Senjutsu - 3rd September 2021

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
KERRANG TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2021

THERE'S A LOT OF SHIT ON IT. I respect the Maiden album position, even Mastodon, Trivium, Gojira… but where are Evergrey, Moonspell, UDO, Carcass, Helloween, Epica, Dream Theater, Accept, Running Wild…?
I think this mag forget what 'METAL' Term means long time ago.
Moonspell’s “Hermitage” deserves to be on every end of year list imo and it’s sad to see it get overlooked. I think it’s a stronger album than Hushed and Grim.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
You can't be serious - you heard the style of drumming in the title track in other Maiden song or you heard the ''ahh-ahh'' intro of LIALW in other Maiden song or the western/folky melodic riff of TWOTW is not unique for the band? @srfc already told you about Hell On Earth.
Let me answer these in turn:

Senjutsu - Just saying "drumming", as you did originally, is vague, but I will concede to you that drums are probably the instrument I pay the least attention to and I've no idea if that particular style has been used previously.

LIALW - In your first post, you simply said "the intro" and left it there, which is, again, incredibly vague. As for the "ahh-ahh" part... perhaps it's just me, but I don't think it's really that different to the breakdowns in Bring Your Daughter... ...To The Slaughter or (more tenuously) Sea Of Madness.

TWOTW - You originally just said "melodic riff". If you'd been more specific and mentioned the western sound I wouldn't have mentioned it.
 

Iron Lurker

Ancient Mariner
Kerrang was once my favorite Metal magazine back in the 80s. But it was hard to find in the States. My guess is they moved away from metal in the 90s when grunge took over?
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Kerrang was once my favorite Metal magazine back in the 80s. But it was hard to find in the States. My guess is they moved away from metal in the 90s when grunge took over?

It definitely moved away from classic metal, but it still covers metal bands (more alternative than classic though). Their target audience is significantly younger than that of Metal Hammer or (especially) Classic Rock.
 

UpTheIrons

Educated Fool
Kerrang was once my favorite Metal magazine back in the 80s. But it was hard to find in the States. My guess is they moved away from metal in the 90s when grunge took over?
Kerrang nowadays covers the very broad span of rock/alternative, with it's target demographic being predominantly younger music fans. It features a lot of pop-punk, emo and what you might describe as Warped Tour metal, though they do have the bigger classic metal bands on the cover from time to time.

They went through a particularly rough patch, in my opinion, somewhere between 5 and 10 years back where they really went in on very soft, commercial acts like Five Seconds of Summer, but in more recent years their output is better. I've respected the fact that recently they've put smaller bands like Employed to Serve and Turnstile as their top albums of the year, they've been very deserving. I can remember issues with Maiden, Priest and I think Metallica on the cover over the last few years but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Kerrang was once my favorite Metal magazine back in the 80s. But it was hard to find in the States. My guess is they moved away from metal in the 90s when grunge took over?

Kind of, it didn't really get hostile to Maiden and heavy metal until Nu-Metal in the mid 90's when they also started featuring The Prodigy and Eminem.

I find them covering Maiden now to be very cynical as they used to love questioning whether Maiden were even relevant in the 90s.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
Rolling Stones has Sesjutsu as the #1 metal album of 2021 if you can believe it.

Why this qualifier? Do you disagree with the placing, or did you expect Rolling Stone in particular to rank another metal album higher? If the latter, which album?

Personally I am more surprised when it doesn't top lists, because it was probably the biggest metal album release of the year and didn't get a bad reception.
 

Josh

Ancient Mariner
Why this qualifier? Do you disagree with the placing, or did you expect Rolling Stone in particular to rank another metal album higher? If the latter, which album?

Personally I am more surprised when it doesn't top lists, because it was probably the biggest metal album release of the year and didn't get a bad reception.

Rolling Stones has never been ones to pay much attention to Maiden, that's all.
 

mepatrik1

Trooper
Ok, so after months of listening, I'm sharing my thoughts about the album here for the first time.
It's going to be rather controversial I guess.

