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Album Review: Iron Maiden Continue Legacy of Heavy Metal Excellence With ‘The Book of Souls’

Album Review: Iron Maiden Continue Legacy of Heavy Metal Excellence With ‘The Book of Souls’

UK_maiden-2015

Iron Maiden has spent a lifetime defying the odds. Despite having been together for four decades as a band they continue to challenge themselves as artists and raise the stakes for themselves as well as countless bands following in their footsteps. They are a testament to creative longevity and determination. Far removed from their 1980s heyday, 2010’s “The Final Frontier” was the band’s most successful chart-wise album to date, reaching No. 1 in 28 countries and garnering their highest chart debut in the U.S., reaching No. 4 in the Billboard 200. Impressive numbers for any band but especially for one who has seen the music industry change exponentially through the years yet continue to impact music fans around the globe. Many fans believed the previous album was the last they would hear from Iron Maiden, a rumor further enforced when lead singer Bruce Dickinson was diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue late last year. However, Dickinson soldiered on, never missing a beat and received a clean bill of health from his doctors. Back at 100%, the band is once again at full-strength and has its sights set on world domination.

Iron Maiden - 'The Book of Souls'

Iron Maiden – ‘The Book of Souls’

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, Iron Maiden will release their 16th studio album, “The Book of Souls,” on September 4, 2015. The highly anticipated double album features 11 songs spanning 92 minutes of the kind of sheer rock energy only Iron Maiden can deliver. Songwriting and storytelling has always been at the core of Iron Maiden’s success (not taking anything away from their epic live shows, of course!). “The Book of Souls” carries on this proud tradition. Dickinson and bassist Steve Harris lent their immense talents to creating the majority of this record, along with the band’s three guitarists: Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers contributing as well. The sonic rollercoaster kicks off with ethereal sounds of “If Eternity Should Fall.” It isn’t long before Dickinson’s classic vocal sound weaves in and out of the chugging bass and drum rhythms, setting the stage for the epic journey ahead. The band released the high energy track “Speed of Light” as the lead single for the album. It was a wise choice as it harkens back to some of the band’s early work when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was capturing the hearts and minds of music fans everywhere. “The Great Unknown” changes up the pace with a dark and moody vibe. Dickinson weaves his tale with a whispery vocal, expertly building it with each passing moment until it spreads its wings and soars. As a solo songwriter, Steve Harris offers up “The Red and the Black,” which is an inspired tune with another contagious chant that will surely be a hit in the live setting. It also features an outrageous six-minute soloing session with Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers. “When the River Runs Deep” perfectly showcases the talents of each band member. Dickinson shines on this track as he chases the rhythm vocal, rising and falling throughout the tune. It is a satisfying and inspiring adventure. The first half of the album features the Mayan-themed title track, “The Book of Souls.” Dickinson shines once again with theatrical vocals over heavy grooves which harken back to some of the most important eras of this iconic band. Clearly, they can still tap into the source and make the magic happen.

Disc 2 of the album brings a different pace. However, “Tears Of A Clown” shows Iron Maiden is not a band content reliving the past but exploring different territories as artists. “Death or Glory,” “Shadows of the Valley” and “The Man of Sorrows” are solid tracks but one of the clear standouts on this portion of the album is “Tears of a Clown.” The track is a tribute to the life of the late Robin Williams that explores both the dark and the light of a complicated artist with introspective vocals paired with some of the record’s grittiest guitar riffs. If you are a fan of the comedic legend, it is hard not to be moved. The first four songs lay the groundwork for the Dickinson penned grand finale, “Empire of the Clouds,” which clocks in at just over 18 minutes, that once again brilliantly showcases different elements from the band’s groundbreaking catalog. It is a perfect storm of storytelling, soaring vocals and expert musicianship. As the song continues to build, it shows Iron Maiden has plenty of fuel left in the tank creatively.

“The Book of Souls” is a daring and powerful album that serves as another epic chapter in the history of the iconic band. It is an album that draws on the strengths of its collective parts. Even though it brings the familiar vibe of the band’s back catalog, it in no way feels dated and brings a bevy of new tunes custom-made to rock stadiums to their core. With 40 years under their belt, Iron Maiden shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. The band recently announced plans for a globe-spanning world tour in 2016. Planning has begun to bring the legendary band to six of the seven continents (Australia, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe) and roughly 35 countries.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5

“The Book Of Souls” will be released on September 4, 2015 through BMG in the United States and via Parlophone Records in the rest of world. Maiden fans can download the “Speed Of Light” song when pre-ordering The Book Of Souls on iTunes. It can also be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music.

