Bruce Dickinson- Tyranny of Souls

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bruce Dickinson is back for his sixth solo album.  It may have been seven years since his last one, but with good reason, as he’s been on tour and working with Iron Maiden since he reunited with them.  Tyranny of Souls sees him once again working with Roy Z from Tribe of Gypsies (and also the producer of the recent Judas Priest album).  The result is for the most part well done, and despite some small rough spots, the album shines.

The main thing one notices is how the album transitions from one element to another.  After a nice instrumental intro (Mars Within), listeners are immediately assaulted with power ballads and solos that are reminiscent of Maiden.  However, as you keep listening, things change.  The album transitions to soft melodic sections quite nicely, and these sections definitely have a hint of the Latin sound found in Tribe of Gypsies.  If there’s one issue, it’s that some of the songs don’t fit in as well with the overall theme of the album (Devil on a Hog is somewhat like a Motley Crue song which doesn’t necessarily fit the rest of the album).

Bruce definitely has one hell of a voice.  Whether doing a soft melodic song or singing to a power ballad, he pulls it all off.  There is more emotion in his vocals then a lot of singers these days, and it may be the one thing music of this genre has lost.  Lyric wise, there is definitely a hint of science fiction in these songs (with songs titled Abduction and Soul Intruders).  Some songs are definitely deeper and more emotional than others, but overall, they are all fairly enjoyable.

What makes this album great is it’s not just another power ballad CD.  If that was what everyone truly wanted, we’d be listening to one of Dickinson’s Iron Maiden CDs right now.  Tyranny of Souls melodic moments are emotional and well done, and despite the occasional song that doesn’t fit (Devil on a Hog is still enjoyable despite feeling very out of place), listeners will feel they’ve got their moneys worth after giving this a few plays.

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