a Hog doesn't fit Bruce's traditional output since Accident, it's likely the classiest and catchiest thing on Tyranny. Worth the price alone!
Bringing Tyranny in for landing are Believil, another slower track with a big fat chorus, not great but very much welcome, and last but not least the finale, evil sounding Tyranny of Souls which boarders on Epic, is another track that on occasions rears its head above the pack. Again, great stuff!
The Bottom Line
I don't really care for comparisons but for those who do I believe, all in all Tyranny is almost up to speed with Accident and/or Chemical. Otherwise if you're like me you will take Tyranny on its own merits and enjoy every cracking minute of this wonderful ride. Really when you compare this to most other releases out there, it kicks ass! Enjoy!
[I have to agree….I am not sold on all Dickinson solo work, but personally speaking find this a highly enjoyable, well played and well executed record. And to boot, sonically it's 100 times cleaner than the last Iron Maiden album. Cool record – Andrew]
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Tattooed Millionaire
· Balls To Picasso
· Skunkworks
· Accident Of Birth
· The Chemical Wedding
· Tyranny Of Souls

Line Up
Promo: Not Listed
Essential for fans of:
· Dickinson Solo
· Iron Maiden
· Roy Z
Track Listing
· Mars Within (Intro)
· Abduction
· Soul Intruders
· Kill Devil Hill
· Navigate The Seas Of The Sun
· River Of No Return
· Power Of The Sun
· Devil On A Hog
· Believil
· A Tyranny Of Souls

16/02/06: Big Mike -
Rating: 75
Very good Melodic metal album, better than recent Iron Maiden in my opinion. Great work Bruce.

03/08/05: Wisey -
Rating: 80
I've given Bruce Dickinsons' latest album "Tyranny Of Souls" plenty of listening before writing this review because I've had to think pretty hard as to how I'll rate it & review it. The reason for this is that while there is a lot to like about the album it just didn't really grab me after the first couple of listens so I wanted to see if it would grow on me.
Wardy has written a good review of it, and whilst it has grown on me to a degree, sadly I must agree with Wardy that it is just not as good as his previous two releases "The Chemical Wedding" and "Accident Of Birth". I rate "AOB" as a definite 5 star album and an all time classic/favorite of mine, and "TCW" 4 stars. I was expecting an album that was somewhat like what we've heard from Bruce before on those albums but just as good, if not better. However, whilst we have an album here that does sound like what we've heard before, unfortunately it just is not as good.
Why? Well...unfortunately the absence of Adrian Smith is very noticeable. Roy Z does a great job on guitar but Adrians' class and his solos are the missing ingredient that would have made this album as good as those previously mentioned. Also, the quality of songs is not up to the same standard.
The album starts off as you would expect, following on from the intro with a fast and aggressive typical Bruce ball buster of a song in "Abduction". This song sounds just as good as anything on his last two albums.
Track two "Soul Intruders" continues in this aggressive vein and then "Kill Devil Hill" is another good track which has the aggression and attitude, but finishes in a more mellow style.
At this point you are thinking "YEAH!" that we've got another classic album in the making here, however the following track "Navigate The Seas Of The Sun" is a bit disappointing. The idea is right, to include at this point a mellower track to add variance and the track is not a bad one. But the title is repeated too often throughout the song so it is a bit boring. As Wardy said, we've heard similar songs to this on Bruce's last two albums that are much better than this.
"The River Of No Return" has a power and intensity about it, with great riffs, mellow moments during the verses, then building for the chorus. Unfortunately the guitar solo lets it down a bit, thus the Adrian Smith factor.
"Power Of The Sun" is fast paced but rather bland, again we've heard this before but done better.
"Devil On A Hog" stands out from the rest of the album because the style of it just doesn't fit. This song is more rock 'n' roll in style than heavy metal. Bruce does this type of song quite well and I like it a lot, it's similar in style to songs on his "Tattooed Millionaire" album. I think it's a good song that would have been better left off this album and included on an album done entirely in this hard rock style.
"Believil" is simply boring. There is not much else to say about this song other than that.
The title track concludes the album and again it's another average song that Bruce has done better before and doesn't do much for me. Again, a bit boring.

The bottom line is this:
It's a pretty good album over all and still much better than a lot of other metal albums, but it just isn't as good as Bruce's last two solo albums and because of that I found it a little disappointing. The problem for Bruce is that he has released so many great albums over his career to date both as a solo artist and with Iron Maiden that he has set the bar very high for himself, and us fans expect him to clear it every time. He's made a valiant attempt this time but in my opinion has just fallen short. "Tyranny Of Souls" is still an album well worth buying though.

03/07/05: Phil -
Rating: 83
Agree wtih the review, but i would go further. Bruce Dickinson's voice, although lacking the sparkle of his youth, is the thing that saves this album from tedium. Roy Z is certainly a guitar/producer god, but too often the songs on this album rely on fairly ordinary riffs. Eerie tracks like 'Soul Intruders', 'River of No Return', 'Believil' and 'Tyranny of Souls' continue Bruce's sound from 'Accident...' and 'Chemical...', but without the energy. Having said that, there are songs that do rise to and beyond Bruce's previous standard (and Iron Maidens) - 'Abduction', 'Power of the Sun' and 'Devil on a Hog' - are gloriously over the top and are easily afforded classic status. Never fear, Bruce Dickinson is still a legend!

27/06/05: Paulo -
Rating: 80
Another album I've been waiting for years! But became a little disappointing, since Mr. Dickinson (I used to call him GOD in early 90's) has arranged a lot of songs, based on so many music forms, that I felt lost! Compared to his last album - Chemical Wedding - this seems like a collection of B-sides. But I can't forget to mention Navigate The Seas Of Sun: beautiful song. Ok, it's not that bad, but it's not tremendously good! It gets this rating only for Bruce's powerful and time-cheater vocals! Scream for me!!!

25/06/05: KEN AHL - KAHL1212@HOTMAIL.COM
Rating: 93
Awesome return from Bruce. I love every song on this cd,just as i did on Accident of Birth. Bruce sounds amazing. And your right Andrew the production is far better then Iron Maidens last one.Wish Adrian Smith was on this though, my grade would have been higher! Brilliant Bruce as ever!

25/06/05: Gary -
Rating: 100
This CD is freakin' amazing! This is the Maiden Album that Maiden should have made since reuniting!!! Absolutely fantastic. Roy Z freakin' shreds on the guitar...why isn't he in Maiden and not Janick???? Buy this CD if you love Iron Maiden, Bruce solo stuff, or just good, plain old Heavy-Freakin'-Metal! Up the irons!

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