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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

KILLERS

February 1981 saw the release of the penultimate (sic) Metal album. During what is referred to as The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, chief purveyors of that brand, truly did have a revolving door of members, but it’s the line-up on this record, and the live EP that followed (Maiden Japan), that I have always considered to be the greatest Metal band that ever took the stage. Paul DiAnno, who would be replaced by Bruce ‘opera man’ Dickenson, exuded far more emotion and presence in his vocal performance. Alas his proclivity for strong drink and living on the edge of the rock and roll lifestyle forced the band to fire their frontman, but before that happened, they managed to record ‘Killers’, an album that would force the Metal world to step up to a new benchmark.
The twin guitar attack had been tweaked between their first record, ‘Iron Maiden’, and this, their second release, by the replacement of guitarist Dennis Stratton by Adrian Smith, one of the finer guitarists of that period.
‘Killers’ simply delivers the goods. From the opening instrumental anthem of ‘Ides Of March’ through to the hyper boogie of ‘Drifter’, ‘Killers’ hits all the marks and then some. What I love about this record, and Metal from this period in general, is the dynamics involved in the songwriting and arrangement. As opposed to the ‘beat you about the head for the entire record’ ethos of modern Metal, ‘Killers’ ebbs and flows in and out of tempo changes and shifts in time signature. Iron Maiden knew when to let you catch your breath, because they knew you’d need to gather yourself for the next onslaught of riffage.
No matter how you look at it, which criteria you judge upon; songs, band, artwork, ‘Killers’ comes out on top in the world of Metal.

Comments:
It was the second-to-last Metal album?

DC
 
I suppose that you're taking issue with my use (misuse) of the word 'penultimate', and if so, then okay, your right, but it's such a cool word....
 
How about 'the king god Metal album'? Is that okay Dave?
 
King God Metal album is perfect.

I approve.

DC
 
Penultimate, from the latin "paenultimus," derived from "paene" (almost) + "ultimus" (last).

Now, ultimate is obviously also derived from "ultimus," or last, though it has also come to mean utmost, extreme, or maximum, as in "the ultimate metal gods." Guess there really ain't much difference between the latest and greatest, after all.

"Ain't" is nonstandard, though the majority of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary finds its use in "ain't I" to be acceptable in speech.
 
Penultimate, from the latin "paenultimus," derived from "paene" (almost) + "ultimus" (last).

Now, ultimate is obviously also derived from "ultimus," or last, though it has also come to mean utmost, extreme, or maximum, as in "the ultimate metal gods." Guess there really ain't much difference between the latest and greatest, after all.

"Ain't" is nonstandard, though the majority of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary finds its use in "ain't I" to be acceptable in speech.
 
Dave C. is the penultimate guitar player on 'All The Bricks'. Chris would be the ultimate. Think about it.
 
I may be the penultimate guitar player on "All thje Bricks", but I am the ultimate banjo player on record.

DC
 
BTW, "All thje Bricks" is the Norwegian release.
 
Well I hope that wasn't the ulimate banjo session, or even the penultimate banjo session, loving the banjo as I do.
 
Great blog you have. I have a site about banjos we. You can check it out at banjos we
 
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