Please post reviews and thoughts on Senjutsu here

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Darkest Hour has been the next grower for me. It's very much a Bruce solo effort that's been Maidenised, and I'm happy with that, as I was with If Eternity Should Fail, to some extent Empire of the Clouds. I feel there's a more obvious split in writing direction on this album. I'm a huge fan of Dickinson compositions and I'm starting to feel that Steve's current writing habits just don't gel with me.

I'm giving them more time, but with the major exception of Stratego, I'm just not feeling it with Steve's current direction.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I'm fine with instrumentals, it's the structure and sense of direction. The last three might land when I've listened a bit more, but I'm not feeling it right now.
 

TheMercenary

Ancient Mariner
A new video review of 'Senjutsu' by one of the guitarists of french heavy/thrash band ADX. I'm OK with some of his arguments and not with the others. But, in fine, he didn't understand the musical direction of 'Senjutsu'...

 
Alright, here's some off-colour opinions

LIALW: Hey look, they said the name of the song as the chorus! But seriously, this sounds like a shorter out-take from AMOLAD (not that that's necessarily bad). The middle instrumental is borderline w/r/t excess repetition, but on the upside it has the ATSS/WTWWB-type riff show up, which is always appreciated. Loses marks for its 90-second outro, but is otherwise quite good

:facepalm:
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
People keep saying they hear X Factor in this one but I don't hear it (a good thing, in my case).

If anything the album reminds me a bit of The Final Frontier - outside of recycling WTWWB and CH, the generally less traditional song structure and plethora of longer songs towards the end gives me that vibe.
 

Azas

Alchemist / The Rose of Paracelsus
People wanted Powerslave 2, but we got X Factor 2, and I love it!
No way. People got Bruce's solo mixed with The X Factor, VXI, Brave New World, TFF, TBOS, and Powerslave or Piece of Mind. The Parchment IS from those two. And it's great. In places you can hear TNOTB, Hallowed be Thy Name, in particullary.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
''The Time Machine'' is a grower for me lately. I like the chorus more with every listen (the acoustic guitar under it is a nice addition). The intro/outro is familiar but quite good and sets the atmosphere of the song (and it's needed imo). The melodies are superb. The verses have the same vibe like the verses of TTLBLAH.

Edit: I finally started to like the (first) ''cheerful'' verses - they go well with the chorus (though the verses in TTLBLAH or Montségur are better).
 
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____no5

The Angel Of The Odd
A new video review of 'Senjutsu' by one of the guitarists of french heavy/thrash band ADX. I'm OK with some of his arguments and not with the others. But, in fine, he didn't understand the musical direction of 'Senjutsu'...


What is this pack of 20 Gb he's talking about?

EDIT: The guy hates Shirley's guts. Maybe he's right about him not being able to direct Maiden, but if so, the problem is not Kevin is Steve. Only when "co-produced by Steve Harris" label go away we'll see the real Kevin.
 
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Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Darkest Hour has been the next grower for me.
Speaking of ''Darkest Hour'', Janick's guitar leads under the chorus (after the solos) are great - they add a lot of emotion to it. His inclusions there make a better impact for the chorus than his leads under TWOTW chorus (after the solos too).
 
I gave the album a second listen yesterday, and it reminds me a lot of current Dream Theater insofar as the songs sound good when you listen to them, but nothing stays with you afterwards. A day later, I cannot think of a single melody from that album, which is rare for IM. Even Book of Souls had the memorable chorus of The Red and the Black, and most of Empire of the Clouds.

Nonetheless, I'd say the two biggest problems with the album are a lack of up-tempo rockers and the pacing of the album. For the third album in a row, they open up with a mid-tempo song when they should be melting your face off from moment one. The title track is a pretty good song, but it sounds like it should be a mid-album song rather than its opener. On the other hand, I'd be hard pressed to think of a true opener to this album. And closing the album with three songs over ten minutes (with another two songs coming close) is just plain indulgence. With some judicious trimming, this could easily have been a single-CD.

