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The first thing you hear in the song is Nicko's rhythmic hits on the hi-hat in a similar way to Morse code, the old communication method consisting of short and long signals on a broadcast, and that was used quite a lot for communication during WW I. Then the intro starts in earnest with periods of melodic calm alternating with more intense blasts of music, reminiscent of the quiet periods in-between times of heavy shelling that took place during the trench war. The scene is quickly set and Maiden's music renders once again visions of war and assault, like it does so realistically with songs such as 'The Trooper', for instance. Only instead of horses charging enemy lines, this is here a story of mud-filled, horrid death and absolute horror like only the Great War has shown in recent History. This is also probably the most poignant Iron Maiden song, depicting with vivid images what the life and death conditions were on the front at that time. The ending of the song is soft, containing verses that attest of the absence of hatred between the parties at war, as both sides of the front line were ordinary people thrown into the slaughter by their respective mindless leaders and all suffered equally. This is a fantastic epic song that is bound to become a classic.

'Paschendale' tells us of the horrors of the First World War, taking the example of a battle that happened in Belgium, but the story could have taken place on virtually any battlefield of that time. Here, a new light is shed on the atrocity of war, as this one (like WW II) was fought essentially by conscripts who were dragged into this terrible nightmare, unlike most recent wars like the First Gulf War depicted by Iron Maiden in 'Afraid To Shoot Strangers' wars that were fought by professional soldiers whose job is to guarantee peace after the famous Latin proverb "si vis pacem para bellum" (if you want peace, prepare for war).



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