This was a surprisingly tough contest, largely because "Dark Ages" and "The Final Frontier" share some of the same charms and weaknesses. Both benefit from more roughly hewn production values and plenty of swagger, and yet both also succumb to a tendency to ramble. That said, the Maiden is a little more charming, a bit more focused, and slightly more captivating as a result. Whew: for a minute there, I thought a bunch of Canadians were going to beat the mighty Iron Maiden. Instead, Brucie & Co. are heading into the final contest on Monday.
Tomorrow, Dark Tranquility and Norma Jean. Two bands enter, one band leaves! Or something.