Countdown to Senjutsu. 17 albums in 17 days.

Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
Guys, I'm aware Senjutsu is starting to leak/be released in some regions so there's no obligation to do TBOS if you're impatient or desperate. Personally, I'm waiting till my physical copy arrives tomorrow so I will still be doing TBOS today. If you're wanting to post your reactions to Senjutsu here then please wait till tomorrow.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Guys, I'm aware Senjutsu is starting to leak/be released in some regions so there's no obligation to do TBOS if you're impatient or desperate. Personally, I'm waiting till my physical copy arrives tomorrow so I will still be doing TBOS today. If you're wanting to post your reactions to Senjutsu here then please wait till tomorrow.

Looking forward to giving TBOS a spin this evening.
 

Michalis

Trooper
I liked Book of Souls. For me their 2nd best album after reunion behind BNW. I love If eternity should fail (i think their best song in years), The Black and the Red and Empire of the Clouds. Shadows of the valley, Tears of a Clown and the title track are also good songs. It could have been shorter but still nice album with nice cover. 8/10 for me.
 

Patrick92

Educated Fool
Day 16 finished! The last day. The Book of Souls

4,5/5 for me. Really great album. So bold. Could have benefited being a bit more focused imo. Man of Sorrows dont fit here. And ending the album with Tears, Sorrows and Empire dont really work.
But yeah Eternity is awesome. And I love the Necropolis stuff at the end, haha. Wonder how Bruce solo album would have turned out. Speed of Light and Death or Glory are really fun and totaly rocks. Great Unknown and Shadows of the Valley are awesome. Bruce vocals are so killer, the hook on Valley give me goosebumps everytime. Red and the Black is not my favorite but I still think its fantastic, and I love it live. The band look so happy and excited playing it. And its awesome how great these songs sound live.

And the song Book of Souls. Its in my top 5 favorite Maiden songs of all time. Love everything on it. Janick has done so much for Maiden, and I think it really shows sinse the reunion.
I kinda also love Tears of a Clown. It just hits home with me. And Empire is beautiful, and epic. And awesome. Of course its not a song you can listen to everyday over and over. But whenever I hear it im blown away.
I also like the lyrics alot, they are very mature and deep on the album

Im so impressed by the band for making this album.

Thats it for me! 16 albums done and thanks for making this thread. Its been really fun reading everyones thoughts about the albums.

And tomorrow its Senjutsu time! Might as well do a day 17 then, haha
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
Not by any merit as a song, as I argued here.

Not going to defend Grammies but I don't think you have the whole picture, at least I don't. Its an institution with its own b.s. voting and whatever. I don't think we can simplify why they do something. How come it was Better Than You that won the grammy in 1998 and not Fuel or Unforgiven 2 or Memory Remains?

Obviously the song is most straightforward of the three and it includes some topical lyrics (not that others don't).

Back to topic of Maiden, The Final Frontier would not win the Grammy nor would IoA/Starblind.

I'm not claiming El Dorado is something special it is a good groove based heavy tune but it's good enough on an album that was good enough for Grammy to pay them tribute.

If it was TAATG on Virtual XI be sure it wouldn't be even on the list.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Not going to defend Grammies but I don't think you have the whole picture, at least I don't. Its an institution with its own b.s. voting and whatever. I don't think we can simplify why they do something. How come it was Better Than You that won the grammy in 1998 and not Fuel or Unforgiven 2 or Memory Remains?

Obviously the song is most straightforward of the three and it includes some topical lyrics (not that others don't).

Back to topic of Maiden, The Final Frontier would not win the Grammy nor would IoA/Starblind.

I'm not claiming El Dorado is something special it is a good groove based heavy tune but it's good enough on an album that was good enough for Grammy to pay them tribute.

If it was TAATG on Virtual XI be sure it wouldn't be even on the list.

Well, I don't claim to know all the answers, but I think this had more to do with awarding a grammy to EMI than to El Dorado or even Iron Maiden.
 

R@inmaker

Educated Fool
Not going to defend Grammies but I don't think you have the whole picture, at least I don't. Its an institution with its own b.s. voting and whatever. I don't think we can simplify why they do something. How come it was Better Than You that won the grammy in 1998 and not Fuel or Unforgiven 2 or Memory Remains?

Obviously the song is most straightforward of the three and it includes some topical lyrics (not that others don't).

Back to topic of Maiden, The Final Frontier would not win the Grammy nor would IoA/Starblind.

I'm not claiming El Dorado is something special it is a good groove based heavy tune but it's good enough on an album that was good enough for Grammy to pay them tribute.

If it was TAATG on Virtual XI be sure it wouldn't be even on the list.
and then there's the historical gaff in '89 with Grammy going to Jethro Tull over 'tallica's "One" !!! they lost any and all credibility they may have had that day...none since.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
The Book of Souls
This was the first record where I actively took part in the album cycle, bought it on release day, and saw the tour twice; once during a great trip to Vegas where we saw Ed Force One land at the airport. It holds a special place in my Maidenfandom. And, surprisingly, it holds up pretty well. I fanboyed very hard about this album when it was released and, though I can certainly find some faults with it, I still rank it pretty high. The only clunkers here are Man of Sorrows and When The River Runs Deep, neither of which are egregiously bad so much as rather dull. Many other tracks have some issues, most notably the pointless ending of the otherwise superb If Eternity Should Fail and the Wasted Years rip-off in Shadows of the Valley, but overall this is a damn solid record.

