Senjutsu

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
I expected a longer intro for this song, but I'm glad that it is dramatic and epic right from the start.
 

____no5

The Angel Of The Odd
It would be a great concert opener for sure

The Maidenfans Listening Party didn’t rule that out, but concluded that it would be better they open with Stratego or Writing on the Wall and have a big Eddie in the middle of setlist with Senjutsu.

:p
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
The Maidenfans Listening Party didn’t rule that out, but concluded that it would be better they open with Stratego or Writing on the Wall and have a big Eddie in the middle of setlist with Senjutsu.

:p
The listening party is WRONG!!!!!!

or maybe it is right
 
I appreciate that this song is so different than anything that Maiden has done in their career. It's not my favourite, but it is still enjoyable. Not really sure if this song fits as an opener, as many of you already stated.
 

MindlessPieces

Educated Fool
Great song, I love it. Very different for Iron Maiden, very different drums, but really interesting. Best listened to on great headphones or great speakers to get the drums in their full glory, as the song isn't so glorious on laptop speakers.

The only thing I don't like is that solo from 2:40-2:55, 15 seconds of a horrible sounding guitar. Without the electronic effect it would have been fine. But I hate that part.
 

daan

Trooper
Very impressive opener. Something new, something fresh. I was looking for words to describe the sound of it - "dignified" and "noble" come to my mind. Great atmosphere and tension, very dramatic. I can really picture that siege when I'm listening to it. When they open with it live, it's going to transport the listeners into a different world right off the bat. Amazing solos throughout, Adrian's in particular - as always, he plays into the vibe of the song perfectly. Fantastic vocal performance as well.

I have to point out one little detail I reeeally loved - the way Janick starts this solo. That glitchy noise was cool as hell.

Oh, and there's one thing I hate about this track: I can't unhear the Still Got the Blues lick. :p
 

Smither

Educated Fool
One of their heaviest songs ever, for sure. I love the verses and the chorus is glorious. Nicko is sensational on that one, his drumming really makes the song. It's also cinematic, you can sense the urgency in Bruce's delivery. However, I think it's a bit too long and I don't like the way Bruce sounds on the "Hear them coming - ready now we wait..." bit, the song would be better off with just the instrumental on those sections imo.

Regarding opening with it live, I can totally see that, even if it's pretty different. I'd probably keep the stage in the dark until the first chorus, with a big explosion when that it starts, it's such a massive chorus and I think it will work pretty well. Will be great to hear Nicko drumming this one live too.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
For me, this is head and shoulders above the rest of the album. It's original, it's fresh, doesn't recycle, and it's immense.
They have always been good at "bombastic" without being over the top pompous. This is a good example.

Unlike some opinions, I think the chorus fits the song like a glove, it all clicked with me right away, sounds very spontaneous.

Btw, the harmony guitars under the chorus kinda follow the vocals but not verbatim, this is the way to do it (on some other songs, it's just unnecessary, but here it adds to the cinematic experience)
 

Arrakis

Educated Fool
A masterpiece to me, 10/10. What I especially like about this, is that it is different, they tried something different which is not forced. The drumming is sublime and the guitar theme is quite heavy in Maiden standards. They could have mixed it with an even more punch. It has a full Judas Priest vibe, I can envision Halford singing it. Why is it a standout? Again, it has an enormous vibe and very cinematic. Maybe the most cinematic piece on the album besides The Parchment. You can feel that you are in the middle of a battle but despite the glorious melody it also has a sinister vibe to it.

While it can be argued if this is the best fit as an album opener, I don't have a problem with it as the first song, and it is very well justified they titled the album as Senjutsu. It was a standout even at first listen, but after many listens this is another song that is one of the best songs out of the entire catalog not just on the album. Adrian should write more with Steve.

Kudos again for the creativity and the unusual style. Something different but still heavy and Maiden.
 

Flaming Blimp Crash

Ancient Mariner
This song has taken the longest for me to warm up to from the new album. At first I never really felt like it shifted out of fourth gear as it just kept plodding along. Wicker Man, Wildest Dreams, Different World all blasted you right out of the gate while S15/TFF and If Eternity Should Fail at least hit the ground running after their opening 'cinematic' bits. Chorus to me didn't have as great of a hook as the aforementioned songs either.

I will say there's a great ambience to the song and the more I hear it, the more comfortable I'd be with it being the opener for the album tour. I can already picture some of the stage effects to go with it. (Let's just say I hope the band's comfortable playing the first 80 seconds or so in near darkness.)
 

