Please post reviews and thoughts on Senjutsu here

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Day 2 rough opinions

Best: can't decide between Death of the Celts and Parchment
Only slightly below that: Hell on Earth there's a weird change when nicko stops galloping where it slows down slightly and I can't get my head around it yet, but otherwise this would be up there with the other two.

Second Level : Senjutsu, Stratego, The Writing on the Wall, The Time Machine, Darkest Hour

bottom two: Days of Future Past is a solid track on the level of When the River Runs Deep or The Fallen Angel, no more no less, I see people say it could be on AOB or TCW, I think it's more Tyranny of Souls standard.
Lost in a Lost World has a great intro and outro, but the middle of it is pretty poor, and the section where it repeats the same two riffs a few times is the worst part of the album.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
Skipping Celts while listening to this album is akin to skipping the filet mignon
And filling up on all the side dishes. That song is fire. ( side dishes also delicious)
 

Arrakis

Educated Fool
After many many listens, here is my review.

This is a strong album, and a grower in every sense. I can't place it among the reunion albums or rank it among all of their albums yet, time will tell. Also, how it will age, will see.

My ratings are so far:
Senjutsu 10/10 - a cinematic masterpiece, one of the best songs on the album. Also a big plus is that it is a little bit unusual for Maiden. Lots of Priest vibe. Really good storytelling, you can visualize that you are in the middle of a battle. Epic!
Stratego/TWOTW - 10/10 in a bundle. The former because it is classic Maiden, and there is not a single note in it that is unnecessary, perfect songwriting and composition. The latter because again, a little bit unusual for Maiden and sounds huge. And of course the Adrian solo.
Lost in a Lost World - 6/10 the first song that lost me, definitely a grower. The intro is nice, indeed Pink Floydish. The rest is not that good to be honest, uninteresting "modern" Maiden guitar work, really drags the album down for the first time. Unnecessarily long and boring.
Days of Future Past - 8/10 nice, and unnecessarily short for a change! Could have been worked on it more, with a more interesting instrumental part, but otherwise really good vocals and melody.
The Time Machine - 9/10 It has grown on me! I like the vibe of it, and despite having some standard "modern" Maiden patterns, for some reason they work here well. It really has some proggy influences, and I love the lyrics. Might be a new favorite of mine later!
Darkest Hour - 10/10 OK, it has a simpler structure but perfect! Fully Bruce solo vibe and this is how one writes a song without any unnecessary part and it is spot on! One of the best songs Maiden has ever written (OK, Bruce and Adrian :) and one of the best solo is in this song. Perfect feel and vibe! Amazing guitar solo, let me highlight again!

Now the real problems begin ;)
Each of the Harris epics has some really good parts, or even amazing parts, and within the very same song, cringeworthy parts too. Really badly stitched together sometimes. The parts where the guitars just disappear to allow the weak synth part come in to make it a live song for a crowd singalong, well, I don't know what to say :)

But otherwise, each has its highlights and if I had to choose one, I would choose The Parchment as a standout song which more or less is consistent and has an arc and a vibe.

Death of the Celts - 5/10 The worst out of the three epics. Simply a rehash of previous ideas stitched together, in a bad way. I am not a friend with this, of course, my opinion can still change over time.
The Parchment - 9/10 The best out of all these epics. It is consistent, amazing prog influences, nice vocal performance, it has VIBE! It does not feel boring and does not drag despite its length.
Hell on Earth - 8/10 Could have been the best epic, but sadly I now know what my problem is with this. OK, I understand Steve and his long intros, even if I tend to understand why he forces these, here, not a surprise, I would have simply started the song with the punchy part after 2 minutes. To make the album flow better and the outro would have been still left intact and worked. Anyway, the song has really nice melodies, but I can't get over the similarity to a Romanian pop song and it destroys it to me somewhat. I know, I know, but still, that's my problem LOL The cheap synth part appears here too. Other than that, I am pretty much sure, this will be a live favorite.

Overall the album sounds good and it's an interesting listen. Every time I find something new.
Time Machine is really becoming my favorite on this album. Amazing song!
 

Xennon

Educated Fool
Hell on Earth there's a weird change when nicko stops galloping where it slows down slightly and I can't get my head around it yet, but otherwise this would be up there with the other two.
5:53, we start jumping there.
 

Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
I like the production but for some reason on Stratego I feel it's much worse. Don't know if it's Bruce singing too soft and the distracting guitar following the vocal line, but I don't like the way it sounds. I think it's stopping me from enjoying it more, it's probably the one I less go to due to that, bugs me a lot.
Stratego seems to have been mixed differently. Nicko's kick has more click to it (probably to emphasise the gallop) and over all there's less bottom end. That's probably why it doesn't sound as punchy as the rest of the album.
 

MindlessPieces

Educated Fool
It adds a lot to the emotion of the outro.
I think it would be much more emotional, much more special, much more feeling without the guitar harmony.
We already heard Bruce with the guitar during the song.

But anyway, it was the band's choice, not mine.
 

blindg3

Nomad
“Senjutsu”

“This starts out with some ominous drumbeats from what is intended to sound like those big Japanese taiko drums. Then Nicko [McBrain] comes in with this beat which is not the Keystone Cops, because I think we've got to the point where we feel confident enough that we can be dramatic without being in a hurry about it. And ‘Senjutsu’ has got drama all over it. To me, it builds and builds and builds. There’s a vocal fugue in the middle with echoes going over the top and then another vocal line. It resolves beautifully into this really magisterial vocal line as you get towards the latter half of the tune. Does it have a chorus? No. There's millions of different ones, all strung together. For the most part, the vocal is done in a two-part harmony. It's one of my favorite tracks, and it's going to be a great way to open a set live.”
Yes it does:

[Chorus]
Rallying round to the call
We can hear far away are the sound of distant drums
And they need everyone at the wall
So the day of our judgement has now begun to fall
 

R@inmaker

Educated Fool
Okay so 3rd time listening all the way through this time using 96/24 FLAC files and focusing on the music...

Bottom Line: GREAT ALBUM. These guys are NOT ready to hang it up. They are peaking again akin to BNW/AMOLAD highlights of reunion. Not a bad track on the whole damn thing and it's been 20 years since I've been able to say that.

Positives: Most everything. Nicko does stand out as a cross between a rock-steady Charlie Watts and nice fills a la BNW. This is the first album where I've had a real difficult time telling the 3 amigos apart on solos. outside of Adrian on TWOTW.

Standout Tracks: Can't really identify. Easier to say I still don't absolutely love a few. But 7 or 8 out of 10 are just great songs and stand on their own merit. All of the tracks are worthy of the Maiden name for sure.

Negatives: Minor quibble is that Bruce is still pushing the high-register envelope and it just doesn't sound as good as when he sticks to his mid-range or lower registers. The lower register stuff sounds killer (spoken word, etc.). Still some production artifacts (noise, distortion) that should be totally eliminated if they had a set of golden ears involved. Still wish there was that one absolutely pop gem like Different World. No other complaints.

Rating: 8.8/10 Easily tied with AMOLAD and might just nudge ahead to be 2nd best after BNW for reunion era. Also Top 5 overall seems certain! Up the Irons!!!
 

Samantas5855

Educated Fool
Lost in a lost world, and Days of future past AS NAMES fit SiT
Now ignoring Stratego and TWOTW since they released earlier, there isnt a song I dont like here. Outros and Intros could have been trimmed or removed in general, Gers needs to learn some New Tricks, Adrian is the MVP of this album probably. There is some self plagiarism here and there. For now I actually like all the songs although I dont remember each and every one individually, lets see how well this one ages.
 

daan

Trooper
I've been listening all day and enjoyed it soooo much. It's a great album for repeated listens. A lot of stuff to discover and appreciate.

I'm trying to think what is my biggest overall gripe (at least at this stage of digestion). And I'd say it's the moments where you can tell the song was made up on the fly - some clunky transitions, slightly abrupt changes of mood, stretched-out parts etc. TWotW has zero of that problems. It's a textbook example of a well developed track. Steve was less meticulous about his songs, but there's nothing that would be a deal breaker. The good stuff outweighs the bad. The scale of the problem is much smaller than in the case of TBoS.
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
My review after four times listening to the album from start to finish

It's better than The Book of Souls. That was a very good album by the way, don't forget that.
It's better than The Final Frontier. That was a very good album by the way, don't forget that.
It's not better than A Matter of Life and Death, because nothing is... It just isn't.
It's better than Dance of Death. Also a very good album.
It's not better than Brave New World. That was a great album.

