by Iron Maiden
4.1 10


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Iron Maiden's sophomore effort, Killers, is mostly composed of pre-existing material that had been left off the debut, with just a few new additions. It's certainly a better-sounding release than the debut, with new producer Martin Birch beefing up the band's studio presence and lending their instrumental attack a newfound clarity that throws their considerable skills into sharp relief. In fact, this helps mask the fact that the songwriting isn't quite as strong overall as it was on the debut. But the teaming of new guitarist Adrian Smith with Dave Murray forms the most formidable twin-guitar attack in heavy metal, outside of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing. Plus, bassist Steve Harris' busy, driving lines are now consistently audible in the mix. The resulting instrumental fireworks are what truly make the album tick. That said, there's a much smaller percentage of catalog standards here than on the previous album. "Wrathchild" is the standout, re-recorded here with Smith on guitar from an earlier version for the Metal for Muthas compilation. There's a fair bit of unity in the lyrical themes, with a parade of murderers, fugitives, and characters otherwise torn from their roots. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a first-person retelling of the Poe short story, and the title track is another highlight, with Paul Di'Anno turning in an especially menacing performance. The single "Purgatory" has a catchy singalong chorus and a tempo worthy of Motörhead, while "Twilight Zone" (not included on the U.K. issue, but added to subsequent releases) scraped the bottom of the British charts. The biggest departure here is the almost Supertramp-like prog-pop of "Prodigal Son," a melodic, uptempo offering with an arrangement based around acoustic guitars. Despite some inconsistency in the material, Killers is clearly the work of a top-notch ensemble, and in order to take the next step forward, their musical ambitions were clearly going to require a vocalist as technically accomplished as the band. It's worth noting that some Maiden fans actually prefer the rawness of the Di'Anno years to the polish of the Bruce Dickinson era (though, it should also be noted, they're in the minority).

Product Details

Release Date: 10/13/1998
Label: Emi Europe Generic
UPC: 0724349691704
catalogNumber: 496917
Rank: 16476

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Iron Maiden   Primary Artist
Paul Di'Anno   Vocals
Adrian Smith   Guitar,Vocals
Clive Burr   Drums
Steve Harris   Bass,Vocals
Dennis Stratton   Guitar,Vocals
David Murray   Guitar
Dave Murray   Guitar

Technical Credits

Iron Maiden   Producer
Barry Guy   Contributor
Martin Birch   Producer,Engineer
Doug Hall   Producer,Sound Man
Tony Platt   Producer
Derek Riggs   Artwork,Cover Illustration
Tony Webster   Contributor
Barrie Stjohn Jones   Contributor
AMX Studios   Producer
Ian Shurmer   Contributor

Customer Reviews

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Killers 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lyrics are about killing and Satan. Vocals are good. Very much Iron Maiden classic. Especially "Killers", "Wrathchild", and "Another Life" tell about killing. When you're listening these tracks again and again, you will think that killing may be fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my all-time favorite record of not just heavy metal, but any other type of music as well. It's so consistant all the way through it's amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the greatest of iron maiden's early attempts.key tracks-wrathchild,murders in the rue morge,prodigal son,twilight zone.long live king edward!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i got this album on vinyl record and i like it so i am going to get it on cd too
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just got into Maiden a few months ago and this is the first album of their's that I bought. This is an album that you can listen to day after day and not get tired of it. This is an essential metal album right up there with Metallica's Master of Puppets. Rock on.
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