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Cheese Boutique: October 18, 1995

By Pete Nowak

Run to the hills, the new Iron Maiden album, The X Factor, bears the number of the beast.

What few fans this ‘80s leftover band has are sure to abandon ship after getting a whiff of this finely-aged CHEEZE. Gone are the days of overdone pyrotechnics, leather studs and the guttural screams of Bruce Dickinson. Replacing them are the days of keyboards, CHEEZY lyrics and new singer Blaze Bayley. BWAH-HAH-HAH!!! Blaze Bayley…anybody smell something funny?

The band obviously never tried to find someone with a Dickinson-esque voice to replace the old Tattooed Millionaire. What they got was more like shit-esque. And it’s only now that the extremely CHEEZY lyrics of bassist Steve Harris become apparent. Mr. Bayley just doesn’t do justice to lyrics like “I get in from work at 2 a.m. and sit down with a beer/Turn on late night TV and then wonder why I’m here” the same way Bruce used to. Blaze sounds more like Bruce who’s just sucked on a tailpipe for half an hour. Pretty pathetic…

What’s more pathetic is that after over ten studio albums, the band still sounds EXACTLY the same. They’ve got the same dueling guitar harmonies that used to sound pretty cool, but have now grown stale — much like CHEEZE if you leave it out for a while. Oh, but they’ve got some keyboards — a feeble attempt at being ‘90s.

It’s a good thing Bruce got out when he did, even if it is to join other hugely successful solo artists like David Lee Roth and Vince Neil. It should be a matter of months before Iron Maiden dies with their boots on.

You could say it’s two minutes to midnight. 

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