Iron Maiden’s ‘The Book of Souls’ Tracklisting:

Disc 1
1. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
2. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
3. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
4. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
5. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
6. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27

Disc 2
7. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
8. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
9. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01

Formats:
2CD Deluxe Hardbound Book Limited Edition
2CD Standard Edition
Triple Heavyweight Black Vinyl
High Res Audio (24-bit Mastered for ITunes and non-Mastered for iTunes)
Standard Res Audio (16 bit/ 44.1 kHz)

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Iron Maiden To Embark On Massive 2016 World Tour In Support of ‘The Book Of Souls’

Iron Maiden To Embark On Massive 2016 World Tour In Support of ‘The Book Of Souls’

iron-maiden-flight666

Rock legends IRON MAIDEN, whose new studio album The Book of Souls, their first for 5 years, will be released worldwide next week on Sept 4, are taking touring to a new level using a Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet (aka Queen of the Skies) for their World Tour next year. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson is currently in training for his licence to fly the massive four engine jet, which is almost twice the size and over three times the weight of the Boeing 757 used on previous tours in 2008/9/11 (see attached comparison grid). The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet with concerts in six of the seven continents (Australasia, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe) with The Book of Souls World Tour 2016 expected to visit around 35 countries.

Iron Maiden - 'The Book of Souls'

Iron Maiden – ‘The Book of Souls’

Details of the precise schedule are currently being finalized and we will commence announcements of specific dates for the different territories in a few weeks’ time.  However we can reveal that The Book Of Souls World Tour will open in the U.S.Ain late February with Ed Force One flying in for three shows before, in early March, heading into Central America visitingMEXICO, followed by a much anticipated first ever concert in EL SALVADOR and a return to COSTA RICA. Ed Force One then proceeds into South America for concerts in ARGENTINA, CHILE and a number of shows in BRAZIL before flying back to the USA at the end of March for ten more cities covering the U.S.A and, of course, CANADA in the first two weeks of April.

A long awaited return to JAPAN follows later in April, and then the band are delighted to be playing their first ever shows inCHINA before heading to NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIA for a comprehensive tour during the first half of May. Shows inSOUTH AFRICA, Maiden’s first visit there with Bruce, will be the last port of call before Ed Force One heads to EUROPE for a very extensive tour starting in late May and finishing in early August. This will the first time Ed Force One has ever been used on any European Tour dates (other than Bruce’s Fan Club trips to shows) and will provide transport there for at least for the first few weeks.

Bruce Dickinson comments:

“When the opportunity arose from my friends at Air Atlanta Icelandic (LINK www.atlanta.is) to lease a 747 for The Book of Souls World Tour, of course we jumped at the chance, who wouldn’t? The greatest benefit of travelling in a 747 is that because of its colossal size and freight capacity we can carry our stage production and all our stage equipment and desks in the cargo hold without having to make any of the immense structural modifications needed to do this on the previous 757, the extent of which fans will have noted on the Flight 666 DVD. Although in reality we cannot carry much more gear the savings in complexity, time and cost make using the 747 even more practical. All we will need to do is “paint” it and move a few seats around, with the added advantage that there is much more room for band and crew – our Krew can almost get a row of seats each to catch up on sleep on the flights! Furthermore, it is marginally faster o.85 MACH and the range of around 7000NM (13,000 km) is much greater which means we will not have to make the refuelling stops we needed to with the 757.

“However, even though we have worked out the logistics of taking a plane of that immense size out on tour, I still have to learn to fly it before we can go anywhere! So, I’m currently doing my training to qualify as a pilot and Captain on a Boeing 747.  I’m doing this at Cardiff Aviation, my aircraft maintenance facility in Wales, where we recently took possession of a rather splendid 747 simulator which I can’t wait to get practising on!

“We’re all really excited at the thought of bringing our brand new tour to fans who have never seen us play live before, and of course re-visiting all our old friends again too. You can rest assured we are all working hard to put together a spectacular show for our fans.”

The 747 is the world’s most recognisable airliner on account of its distinctive hump. With its impressive dimensions of 70.7m (232ft) length, 19.4m (63.6ft) height and a jaw-dropping wing span of 64.4m (211ft) this double-decker aircraft has a range of 13,450km (7,262nm). (See grid for full and comparative specs)

Final dates, venues and ticket on sale times, along with full details of what Maiden fans can expect from The Book Of Souls World Tour, will be announced by territory starting in a few weeks’ time. As usual, where feasible, IRON MAIDEN Fan Club members will have exclusive access to purchase tickets before they go on general sale. Also, wherever possible, the Fan Club will again be running the First To The Barrier draw for privileged, early access to the venue to secure the best standing positions by or close to the barrier.

