Senjutsu - 3rd September 2021


Mods - Since the album will be released by 12:01am Friday in NZ, which is 8am Thursday here in NY, are we allowed to talk about it then?


Out of the Silent Planet
The album has its long songs on playing time, and very few of these will probably be considered for radio and TV play. I applaud them for that, that they easily shit in such. The shortest is Days Of Future Past , with its 4 minutes, but I do not hear it for me will be a hit.

There, the trip was underway. Although the band per. today is not very exciting versus what they were, and that it abounds in many more exciting bands, there is something special when the dinosaurs leave a dose of new music.

Senjutsu opens the new Maiden album, and works really well as a door opener. None of the songs have special speed and excitement about them, then this might as well be what meets the people. I don't like the two songs that have already been released, they are, after too many hearings, the two I would have picked away to trim the fat a bit. I also think Death of The Celts was a little too solid. It's reminiscent of Empire Of The Clouds or The Clansman , in being too epic, too long, and a little too simple . "

OK: Senjutsu is a bit dark, it has a heavy tempo, good drive and Bruce lies down quite well where I like him best. I'm not a fan of pushing up with the vocals. It just sounds spasmodic today.

Nope: Stratego is such a galloping song, from the beginning you understand where it goes, this sounds quite typically newer Maiden . The chorus is properly used up unfortunately, an awkward case. The solo is just a little meh, there ARE several solos on the record that are really good, this is an assembly line, and the song falls right into the ditch for me.

Nope: The Writing On The Wall , where they try to be a little lively, a little mysterious, the tones have a little folkish feel, but when the song starts with tempo, I stumble well given. It almost sounds like a village band. And you can not blame Nicko for terribly boring rhythm, he does not have much to work with here, there are probably not many alternatives. Here is the chorus as Stratego , in the same street. These typical and exhausted melodies. The solo works ok, but the surface is dull. The melody line the guitars run is something that destroys a lot. They had earned a lot from going straight to the solo after the chorus, and did not have that interlude between the solos. Last solo part is better than first.

Meh, but good: Then there's the lost world. Nine and a half minutes with Lost In A Lost World . Although the acoustic guitar playing is very simple, it works since Bruce does a decent job, and the little choruses season well. That choir was actually cool, a little unfamiliar that Maiden drives like that, even if it was only at short intervals. When the rough starts, it's typically Maiden , but not in the street I dislike. Very cool when the vocals come in and they do not simplify the riff. But that twist to the chorus ruins everything for me. It's one thing to put in a new gear, shift, but that insert there did not work for me. Not the simple one the guitar melody after rather. That's basically one of the reasons I can 't stand that much newer Maiden , the simplistic guitar lines.

Better: Days Of Future Past flashes with a little speed, but the chorus falls a little into that ditch I think. However, the versrif is good on drive. Bruce also sings well here. Cool party between solo and chorus. The song is unfortunately very typical, not one that falls big here. But a small upswing.

Partly good: The start-up on Time Machine was different, where they surprised a little. Here I think Bruce 's voice is very nice. The transition from the calm flap, although the part between the verses punctured a little. Then there is this fairytale metal again, these simple lines on the guitar, before Brucelifts the vowel to new verse. The arrangement of that part of the songs is not necessarily very typical, and it is not easy to know what to call the different parts. The break to the prog that settles as the foundation for the solo is crap, the solo also glimmers in being partially active. Especially the small start. Then it's in trallalla country again. Do they never get bored of this? :). The downsizing of the song is ok, almost a minute of downscaling before it ends. Not unexpected, but it adds to the basket of good spices.

Best: Darkest Hour is actually a pretty standard song, with a taste of Bruce 's solo time. But he sings very well here, and the song has a very nice flow. The chorus is probably so close to something I've heard before from Bruce , but in a clichéd way it's done fresh. And the mood of the vocals and the song is very down , very beautiful, and sore. The solo here is phenomenal! I get stings for Cinderella on the Long Cold Winter album.

Unsure: Death Of The Celts contains so much of this Braveheartrock that I almost get a little annoyed. But there are elements in this long song that work. I hang on to them I know, but as a whole it is too much, which they have failed at before. Are they not able to have any no-people in the circle of friends? Anyone who can hear and tip? When Bruce sings the calm, and presses the voice, one hears that he has aged. But I found it a bit scratchy to be dressy actually.

