by Iron Maiden
~ Is there a more literate heavy metal band? ~
I’m sure a bunch of you are going to scream “Rush” until your tonsils come out of your nose, but are they really a metal band?
The PMRC and every church-loving conservative housewife are going to holler about how satanic Iron Maiden are, largely on the strength of their third album being called The Number of the Beast. But have you ever taken a step back to look at their broader lyrical themes across their entire catalogue? This one is straight up the Charge of the Light Brigade as a pulse-pounding heavy metal song. You can viscerally feel the action as the British make their ill-fated charge into the Russian guns in the Crimean War. It doesn’t glorify the battle in any way and the protagonist dies at the end of the song.
It’s also just one of a bunch of externally-inspired songs from that album. On Piece of Mind alone, You have the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, the story of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels, the World War II shoot-’em-up movie Where Eagles Dare, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and a 17th century British hymnal. Not bad for one album huh?