Recorded human history is paved with great works that have marked the past 5,000 years or so. From the oldest written records to the relatively modern productions of Plato, Shakespeare and many others, literature is fraught with masterpieces that have marked our culture. Music is a pretty recent recorded form of art, although it has probably been in existence ever since our ancestors started walking straight and making tools. Beethoven, Mozart and the like are still being played over 200 years after their deaths and the various aspects of Rock, a quite recent form of music, although constantly evolving and producing new compositions, will most likely still be played many decades from now (the number of emerging tribute bands attests of it). Why this parallel between literature and music to introduce an Iron Maiden fansite? Quite simply because Iron Maiden have performed the feat to associate both of these forms of art successfully. Visual art can also be included, as the success of the band owes a lot to the genius of master painter Derek Riggs who designed most of their album and single covers.
At an age where most of the culture and History is being ignored – and sometimes even actively erased or modified from the world's conscience – Maiden's music can be a support to raise people's interest to the achievements of our forebears. History mainly repeats itself because it is being neglected. Likewise, people lose their judgemental abilities by having too little – if any – contact with the works of the writers who are supposed to have left the legacy of their thoughts to the future generations. The sceptical mind and the aptitude to form one's own thoughts and opinions is being gradually lost in favour of mindless entertainment that tend to make humans behave gregariously and therefore more easily manipulated. There, Maiden's compositions can act as a gateway to history and literature to those who otherwise may find these boring. Those who discover the works and lives of some historical characters may then agree or disagree with them and, in the long run, adopt this critical attitude to all aspects of life. In a world where half of the American population (this is not in any case an anti-American comment, but the statistics I have are only available for the US, although they most probably also apply to the rest of the planet) does not know that the Earth is orbiting the Sun, and does so in a year, or where less than 10% of the same population accepts the only fact-based theory of our origins that is evolution of the species, a little enlightenment seems necessary.
Many Iron Maiden sites have appeared on the Web in the past few years, and many have eventually died. Most of the surviving sites contain great information, news, biographies, reviews, and other Maiden stuff. So what makes this particular site special? As stated above, this site is trying to provide the visitors with a different outlook on life through the study of Iron Maiden's lyrics, with historical or literary references. I shall not use the word "educational" for this site, as most people tend to cringe at the sole thought of education, associating it with sometimes boring school lectures. It may seem arrogant to claim that I can "educate" the visitors of this site, and I am perfectly aware that I do not hold the monopoly of culture. The Iron Maiden Commentary is however the result of the abundant feedback I receive from visitors who have a deeper insight than me in some domains, and I am grateful to anyone who can shed some light on aspects that I may have neglected. Although the maintenance of the site is mainly the work of a single man – known here as Maverick – the content is the product of a collective mind.
The purpose of this site is not to carry the latest Maiden news or trivia. Other sites can do this much better, and I have no desire to simply be a parasite. Likewise, I do not intend to detail all of the biographical information about the band. It has already been done and, besides, for me the focus has always been on the compositions themselves instead of the band members. They are heroes in the sense that they make the most meaningful music in existence, but they are also just human. I think it would be incredibly annoying to be treated like some kind of deity, and I respect others enough not to treat them that way either.
What Bæleron – the original creator of this site who has now "retired" – wanted to do was to primarily focus on the music, and try to communicate what is great about each song. He reckoned himself that it was probably impossible to achieve, as it is never easy to put great art into words. But he hoped to maybe be able to communicate a bit of his love for this music, and possibly encourage someone to try it out. More people appreciating Maiden means a bigger chance of many more albums to come.
Enjoy your visit!