Bra: The Parchement. If the Celtic death knell was long, they present here with a parchment almost thirteen minutes long. Several of the long songs have pieces that work, but it seems like a lot is just put together and not considered. It is often a bit inappropriate tempo twist, but what The Parchment has is a flow. A flow of something epic. It also has this simple guitar piece, but there they play with changing the tones that suit the song. The solo comes in and just slides fat through a fairly long passage. What I liked was that the comp did not change, that the solos and songs generally went in the same flow. Just before the ten-minute mark, however, they failed to hold on, and drove into the typical uptempo. Actually, I like it in this songs. It's also put solo here, which I suspect isDave , or Gers . To end with over two minutes of such is perfectly fine, I like Maiden when they alternate between the soloists, that you get these contrasts.

Meh: Hell On Earth , it was violent, if they are not aiming for Trøndelag :). It begins the same with many Maiden songs given, a calm bass line with a stripped-down clunking of the guitar. Here we talk over eleven minutes with, yep, calm start, straight at a gallop and standard Maiden run. And these terribly boring guitar melodies, again! I got a little Nightwish feeling . Does it never end? Bruce sings well here, I liked how he got into the song, not typical solution from him. But where he presses his voice, there I do not like. Just before the chorus there. It's just wrong. Steve should possibly realize and adapt Bruces'age. He sings well, but something happens to the voice. The entrance to the solo is strange, what happens in the song below there. Tough but nice. Perhaps the song I felt was most unusual for Maiden here. The chorus in the chorus, the solo, the basic accompaniment, something was standard as mentioned, but… The ending is not very innovative, as many people end it by building down in a familiar style.
The curious things for me from this review:

LIALW - that choir was a little unfamiliar that Maiden drives like that, even if it was only at short intervals. The vocals do not simplify the riff.

DOFP - cool part between solo and chorus.

''The Time Machine'' - different start. The arrangement of that part of the songs is not necessarily very typical.

''Darkest Hour'' - phenomenal solo.

''The Parchment'' - they play with changing the tones that suit the song.

''Hell On Earth'' - Bruce sings well here, I liked how he got into the song, not typical solution from him. The entrance to the solo is strange.


Out of the Silent Planet

But in Senjutsu all of this intro is better: It's more visceral. Heavier. Fewer effects and more guitar drive. It's also a lot shorter.

"Senjutsu" is a different song to be a maiden record opening compared to most of the previous ones. She has a dense footprint... kinda doom... half dragged. Too heavy. Actually, half Sabbath. The vocal in the chorus is chilling and brings backings in very high tones.

The excellent composition of Steve Harris and Adrian Smith ends in this dragged footprint and then we receive the perfect counterpoint of the galloping and fast "Stratego".

Steve Harris and Janick Gers, authors of "Stratego." Credits: Leca Suzuki
Both "Stratego" and the album's third song, "The Writing On The Wall", are the two singles that were released before the album, something unheard of in iron maiden history: Until then, only 1 song was released before the release of each album – except for Killers (1981) who had no single before the album.

That said, it makes no sense to comment on details of these 2 songs (click here to listen to "Stratego" and here to listen to "The Writing On The Wall" which will undoubtedly be a zillion times better experience than reading what I have to say about them).

I just comment quickly that I loved these 2 songs. Both have incredible choruses and Bruce is tearing it apart. In the exceptional "Stratego" caught my attention the guitar (probably janick gers who composed the song in partnership with Steve Harris) doing along the melody of Bruce's voice in the verses – something that will be repeated a few times throughout this album.

Adrian Smith e Bruce Dickinson, autores de “The Writing On The Wall”. Créditos: Marcos Hermes
"The Writing On The Wall" was the first single to be released and is also the first of the 3 songs that were composed by the partner Bruce and Adrian for Senjutsu. The duo, who have been responsible for so many hits such as "Flight of Icarus" and "2 Minutes To Midnight", is now once again delighting us with these three iconic compositions, as we will soon see more in "Days Of Future Past" and "Darkest Hour".

"The Writing On The Wall" has so much to comment on, from the opening riff so different in this folk-country footprint, to the numerous easter eggs hidden in the musicvideo, but I'll highlight only the 2nd solo that for me is the best of the entire album. Go back there and listen carefully to this solo – It starts at 4' 25" or click here that I've already left at the point for you.

Ready. We've talked about the end and the beginning of the record. And before we go with the middle songs, it's worth scoring:

The album opens with "Senjutsu", a heavy and dense song.

It follows with "Stratego", fast, direct and with the galloping Maideniana.