RK800

Invader
I'm fucking loving this tradition since TFF of making unorthodox songs the album openers. Satellite 15 being some interesting experimental piece, If Eternity being a reworked Bruce solo track...

And now THIS, one of Maiden's heaviest songs ever, beginning with some Taiko drums, a fading in E note, then EXPLODING into the best battle anthem we didn't know we needed, with Bruce commanding an army against invaders from all directions (and being bloody good at it too), and this song just piling on the crushing doom, some nice solos and what not for eight minutes. And like a lot of great openers, every listen has me picturing what it'll be like live... fire, Bruce brandishing a Katana, standing stop Maiden's Japanese palace taking full command. (Side note, how sick do y'all wanna bet this stage set will look?)

It's incredibly different and one ballsy way to open the album. Having heard it in the car, on a Bose set up and my earphones, I always get excited for that opening E chord every time. Side note, the weather in my city has been very shitty lately, so this song helps to make the most of it.
 

Spambot

Ancient Mariner
WOW!!!

Since this is how Maiden start their album, that's how I'm going to start this review: with one big "WOW".

First two singles announced that I can throw my predictions out of the window. Although I tried to do that, I still had my reservations since this one was an opener and Maiden don't shift into the highest gear right at the start, yes? Wrong! First chorus hit, and I was like: "OK, that's it, I'm bought." The song didn't even finish, and I already came to conclusion that I'm going to like "Senjutsu" way, way more than "Book of Souls".

The song itself consists of three main parts (I'm not counting intro and outro because by Maiden standards they would qualify as a short special effect.) First part with an awesome heavy groove (used for verses and solos), a refreshing melodic chorus and that part where Bruce cries for help. Yet, it doesn't feel like an 8+ minute song for me. While we're on topic I'm going to say a thing or two about editing.

Some might say Senjutsu (same as some other songs on this album and in previous 20 years) needs editing. We could probably agree on some of them, but I doubt any one of them would be from this album. I don't know is it because every song has its own mood or the Three Amigos got more courageous and infiltrate every part of the song with their melodies, hooks and solos or is it because I like the album that much. Even if there are some parts of this album that don't sit well with me, I wouldn't get rid of it. Steve Harris didn't build this band on "if they only cut/shorten this" - he built this band on stubborn determination. I believe he did "something" right because 40+ years later, there are people of all age groups and in all parts of the world that drool over new material. For those who say there are surpluses on these songs, I say this (and it may sound a bit harsh): "Tough luck. But you have your audio editing tools and I have a Play button." I'd rather have a part I don't like than having a feeling that the song is missing something.

Why do I like it that much? The groove, probably. The main riff is really heavy, but on later listens, I realized it wouldn't shine that much if it weren't for that great drum groove (Nicko's "How to make a song heavy without snare drum 101"). Distressed Bruce's voice (is that some sound effect or are those doubled vocals?!) with a warning of coming threat sets the mood immediately and just when you think the song is a call to arms stuck on muddy ground, the song elevates to highs with the most melodic opener chorus since the 80s. And after that, even if the majority of the song is variations on those two parts, the song just keeps flowing and flowing. (Back to editing: if somebody asked me to cut a minute of two from this one, I really wouldn't know which part since, even if they are repeated, there are new bits and bobs in them that I really like).

The song is anthemic, but I don't really see it as "victorious". Yes, Bruce keeps saying they will overthrow, but there's something between the lines or in the notes that makes me think they're not that sure. Like warriors holding their weapons, pumped with adrenalin and ready to charge; something they did a dozen of times before. But now, there's a silent look of dread between them that speaks: "We might not make it this time...". Maiden did songs with that same theme before, but it was never like this, never so.... beautifully poetic. Like a captain of a ship knowing they all might sink soon, but he's still standing on the bridge, refusing to abandon it, and says: "Come what may."

And that how I see Iron Maiden on Senjutsu. Crew on a ship who's seen its fair share of both thunderous storms where they feared for their lives and calm ports where they enjoyed their riches. Now it's time for one final departure, and they're ready to give it their all...
 

RK800

Invader
WOW!!!

Since this is how Maiden start their album, that's how I'm going to start this review: with one big "WOW".

First two singles announced that I can throw my predictions out of the window. Although I tried to do that, I still had my reservations since this one was an opener and Maiden don't shift into the highest gear right at the start, yes? Wrong! First chorus hit, and I was like: "OK, that's it, I'm bought." The song didn't even finish, and I already came to conclusion that I'm going to like "Senjutsu" way, way more than "Book of Souls".

