Please post reviews and thoughts on Senjutsu here

How many times would you recommend? Because I've given it a double digit number of times and still struggle to recall a single melody from the first 6 minutes of the song.

It just doesn't grab my attention as a listener. The rest of the songs on the album have me singing along, headbanging, climbing like a monkey, whereas this one... I honestly zone out a bit.

On the 17th time it shall click with you. So it shall be written, and so it shall be done.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Nice review!

I loved this bit:

If a museum curator wants to know which album should hang in the Louvre, we don’t hand over The Book of Souls or Senjutsu, we offer up Seventh Son as Rafiki offered up Simba.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
What you are experiencing with the Parchment is my experience with Death of the Celts. Sometimes a particular song just doesn't click and there is not much that can be done about it.
You absolutely underestimate my commitment to wrestling with a song until Stockholm syndrome sets in. It took me forever for the title track to The Book Of Souls to click but it was worth it in the end - an initial bottom 3 song from the album, now top 3.
DH has some of the best solos of the album IMO, they’re almost in Satriani terrain at times and soulful.
Second best after TWOTW in my opinion, and I love the ones underneath the outro chorus too - I wish Adrian went full guitar hero more often.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Having lived with the album for a week, I’ll put it below AMOLAD (zenith of the reunion and a top 5 Maiden album for me), BNW, and TBOS, and above TFF, DOD (and the 90s albums).
 

Boroking

I talk to planets…
When i first heard Senjutsu my reaction was a bit muted. This clearly wasn't an album that grabbed you by the balls and squeezed and only a few moments initially stood out.

But now, having gorged upon the album for almost a week all i can do is gaze in slack jawed admiration at the art that maiden have created, and then slept on with apparent indifference for 2 years. The fucking depth of it all. The numerous melodies, interweaving and connecting like a beautiful tapestry. 10 minutes tracks fly by with the sprightliness of a 3 minute single. The influence of Jethro Tull is obvious and welcome, giving some of the longer sections a playfullness which stops any of the proggier sections becoming ponderous . I am baffled at the people who shit on this record because it doesn't sound like something Maiden released 35 years ago.

Senjutsu i believe will be one of the all time great recordings by any band in their twilight years. Less reductive than Sabbaths '13', stronger and bolder than Purples 'Whooosh', and more artistically adventurous than Priests 'Firepower'.

It would be a fitting swansong. But i want more.
 

Shadow44

Prowler
Senjutsu-Would be an average song at 4 minutes. Bland and meandering. 3/10

Stratego-Legit false advertising. JK. Easily the best short rocker since Rainmaker, rich in melodies and quality riffs. 8/10

The Writing On The Wall-Like El Dorado, I file this under "failed experiment". Rather dull, but kudos for trying something a little different. 4/10

Lost In A Lost World-This song pisses me off as it would be very good at 5-6 minutes. Nice desperate verses and quality vocal melodies throughout, bar the lackluster chorus. Song is rendered ineffective at this length. 6/10

Days Of Future Past-Reminiscent of Bruce solo, which is a good thing though this isn't up to the standards of his best work. Quality melodies and lyrics. 7/10

The Time Machine-What in the hell is with these vocal melodies? I guess the verse melodies are an acquired taste, but the rest are mediocre no matter how you look at it. Also, the lyrics don't live up to the subject matter. 5/10

Darkest Hour-I rather like this one. Not a fan of Churchill, but the lyrics are effective and the chorus has a brooding feel. 7/10

Death Of The Celts-Let's just ripoff The Clansman for 10 minutes shall we? This would have made a decent, if overlong instrumental, unfortunately the uninspired lyrics and vocal melodies only drag it further into the mud. 2/10

The Parchment-Some rich riffs and vocal melodies, but the song is way overlong and has no structure, arc, climax, whatever you want to call it. Compare it to WTWWB and Rime and it's a disgrace. 5/10

Hell On Earth-LOL at the praise this has received. It would have been a decent track at 4 minutes. Pedestrian, Maiden by the numbers melodies and some of the most trite lyrics Harris ever penned. I'm sure he's genuinely upset with the state of the world but that doesn't make the lyrics inspired. Where is the man who wrote BOTWH, Justice Of The Peace, ect? You can tell when he's genuinely pissed off and when he's just trying to convince us how angry he is. 5/10

Very disappointed after The Book Of Souls, which I view as the best reunion album along with BNW.
 
