The bands like Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd and other popular contemporary Rock bands have drawn inspiration from the stories of bravery and heroism of the British Army, the infantry, the air force, the navy. The epic battle of the British Infantry (the light brigade) in the deadly cold Russian winter has been a source of inspiration and a literary basis for many compositions of British bands especially Iron Maiden. Similarly global political scenario and the historic speeches and decisions of Britain’s political leaders like Sir Winston Churchill have also been the literary backbone of compositions. These factors have influenced and given rise to a new sub-genre of existential rock music and influenced popular genres of music like NWOBHM, psychedelic rock, alternate rock etc to step out of the comfort zone of literary contexts and include burning issues, current affairs and write songs on the prevailing national circumstances etc.
The report will be discussing the impact of the war scenario of the first half of the 20th century (mainly the first two world wars and the cold war) in the compositions of British Rock and Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden. Brief explanation of New Wave of British Heavy Metal, its origins, and development in the UK: The New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a heavy metal uprising that originated in the 1970’s and got global attention in the 1980’s with most number of compositions reaching the top in the international music ranking charts. It was spearheaded by bands like Saxon, Motor Head, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden etc. This genre came into being due to the gradual demise of popular and influential heavy metal bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath etc. the lighter and casual elements of the genre of heavy metal were omitted and the sound was re-upholstered to give it a more tough appearance and gigantic stature in terms of heavy usage of guitars and the synthesis of keyboard, guitars and drums. Examination of significant compositions Two Minutes to midnight: The song two minutes to midnight written and performed by Iron Maiden in several international and country tours over the decades is influenced by the concept of the Doom’s Day. It was a song that has heavy influences of the prevailing Cold War during the eighties after the dismantling of the Axis Powers and peace treaty signed by leading allies in both opposing camps that caused the two greatest wars in the history of mankind. The song is based on the cold war and the bitterness in international relations looming large at the wake of a new future after the end of the world wars. It talks about the gradually advancing dooms day. The dooms day would be nothing but a nuclear holocaust due to nuclear capabilities of nuclear powers spiralling out of control. The song says, “The golden goose is on the loose” which hints at the lurking threat of a nuclear catastrophe due to an unannounced nuclear strike by either party. This was the major fear in the hearts