RON MAIDEN’s eagerly awaited new studio album The Book Of Souls will be released globally on 4th September through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.A.). It was recorded in Paris with their longstanding producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from a tumour, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album’s launch.
The stunning cover art was created by Mark Wilkinson, who has worked with the band previously, and because this 11-track album has a total running time of 92 minutes, it is IRON MAIDEN’s first ever double studio album. There’s a broader split on the songwriting compared to previous Maiden records, with bassist and founder member Steve Harris contributing to seven of the tracks; 6 of them with Maiden’s guitarists and one sole composition. This is also the first time since 1984’s Powerslave that an IRON MAIDEN studio album also features two tracks written solely by Bruce Dickinson, one of which is the longest song Maiden has ever recorded! And also two Dickinson/Smith collaborations.
“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously. A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs, they have almost a live feel to them, I think. I’m very proud of The Book Of Souls, we all are, and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it, and especially to take it out on the road next year!”
“We’re really excited about The Book Of Souls and had a fantastic time creating it. We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the Brave New World album back in 2000 so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there! So we immediately felt at home and the ideas just started flowing. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double its going to be!”
I definitely can’t wait for this. Already thrilled by what I assume is an 18-minute piece of pure epicness.
So excited for this. 18 minute closer will be epic.
Up the irons.
11 tracks, over 90 minutes ! can’t wait for it \\m/
Whoa. I’m sure this will be quite the stunner.
Hope this is good. Last few werent so hopefully they step it up
Actually I really enjoyed The Final Frontier and A Matter of Life & Death, the latter being, In my opinion, Maiden’s best effort since Seventh Son.
I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS!!! IT NEEDS TO LEAK NOW!!! LOL
Oh, it says “Album pre-order: No”, but you can pre-order it now: [Added]
I can’t wait for this album, I know the fire is still there I saw them last September in San Bernardino and you can tell they still enjoy what they do. Hopefully it translates into this album, 2015 is shaping up to be an epic year for Hard Rock/Metal.
This will kick ass. Very excited to hear it when it comes out.Still a little over a month to wait but speed of light will be released midway through August WOOHOOOOOOOO \m/UpTheIrons\m/
Hmmm 2 months.Getting ahead of myself here lol
Even though The Final Frontier wasn’t that great, I’m still stoked for this one. Can’t wait to hear Dickinsons 18-minute long closure song. Up the Irons!
Definitely can’t wait for this one, preordered every version available already!!!
A sneak peek:
Added it! Thanks @maidenlord
Cool, first teaser and it sounds great!!! Thanks!!
Full album review.
“Strap yourself in and say a quick prayer to Eddie as Maiden pull out all the stops – and Bruce gets epic on the piano.
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 Failstarts 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 Soulsout 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”
Up the Irons!
Speed of light
Speed of light leaked, sounds great
Speed of light leaked one day earlier!
[Link removed, includes unofficial download]
they hype for this is insaneeee
Always excited about new Maiden… Hellyeah!
Come on… someone must already have it on his mp3 player !
leak is fake :(
The Torrentdownloads leak is fake! Consists of some B-sides
Aaaaaawwwwwwwwww shit. Can’t wait til I get outta work. What’s the bit rate?