(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
English heavy metal band Iron Maiden is a household name for most people interested in music, starting their rise to fame and fortune at the very tail end of the 70's. Their sophomore album Killers from 1981 is an interesting album in many ways. It is an album showing a band still trying to develop their own style, it is a classic release in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and it is the last studio album with charismatic frontman Paul Di'Anno handling the vocals.
Musically most remember this album for the fast, punk-inspired riffing present on the classic tracks here. Listening closer to the album reveals that the album has more sides to it than this one asset. There are several examples of songs here with musical roots in traditional 70's hard rock, many examples of Iron Maiden's trademark double harmony soloing, and even some guitar solos with a slight bluesy edge to them. The main aspect of this album is the classic NWoBHM sound though, hard rock riffs played faster than earlier, staccato riffing inspired by the now dying punk movement and extensive use of solo guitar as melodic overlays in and in-between verses and quite a lot of Maiden's legendary harmonic guitar soloing.
The songs on this release have lost a bit of their edge with time. Even the classic Maiden songs all their fans love sounds slightly more ordinary now than what they did when the album was released. As often is the case with songs that were truly inventive and original when first released - when the thrill and joy of experiencing original sounds fades with time, songs can be viewed more on the strength of the songs themselves than the originality of the individual song.
Still, this album does contain quite a few excellent songs, probably so well known that naming them really isn't a necessity. The album as a whole isn't as good as I remembered it, although it should still be seen as an essential addition to most music collections due to the classic tunes on this release.
My rating: 70/100