Aside from BRUCE DICKINSON's glorious solo career and Adrian Smith's under-rated PSYCHO MOTEL (let's forget ASaP), the IRON MAIDEN collective has been just that: a collective, run studiously by leader Steve Harris since the late '70s. So what happens when the originator goes solo? 'Arry stretches the limits of modernization and rocking melody, not that Bruce couldn't tackle some of the more mellower moments on British Lion. Most noticeably, his plodding bass lines take charge throughout the opus which is no surprise as the four-stringer is recognized as one of the few front-of-the-line bass players. Singer Richard Taylor is a soulful beast who tries to outpace the Maiden legend, while holding his own as a capable frontman. Top-notch of the lot are the driving 'Us Against The World' and both 'A World Without Heaven' and 'The Chosen Ones', which could've easily seen the light on Somewhere In Time with that record’s forward-thinking gestures. Make no mistake, this isn't a Maiden album, with the likes of the AOR-friendly 'Eyes Of The Young' and the gentle strings of the touching closing track, 'The Lesson' pushing the limits of Harris' vision of new rock while he provides a certain self-reflection. But the overall mood is darkly-lit and oozing with a certain alluring passion he's unable to showcase during his "day job." But don't worry, Harris told me that while the lion is sleeping, Iron Maiden will muster up one more studio album next year.