Senjutsu - 3rd September 2021

tillyvick14

Trooper
I’m thinking the answers to suddenly having four Harris epics might lie in this interview from 2016. Either Harry felt now was the time to let more of his ideas out or the other writers didn’t bring as much material into the studio in 2019:


Steve: "Well, these days I seem to be having problems writing anything [of] five minutes [in length] — I don't know — so the answer to that at the moment is that it's easier to write long ones, I suppose… I don't know… I don't really time 'em. I mean, I'd like to write more songs, and write more songs on my own too. And I've still got loads of ideas — too many ideas, probably — but I think that's a nice problem to have. I'd rather have that problem than run out of ideas."

And that's the way it's been going the last three or four albums — certainly since Adrian's come back — just because there's been lots of ideas. But that doesn't mean I haven't got my ideas of my own — I've got loads of ideas of my own. I'm not frustrated about that, because I think it's important that the band goes in different directions, and so I think what has been done has been the right thing to do. That's what I felt was the gut instinct was the right thing to do. If I thought the material of theirs wasn't strong enough, then I'd tell 'em. But it is what it is, and I think it's been good [getting] different directions happening. So, I don't know… We'll see what happens in the future, and if everyone carries on writing. The good thing is, if they dry up, I've got loads of ideas, so it's not gonna be a problem."
 
On the subject of the Harris epics, I think Empire of the Clouds accidentally illustrated Steve Harris's songwriting genuis.

Sorry to Empire of the Clouds fans, but I think it is overlong, boring and devoid of adrenaline pumping or inspiring musical passages in the latter half. Even the crescendo part of the airship coming down sounds limp. The song actually takes BOS down a notch for me. Full respect to Bruce since he was ill, but the song somehow doesn't feel complete to me, more like the scaffold to be edited and embellished later on.

And it showed me that although we may take Harris's epics for granted, or even criticise them, he has an ear for writing compelling longer traditional metal songs. And my god, he writes them himself and brings them fully composed to the band!

Say what you want folks, but 30 or so minutes of Harris material to close Senjutsu sounds far more appealing than the snoozefest of Bruce's 20 minute attempt at prog rock amateur dramatics. Maiden would never have built its early musical reputation as a force of nature based on Empire of the Clouds, I can tell you that much. If Empire appeared on a 1982-1992 album it may have sunk them.

Sorry to rant and apologies to all Empire of the Clouds fans - I'm happy the song keeps you entertained. Personally I give it 6/10 and think it is only slightly less of a disaster than Loch Ness by Judas Priest, which ruined their Angel... album.
 
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MindRuler

Ancient Mariner
Around the time when DOD was released the Official Fan Forums were still open to everyone; you didn't have to be a FC member to use them.

At that time they was a lot of negativity on the forum over the album cover, the songs, the song writing, the tour, setlists, hating on Janick, Bruce can't sing anymore, etc. (kind of like what's still going on now).

It got to be a bit overwhelming so I made a little rant. A mock statement from Maiden that they were cancelling their World Tour to announce the "Dance of Death at Your Door" Tour. I made up all kinds of ridiculous things like:

Maiden will show up in a bus at your house to play a 2 1/2 hour show with the setlist of your choosing.
They will play anything you want. They will even play Alexander the Great 5 times in a row if that's what you wish.
Derek Riggs will be on hand to create a special, customized Dance of Death album cover to your exact specifications.
For all you Janick Gers haters, he will wait on the bus.
Ending with; And all just to please you, the whiniest bunch of fans on God's Green Earth....

I wish I had saved that post. I think it got around 100 responses.
I vaguely remember that thread.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I can tell you that much. If Empire appeared on a 1982-1992 album it may have sunk them.

I love Empire absolutely but I totally agree with this point.

I mentioned in another thread recently how I remembered how elements of the metal press in the 90s used to sneer at Rime. Imagine the reaction to a piano led track 50% longer than Rime?

Also, re: DOD debate earlier, my memory is that at the time it was better received than BNW had been, particularly the production. I find it quite funny now that BNW is kinda seen as the benchmark of the Shirley era because at the time the malcontents absolutely fuckin' hated it.