And here comes "The Writing On The Wall" in a half-folk, western style.

"Maiden is always more of the same" they say.

Aham... I can see that.

Steve Harris, autor de “Lost In A Lost World”.
We move on because now we're going to meet the first of Steve Harris's four epics, "Lost In A Lost World."

Without repeating itself and changing again, the track brings a very different and melodious beginning with an acoustic part and Bruce's voice being interspersed with wonderful backings. It arrives (half by far) to remember a little heavier version of "Planet Caravan" from Black Sabbath.

Obviously, we know Steve's going to break that lull, especially in a nearly 10-minute epic! And this occurs after 2 minutes with the entrance of a sensational riff. Nicko's drums are very much inspired by many points on the album, but on this particular track, it's too much!

The bridge (or anti-chorus) for me is undoubtedly the highlight of this song. More even than the chorus itself, which refers to choruses of the times of The X Factor (1995).

And right after the chorus we came up with a typical Maidenian riff in the middle style "Afraid To Shoot Strangers" – "I miss singing an ôôôô on top of the riffs in maiden's live show, right my son?".

For those who have ever been to a maiden show knows that the audience looks more like a football crowd that went there, not to watch a show, but to cheer and push the band! Like it's a championship final with the whole stadium screaming, singing and jumping. Together, for a cause.

After the solos and riffs, once again we have the chorus and from 8 minutes, the bridge is represented to us but with a different arrangement, slow and calm that takes the music to the end. This ending is one of the most memorable moments on the album. Exciting!

Steve's a genius. Oh... I've said that, haven't I?

“Days Of Future Past”.
We came to the music that I had the greatest expectation and curiosity to listen to. Why? Because it is the shortest song on the album (4 minutes) and is more of a composition of the duo Smith-Dickinson. My expectation bar was up there. And "Days Of Future Past" delivers everything I expected!

It begins with a grand and epic footprint that at 30 seconds falls into a very rock 'n' roll riff, very surpeendente! Bruce's voice is too much! As in many tracks on this record he sings in an absurdly loud tone. It is worth remembering that this is Bruce's first album after his victory over throat cancer.

What a chorus!

“The days of future past, to wander on the shore
A king without a queen, to die forevermore
To wander in the wasteland, immortal to the end
Waiting for the judgement, but the judgement never ends.”

I love Steve's epics (we have 4 to enjoy on this album!), but good that we also have direct songs like "Days Of Future Past" or "Stratego" that refer to maiden of the first albums.

Janick Gers e Steve Harris, autores de “The Time Machine”. Créditos: Wikimedia Commons
Somos colocados então em uma máquina do tempo em “The Time Machine” que me transportou para uma pegada mais Brave New World (2000). A faixa composta pela dupla Harris-Gers começa com uma introdução lenta com a suave voz do Bruce nos contando uma história.

Logo a música acelera e se transforma em mais um dos grandes momentos do disco: Versos que trazem Bruce seguindo o seu storytelling e justamente por isso, cantando de uma forma que lembra musicais, como se ele estivesse em um Jesus Christ Superstar, ou um Hair. Aos 3 minutos, a cavalgada Maideniana ataca, riffs lindos pra serem cantados no estádio ou em casa e mais Bruce grandioso.

Aos 4’ 35” temos um riff pesado que lembra um pouco Rush “novo” (entre aspas porque é “novo” tipo Vapor Trails ou Snakes & Arrows, que já não são tão novos assim) e que é seguido novamente por solos lindos. E como Steve adora, a música termina do mesmo jeito que começou, com a intro lenta, porém com Bruce concluíndo a sua história. Que história? Apenas mistérios de diversas Eras da Terra. Vale conferir o encarte.

“Darkest Hour”.
The third and final composition of the Smith-Dickinson partnership begins and ends on the beach, to the sound of the waves of the sea. "Darkest Hour" is one of Senjutsu's most beautiful songs and could be a radio candidate for being almost a ballad that chronicles the vision of a soldier who is waiting for the day to be born to go into battle. This last hour of darkness before the sun rises and went to war is the darkest hour,a beautiful metaphor for many moments in life.

The solos of this song confirm that Senjutsu may be one of Iron Maiden's albums with the most tasteful solos of the Iron Maiden discography. Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers are at a level of inspiration that is almost unbelievable to think that this creativity, technique and good taste last for more than 40 years (Janick a little less, "only" type 30 years...).

