Senjutsu - 3rd September 2021

Melony

Educated Fool
It's probably my favourite cut from the LP. The 6/8 instrumental section is pure Transylvania.

Great song (and miles better than the massively overrated The Clansman).

We now have official proof that it's a very good song. :D

Traditionally, I listen to "Stratego" on the last 5 minute walk to the beach. But I couldn't bear stopping "Death of the Celts" that was playing.

To me, their songwriting and arranging skills are at a new high in their career.

Maybe it's just a sound bite that only the 80s albums were good? Maybe these fans haven't found the time yet to listen to the later albums? :D

Just kidding but as you can see, I personally haven't managed to understand their reasoning.
 

____no5

Free Man
Senjutsu is the pinnacle of post reunion Maiden, in the same way that 7th Son is the pinnacle of 80s Maiden. Not a wasted second on either album.

Maybe not for the whole reunion period due to a some wasted minutes here and there, but it's certainly the pinnacle of the '20s so far! :cool:
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Judging from this forum and other media sources, I would say this is the most divisive album since TXF. The fan base seems really split on it.
Every reunion album apart from BNW and (maybe) AMOLAD is like that. I think the fans like it more than TBOS.
Senjutsu is the pinnacle of post reunion Maiden, in the same way that 7th Son is the pinnacle of 80s Maiden. Not a wasted second on either album.
I agree on a 100%. Maiden are still bringing magic with their new songs.
It's probably my favourite cut from the LP. The 6/8 instrumental section is pure Transylvania.
The instrumental section is really groovy and I think every Maiden fan should like it.
Well, I would say most here like or love the album but favorite songs vary - someone's best is someone else's worst. And it seems the more casual fan is still stuck in the 80's and wants Aces High/Run to the Hills type of stuff.
I also would say that most fans like it.
About the 80's stuff, why the band will want to repeat themselves, I don't get it. The classics are timeless, but with their new songs Maiden managed to top some of them (at least for me) and that's great. The band is evolving and with 3 guitarists one should not expect the band to sound the same.

Anyway, I like that this new album is very diverse and the band is not afraid to try new things after so many years:

- The title track is not for everyone, especially with the type of drumming and the slow tempo, but it's a bold move and the result is fantastic.

- Stratego is a mix of their trademark gallop and the vibe of the reunion era (BNW). A classic single. I am still amazed by the pre-chorus and the chorus.

- TWOTW is also slightly different for the band, but at the same time is very Maiden-ish and I really wanted a solo of that length in a Maiden song again. Everything is perfect.

- LIALW won't be so good song without the very different intro for the band and the emotional outro, so great decision again. The fans should appreciate that.

- DOFP is a much needed short rocker in an album full of long songs and as Bruce said, the song is very Maiden from the 80's. It's sharp, steady and with a memorable chorus (even the solo is shorter)... btw, although I'm not a fan of the ''hollow'' part of the song in the middle, I think it's a nice feature in an album full of ideas and one you won't expect.

- The Time Machine is the Maiden song you would expect in their albums and from Janick and Steve - we have the amazing melodies, the tempo changes, the proggy part, 3 solos, intro/outro motif, great chorus and an awesome new feature with the acoustic guitar under the chorus. I think the song has the vibe of the early reunion albums (DOD) and it is an important part of the album because the parts of the song are in the DNA of the band, especially since the reunion.

- Darkest Hour is the ballad I was waiting for from the band and it's more ballad-y than some of the songs in the other reunion albums. The chorus (and the whole song) is very solo Bruce and I like it a lot. Bruce does those type of songs just great and Adrian's solo (and the guitar tone) are out of this world. Plus the song is not so melodic and this is a nice contrast in an album full of melodies. No one expected a ballad from Maiden. It's not for everyone though, if the ballad don't touch your heart with the performance, the vocals, the melody...

- I already said my opinion about DOTC a couple of pages back - it's the culmination of the Celtic melodies and it's one of those classic melodic Maiden epics with tempo changes you know Steve will always deliver. I knew this song will be great and I wanted such a song.

