Countdown to Senjutsu. 17 albums in 17 days.

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Here's my current rankings and, for fun, a comparison in points earned or lost (as well as placement) since my listen last year.

01. Brave New World - 10.0 (↑ 0.4)
02. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - 9.7 (↑ 0.1)
03. A Matter of Life and Death - 9.5 (↑ 0.1)
04. Powerslave - 9.0 (↓ 0.1)
05. Piece of Mind - 8.5
06. The Book of Souls - 8.4 (↑ 0.2)
07. Somewhere in Time - 8.3 (↑ 0.1)
08. The Final Frontier - 7.8 (+1, ↓ 0.2)
09. The Number of the Beast - 7.5 (+1, ↓ 0.2)
10. Fear of the Dark - 7.2 (+1, ↑ 0.1)
11. Dance of Death - 7.0 (-3, ↓ 1.0)
12. Iron Maiden - 6.8 (-1, ↓ 0.8)
13. No Prayer for the Dying - 6.5 (+1, ↑ 0.2)
14. Virtual XI - 6.3 (+1, ↑ 0.5)
15. The X Factor - 5.8 (-2, ↓ 1.0)
16. Killers - 5.5 (↓ 0.2)

Good to know that I like what I like: my top 7 albums haven't moved in a few years, only shifted in terms of my enjoyment. Biggest shocker for me is the drop for Dance of Death, which really just stuck out as wildly inconsistent this time around.

Can't wait to revisit this in a few months after Senjutsu sinks in a bit.
 

____no5

The Angel Of The Odd
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!

Frankly Charlotte & Prowler are quite stupid. Lyrics do matter.
 

Abas

Jester with no tears
What I like the most about this album is that the chorus game is one of the best in their catalogue. There are prior reviews to this that describe my impressions far better than I could ramble out of my ass.

When this was released, I used to have a 25-30 minute walking distance to my workplace. A third of this walk was through some woods. We moved our premises to another part of the town two years ago. Still to this day, I can't listen to this album without seeing trees and bushes being in the middle of their autumnal transformation, and without being unable to feel the smell of it.

It's 00:58 September 3rd where I am. I have opted out of listening to Senjutsu until the coming evening after work and chores.

If Eternity Should Fail is probably their most experimental opening since The X Factor. i certainly understand why Steve Harris thought that the overall theme of this song was a good fit for the album.

I loved the music video for Speed of Light when it came out. Even if it's easy to say without taking a half decade into consideration, this song fits The Final Frontier more. Conversely, El Dorado from The Final Frontier would have fitted this better.

The Great Unknown have such good lyrics, such good verse lines and a great chorus. But I key change during the last solo ruins the song and pulls the rug from under on an otherwise good song.

I'm a sucker for the Sreve Harris-isms that are obvious throughout their catalogue. Contains the best instrumental parts of the album, and frankly their best extended instrumentals in their entire catalogue. 11:28 of this song was an absolute eargasm the first time I heard this.

I love the melodies and the chorus of When the River Runs Deep.

Fun to hear Los'fer Wprds from Powerslave 29 years earlier make a cameo appearance in this song. Dave Murray's solo here is the best solo in the album. Since we don't count live versions, I'll mention Adrian Smith's alternate solo for The Red and the Black on the subsequent live album.

Death and Glory is their second best aerial combat based song.

A testament of how great Shadows of the Valley is comes from the fact that the intro draws a lot from Wasted Years without the song being a rip-off or a clone. The instrumental part 3/4 into the song with the slinging Janick Gers melody (I think?) going "into the valley..." is an album highlight.

Tears of a Clown is a lovely tribute to Robin Williams and all the people in the world who lives by making people happy to make up for their own unhappiness.

Man of Sorrows was such a miss for me back when this was released. It's just some months since I've come to appreciate the great lyrics and that great chorus. Absolutely love the emotions put into it when it comes around the last time.

Someone described Empire of the Clouds as cinematic metal. I couldn't come up with something better. The greatest metal opera that they made.

Solid lower top tier album.

Final tier list in chronological order:

S:
The Number of the Beast
Piece of Mind
Somewhere in Time
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
The X Factor
Brave New World

A:
Iron Maiden
Powerslave
A Matter of Life and Death
The Final Frontier
The Book of Souls

B:
Fear of the Dark
Virtual XI

C:
Killers
No Prayer for the Dying
Dance of Death

I can't believe that 17 days went by this fast. It feels as is of ^just a couple of days ago I started the 17 days of Iron Maiden. It has been interesting and perspective expanding to read all of your impressions and thoughts about their albums.

Special thanks and extra love to Spaldy for putting this together.

Time to hit the showers before bed and have Senjutsu to look forward to om some 18-19 hours!
 
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The Book of Souls
I must admit, I’m pretty biased when it comes to this album. This was the first Iron Maiden album I listened to all the way through, back in 2017 when I first got into the band. The Book of Souls and Flight 666 were on a constant rotation leading up to my first Iron Maiden concert in the summer of 2017. It was this album and tour which led to Maiden becoming my number 1 band and four great years of fandom. Thus, this will probably be my longest reaction of any of the albums I’ve written in this thread. I'm also in a sentimental mood haha.

