10/4/2005 - Review by: Frank Hill
Iron Maidens - Iron Maidens - 2005 - DRZ Records
After the band Wrathchild lost its male members, the newer females stayed together and started what is possibly the world's only all-female Iron Maiden tribute band. Going from a tribute band playing out on the West Coast with similar stage gear and props, to replacing their ex-vocalist Jenny "Bruce Chickinson" with Aja Kim as "Bruce Lee Chickinson" to now releasing a complete CD of Maiden covers, these gals have really charged full gallop into the fields of battle.
If I wouldn't have known anything of the history of the songs on this new Iron Maidens CD, I'm sure I'd be proclaiming it one of the best female-led records ever, maybe one of the best from any band. The main strength is certainly from the catalog of incredible Maiden tunes that span the earlier history of the boys from Britain, but what could easily have been a disaster turned out to be a fantastic listen with quite possibly the best song choices.
The arrangements are all kept to the same formula without any real experimental touches or changes made and the women ride like avenging Valkeries through the single-oriented numbers "Two Minutes To Midnight", "Wasted Years", "Aces High", "Run To The Hills" and the more epic "Phantom of the Opera" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" without missing a beat or a triplet anywhere.
The musicianship is superb, the production values are great and there's plenty of nice little touches as well like the female-styles Eddie artwork throughout the packaging. Until, Aja begins to sing, only the most diehard Maiden fan would notice the very slight musical differences in tone and texture. Aja has an excellent long-haired, early-Bruce look her scream is pretty riotous and her delivery is spot on but I will say that she's more of a cross in vocal skill to Sebastian Bach and Chris Jericho's Fozzy work than to the Maiden vocal icon.
Bottom Line: I've always supported women in the metal scene and with as much Maiden tribute material that is out there now, these ladies stand mighty tall in essentially a male dominated style.
Score: 8 of 10. (10 of 10 if they were originals)
The Iron Maidens are:
Aja "Bruce Lee Chickinson" Kim: Vocals
Wanda "Steph Harris" Ortiz: Bass
Linda "Nicki McBurrain" McDonald: Drums
Josephine "Adrienne Smith" Draven: Guitar
Sarah "MiniMurray" Marsh: Guitar
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