- The Parchment is also a needed song - it has 6 solos(!), it feels a lot like an instrumental and it is without a chorus (in an album full of memorable and great choruses). I think Steve wanted to write a song that has more instrumental parts than vocals since the reunion. I'm a big fan of the Egyptian melodies. This is a specific but fantastic song.

- Hell On Earth is another timeless classic epic from Steve you would expect in every album. It also has the classic gallop, the melancholic intro/outro, a lot of different melodies, tempo changes, 2 amazing choruses and one calm middle part that is great and new for the band. The song screams Steve with the emphasis on the melodies rather than the rough riffs. Masterpiece!

^ I don't want every fan to like the album as much as I like it, I just want to say why I love it. There is something special in this album - it's like BNW, but 20 years later. Every song could be my favorite.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I don’t know about anyone else but as a 45 year old Maiden fan who’s been along for the ride since 1991 I think Senjutsu is amazing.

I’m not someone who will blindly love anything Maiden does but something about this album has totally resonated with me. Not a bad song on the album and could possibly top a matter of life and death as the best reunion album

As a 45 year old (fart) who has been a fan since 1991 too, I do not think Senjutsu is that great. It is definitely better than what the band released during the 90s (the same can be said about all post-reunion albums), but it pales when compared to A Matter of Life and Death.
 

CA Bryers

Educated Fool
Since we're on a 45 year-old theme, I'll chime in somewhere in the middle, now that we've sat with the album for quite a while. Senjutsu is a great album, but some areas have either never grabbed me or are now starting to wear on me. The title track does make for a good (if over-long) mood-setter, but I'm curious how it'll work as a show opener on the tour. I've probably mentioned this elsewhere, but there's just nothing about it that screams "starting a show with a bang" like Maiden traditionally does. I picture newer fans showing up and finding themselves confused by the choice...but maybe that's just me. The band seems to love it, so what do I know.

"Stratego" still sits well with me, though I do wish it had a heavier, fuller sound than the rather thin one we got. And in an alternate age/reality where singles were a bigger thing, I feel like "Writing on the Wall" would've been a HUGE mainstream hit. Not sure why I think that, but I do.

Parts of the middle is where it gets murky. I LOVE the intro/outro to LIALW, but the chorus feels so uninspired, and the driving rhythm of the heavier main section just feels like it had more of a punch when they did it in "The Fugitive." A good song I guess, but one that's slipping for me. DOFP I've always liked, but it's never a song I'll seek out because I want to hear it. "Darkest Hour" never grabbed me, but...it's fine. Great solo. "The Time Machine" elevates things up again with one of the best choruses they've done in a great many years.

The closing "Harris" trilogy builds to a strong finish, hampered mostly by Steve's penchant for having Bruce's vocal melody mirror the bulk of the guitar melodies. In all three songs. DotC is another that has yet to grab me. It just feels like it's a potentially great song that didn't stay in the oven long enough in terms of vocal hooks and...anything else apart from the standout instrumental section. "The Parchment" I used to think didn't justify its length by staying interesting throughout, but that was short-lived. A few more listens and it became an almost mesmeric highlight of the album. And "Hell on Earth"...what can you say? Not perfect, but an incredible closer that--if Maiden chose to call it a day and never record another album--I could live with that being the last song they left us with.

In all, I'd rank it as about even with TBoS, maybe a little better. Dubious decision to make it a double album, since 3-5 minutes of fluff here and there could've been cut in order for it to fit on a single disc. But, like any post on here, just my opinions on it as Senjutsu ages a bit.
 

AncientMariner_Essex

Educated Fool
Man, what’s with LIALW chorus hate? It’s such a corker.
Yeah I don’t get that

Each to there own I guess but I think LIALW is a cracking song from start to finish.

As I’ve said in previous posts there’s just something that has clicked with me about this album and I could say something good about every track.

