What is it about every single Iron Maiden album that mercilessly grabs any music-hungry teenager’s eye and lures them closer, over to the dark side of, say, Landmark, it’s not important where; but like a helpless fish being reeled in- one worm fatter but now on a hook, like a baby to candy, like refrigerators to a magnet, like Wimpy to the scent of an ‘hamburger.
Like small pieces of paper to your brush after you’ve combed your hair aggressively enough. Don’t do it too often, induces dandruff.
British Heavy Metal legends Iron Maiden’s visual imagery has ever revolved around their infamous mascot: the instantly identifiable zombie-esque creature with a deceptively affectionate name like John, except not, it’s Eddie, who’s sole purpose is to take on a fearsomer form with each subsequent album or live performance. This celebrity-undead represents the band as a whole, while relating to the audience in a way no logo possibly can, because when was the last time you feared a logo would rip your head off? That’s what I thought.
Mascots act as the 4th member of a trio. The 5th in a quartet, 7th in a sextet, and 21st in Slipknot.
But honestly Slipknot are the last band that need mascots, they have maskots. And that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Though Maiden aren’t the only musical entity to successfully engage such a valuable asset, a fistful of bands (because a handful isn’t Metchul enough) through the ages have used mascots as an alternate way for their fans to remember them: Motorhead’s warpig, Megadeth’s rattlesnake, Jamiroquai’s horned silhouette boy (a bit like ICO, for anyone who plays videogames), Freak Kitchen’s cow, Radiohead’s bear… rat… thing that’s probably on crack…, Avenged Sevenfold’s skull-with-bat-wings, Disturbed’s psychotic smiley imaginatively named The Guy. And now Slain’s mysterious, The Dreamer. While, unlike the other bands mentioned, Slain hasn’t yet been through decades of brand merchandising to know how and in what form The Dreamer will stand for us and all that we stand for, it’s clear he’s a central figure of the band’s ambitious debut album.
Often confused for his dumb-ass cousin Icarus, The Dreamer is much less an external character, more a representation of all those who have dreamed. Ever seen a vision of what you want in your life? Then The Dreamer is already a part of you: a simple man with radical-thoughts, who’s only desire is indeed to fly (apparently that ran in the family), leaping off fearlessly from the tallest roof, strapped to a suspiciously imperfect home-made winged contraption. An onlooker such as yourself may doubt his sanity, one may believe his only fate is to fall to a painful demise upon the rocky shore; but the Dreamer isn’t bothered by the dangers of his inspired actions, his wings are truly perfect enough to lift him far beyond the very horizon. He believes there is some force pushing him that goes beyond what he can conjure himself, a force that challenges logic with faith. Unhesitant, unfaltering faith that he will fly.
Here & Beyond.
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