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Jadukor

Can I play with Agnes
You absolutely underestimate my commitment to wrestling with a song until Stockholm syndrome sets in. It took me forever for the title track to The Book Of Souls to click but it was worth it in the end - an initial bottom 3 song from the album, now top 3.
Wow..that is the best song in the album! Did you have a similar struggle with Fear of the Dark, Dance of Death, Hallowed be thy name? Just curious...
 

johnglen

Educated Fool
What gets me the most is how this album has zero explosive parts, none. It is either mid-tempo or slooooow. TBOS was over 90 minutes long and yet the songs were full of explosive parts, of bursts of energy.

People like to consider DOD or TFF worse but I don’t see a something like Isle of Avalon/Starblind/The talisman here or a catchy song like Rainmaker or an ultra heavy song like Montsegur or an epic like Paschendale.

Hell even looking at X-factor I don’t see anything here like the burst at the middle of Sign of the cross, the main riff of Edge of darkness or the speed of Man on the edge.

Of course not even going to make comparisons with the classics.
 

Josh

Ancient Mariner
Hell On Earth-LOL at the praise this has received. It would have been a decent track at 4 minutes. Pedestrian, Maiden by the numbers melodies and some of the most trite lyrics Harris ever penned. I'm sure he's genuinely upset with the state of the world but that doesn't make the lyrics inspired. Where is the man who wrote BOTWH, Justice Of The Peace, ect? You can tell when he's genuinely pissed off and when he's just trying to convince us how angry he is. 5/10

Justice Of The Peace's lyrics read like they're written by a grumpy elderly man sitting on his porch with a can of Pabst like Eastwood in Gran Torino. Hell On Earth destroys that tune.
 

Donner

Ancient Mariner
Almost a week in, here's how I'd rate this -

Artwork - I still like the album cover a lot. It's similar to Book of Souls in it's stark nature with the standalone Eddie but this one definitely has a lot more going for it for sure. That being said, I don't think I like the Eddies on the inside of the packaging quite as much (although the gatefold image is gorgeous) as Book of Souls where the Eddie ripping the heart out was definitely awesome.

Production - I know everyone loves to rag on Kevin and Steve's productions (and people have been complaining about them for 21+ years now, it's nothing new whatsoever) but this one sounds good to me. Certainly better than some other modern Maiden albums (like Final Frontier and Dance of Death). Adding vocal reverb and effects here and there definitely helps and I actually like the use of keyboards. This one sounds bigger and more cinematic to my ears which is nice. It is maybe industry standard great? No, not at all. Does it at all get in the way of me enjoying the songs? No, but it really does seem to capture a band in a studio setting. This is pretty much what they sound like live (for the most part) and is their sound. I think fans are just so conditioned to listening to albums that are almost entirely fed through computers and sampled to death to make them perfect and don't sound remotely like the actual band does live that something with this approach just sounds a bit sub-standard. I'm just glad this time it sounds way more studio and a bit less "we got this done in one take, that'll do". I can't speak too much to the musicality of this album, but it feels a bit more thought out and organized than Book of Souls did to me. I'd be curious if anyone else has a take on that aspect of this album.

Senjutsu- 8.5/10 - Really cool idea for a song but kind of puzzling as an album opener. This would have been a 10 if it sped up at all. I love love love the chorus melody - this again kind of reminds me of a slightly more rounded out version of The Longest Day but with a less jarring chorus. I kind of wish it sounded a bit more Japanese and I know it's about a defending a wall but I feel there is a disconnect between the song lyrics and the album art somehow. It seems silly to note, but I'm glad the intro actually isn't super long either. Killer tune!

Stratego - 9/10 - Easily my favorite short rocker since Rainmaker. The worst part about this one is the solo - add in a better one and maybe a harmonized section somewhere near the back part and it would have been perfect. Maiden doesn't seem to be much about short songs anymore, and that is what it is, but this one is awesome. I also love the vocal production - the reverb and layering really makes this sound better than a simple one take vocal line (which is probably what we would have gotten had this been on any preceding album).