Final tangent, one of the other things I really find funny is the wide swathes of opinions you get from people about the reunion era, e.g. I love this album but that album is shit. Honestly, I think they are all pretty much in the same ball park in terms of how the songs are written, how they sound etc. You could probably move any track from any album and put it on any other and it won't stand out as being hugely different, so I really don't understand where the extremes of opinion are coming from.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Well, I just hated the close relation to VXI. In most of the songs Nicko is not even bothering to perform a drum roll. The choruses on most songs are so repetitive and blunt. The usage of the 3 guitars is sub-par, H's contribution is too little. The sound IMO is very unbalanced with the drums too high in the mix. It always sounded like a half-baked record...at least more that the other reunion albums. Bruce's singing however is fantastic for the last time on a Maiden record. I think that since DOD he sounds too strained and forced.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I vaguely remember on the official forums leading up to TFF that a lot of people commonly believed that each subsequent reunion album was better than the last. I think a lot of that may have been recency bias. I definitely felt like Dance of Death was on par with the rest of the reunion albums until fairly recently. These albums have had a lot of time to marinate since then.
 
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MindRuler

Ancient Mariner
I think if DOD had a good cover it wouldn't be getting any bad press.
It´s a mixed bag for me. Really great songs like title track, Montségur, Rainmaker, No More Lies and Face In The Sand. But it contains also some of my least favourite Maiden songs like Wildest Dreams, New Frontier, Age Of Innocence and Journeyman. And apologize for going off topic again.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
It´s a mixed bag for me. Really great songs like title track, Montségur, Rainmaker, No More Lies and Face In The Sand. But it contains also some of my least favourite Maiden songs like Wildest Dreams, New Frontier, Age Of Innocence and Journeyman. And apologize for going off topic again.

I think the running order doesn't really do it any favours, you don't bury a track like Paschendale in no man's land (unless that was on purpose and has gone over my head until right now:lol:) and there isn't a huge variety in the type of tracks i.e. most are mid-length. But they all are good tracks as far as I'm concerned bar maybe the bad lyrics of AOI.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Dance of Death is a very fun album. Not all songs are top notch, but New Frontier is the only one I dislike. The lyrics to Age of Innocence are pretty bad, but the music is quite good. I think DoD just suffers from being the album between the superior BNW and AMOLAD, same as Priest put out Point of Entry between British Steel and Screaming for Vengeqance (that being said, DoD is a far better album than PoE).

I also got into Maiden around Christmas of 2004. My brother had gotten DoD for Christmas after previously having bought Edward the Great, which I at the time was spinning heavily. I clearly remember him calling me into his room to listen to Paschendale. What a song.
 

MegBegb

Trooper
Ahh memories. Rainmaker, No more lies, Monstegur, DoD, Paschendale, Journryman. I remember being blown away by this album. The Death on the road dvd is still by far my most favorite concert. Towards the end.. with Bruce singing Journeyman with a towel around his neck and the improvised solo from H was pure magic.
Yeah, that's Journeyman performance with crowd singalong is brilliant, with that strong FOTD feel. Especially in 5.1, almost feels like you're right there in the crowd. Btw it's hella good song to get back in setlist.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
From official forum, is Stratego the next single? It's at least considered a prominent track

View attachment 16018
I think this single will be released 2 or 3 months after the album release (given the picture above). They have done this many times with their singles.

Btw, I hope it will have a proper single cover (like TWOTW) or some b-sides stuff (I doubt that) - with ''Stratego'' as a title, the single cover will be too similar to the album cover, I guess. Maybe Eddie standing in front of an army showing them the strategy/tactics on a map?
 
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Jadukor

Can I play with Agnes
I think this single will be released 2 or 3 months after the album release (given the picture above). They have done this many times with their singles.

Btw, I hope it will have a proper single cover (like TWOTW) or some b-sides stuff (I doubt that) - with ''Stratego'' as a title, the single cover will be too similar to the album cover, I guess. Maybe Eddie standing in front of an army showing them the strategy/tactics on a map?
I am guessing this song will be something similar to "The Pilgrim"? Thoughts?
 
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