The tenth full-length studio album by the legendary British Heavy Metal band.Band's first album to include vocalist Blaze Bayley, formerly of Wolfsbane, replacing Bruce Dickinson who left the band following their previous tour to pursue a solo career.It is considered Iron Maiden's darkest album due to the lyrics being based on personal issues surrounding Steve Harris at the time, who was in the midst of a divorce, and the album cover, which depicts the band's mascot, Eddie, being undergoing another lobotomy. Cover was created by Hugh Syme.Suffering from a lack of powerful riffs and tightly written songs, "The X Factor" is a lackluster album from Iron Maiden. Although the band doesn't sound particularly bad on the record, they don't sound inspired and there's a noticeable lack of energy to the performances which makes the lack of imagination all the more apparent. There are a few cuts that almost deliver the goods, but it's not enough to raise "The X Factor" above the merely adequate. "The X Factor" suffers from the same bloat that plagued countless other Rock and Metal records in the 1990s, as bands exploited the 79-minute running time of the compact disc; but even with a few filler tracks, it's still a much stronger effort than either "No Prayer For The Dying" or "Fear Of The Dark". With Bayley possessing a more baritone voice, Harris' songwriting took on a much darker tone to complement it, and that adjustment he makes yields an opening half hour that's shockingly good. The Falling Down-inspired "Man on the Edge" is an explosive, raw little rocker in the same vein as "Be Quick or Be Dead", "Lord of the Flies" is not only an effective retelling of the William Golding story, but an effectively hooky tune, and "Fortunes of War" is a workmanlike exercise within that classic Maiden template, shifting from a forlorn ballad to a lively, Harris-driven gallop."The X Factor" is nowhere near as awful as people say it is. In fact, at times it's pretty damn great!Iron Maiden Holdings Ltd./Parlophone Records Ltd., A Warner Music Group Company, 1995/2014 (7243 8 35819 2 4). Made in EU.
Tracklist:1. Sign Of The Cross2. Lord Of The Flies3. Man On The Edge4. Fortunes Of War5. Look At The Truth6. The Aftermath7. Judgement Of Heaven8. Blood On The World's Hands9. The Edge Of Darkness10. 2 A.M.11. The UnbelieverTotal playing time: 70:54