Dear God, sorry to disturb you but
I pray that you would make it better down here
I don’t mean a big reduction in the price of beer
But if Iron Maiden would release
A triple album, I might believe
Oh please let it be true...
Well, there is a Halloween special edition Trooper beer to be released at the end of October... Usually the beers come tied to some IM song, but this one isn't (yet). The timing of the end of the tour, release of this beer and the rumoured already recorded album...
I'd say that there is a strong possibility that we'll get either album announcement or even the 1st single at the end of October / beginning of November.
Supposing there is a new album in the can and being prepared for release, I still wouldn't hold my breath for an announcement in October. Most likely the band will want a break after the tour, there will be some finishing touches to be made for the package and marketing strategy, it seems to me like it would make the most sense to release it around Christmas. This is probably the way they could sell the most units from it.
Going by the beer, I would speculate that the album will be released in Oct/Nov and the announcement will come before then, possibly soon.
If we accept that the beer is a publicity stunt around the album, then it would make no sense for the album's release not to coincide with when the beer is available. They had trooper nights in pubs when the Book of Souls was released for instance.
Of course, this all depends on whether the info we have on the beer is real and not a hoax.
I doubt that would affect Maiden too much, I'd say the release of the 4th batch of Maiden CD Remasters would be more likely to pose a problem for the theory of an Oct/Nov release of a new Maiden album.
Fact 1: The wait for album #17 will surpass 4 years in a couple of weeks, which is after a 5 year (and a few weeks) wait between albums #15 and #16.
Fact 2: The 3 most recent albums have a combined four hours of music on them.
Conjecture 1: Iron Maiden has 70+ minutes of new, unreleased music in the can.
Conjecture 2: After album #17 it will likely be at least 4 more years before album #18 (if one is released at all)
Given these 2 facts and my conjectures, would you prefer the next album (#17) be ~55 minutes and followed by a 3-song EP with the remaining material in 2 years' time OR would rather get it all at once and wait a seeming eternity until a possible 18th album?
To put this idea in context, imagine if Book of Souls came out in September 2015, but featured only the first 8 tracks (for a total of 62 minutes). FWIW, Book of Souls, the song, is my epic closer in this version. Then in April of 2017 an Empire of the Clouds EP is released featuring the remaining 3 songs (Tears of a Clown and Man of Sorrows being the other two) and perhaps a live song (or three) to round it out. In this alternate timeline we would still have an hour long album to fully digest over 18 months, then 3 more songs to fill us with excitement not too long thereafter. Swap Great Unknown into the 2016 set, and Tears into the 2017 set (or swap the songs on this proverbial ep, whichever you prefer) to tie it all in with the second year of the tour. We still get Book of Souls: live Chapter on schedule, but importantly, we get a more steady stream of new music and these four(+) years of waiting might not be so excruciating.
I’m not a big fan of these thought experiments. I like TBOS the way it was released and I don’t really care how they release the next album (or how long it is) as long as the music is good. Since Final Frontier I’ve been operating under the assumption that each new Maiden album will be their last, so anything additional is a nice surprise. I honestly did not think we’d be seriously talking about album 17. So it hasn’t really felt like a wait for me. Besides, there is a ton of other music to check out in the meantime.