I haven't commented in a while, but it's been over a month and I've been listening to Senjutsu almost non-stop. Along with other Maiden albums to sort of ground myself. It's still new and fresh, and who knows what the future holds regarding my opinion, but here's my take on a few things:
1. Bruce sounds better on this album than any reunion album. And since I prefer reunion Bruce over 80s/90s Bruce, I think this is quite possibly his finest hour singing, period.
2. This album is very emotional. I saw that word used in a review and just chalked it up to being a buzzword you use when reviewing an album. But this record has a lot of feeling and it's weird because I'd always felt Maiden were a musically emotional band. But this is on a different level.
3. The Parchment and Hell on Earth are some of the best songs the band has ever recorded. Possibly Steve's best work, and if not, they at the very least stack up well against Hallowed, Rime, or Seventh Son.
4. I like the keyboards and how they're used on this album. Gives it a slight "mystical" feeling.
5. If I didn't start listening to Maiden in '88 with Seventh Son, this might possibly my favorite Maiden album. It's going right into my top five and the only thing I haven't figured out is which album is it bumping off the list? Probably Book of Souls if I had to guess, and I fucking love Book of Souls.
Edit: I'd just posted this in the "Senjutsu 2021 thread" and then deleted and moved the post here. So if you already read this in that thread, my apologies, but it's not cross-posted.
Today I have decided to listen to Senjutsu again after quite some time and I still stand by what I said previously: it is a good reunion album, but not on par with AMOLAD, BNW or TBOS. The latter might be more uneven than Senjutsu, but the highs are higher.
All things considered, a solid effort but probably not an album I will be revisiting too often once the novelty wears off.
I still love the album. Went through it on vinyl late last night with some beers. Taking my time with it. And yeah I just think its so great. It is so strong and powerful and full with emotion. Not a filler track on the album and there are usually one or two on almost every Maiden album imo.
I think the production is great and I really dig Bruce vocals. He sounds great, and fresh. This album feels new, it feels special. And I really feel the songs. To me Writing On the Wall, Darkest Hour, Time Machine and Hell on Earth are perfect Maiden songs.
Some opinions changed but mostly for the better. However as I dig into it the more I realize it didn't catch me instantly because of the way album is produced. There is much to discuss here but first step would be to remove that synthesizer. It produces a physically tiresome effect when I listen to it on high volume.
We are in a classic Maiden timescale and there are a lot of fans yet to realise it. Senjutsu is a classic Maiden album. I have listened to it if side by side with the classics and it holds it's own. Let's have some positivity. Blast the album at full volume and enjoy
After almost two months now I find the album very good but not great. For me there are no fillers in the album and I like all the songs. Compared to The Book Of Souls, any song on Senjutsu is better than TGU, DOG, SOL, TMOS, WTRRD and TOAC. However IMO there is no match for TBOS (greatest IM song- my all time favourite), IESF, EOTC, TRATB and SOTV. These five songs are so great that they make TBOS a better album than Senjutsu. In fact they make TBOS a better album than all the albums in the 80s.
I'd say it's my second favorite "reunion era" album. The song arrangements and lyrics are on different level than TBOS with maybe one or two exceptions. I think it's Maiden's most mature album and I'm excited to see what else they can do on the next one.