Senjutsu: unique song, great chorus, but doesn't work as an opener for me and the second half gets a little bit boring.
Stratego: the chorus is great again, other parts of the song are fine too, I just dislike the cheap sounding orchestra.
The Writing on the Wall: an okay song, I'm not skipping it when the album plays, but I wouldn't listen to it on my own.
Lost in a Lost World: by far the best Steve epic of the album. Excellent build up and atmosphere. The chorus is a bit too simple, that's the worst part of the song.
Days of Future Past: love it. Short and fun with amazing riff and chorus.
The Time Machine: I like the intro, but sounds too much like The Talisman. The verses are strange, it's not necessarily bad, but I'm not a fan. The chorus is weak sadly, I especially dislike how it ends.
Darkest Hour: easily the best song on the album. Sounds like something straight from a Bruce solo album. It doesn't feel like 7 minutes, it's just amazing and probably one of my favorite post-BNW Maiden songs.
Death of the Celts: a weak effort to write The Clansman part 2. This song goes to nowhere. It starts, and ends 10 minutes later, and nothing happened, just ideas thrown together without concept.
The Parchment: this song is like the previous but even worse. Sounds like ideas thrown together again. Probably my least favorite Steve epic ever written.
Hell on Earth: worst lyrics of the album, while the music itself is a bit too happy sounding for me sometimes and the outro is unnecessarily long. The chorus and the "lost in anger, life in danger" part are saving the song for me tho.

My ranking of the songs:
01. Darkest Hour
02. Days of Future Past
03. Lost in a Lost World
04. Stratego
05. Senjutsu
06. The Writing on the Wall
07. Hell on Earth
08. The Time Machine
09. Death of the Celts
10. The Parchment

Overall I'm very disappointed by the album, especially after such build up with Belshazzar's feast. Out of the 116 albums I have listened to from 2021, this one would stand around number 70-80. I feel like TBOS was much stronger with only a few flaws, but it was filled mostly with amazing songs. Still, it's better to get new music from Maiden than nothing, so I'm glad they released Senjutsu, and I hope you guys can enjoy it a lot more than I can, and I still hope it will grow on me a bit more in the next couple of months.
 

Boroking

In the mire of an ancient swamp
I recently received a new record player as an early Christmas present so i decided to listen to Senjustu for the first time in a non digital format. As is usually the case with records i found myself listening more deeply and i felt the sound and any production niggles i had sounded much improved. My main takeaway though was how massive 'Death of the Celts' sounded, especially compared to my initial underwhelmed reaction of several months ago. It rollicked and roared with a level of power and forcefulness which took me by surprise. Conversely 'The Parchment', which is my favourite track, sounded a little underpowered. Anyway listening to the record in a new format made it feel fresh and new again and i continue with my believe that this is one of their greatest recordings.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
The Parchment: this song is like the previous but even worse. Sounds like ideas thrown together again.

You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but even as someone who also thought The Parchment was the worst song on the album when it was released, this was never one of my criticisms. In fact, I felt it was the opposite - the song was very uniform for the majority of those 12 minutes, and bored me as a result.

More recently I have come to appreciate that slow buildup much more, and the song is one of my favourites from the album (after The Writing On The Wall and Darkest Hour, respectively). Hopefully the same happens in your case, though if not it sounds like you've got at least a couple of songs out of the album that you really like.
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
The Parchment is almost a post-metal song by Maiden. Rather than your standard verse-bridge-chorus or whatever, it starts with a theme, keeps the theme the entire time and keeps building and building on it up towards the last quarter or so of the song. It's like Maiden took a page out of Neurosis's book with that song. I'm a big fan and think it's the best song on the album. And I bet it would sound absolutely monstrous live.
 

Abas

Jester with no tears
It's like Maiden took a page out of Neurosis's book with that song.
As someone who isn't familiar with Neurosis, but is intrigued by the parallels you draw - is there anything in particular you can point me towards to find out more?
 

Iron Lurker

Ancient Mariner
The Parchment is almost a post-metal song by Maiden. Rather than your standard verse-bridge-chorus or whatever, it starts with a theme, keeps the theme the entire time and keeps building and building on it up towards the last quarter or so of the song. It's like Maiden took a page out of Neurosis's book with that song. I'm a big fan and think it's the best song on the album. And I bet it would sound absolutely monstrous live.
I agree. The Parchment remains my fav off Senjutsu and would love to hear it live.
 

Shavasku

Educated Fool
The Parchment is almost a post-metal song by Maiden. Rather than your standard verse-bridge-chorus or whatever, it starts with a theme, keeps the theme the entire time and keeps building and building on it up towards the last quarter or so of the song. It's like Maiden took a page out of Neurosis's book with that song. I'm a big fan and think it's the best song on the album. And I bet it would sound absolutely monstrous live.

Indeed.

I love TBOS (album). However, I think The Parchment and Hell on Earth are a step above of anything they have made on TBOS. It's like "maiden next level" for me. I can't decide which one is my favorite.
 
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