Released: 2011, Universal Music
Reviewer: Robert Williams
The latest greatest hits compilation from British heavy metal legends Iron Maiden focuses on the last twenty years of the band's illustrious career. Entitled FROM FEAR TO ETERNITY: THE BEST OF 1990-2010 fans can expect to find tracks from all of the band's albums starting with No Prayer For The Dying all the way up to the brilliant recently released "Final Frontier".
Since reuniting in the late nineties, Iron Maiden above all other reunited bands have steadily released a string of quality studio albums. Never resting on their past laurels. Reunions are often nothing more than quick cash grabs, brief summer tours that fizzle and pop and once the band enters the studio for their comeback album it's obvious to all parties involved that the magic is gone. That was never the case with Iron Maiden who starting with "Brave New World" embarked on a tour whose setlist consisted largely of the band's latest compositions.
A few years later "Dance of Death" emerged with stellar tracks like "Rainmaker" the pounding "No More Lies" and the crushing war anthem "Paschendale". More world tours followed and Iron Maiden came back to the table with another masterpiece in the form of "A Matter of Life and Death" further showcasing a maturing Maiden steeped in a more progressive musical direction with tracks like "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg" and the triumphant never say die attitude of "These Colours Don't Run". Of course we also get more recent tracks like "El Dorado" and "When The Wild Wind Blows" from "Final Frontier" perhaps the band's finest album since the reunion. As a fan I wish that this collection was centered specifically around the last decade of the band's career, the last four studio albums rather than including the ten years before that as there is definitely a certain feel with all of the 21st century Maiden output. The musical inspiration and passion reclaimed within the band during the initial reunion surpassed that of albums like "No Prayer For The Dying" "Fear of The Dark" and certainly the Blaze Bayley fronted albums.
A deluxe booklet crammed with photos, never before seen artwork, a forward by manager Rod Smallwood and lyrics make this a pretty cool incentive for purchase for fans who might already own all of these tracks on the original albums. The track listing however is not in chronological order so one minute you could be jamming on "The Wicker Man" off of the "Brave New World" album and then the very next track is "Holy Smoke" from 1990's "No Prayer For The Dying". It's kind of like having an Iron Maiden jukebox set on random. Also worth noting is that all of the tracks from the Blaze Bayley era of the band have been replaced with live recordings from the current Bruce Dickinson fronted Iron Maiden.
All in all, a fine collection of tracks by one of the most important bands in the history of heavy metal. If you have a blooming headbanger in your life FROM FEAR TO ETERNITY could serve as a fine introduction to the band when coupled with the "Somewhere Back In Time" compilation that focuses on the band's eighties era hits.