The Writing on the Wall - 8/10 - I liked this when it was released back in July and somehow like it even more within the context of the album. Adrian's solo is great and I love the harmonies. I can't disassociate this from the video (and how excited we all were on July 15) so that plays in my head every time I listen to this song.

Lost in a Lost World - 7/10 - This song is amazing until the chorus comes in. Had they built a song around the intros and outro this would have been a 9. The midsection feels a bit stiff and regurgitated from X Factor era material. The intro though is amazing (love the ahhhs) and the melodies are great.

Days of Future Past - 6.5/10 - I want to like this more than I do but it's just kind of alright. Reminds me of something off of Accident of Birth. I actually feel like this could have used a section in the middle somewhere, it kind of just shifts to the chorus and then ends. Chorus is great though. Decent song but I expected a bit more from this one.

The Time Machine - 10/10 - I don't care how many bits from other Janick songs are in rolled into this one. This is by far the most fun track on the album. It really reminds of a combo between The Talisman and Dance of Death and doesn't feel at all like a 7+ minute song. I kind of wish there was another one of these lighthearted romps here to break up the darkness. Love, love, love everything about this song except for the reprisal of the intro again at the end which seems really unnecessary. Odds of Janick dancing during this song are at a solid 100%.

Darkest Hour - 7.5/10 - I don't mind Maiden ballads and this one may be the best of the lot for now for me. I think it's better than Out of the Shadows and Coming Home at least. 1 point deducted for nearly a solid minute of sound effects that add absolutely nothing whatsoever. This one kind of reminds me of a mix between Gates of Urizen and Tears of the Dragon more than any other Maiden song. Adrian's solo is unreal.

Death of the Celts - 9.5/10 - I know everyone is comparing this to The Clansman, and I kind of get why. I also wonder if it was called anything else if it would still get those comparisons as much? This one to me sounds more Scottish somehow, those melodies remind me of bagpipes and the midsection has some really cool bass runs. I didn't care for this song at all at first but it's the one that has grown on me the most. My only nitpick is why are there like 4 different intro sections? They are cool, but did we really need 4 of them? Probably not. Don't care as the song makes me want to put on a kilt and jig around my apartment like an idiot.

The Parchment - 7/10 - I struggle with this song, I really do. I love it when I'm blasting it as it really reminds me of a combination of The Nomad and To Tame a Land. My issue really is that it's one pace for far too long and I just don't find it that memorable yet. Maybe it'll grow on me, who knows? This is the only song on the album where I still really don't know the lyrics as well, perhaps not having a real chorus lets this one down a bit. I expect this to grow on future listens, but really feel like they could have gotten this one down to a 9 minute version and it would have been better as a more compact song. Still, glad to hear these kind of different-ish melodies in a Steve song which are all typically way too familiar. I just wish it was a bit stronger.

Hell on Earth - 10/10 - This is my favorite song on the entire album. It reminds me a great deal of When the Wild Wind Blows, but like way way waaaaaaay better. I like the melodies and variation more, there's lots of cool sections. Does the intro need that much build up? Probably not. But I feel like it really pays off here. Not sure who does the melody sections after the Love in Anger bits (the short do-do-do-do-do-dobedobedobe-do for the lack of anything more descriptive) but that's the best melody on a Maiden album in ages. This one really feels shorter than it's length, probably because it fades out for a minute or so. I know we've all been expecting the last songs on the last few albums to be Maiden's last one, but if this is the last one I am ok with it. Amazing tune.

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts! At the moment I'd say I like this a little bit more than Book of Souls as it doesn't have any of the sillier rockers (Death or Glory, Speed of Light) and the longer songs seem better arranged. This is way better to me than Final Frontier based on production alone. I'd place it probably neck and neck with AMOLAD for me which has long been my favorite of this era of the band. Now I just hope we get to see some of these songs live at some point!
 

Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
Where is the man who wrote BOTWH, Justice Of The Peace, ect?
He eventually wrote a song that was so bad it killed him (like, imagine I Live My Way but 14 minutes long). The Ministry of Defence took possession of the song and use it against enemy combatants, such is its lethalness.

Maiden replaced him with a double who knows how to write good songs. That's why he was barefoot on the last album cover.
 
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