Senjutsu

RK800

Invader
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.
Let me just say playing Ghost of Tsushima with this song acting as the soundtrack is fucking insane!!!
 

Donner

Ancient Mariner
Senjutsu- 8.5/10 - Really cool idea for a song but kind of puzzling as an album opener. This would have been a 10 if it sped up at all. I love love love the chorus melody - this again kind of reminds me of a slightly more rounded out version of The Longest Day but with a less jarring chorus. I kind of wish it sounded a bit more Japanese and I know it's about a defending a wall but I feel there is a disconnect between the song lyrics and the album art somehow. It seems silly to note, but I'm glad the intro actually isn't super long either. Killer tune!
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I kind of wish it sounded a bit more Japanese and I know it's about a defending a wall but I feel there is a disconnect between the song lyrics and the album art somehow.

It's absolutely about China:lol:

They obviously just thought Japan had better imagery when they decided it would be the title track, as it was originally called The Great Wall.

Japan is an island country, how can invaders ride in:lol:
 

Donner

Ancient Mariner
I assume there are walls in feudal era Japan that could have been breached by invaders from the north? It's been so long since my Japanese history class in college I really don't know.

You say Great Wall (and I know this was the working title based on Kevin's document he posted to Facebook) and I only think China. It's....weird lol.
 

Severian

Have a good time, all the time!
I assume there are walls in feudal era Japan that could have been breached by invaders from the north? It's been so long since my Japanese history class in college I really don't know.

You say Great Wall (and I know this was the working title based on Kevin's document he posted to Facebook) and I only think China. It's....weird lol.
Famously the Mongolians found it impossible to invade Japan even after conquering most of asia
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
While I admire the different approach artistically, I‘ve come to the conclusion it was a mistake not to include a traditional Maiden rhythm section approach in this song.
 

giratina

Educated Fool
In the song do the nomad invaders come from the north or the south ? From what I understand they come from the south.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
I think that this song has the maximum effect due to Steve's lack of measure when doing the arrangement. H's riffs, melodies, solos etc are top notch. I understand that the lyrics and the arrangement was done by Steve. So Steve of course made this at lease 2-3 minutes longer than it should have been, However -for me- and as I can tell by accident- this dragging of the riffs and the stable rythm create a very sick, gloomy and dark song. I feel discomfort everytime I listen to it. And I mean that in a good way. It creates a very dark atmosphere (maybe even the produciton/mix shortcoming work in favor of the song after all). I freaking adore it! And this is what this album is for me after all. Even with the extra fat the songs create emotions!! It's been quite some time since I felt that while listening to Maiden.
 

Spambot

Ancient Mariner
While I admire the different approach artistically, I‘ve come to the conclusion it was a mistake not to include a traditional Maiden rhythm section approach in this song.
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Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
It's tied with Hell On Earth as the best song on the album and will make an epic set opener. I just love the Toolesque rhythm to it.
 

jazz from hell

Ancient Mariner
It's absolutely about China:lol:

They obviously just thought Japan had better imagery when they decided it would be the title track, as it was originally called The Great Wall.

Japan is an island country, how can invaders ride in:lol:
It‘s related to the writing on the wall too, though, isn‘t it? A connections between songs.
 

Severian

Have a good time, all the time!
Honestly I think the whole album could be seen as a SSOASS or AMOLAD type of concept album
 

Dentura

Invader
A great way to start the album with a nice, propulsive beat. I also really like the chorus and the bridge Bruce sings before and after the first guitar solo where he sounds like he's in the distance giving his last stand. Not my favorite on the album personally, but still a good song overall. Those drums at the beginning will really get the crowd going as the show's about to begin.
 

____no5

The Angel Of The Odd
It's absolutely about China:lol:

They obviously just thought Japan had better imagery when they decided it would be the title track, as it was originally called The Great Wall.

Japan is an island country, how can invaders ride in:lol:

From Bruce's interviews it's said to be a mix of Chinese Great Wall + Game of Thrones (Hadrian's) Wall. From the lyrics it looks like China, yet not 100%:

Set the beacons afire for them all --> Probably universal reference, though there were plenty of beacon towers' systems at various locations in proximity of Great Wall. Also Lord of the Rings comes to mind.
Call to arms all the men far and wide
Have to fight now for dynasty pride at stake --> Looks like China.
The invaders repel from the north --> Looks like both China & Game of Thrones.
Keep out nomads who came from the plains --> Looks like China big time.
Northern grasslands awash with them all --> Same as above.
Blocking the tribes that invade from the south of us --> Now that doesn't look like China, Dothraki comes to mind and even that doesn't link very well.

While I agree that Japan appeals better to Western audiences and that could be one reason, from various interviews also seems that Harris wanted an Eddie with a sword. Now since historically Japanese swords had the best of reputation, as the peak of craftsmanship, they naturally gave Eddie a such sword, thus the Samurai -Eddie, so Japan.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I think this opener sits at a 7/10 for me.

The musical mode is awesome, heavy and foreboding. The riffs are cool. Adrian's crushing outro riff is literally one of the heaviest moments in the discography. I think Bruce sounds wonderful, mostly on the verses. The lyrics start well and then slowly get worse as Steve starts writing-by-melodic-syllable (something he'll fall victim to again and again and again on this record). Nicko sounds absolutely stellar.

It's a nice mood piece and I appreciate that it is pretty unique in the Maiden catalogue. That said, it's definitely 2-3 minutes too long and has zero dynamic changes, hence the rating.
 
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