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A lilting, quasi-baroque-meets-prog acoustic opening - think ELP’s Still…You Turn Me On and you’ll have a good idea - lulls the listener into a false sense of what is to follow.
Bruce Dickinson sings passionately and expressively about the atrocities of war over the first verse, but he lets it rip when the band knocks down the wall on the second verse. Dark and foreboding, the tune marches forth. However there’s a majesty to the sound and you’re sucked in. The rhythm is like a giant wave that grabs you and carries you away, and the further you go, the stranger - and more exciting - things become.
There are two guitar solos, but it’s the first (Dave Murray?), one which evokes the bluesy soul of David Gilmour, that really hits home.
After Dickinson bellows "Mother of mercy/Angel of death/Taking away my last breath," Nicko McBrain pulls out the stops and switches into a double-time pattern that sends the song off with considerable verve.