Speed of Light, Death or Glory, Tears of a Clown, and The Great Unknown are all fantastic songs and fun as hell, even if they aren't top tier. The Red and The Black is the single most beautiful collection of riffs that Steve has ever written, unfortunately it just happens to have vocals. Were it 4 minutes shorter and only featuring vocals during the "woah oh oh" part, I might rank it as perfect. What is perfect here? The title track. It is Janick Gers' magnum opus and it's absolutely spellbinding. That main riff is both the heaviest and one of the catchiest riffs in the entire lifespan of the band. Bravo, Janick! The guitar solos throughout this album are spectacular from all of the guys, most notably (obviously) Adrian. The only issue I have is that they all seem to have left the wah-wah pedal on a bit too often.

Empire of the Clouds is the single biggest achievement in the history of Bruce Dickinson's career and the most enlightening, experimental, bombastic moment in all of Iron Maiden history. How anyone can love Iron Maiden and not absolutely adore the storytelling, the melodies, and the pure passion dripping off this track is simply beyond me. Steve Harris should have cut a couple tracks off the final record and shortened some others, but overall: not much to complain about here. Seems like every other album in the reunion is an absolute triumph (BNW ---> AMOLAD ---> TBOS), so let's just hope Senjutsu breaks this trend.
 

Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
Thoughts on TBOS.

  • Production wise it's similar to AMOLAD in the reunion canon. It has a punchier, clearer sound, if not quite as heavy. Bruce's vocals definitely shine through more.
  • I prefer the inner sleeve artwork to the cover.
  • It's their most experimental album since DOD.
  • IESF is an epic album and set opener. I love everything about it, even Nicko's fuck up on the chorus.
  • SOL is one of the catchiest rockers they've done since Rainmaker.
  • TGU is a powerful track with some great melodies and vocal work. It works really well as a live track.
  • I have mixed feelings on TRATB. It's definitely one of Steve's stronger epics and has some lovely riffage to it. On the other hand it's repetitive and could have been cut by a few minutes.
  • I feel like WTRRD could have been better had they not slowed down the chorus and just kept it as a fast rocker. I'll be honest, I forgot this song even existed.
  • TBOS is Janick's crowning achievement and one of their all-time best title tracks. There's nothing I can fault.
  • DOG is a fun rocker and I even love the "climb like a monkey" cringe
  • SOTV is pretty good at what it does even if the intro steals from Wasted Years.
  • I love TOAC especially knowing about the subject matter. There's some excellent riffs and Janick does a great solo.
  • TMOS should have been cut. It's just not that good and it's another song that I had forgotten existed.
  • EOTC is probably the most ambitious Maiden song ever. Cinematic comes to mind. Kudos to Bruce for writing it himself and he clearly gives it 110% in the studio. If I were to nitpick I'd say that it's too long and you could easily trim a few minutes off without losing anything. Otherwise it's one of their best album closers.
TBOS is definitely a stronger and more consistent album than its predecessor. Aside from Man of Sorrows there isn't really a bad song here. I'm more blown away by the fact that a band of this age can still keep creating so much great music. Especially that it's their longest album by some distance. I saw them twice on the tour and consider Live Chapter to be one of their strongest which is a testament to how good this album is. I'd rate it 3rd place in the reunion canon just below BNW and AMOLAD.

Of course that could all change tomorrow once I've sat down and listened to Senjutsu. I will be posting my initial thoughts on that here. Can't wait!
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
The Book of Souls - quick review

If you cut first and last song from the album what's left is a weakest Iron Maiden record since Fear of The Dark. There's a pair of great and slightly atypical songs in the Great Unknown and Man of Sorrows. A nice proggy rocker Tears of a Clown, completely B-side but okayish material of Speed of Light, Death or Glory and River runs deep, the half-awesome title track (inventive first part goes to copycat waters pretty fast after the breakdown). Apart from select melody lines in Man of Sorrows, grooves of Great Unknown and the entire first part of Book of Souls, this bunch is nothing to write home about. Put an insane borefest of plodding that is Shadows of the Valley, and slap the worst Harris epic of the carreer atop of it in which Dickinson sounds like someone is cutting his throat over verses, and you got the guts of this record.

This album without IESF and Empire is definitely the worst reunion but the excellence of those songs and runtime of over 25 minutes drags this album above Dance of Death.

Also, this is definitely the last album that I'd give to someone if they said 'introduce me to Iron Maiden'.
 

____no5

The Angel Of The Odd
The Book of Souls - quick review

If you cut first and last song from the album what's left is a weakest Iron Maiden record since Fear of The Dark. There's a pair of great and slightly atypical songs in the Great Unknown and Man of Sorrows. A nice proggy rocker Tears of a Clown, completely B-side but okayish material of Speed of Light, Death or Glory and River runs deep, the half-awesome title track (inventive first part goes to copycat waters pretty fast after the breakdown). Apart from select melody lines in Man of Sorrows, grooves of Great Unknown and the entire first part of Book of Souls, this bunch is nothing to write home about. Put an insane borefest of plodding that is Shadows of the Valley, and slap the worst Harris epic of the carreer atop of it in which Dickinson sounds like someone is cutting his throat over verses, and you got the guts of this record.

This album without IESF and Empire is definitely the worst reunion but the excellence of those songs and runtime of over 25 minutes drags this album above Dance of Death.

Also, this is definitely the last album that I'd give to someone if they said 'introduce me to Iron Maiden'.

Exactly that. And I put Man of Sorrows in the good bag of first and last songs.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
Man of Sorrows has great Floydesque moments at the ending, great solos, even some heavy chords in never-did-before progression. The lyrics are a upper tier. Song does feel a bit 'constructed' and demoish at the beginning but that's the problem with the album as a whole.

I can say I do miss a Murray song on the new album. I love all his stuff. Charlotte The Harlot is not Davey's song!
 
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