If I was pushed to say something negative then the title track is probably the worst track on the album for me. I do enjoy it but every time I sit down to listen to the album and the song starts it’s not long before I get the itch to skip it. Not because it’s a bad song per say but I’m just keen to get to stratego and beyond as the rest of the album is much stronger.

I think Stratego should have been the albums opening track and I would have liked the track to have a bit more pace to it. I have a feeling when it’s played live it’ll be played a bit faster and sound even better. The title track would have worked better for me being about halfway into the album.
 

Christopher Baines

Educated Fool
Although i'm not a huge fan of the album i was shocked to hear my brothers opinion on it the other day. He's a lifelong Maiden and fan loves all the other post reunion albums but described Senjutsu as "a load of sh$t"
 

Paul1971

Prowler
We now have official proof that it's a very good song. :D

Traditionally, I listen to "Stratego" on the last 5 minute walk to the beach. But I couldn't bear stopping "Death of the Celts" that was playing.

To me, their songwriting and arranging skills are at a new high in their career.

Maybe it's just a sound bite that only the 80s albums were good? Maybe these fans haven't found the time yet to listen to the later albums? :D

Just kidding but as you can see, I personally haven't managed to understand their reasoning.
Perhaps, but I've also seen at least ten different attempts to "fix" the album by classics fans who've decided they know better than the band. It's certainly a contentious album.
I just looked at this forum because there are new about the Legacy tour but I have to post this:
It may be meant as joke but it hits the nail. It is a sound bite. The fans who said this to me could not even name one song from newer albums.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
I just looked at this forum because there are new about the Legacy tour but I have to post this:
It may be meant as joke but it hits the nail. It is a sound bite. The fans who said this to me could not even name one song from newer albums.
Sadly my post at least wasn't a joke. I've seen several different "edits" of the album which alter the tempo, remove entire sections of songs, and so on.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Each to there own I guess but I think LIALW is a cracking song from start to finish.

I think the middle part is mediocre at best, with poor vocal melody lines and very odd phrasing. Bruce sounds either incredibly strained (The people worshipping the sun... verse) or bored (Feel the spirits of the old ones standing proud upon their race... verse; he does not sound as bored as on The Daily Mail Song but it is quite close).

The outro is OK and the intro is brilliant.
 

Midnight

The Ever Present "It"
I guess it keeps them entertained.
Yes, it does. Today, I loaded Death of the Celts into an audio editor to see if there was anything I could do with it. Well... I had to pay very close attention to the song in order to try and edit it, and focusing on the instrumental part like that made me like it a lot more. I quit without changing anything, and with a new appreciation for the song.

On the other hand, I did enjoy taking a minute out of the title track (and then making another version sped up by 5%, because why not).
 

Ironalice

Ancient Mariner
Although i'm not a huge fan of the album i was shocked to hear my brothers opinion on it the other day. He's a lifelong Maiden and fan loves all the other post reunion albums but described Senjutsu as "a load of sh$t"
I've seen quite a lot of life long fans that enjoy 00s Maiden call Senjutsu a total borefest. So its without a doubt an album that seems to have divided the fan base. Some love it others hate it.
 

Melony

Educated Fool
Of course I don't expect everyone to like Senjutsu as much as I do.
But I know only one other Maiden fan and can't understand his arguments. He complains about the diddlidee-diddliduh riffs? That's on every album. I have a suspicion that he doesn't have the patience to look deeper into Senjutus, because you have to. There is a lot to discover, in my opinion.
It can't be a borefest for me if only because it's so emotional and dark.

I'm almost a little afraid of the next album, because it must be a dissapointment as strong as Senjutu is, the excellent guitar and bass work, the mostly more coherent arrangements than before, etc. all of which has already been mentioned.

These are my favorite solos:

1) "Darkest Hour"
Adrian Smith - 4:11

2) "The Writing On The Wall"
Adrian Smith - 4:26

3) "Hell On Earth"
Janick Gers - 8:22
 
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