Dickinson, Bruce - Tyranny of souls 3.5/5

Reviewed: 6-17-05


1. Mars within
2. Abduction
3. Soul intruders
4. Kill devil hill
5. Navigate the seas of the sun
6. River of no return
7. Power of the sun
8. Devil on a hog
9. Believil
10. A tyranny of souls

Bruce Dickinson’s first solo CD since he re-joined Iron Maiden is a definite success, although it doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of his previous 2 solo CDs. As with the last 2 CDs, Dickinson is back with Roy Z. for production and songwriting. Missing from this outing, though, is Iron Maiden bandmate Adrian Smith. There’s nothing that needs to be said as an introduction for Bruce Dickinson; not only is he a legendary singer, but his body of work lives up to that legend. Few singers can even consider Dickinson as a peer and his songwriting has proven to be very good, despite Steve Harris being the primary songwriter for Iron Maiden CDs.

After a brief intro, 'Tyranny of souls' opens with 2 good, but not great, tracks that get the CD going at a good pace. The CD really picks up with the speedy “Kill devil hill”, which is the CD’s finest moment of songwriting. The ballad “Navigate the seas of the sun” follows; this is a successful track, although it doesn’t live up to Dickinson’s classic ballad “Tears of the dragon”. While “Navigate” is a very nice track, it never takes that extra step to brilliance that “Tears” does. The CD is a mixed bag from this point on. “River of no return” and the title track are slow, building tracks with mediocre choruses. “Power of the sun” is a solid, speedy track with some nice harmony guitars. The other 2 tracks are a little different for Bruce; “Devil on a hog” has a catchy chorus with nicely layered vocals and “Believil”, as the name suggests, is a dark, slow, evil sounding track.

This is a good CD. It doesn’t match the level of Dickinson’s previous 2 efforts, but he had the assistance of Adrian Smith for those, plus he wasn’t in Iron Maiden at that point, so all his efforts could be directed to those CDs. The songwriting on this CD is a little inconsistent in quality but not in creativity or imagination. As always with Dickinson the singing is at the top of the genre, powerful, emotional and detailed. ‘Tyranny of souls’ is a fine CD which almost all fans of the genre will enjoy and appreciate.




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