I'm not saying this album is bad--it isn't. THere certainly isn't anything as cringeworthy as The Angel and the Gambler. However, it's traveling similar ground that Maiden has done in the last several albums. Perhaps some of the tracks will grow on me (I like Darkest Hour, Parchment, Death of the Celts), but there isn't a single track that I can point to as "classic Maiden." I'm not expecting a return to the 80's, but they've done some great stuff since their reunion (Brave New World, AMOLD, some material on Dance of Death and Book of Souls). I'm just not seeing anything truly great on this album.
 

R@inmaker

Educated Fool
After listening a 4th time really loud on a really good system I'll add the following general and specific observations in no particular order:

  • Production is actually pretty good except: 1) Bruce's vocals are muddied up mix wise on certain songs and in certain passages (maybe doubling or tripling of vocals more is needed to cut through the din?) and 2) there's still unwanted noise/distortion, esp. on a fave of my Death Of Celts
  • The band is far from irrelevant - in fact they are peaking a bit again song- and creativity-wise
  • The intros and outros (and tacos) are actually serving the song for the most part...but I still personally would prefer them kept to shorter lengths
  • Maiden has without a doubt replaced Metallica at this point as the biggest most important metal band in the world - like the newer albums or not they are LIGHT YEARS ahead of Metallica in terms of relevance and obvious effort (or lack of)
  • I do think Kevin needs to go - it's time to (wrap it up?) try a much bolder producer for swan song - Kevin just isn't bringing anything to table that any pedestrian producer could
  • Riff-wise this is probably the most basic album in a while but the riffs are really classy and serve the song so it's not an issue
Final assessment for me is that this is still an overall GREAT ALBUM judging it for the time and circumstances of the dudes (they are all well into 60's !!!) who wrote it. as a whole the reunion canon now sits this way with me:

1. BNW
2. (slight edge) Senjutsu
3. AMOLAD
4. DOD
5. TFF
6. BOS
 
My Deluxe 2CD (Book version) arrived 3/9 'sharp' and in the meantime I have listened to it a number of times.First time in full,all subsequent spins skipping WOTW (liked it,something a bit different,H!)&Stratego (very good,classic,catchy chorus&verse).To be honest I'm in a bit of light shock:confused:Either this album will gigantically grow on me or it's just one of Maiden's rare letdowns.The only other disappointment was the TXF (with the exception of SOTC,TU&MOTE)and having read the various comparisons with that album it might not be that strange to have this struggle..(that was certainly not only due to Blaze btw as I'm quite fond of VXI).
Of course plenty of positives also (and below par Maiden is still much better than any of that hiphop shit&rap crap):the title track's atmosphere and riffing,DOTC instrumental passages (Steve's bass playing!),some moody intro's&outtro's,few footsteps in new territories,some emotional quiet parts etc.
But..apart from the two already digitally released tracks there's just no catchy melody or instrumental or
vocal highlight part to keep it together so to speak.I've got the feeling it just goes nowhere,it doesn't lift off anywhere,it seems like a heavy plane that is not able to enlight itself from the monotonous dark.A similar feeling I had when listening to TXF and more recently only with the WTWWB as far as I can remember.Taking into account that there's so much goodness from the reunion era,even the most recent BOS,the title track,the instrumental part of TRATB and the superdeluxe EOTC,just amazing.And Steve with British Lion not to forget,like their latest record (and the 1st) very much,so many melodies,catches&hooks.I wonder where it has all gone,they surely can't have lost it overnight?!!
Having been reading all your positive views about the album for the past days I was a bit hesitant to share my thoughts and doubtfully wondered whether I was the only one but the coming across of the post above with a quite similar outlook just gave me the push in the back to take this difficult review hurdle.....Well gonna let it sink in a bit and will visit the album the upcoming week on more 'freshly eared' occasions but for now I need a breather:S
 
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