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Iron Maiden New Album


PrestersKTID

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Iron Maiden are releasing Book of Souls on September 4th. First studio outing since Final Frontier in 2010.

It will be the bands first double album and it will need to be seeing as the thing will run for 92 minutes.

The final song Empire of the clouds will be the bands longest at 18mins 1 second.

The wee snippet of new song "Speed of light" that the band released the other week sounds promising.

As a Maiden fan I'll be buying it regardless but will the band being more and more progressive turn some folk off?

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I love the new stuff (BNW onward) probably equally as much as the old stuff. Really looking forward to Book of Souls, hopefully a wee arena tour next year in support of the album

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Metal Hammer give it 9/10

A new Iron Maiden album is always a big event, not least because the band have somehow sustained a startling level of popularity for the vast majority of their three decades.

What is less frequently acknowledged, however, is that since the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith for 2000’s Brave New World, Maiden have not only cemented their status as metal’s most revered band but, audaciously, built upon it, becoming ever more dominant and in-demand as a result. Of course, The Book Of Souls arrives amid an additional storm of drama, Dickinson’s genuinely shocking brush with cancer erecting an unexpected and unwanted backdrop of struggle and triumph behind a long-awaited album – Maiden’s 16th – that didn’t exactly need an extra boost. Completed before their singer received his jarring diagnosis, The Book Of Souls is the sound of a band at the peak of their powers, both individual and collective, and Dickinson’s own performance gives no clues whatsoever as to his then vexed state of health. One might glibly note that this would have been an excellent final statement for all concerned, but it’s hard to think of another band of this vintage that would be capable of sounding this vital and inspired.


It begins with one of two songs written solely by Dickinson. If Eternity Should Fail starts with an eerie, almost psychedelic intro, the air raid siren’s restrained tones floating in shimmering space, before the first of countless towering riffs crashes in. Dark in tone and texture and a dash heavier than Maiden have ever sounded before, its eight-and-a-half minutes rush by in what seems like half that amount, soaring choruses and a typically deft change of pace midway through adding bite to the barrage. Maiden’s recent albums have been notable primarily for the epic and progressive nature of their contents, and while The Book Of Souls certainly saunters down that avenue on numerous occasions, it is also an album that brims with flashes of succinctness. Speed Of Light, Death Or Glory and Tears Of A Clown all climax at around the five minute mark, and all three are instant top-notch Maiden anthems, the shrewd songwriting hand of Adrian Smith making its presence felt and bringing plenty of that off-kilter edge that was sometimes missed during the decade he spent away from the line-up. Meanwhile, both The Great Unknown and When The River Runs Deep speak volumes about the intuitive chemistry between Smith and Steve Harris, their collaborative efforts producing monstrous mini-symphonies for Dickinson to unleash that vein-popping vibrato over.


Nonetheless, The Book Of Souls will doubtless be celebrated most for its epics, and if you thought Maiden had pulled out all the stops in the past, you may need to strap yourself in and say a quick prayer to Eddie this time round. The Red And The Black is Harris’ only sole composition here, but it’s one of the most exhilarating and fluid things he has ever written; nearly 14 minutes of interwoven rhythms and riffs, a brief nod to the dramatic thud of Flight Of Icarus here, a dewy-eyed salute to Thin Lizzy there and a healthy slab of mob-friendly backing vocals that must surely mean that this will become an immediate live favourite when Maiden take The Book Of Souls out on the road. The same goes for the title track, an almost ludicrously grandiose and theatrical affair that crams more smart ideas into its ten-and-a-half minutes than any band this enduring should have left in the tank at this point. And if Dickinson could sound any less like a man about to discover a tumour in his throat… well, needless to say that his recovery has been perhaps the least surprising thing about Maiden’s recent history. The interplay between the Three Amigos reaches a similar peak on the rumbling sprawl of Shadows Of The Valley and, best of all, on Harris and Dave Murray’s dark and unsettling The Man Of Sorrows, wherein Kevin Shirley’s powerful, unfussy production shines a light on the sublimely organic interplay between these six musicians.

So far, so brilliant. And yet even the most wildly optimistic Maiden fan might find themselves momentarily gobsmacked by The Book Of Souls’ conclusion. The longest song the band have ever recorded, Empire Of The Clouds is essentially an 18-minute heavy metal opera, replete with Dickinson on piano for the first time and sumptuous orchestral flourishes that add hugely to the song’s cinematic feel. A detailed but poetic account of the R101 airship disaster of 1930, it’s a stunning piece of work and clearly a labour of love for Dickinson, the song’s author, in particular. And coming at the end of such a consistent and remarkable slab of idiosyncratic heavy metal, it poses one obvious question: is there anything that Iron Maiden can’t do? The Book Of Souls suggests not. Given that this sounds nothing like the work of a band nearing the end of their love affair with music, the future may even hold greater wonders. Bloody hell.

FINAL VERDICT: 9/10

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A bit like Wildest Dreams which IMO was one of their worst releases. Its alright but if it wasn't Maiden I wouldn't listen to it again. May grow on me I guess, solos are good.

Edit to add: Liked it much better second listen

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Always loved Maiden, and am a big fan of the post reunion stuff.

Listening to this, the guitars sound meaty and very heavy (for an IM release, we're not talking Entombed here) but the vocals seemed very, uh... far away and lacking something.

It's easy to look at these things a posteriori and suggest Bruce might have been thinking something was not right, but there's something up. Maybe it's just the production.

Had it on pre-order since day 1 though; can't wait to get my hands on it!

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To be fair to Bruce he's almost 60 and had a scare with cancer in the past year, (the vocals were completed before) His voice isn't going to last forever. You can noticeably see the decline since Somewhere back in time tour. He was awesome on that tour but then the Final Frontier vocals seemed a lot weaker than in A matter of life and death.

I think if he went back to his gravelly voice from No prayer and Fear of the dark it would work well with the heavier guitars. You hear wee bits of the song where he does this and it sounds good.

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Anyone else heard this yet?

Got a copy yesterday, and 'underwhelming', 'tired' and 'recycled hash' were the first things that sprung to mind I'm afraid...

There are a few moments in some of the songs which replicate earlier riffs. Empire in the clouds uses an almost identical riff to the Legacy.

However the heavier feel to this album makes it the best for 10 years imo.

I sat and found myself saying phwoar listen to that riff on quite a few occasions.

Some of the songs drag on but the album on a whole is miles better than last effort in my opinion.

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