And the chorus is so sensational that I don't know how to describe it, just listening. In fact, the overlap of soils in the last chorus works very well. It's a real climax that ends in the waves of the beach.

“Death Of The Celts”.
Well... We arrived at the final stretch of the album that is composed of 3 epics by Steve Harris – which add to the already commented "Lost In A Lost World".

Starting with what can be considered Part 2 of "The Clansman" of Virtual XI (1998). Both in the feeling of the song and in the lyrics and thetheme, "Death Of The Celts" transports us to scenes worthy of the film Braveheart (1995).

At 4' 40" complete change in time and style, entering a sequence of riffs that reminded me of "The Red and The Black". The riff sequence lasts 2 minutes until it falls into the solos. As in the song of The Book Of Souls (2015), after the solos we return to more melodious riffs that only end at 9 minutes when the song returns to its original time to complete,

I think "Death Of The Celts" is the only one of the 10 tracks I wouldn't give a 10. Although it's a good song, it didn't bring me that creepy enchantment that new Iron Maiden songs usually cause. It is curious to note that journalist Nick Balazs chose this as the best song on the album. Maiden for all tastes.

Anyway, the track sets the stage for us to follow in this Harriana Epopéia with "The Parchment".

“The Parchment”.

The 9th track is senjutsu's longest with its almost 13 minutes and begins with an acoustically arranged theme, which soon turns into pure weight. The whole levada is dense, dark and heavy, half in the vibe of the title track "Senjutsu" but mixed with another title track, "The Book of Souls" and with half-Egyptian themes explored in the legendary Powerslave title track (1984).

As we've known Steve for almost 40 years (seriously, literally) you can tell that a change of time and style is coming. And in fact, it happens at 9 minutes when Bruce holds his voice up there along with another iconic riff, time speeds up and you can imagine an insandecido Eddie galloping at full speed and reapering the life of everything that's bad around him as we saw in the music video for "The Writing On The Wall". Riffs and sensational solos lead us to the end of the epic.

Steve is gên... oh... Nevermind.

And with that we come to "Hell On Earth", which is the beginning of this text and the end of this record.

I really hope maiden never stops releasing new albums... It is an event that we end up living, breathing and getting involved in a way that not many things in life can cause. But if for some reason Steve & Cia. decides that Senjutsu is the last, the ending with "Hell on Earth" would end in a brilliant and deserved way, the discography of the Iron Maiden.

But Steve, Bruce, Dave, Adrian, Nicko and Janick still have a lot of track to go through and judging by Senjutsu,they're getting better. May Eddie and the boys continue to wish us good night at the end of each show. And keep presenting us like this for many, many years.

And thank you, Iron Maiden.

Let the SENJUTSU ERA start!
Very curious description of the title track... very high chorus, Black Sabbath vibe.

LIALW - sensational riff, a lot of drumming.... the bridge for me is undoubtedly the highlight of this song. This ending is one of the most memorable moments on the album.

''The Time Machine'' - BNW vibe, verses that bring Bruce following his storytelling and precisely because of that, singing in a way that reminds musicals, beautiful riffs to be sung, some heavy riffs, beautiful solos.

''Darkest Hour'' - sensational chorus and the solos of this song confirm that Senjutsu may be one of Maiden's albums with the most tasteful solos of their discography.

DOTC - riffs that remind TRATB (the riff sequence lasts 2 minutes until it falls into the solos).

''The Parchment'' - dark and heavy, Bruce holds his voice up there along with another iconic riff (near the end of the song). Great solos (again).


Its fun to read so many reviews...and for the vast majority of them to be very positive. But thinking back through some stuff I remember reading over the years, puts them into context. Somewhere in Time was called a poppy, glossy misfire back in the day, and I also remember FOTD being hailed as Maiden at their most exciting and experimental. X-factor was called a Joke by one reviewer, and the best most mature thing by another. I think I'm reviewed out by now. Time for the main course


Found in a lost world
So wait... someone is putting Maiden albums on the shelf, presumably for sale tomorrow right? I mean it would be weird to display it and then not sell it to the customers.
Or...they made all the effort just to make the pic and then remove all the albums to put them back for sale on friday?


Jester with no tears
How come it hasn't leaked already?
Just pure guesswork here.

Probably a combination of stores receiving them just now. Maybe also a rigid review process? It would be interesting to know how each reviewer got access to the album. Since web meetings have skyrocketed during these past years, I can't imagine that anyone at all received a physical copy. I guess that sessions took place by sharing the audio in a web meeting style interface or something.