Having recently acquired a Japanese import double CD copy of the controversial X Factor album by Iron Maiden, I have been revisiting what is usually considered the strongest of the two Blaze Bayley albums. In some quarters, the Blaze years aren’t even considered “real” Maiden, while in others, the man with the sideburns gains more appreciation over the years. The X Factor is a good Iron Maiden album, but certainly a departure and sometimes hard to recognize as the once-stampeding band.
“Lord of the Flies” was the second single, and for good reason. So many songs on The X Factor were slow or dour, but “Lord of the Flies” at least had tempo going for it. Maiden made an interesting choice in Bayley, choosing someone with a far deeper voice than Bruce Dickinson. The 90s were a sour time for bands of Maiden’s generation and you can feel the personal pain of chief songwriter Steve Harris, who allowed his feelings to come out a bit more than usual.
However you slice it, “Lord of the Flies” should be considered a worthy song. Listen to Nicko given’er on the drums and learn to appreciate Blaze’s signature delivery. It’s a different kind of Iron Maiden, but now that Bruce has been solidly in front of the band for the last 23 years, can we give some of the better Blaze tunes some love? I think we can.