The pub next. Good night.
 

Smither

Educated Fool
Stratego seems to have been mixed differently. Nicko's kick has more click to it (probably to emphasise the gallop) and over all there's less bottom end. That's probably why it doesn't sound as punchy as the rest of the album.
Yeah, makes sense. It annoys me. I don't want to sound like a negative nancy since I love the album, but it annoys me a lot because I really like Stratego's melodies and feel of the song but the production turns me off a lot.
 

cedenede

Trooper
I am officially addicted to the new album. I don't know how many times I listened through the whole album but it is getting ridiculous. I tried to force myself towards other songs and bands but I am constantly ending up with senjutsu.

It is grandiose, dramatic, full of emotion. Some of the lyrics hit hard. Steve and Bruce got better in terms of writing lyrics in years.

Senjutsu contains lines from Harris epics. And I am loving these detailed lyrical work. Avenge the merciful theme in the parchment, dancing on the graves part from Hell on earth. I think It is intentional and amazing. It is a heavy song. It is getting better and better after each listen.
Not only Hell on Earth, I love DotC and LiaLW too.
LiaLW's middle part is derivative, a generic maiden sound but I can forgive that part for its intro and outro.
DotC is a bard's song. I think it is written with this idea. A bard is singing that song in a tavern in olden ages in a parallel universe. I hope someone does a medieval cover of that song. I can imagine people clinking their beer cups while listening the story of the celts.
If The parchment was a little bit faster and punchier it would be the same with the classic maiden epics. It is still a great song.
Hell on Earth is so emotional, a lyrical greatness and full of great melodies. One of the best songs since 90s'. So one of the best maiden songs period. I loved When the wild wind Blows but this is another level.
For me, Steve redeemed himself. I get why he does these cliches now. When they work, they are like the greatest thing. I was worried about the longer songs after TRATB. But I am really enjoying with these 4 songs.
The vocal meledies in The Time Machine is one of the most entertaining vocal melodies in whole maiden discography. "HAVE I EVER TOLD YOU BOUT MY TIME MACHINE?" The main riff of the song is so catchy.
TWOTW and Stratego, I like those songs but I ruined them last month. I listened them a LOT. I am skipping these two songs. Maybe later. But they are definitely not the highlight of the album for me.
Darkest Hour Good chorus, good solo. It's a good song but not one of my favourites.
Days of Future Past is one of the better shorter songs from Post reunion era. It's a solid song.

It is a victory for the band. Better than DoD, TFF, tBoS. I don't like ranking albums but Better than all of the 90s' albums too. So, a top 10 album. It is iron maiden discography and It is one of the strongest top 10 albums lists in music history. So this album is a big achievement. I don't want to trigger 80s' only fans with my top 10. It was worth waiting for and I am genuinely happy.
 
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Josh

Ancient Mariner
I honestly think the album can do without Darkest Hour. I get it breaks thing up but Jesus, the last thing I need is another Wasting Love kind of affair. People complain about the bits of self plagiarism but that's mostly Maiden staying within the Maiden sound box. The real generic stuff is hearing something an 80's hair metal band would do. It's not a bad song or anything just keep it on the solo albums or something. Every single other song on the album is more interesting. TWOTW is Maiden doing the soft kind of song right.
 

7thRunner

Invader
I honestly think the album can do without Darkest Hour. I get it breaks thing up but Jesus, the last thing I need is another Wasting Love kind of affair. People complain about the bits of self plagiarism but that's mostly Maiden staying within the Maiden sound box. The real generic stuff is hearing something an 80's hair metal band would do. It's not a bad song or anything just keep it on the solo albums or something. Every single other song on the album is more interesting. TWOTW is Maiden doing the soft kind of song right.
I hate power metal ballad type of songs from every album and from any band. Darkest hour is a big skipper for me.
I agree with you 100% on this. It's the only song I've dropped from the tracklist. I did the same with "Coming Home", the power ballad on TFF. I know they are quite different except for the lick in Dave's solo, but I find both very derivative and lacking a great chorus. I much prefer "Out Of The Shadows", that's a ballad done right with a memorable verse and chorus.
 
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