If Eternity Should Fail is a strange but monstrous intro to this album. The Necropolis bit at the end is cool. Speed of Light is a great rocker follow up to the mid-tempo start to the album. It’s one of the better short(ish) songs of the last twenty years imo. Both were treats to hear live.

The Great Unknown is another one of those ethereal, moody songs which have been common since AMOLAD. Great lyrics and chorus, but I wish the transition to the quiet end piece wouldn’t have been as abrupt. Another cool song to hear live, but I must admit I would have preferred Tears of a Clown.

The Red and the Black… the first epic on this album is actually a favorite of mine. Yes, it is repetitive, but this song’s element was truly in the live venue. I’ve never really seen a crowd react so well to a new song by any other band I’ve seen. Musically, I love the song, and the lyrics are good but a mouthful. All this together creates an urgent, anxious feeling which enhances the song.

When the River Runs Deep is okay. It doesn’t do much for me, but it’s cool musically.

Disc one closes with one of the best songs Iron Maiden has written: The Book of Souls. It’s heavy, it tells a great story with the lyrics, and it blows me away every time I hear it. It was a true privilege played live. If anyone asks me why Janick Gers should still be in this band, I immediately point them to this song. He and Steve Harris created something special here.

Death or Glory falls in the category of “fun-ish rocker Maiden songs” a la Die With Your Boots On and BYDTTS. Another song from this album which was better live, even the slightly cheesy “climb like a monkey” wasn’t a distraction. Adrian’s brief slide solo added something cool to the song you wouldn’t typically expect.

Shadows of the Valley reminds me a little of Out of the Silent Planet for some reason, with some callbacks to the Somewhere in Time album. It’s not a song I go to much, but it fits with the album.

Tears of a Clown is a fantastic rock song with deeply emotional and affective lyrics. It seems like something Steve would write for British Lion, as it is more rock than metal. As someone who has dealt with and still is dealing with depression, I really resonate with the lyrics about the late, great Robin Williams’ struggles.

The Man of Sorrows has the hallmarks of a Dave Murray song. Quiet arpeggiated guitar intro? Check. Leads into a mid tempo verse? Check. The lyrics end up having to do with life, death, religion or irreligion? Check. None of these are bad, it’s just kind of funny to point out. That said, the lyrics are cool I guess and it’s an interesting song, but not one I visit very often.

Empire of the Clouds is one of Bruce’s most ambitious songs. It’s so different for this band. I love the different musical movements and how beautifully the lyrics paint a picture of what is happening. As a fan of Rush, I don’t mind the length, though it is more repetitive than their longer songs. Either way, I wouldn’t change a thing about this song. This closing epic is an incredible piece of music.

As a whole, Maiden sounds a lot more energetic on this album than The Final Frontier. H has some great solos. They tried some different stuff, a good bit of which worked. Even the weaker songs are still good within the context of the album. The only gripe I have is how muddy and unseparated the guitars sound on this album. They blend together too much. It's hard to pick out the distinct guitar parts because the production makes their tones sound too similar. Again, I’m very biased toward this album, but I really think it’s a great piece of art from a band which has been around as long as they have.

Now that I’m through, here is my ranking of all 16 previous albums. Obviously, it’ll change after the newness of Senjutsu wears off:
  1. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son 5/5
  2. Powerslave 4.7/5
  3. Piece of Mind 4.6/5
  4. A Matter of Life and Death 4.5/5
  5. Brave New World 4/5
  6. Number of the Beast 4/5
  7. The Book of Souls 4/5
  8. Somewhere In Time 3.7/5
  9. The Final Frontier 3.6/5
  10. Dance of Death 3.5/5
  11. Iron Maiden 3/5
  12. Killers 2.5/5
  13. Virtual XI 2.5/5
  14. Fear of the Dark 2/5
  15. The X Factor 1.5/5
  16. No Prayer For The Dying 1/5

As a younger fan, I would have been satisfied if The Book of Souls was their recording swansong. My two Legacy of the Beast tour shows were a great followup to my experience on TBOS Tour. If they never recorded another new song, I would have been okay. I would have been happy to see them any time, but I know I would have missed out as a fan if I never experienced a new album. That’s why I’m so excited to get to experience the hype and build up to a new Iron Maiden record with you all.

I’ll see you all on the other side of Album 17. Up the Irons!
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
First disc finished
First impression is this is good, there's quite a few odd grooves from Maiden, I was thinking Faith No More at a couple of stages, Senjutsu has the best first impression of the tracks I hadn't already heard, but they all seem on the same level standardwise, a couple of Maidenesque time changes and shifts that will take a few listens to get my head around
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Second disc finished
I think this is the better of the two discs, Darkest Hour is like a tasteful version of a Manowar song, while the 3 epics are phenominal, not sure which one is best but going with Death of the Celts on first impressions
 

Patrick92

Educated Fool
Day 17! Fuck yeah, back again. Sejutstu finished

I love the cover, and the vinly and all the details inside are so awesome and so beautiful. This feels big and grand. And what an opening. Senjutstu, the title track. Just wow, the drums are amazing. Love Bruce vocals, feels so perfect here. Such a moody and still epic song, it feels so grand and just great. I loved it. And it sounds great, sounds rich and full. Alot of depth and still very clear. What a start. This aint no fucking Wildest Dreams This is brilliant!