The Book Of Souls is Maiden’s 16th, and first ever, double studio album and is released September 4 through BMG in the U.S.A (Parlophone Records rest of world).

Pre-order Here:

2CD Limited Deluxe Hardbound Book Edition, Double CD &

Triple Heavy Weight Black Vinyl LP

http://www.ironmaiden.com/thebookofsouls/

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IRON MAIDEN Release Epic Retro-Gaming Themed Video For “Speed of Light”

IRON MAIDEN Release Epic Retro-Gaming Themed Video For “Speed of Light”

Iron Maiden - 'The Book of Souls'

Iron Maiden – ‘The Book of Souls’

Heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN have just premiered the video for “Speed Of Light” on their website www.ironmaiden.com. Written by guitarist Adrian Smith and vocalist Bruce Dickinson, “Speed of Light” is taken from their new double album The Book Of Souls due for global release on September 4, 2015 through BMG in the U.S.A. (Parlophone Records rest of world). The video will be available for streaming free on both www.ironmaiden.com and the band’s YouTube channel. Maiden fans can download the “Speed Of Light” song when pre-ordering The Book Of Souls on iTunes. It can also be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music.

The video was produced and directed by Llexi Leon with animation and visual effects by The Brewery Production Company. A huge Iron Maiden fan, this is Llexi Leon’s first music video. Creator of the cult comic book series Eternal Descent – an IP that digitally animated a cast list of metal & hard rock luminaries, Leon has further expanded into the video gaming industry. He chose to collaborate with The Brewery who’s previous film credits include 2010’s punk-rock inspired Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with Andy Serkis, 2012’s music festival themed Spike Island with Emilia Clarke & more recently were providing VFX for the Sky Atlantic biopic on Ian Fleming.

The video is a ‘homage’ to four decades of video gaming juxta-posed alongside Iron Maiden’s 40 years of incredible visual canon centering on their talisman, Eddie as he travels through space & time to complete his Herculean task.

The Book Of Souls is IRON MAIDEN’s 16th studio album and was recorded in Guillame Tell Studios in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley.

Pre-order Here:

2CD Limited Deluxe Hardbound Book Edition, Double CD &Triple Heavy Weight Black Vinyl LP: http://www.ironmaiden.com/thebookofsouls/

Best Buy exclusive “Speed Of Light” CD single + T-shirt box: http://smarturl.it/IronMaidenBestBuy

www.ironmaiden.com

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IRON MAIDEN: Metal Legends To Unleash ‘The Book of Souls’ On September 4th!

IRON MAIDEN: Metal Legends To Unleash ‘The Book of Souls’ On September 4th!

Iron Maiden - 'The Book of Souls'

Iron Maiden – ‘The Book of Souls’

IRON MAIDEN’s eagerly awaited new studio album The Book Of Souls will be released globally on September 4, 2015, through BMG in the U.S.A. (Parlophone Records rest of world). 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 tumor, 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; six 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! The Book Of Souls also features Dickinson/Smith collaborations.

Steve comments:?“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!

Bruce continues: “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!

The full track listing is:?

Disc 1

1. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28

2. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01

3. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37

4. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33

5. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52

6. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27

Disc 2

7. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13

8. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32

9. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59

10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28

11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01

 

Formats:

2CD deluxe hardbound book limited edition

2CD standard edition

Triple heavyweight black vinyl

High res audio (24-bit Mastered for ITunes and non-Mastered for iTunes)

Standard res audio (16 bit/ 44.1 kHz)

The Book Of Souls is the band’s 16th studio album since their eponymous debut in 1980 charted at No. 4 in the UK, in a career achieving sales of over 90 million albums worldwide. Their previous album, 2010’s The Final Frontier, was Maiden’s most successful chart-wise to date, reaching Number One in 28 countries and was their highest chart debut in the U.S reaching No. 4 in the Billboard 200.

Due to Bruce’s illness the band had to delay touring plans but promise to be out on the road again early next year, giving time for Bruce to make a full physical recovery to be ready for the rigors of Maiden live performances.

Pre-order Deluxe Edition Here:

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Souls-Deluxe-Iron-Maiden/dp/B00ZYW5M52/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1434718100&sr=1-1&keywords=iron+maiden+the+book+of+souls

For all the latest news and updates on the world’s greatest heavy metal band, visit their official website at www.ironmaiden.com.

 

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