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Once again re-emerging with new material after little more than 12 months after its predecessor, Bruce’s solo career clicked into yet another higher gear in 1998 upon the release of the frankly monumental“The Chemical Wedding”. Boasting the same lineup as “Accident Of Birth”– Bruce, Roy Z,Adrian Smith, bassist Eddie Casillas and drummer David Ingraham – it offered a vicious riposte to those cynics who thought that musicians of Bruce’s generation had lost touch with the way heavy music sounded. Many people reading this will vividly recall the first time they pressed play on “The Chemical Wedding”and the monstrous heaviness of opening track ‘King In Crimson’erupted in skull-shattering splendour. Both the heaviest record that Bruce has ever made and the finest set of songs in his illustrious canon, the album received ecstatic reviews,and was widely embraced by fans of both Bruce’s solo career and, of course, Maiden themselves. This was modern heavy metal with a traditional heart, but somehow heavier,smarter and more invigorating than anyone had expected. On top of that, Bruce’s lyrics and the album’s concept offered a depth of substance and intent that cheerfully made a mockery of the idea that metal is a genre with a questionable intellect. Variously inspired by the life and works of William Blake (whose own words formed part of the epic ‘Jerusalem’), the nefarious aspirations of 19th century alchemists,and an assortment of wild, emotional personal observations, “The Chemical Wedding”was widely hailed as a masterpiece, and deservedly so.