The song itself consists of three main parts (I'm not counting intro and outro because by Maiden standards they would qualify as a short special effect.) First part with an awesome heavy groove (used for verses and solos), a refreshing melodic chorus and that part where Bruce cries for help. Yet, it doesn't feel like an 8+ minute song for me. While we're on topic I'm going to say a thing or two about editing.

Some might say Senjutsu (same as some other songs on this album and in previous 20 years) needs editing. We could probably agree on some of them, but I doubt any one of them would be from this album. I don't know is it because every song has its own mood or the Three Amigos got more courageous and infiltrate every part of the song with their melodies, hooks and solos or is it because I like the album that much. Even if there are some parts of this album that don't sit well with me, I wouldn't get rid of it. Steve Harris didn't build this band on "if they only cut/shorten this" - he built this band on stubborn determination. I believe he did "something" right because 40+ years later, there are people of all age groups and in all parts of the world that drool over new material. For those who say there are surpluses on these songs, I say this (and it may sound a bit harsh): "Tough luck. But you have your audio editing tools and I have a Play button." I'd rather have a part I don't like than having a feeling that the song is missing something.

Why do I like it that much? The groove, probably. The main riff is really heavy, but on later listens, I realized it wouldn't shine that much if it weren't for that great drum groove (Nicko's "How to make a song heavy without snare drum 101"). Distressed Bruce's voice (is that some sound effect or are those doubled vocals?!) with a warning of coming threat sets the mood immediately and just when you think the song is a call to arms stuck on muddy ground, the song elevates to highs with the most melodic opener chorus since the 80s. And after that, even if the majority of the song is variations on those two parts, the song just keeps flowing and flowing. (Back to editing: if somebody asked me to cut a minute of two from this one, I really wouldn't know which part since, even if they are repeated, there are new bits and bobs in them that I really like).

The song is anthemic, but I don't really see it as "victorious". Yes, Bruce keeps saying they will overthrow, but there's something between the lines or in the notes that makes me think they're not that sure. Like warriors holding their weapons, pumped with adrenalin and ready to charge; something they did a dozen of times before. But now, there's a silent look of dread between them that speaks: "We might not make it this time...". Maiden did songs with that same theme before, but it was never like this, never so.... beautifully poetic. Like a captain of a ship knowing they all might sink soon, but he's still standing on the bridge, refusing to abandon it, and says: "Come what may."

And that how I see Iron Maiden on Senjutsu. Crew on a ship who's seen its fair share of both thunderous storms where they feared for their lives and calm ports where they enjoyed their riches. Now it's time for one final departure, and they're ready to give it their all...
I was just absolutely floored by this track. I also forgot to mention in my initial post that the Bridge, where Bruce uses his high notes to make it almost seem as if the nation is being over run, the switches to low notes and the key temporarily switches to A is absolutely brilliant.
 

Severian

Have a good time, all the time!
So before the album was released two of the big reviews compared this song to both the band Tool and the genre of Industrial Metal, anybody else feeling that? because I certainly am not, sure it has a dark groove going on but i'm not seeing the connection myself

Some reviews also linked Death of the Celts to The Clansman and i definitely can't hear that connection either
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Yeah, this doesn't sound like Tool at all. I even sent this track to the biggest Tool fan I know and he said, "WTF no, hell of a track though".

Monster track. It feels huge, like, just a rumble of sound, like an oncoming horde. Killer chorus too. Possibly my favourite of these first few days.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Whoever compared the song to Tool shouldn’t be reviewing music professionally. Maybe harsh, but that’s high school level criticism that shows ignorance toward both artists.
 

RK800

Invader
So before the album was released two of the big reviews compared this song to both the band Tool and the genre of Industrial Metal, anybody else feeling that? because I certainly am not, sure it has a dark groove going on but i'm not seeing the connection myself

Some reviews also linked Death of the Celts to The Clansman and i definitely can't hear that connection either
Tool I can kind of see.

Industrial metal though, fuck no. Nowhere even close.
 

daan

Trooper
Both comments clearly come from drum patterns and emphasis on rhythm. The Tool comparison is a bit of a stretch but not crazy, but "industrial" is just a completely different vibe.
 

Oregano

Nomad
The heaviest song Maiden have ever done. What a spectacle! What an atmosphere and drama! I was very perplexed at first. Then the chorus in conjunction with the guitar hit me directly! And they need everyone at the Waaal dededee. Nicko's drumming is insane. The sound bombastic. I would never have expected Maiden to come around the corner with something so new. Very brave to take such a heavy song as an opener. But it works great. I imagine Eddie in battle, helping to defend the wall.
 
Top