• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Architects of Chaoz – Former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno is back again!

The League of Shadows is the first album from Paul Di'Anno's new band. Architects of Chaoz.
The League of Shadows is the first album from Paul Di’Anno’s new band. Architects of Chaoz.

 

 

Iron Maiden would rise to fame in the mid 1980s with vocalist Bruce Dickinson spearheading the way, taking the band in a more epic and progressive direction. But it was those first two LPs with vocalist Paul Di’Anno that helped to cement their place as a part of the fledgling New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Di’Anno largely disappeared from the public spotlight following his stint with Maiden, though continued to play with a number of other bands and artists over the years. None of this material has approached the popularity of those first two Maiden records, though.

To say Di’Anno’s life has been eventful would be an understatement. Drugs and alcohol have dominated much of his life, leading to much turmoil, jail time, and even cancelled tour dates. Initially planning a retirement a few years ago, Di’Anno scrapped these plans and has recorded a new album with his new band, Architects of Chaoz, featuring members of the Phantomz, which was previously Di’Anno’s German touring backup band.

In many ways this marks a new beginning for Di’Anno, but how does the release actually measure up? People have been wondering about how this new release would turn out. It is the return to the musical forefront Di’Anno has been trying to accomplish after over all these years, or a critical failure that does not reignite his former heavy metal greatness?

After having given this record a few listens, this fan is still torn as to his feelings on the release. The material here is mostly hard and heavy, with a nice combination of power metal and more modern hard rock sounds. It is clear Di’Anno’s backing band is very talented… unfortunately, far more so than Di’Anno himself.

The big problem with this album is that the music itself is actually very solid, but in addition to Di’Anno’s voice having not aged as well as many of his musical peers, it is just not right for the material. You cannot help but wonder if Di’Anno’s backing band here were Iron Maiden fans themselves, and wrote material that would have been better suited to one of the other Maiden singers, like Bruce Dickinson, or possibly even Blaze Bayley. Di’Anno’s aging, raspy voice is clearly showing signs of wear and tear throughout this release; the man has lived an intense, fast life on and off the stage and it has caught up with him over time. In the hands of a better vocalist or one better suited for the material, this could have been a potentially great album. But as is, it is very much a middle of the road affair.

This release is surprisingly good in terms of the musicianship at hand; Di’Anno definitely has the best backing musicians here he has had in years. Unfortunately, Di’Anno himself is the weak link here; these musicians would be better off with a vocalist more befitting of their musical style. In the end, I can give this one a modest recommendation, but nothing more.

 

 

By Taylor Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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