Stratego next! I had not heard it before now on the album. And what the fuck. How cool isent this song? Again, the drums. Amazing. And that chorus, damn. Kinda had me a bit teary to be honest. This song felt really fresh and new, and still familiar. Love the guitars and love the melody on this song. Love it. What a second song. Comes off perfect after Senjutstu. What a start on the album.

And then TWOTW. Only song I heard before the album. And its still awesome, also feels fresh and new but still familiar. Maiden never does the same thing. They go forward, look forward. And thank God. And this song is heavy, and it rips. Love the intro. And again, the chorus is just wow. And the lyrics are so good. Goosebumps all over. And Adrians solo, wow
This is the strongest sinse BNW and Wicker Man, into Ghost intro Brave New World. These three might even top it. I might be fanboying like hell cuz its new, time will tell. But damn it sounds good so far.
This will be a long post but I just cant stop typing lol.

Lost In A Lost World is a masterpiece imo. Hard to really say more here, gotta hear it a few more times first. But I loved the intro, that felt really new. Those verses. Great chorus again, great middle play after that. And fantastic endning after the chorus, beautiful vocals. The solos were also great. Awesome tune. Special

Days of Future Past was a great rocker, heavy. Feels very Adrian though, placed very nice after Lost. Awesome solo, great chorus. Awesome song

Time Machine. Damn Janick, Dance of Death, Talisman, Book of Souls and now this? What a song. That was something else. Loved it, every bit on it. Just fantastic. This has to be played live

Now time for disc 2. First disc was flawless. Not a bad song imo, not even an okey song. They were all great

Darkest Hour had be a bit worried before hand. I was kinda afraid it might be cheesy, but I was very wrong. Fantastic playing and soloing by Adrian, goosebumps all along. Very strong and powerful track

Now, enter Steve Harris and The Clansman 2. I loved it, again. Great song. Did not feel long or draggy to me. But it was big and will need more time and listening

Wow, The Parchment was interesting. Gonna need some time with that one. I liked it, great parts. I also gotta mention that the keyboards on the album have been great. But yeah, Parchment is hard to review like this after the first listen. Really liked the solos. Felt kinda instrumentaly in a way. Bold song to make though

I loved Hell on Earth. Perfect ending on the album. But damn, it becomes alot with three 10 + songs from Steve at the end. Its not that easy to listen to. Maybe Parchment could have been earlier in the tracklist and Stratego or something could have been later to smooth it up.

But overall, I loved the album at first listen. 5/5. Gonna see how it evolves with time. The first disc is a definite classic though. And I gotta say I prefer when they work together. Steve and Janick and Steve and Adrian write such great things together.
Fuck it, im gonna stop writing. Gonna do a ranking later with Senjutstu

1. Seventh Son
2. Piece of Mind
3. Brave New World
4. Senjutstu (After one listen I did put it here)
5. Powerslave
6. Beast
7. Book of Souls
8. Somwhere In Time
9. Final Frontier
10. A Matter of Life and Death
11. Dance of Death
12. Iron Maiden
13. Killers
14. Prayer
15. Fear
16. Virtual
18. X Factor
 
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Senjutsu Disc One:

Here are some ramblings I wrote while listening to the album. I had to take a break because a repairman came to fix my stove, and I wanted to digest what I just heard.
Senjutsu:
I was not expecting this heavy intro
Cool mid-tempo, cool chorus, like the synth
Is that a slide part?
This wasn’t what I anticipated at all but I love it
Very epic feel
Janick solo?
Bruce was right, it builds and builds
different

Stratego:
I’ve listened to this a lot already and quite like it. Perfect follow up to the title track

The Writing on the Wall:
I’ve also listened to this a lot already and quite like it.

Lost in a Lost World
Cool intro again, very Pink Floyd. Very ethereal
LOVE the transition to the heavier riff
Lyrically feels like a sequel to Run to the Hills
Cool changes in the music.
I’m loving the SIT vibe in the first solo
OOOOOH I really like the change after the choruses
I got chills on the outro

Days of Future Past
Heavy, Love the riff. I really like this one
The little dip in the middle after the solo caught me off guard in a good way

The Time Machine:
The intro is cool
Amazing riff
I like the acoustic in the chorus
I get a steampunk snake oil salesman vibe from this
That slow gallop, I can see people sing this section
I’m not sure what its about but I like it
RATM solo? Good solo by Davey. Good Janick solo
Great outro

I’m taking some time to digest disc one while the stove is fixed, but man, I really like this so far. The Time Machine is definitely my favorite of the new songs so far. I keep humming the melody.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
I hoped to get this picture of the band on the album's book but sadly it wasn't featured (nor does it includes any picture of the band at all).

iron-maiden-2021-banda-senjutsu.jpg


Does the same thing happen in the other physical supports (normal digipack and vinyl)?
 
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