BRUCE DICK­IN­SON

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums -

Soloworks

BMG The solo ad­ven­tures of the Air Raid Siren get a vinyl reis­sue

La rgely thanks to

Iron Maiden’s sus­tained bril­liance over the last 17 years, Bruce Dick­in­son’s solo ca­reer has been re­gret­tably over­looked in re­cent times. Six al­bums deep and far more di­verse than cyn­ics might ex­pect, Soloworks of­fers a very wel­come op­por­tu­nity to re­assess the pi­lot­ing poly­math’s lone ven­tures, and on sump­tu­ous, dy­namic vinyl too. Bruce’s 1990 de­but, Tat­tooed Mil­lion­aire, re­mains the weak­est of his solo records, its ram­bunc­tious hard rock vibes pro­vid­ing a fit­ting con­trast to Maiden’s elab­o­rate grandeur but only hint­ing at glo­ries to come. The ti­tle track, Son Of A Gun and Born In ’58 are truly great songs; Lickin’ The Gun and Zulu Lulu are com­plete twad­dle. Balls To Pi­casso (1994) was a much more con­tem­po­rary and as­tute ef­fort, full of great riffs and mo­ments of melodic in­ge­nu­ity. Not ev­ery­thing matches the ir­re­sistible power of the clos­ing Tears Of A Dragon, but Bruce’s iden­tity was evolv­ing rapidly at this point. Much­ma­ligned at the time, 1996’s Skunkworks was a sin­cere at­tempt to em­brace the al­ter­na­tive rock sound that dom­i­nated the decade. With hind­sight, it’s sim­ply a very smart and sub­tle metal record and the hyp­notic In­er­tia is just one daz­zling high­light. As diehard fans will al­ready know, the fi­nal three al­bums in this col­lec­tion are all ab­so­lute mon­sters: Ac­ci­dent Of Birth, Chem­i­cal Wed­ding and Tyranny Of Souls are sim­ply mag­nif­i­cent heavy metal records, equal parts con­tem­po­rary and clas­sic and burst­ing with iron-clad an­thems. In par­tic­u­lar, Chem­i­cal Wed­ding is a stonecold mas­ter­piece and has never sounded more thrillingly bru­tal and bom­bas­tic than it does on pris­tine plas­tic.

FOR FANS OF: IRON MAIDEN, TRIV­IUM, ARCH EN­EMY

DOM LAW­SON

It’s time to dust off these crim­i­nally over­looked al­bums

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