discovering iron maiden

Eddie from “Piece of Mind”

Eddie from “Piece of Mind”

Discovering Iron Maiden as a teenager opened up a new world of (heavy metal) music for me. At 16, in 2006, I was naive about metal bands, mostly listening to pop music that my friends and I enjoyed.

One day, a friend offered to lend me a music CD with some English rock songs I might like. Eager to try something new, I gladly accepted it. However, my friend had made a mistake and instead burnt songs from the Iron Maiden album "Dance of Death" onto the CD by accident.

The first song I listened to was the titular track "Dance of Death." As the heavy guitars and drums kicked in, followed by Bruce Dickinson's iconic vocals, I was instantly hooked. The dark theme was unlike anything I had heard before. I repeated that song for days, fascinated by the fast solos, melodic riffs, and Dickinson's powerful voice.

I eagerly went through the rest of the CD and their discography, discovering more amazing Iron Maiden songs like "Blood Brothers," "The Trooper," and "Fear of the Dark." Their unique style and storytelling technique captured my imagination. I was fascinated by the band's infectious energy, Steve Harris's intensive basslines, and Dave Murray and Adrian Smith's twin guitar attack.

Later, I discovered more Iron Maiden songs and albums, eventually a catalog of many studio albums. Some of my favorites were "The Number of the Beast," "Powerslave," "Somewhere in Time," and "Brave New World." I was in awe of their longevity and consistent quality over decades.

I used to doodle their iconic "Eddie" mascot logo on my backpack, notebooks, and more. The band's massive discography and other influential metal bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Metallica shaped my developing musical taste and defined my late teenage years.

Many years later, in 2016, I got to experience Iron Maiden live in concert at Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena. The crowd's deafening roar as the band walked on stage filled me with goosebumps. Hearing those classic songs blasting through huge speakers and seeing Dickinson and the band perform with so much passion after all these years still brought back floods of nostalgia.

Discovering Iron Maiden as a teenager expanded my mind and opened me up to a new genre that I love immensely now -- including the darkest pits of the metal genre. There is a sense of homecoming as their songs transport me back to the restless spirit of my teenage self. The sorrow and passion in Bruce Dickinson's voice in "Wasted Years" reminds me of where I've come from and how far I've gone. They will always remain in my heart, as eternal as the riffs that made them legends.

"So understand,
Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years.
Face up, make your stand,
And realize you're living in the golden years."

#music #personal