Senjutsu's album review (song by song and overall)

karljant

Ancient Mariner
IRON MAIDEN - SENJUTSU:

Senjutsu:
17 records and 41 years after their debut it's hard to predict how a Maiden album will boot. But this one seems to go really down the Samurai/ oriental war theme from the get go. It starts with tribal war drums mixed with shackles and some background effects to bring up the proper atmosphere. All of a sudden a really belicose like pompous anthem explodes as the rumbling of Nicko's toms really carries this mid tempo monster onward. Man this thing is HEAVY! And sounds really, really powerful as Bruce gives voice to this call to arms to repel the northern invaders (Mongols perhaps). Then comes the chorus and... I don't know... it is indeed well penned but seems to be too melodic regarding the rest of the song and so it deflates its megalithic pace. Other than that the solos are on point (especially like the ones before the 2nd refrain). The bridge once again bets on the duality of anguish and melody (although I find it way more appropriate to place this contrast here than in the chorus). Overall a peculiar way to start the album and if it's true I mostly loved it that chorus does break a tad bit the atmosphere the remainder of the track so brilliantly builds. Hey... but the boys thought it should be that way and although I'd probably pick another direction on that section by no means does it stain the remainder of the song that happens to be damn good... it just softens it a bit. Still has his peculiar charm and perhaps it's a grower. (PS: it's indeed a grower... I really love the song nowdays) 8.25/10

Stratego:
I must admit that after listening to Stratego several times I truly enjoy it more than when I first listened to it. Alongside Days of The Future Past this is undoubtedly the most direct track on the album although here we get a majorly galloping pattern dominating tune (something that became less featured in recent Maiden short songs) so let the nostalgia kick in. And while this may not quite be top tier Maiden on this kind of tunes let me tell you: IMO it surely comes close! Not that I totally revere everything it brings: again there's the lead guitar mimic syndrome on the verses and I would even understand if it only was dropped halfway but putting it all the damn way is a bit exhausting. The keyboard sound picked for this one still sound cheap to me (unlike the melody itself that happens to be quite good). Well... and that's the only stuff I liked the least... and truth be told I can live with it since the rest of the song is truly exciting. The rhythmic section is simply pure Metal energy and Bruce's voice here sounds great: the dynamics between lows and highs are absolutely masterful and the chorus is truly epic! Plus the "I hear you calling my name... etc" part is a perfect slingshot and serves as a superb bridge to the verses once again (great writing). Also like the way the solo comes before the chorus and the section that gives way to it is another blatant example of simple yet cunning sense of composition and song structuring. So there you go: easy listening but still full of power and epic flavor! 8.75/10

The Writing On The Wall:
By now I should be a little more into other Senjutsu's tracks than the first song leaked by the band shouldn't I? Yeah... but fact is I'm not. There's something in this track... a certain underlying force, a sense of urgency and seriousness on its music and message that is absolutely captivating. The way that really cool desolate acoustic intro breaks the silence followed by this unique riff regarding Maiden's legacy. Let's not endure the "is it folk or is it country" chat (majorly because the latter derives from English folk ) but I surely can imagine it as a western movie's score. The lyrics on this one are top notch: full on social/ political metaphorical matters smartly penned that are superbly reinforced by the song's video clip. Vocals sound great and really start bringing the song into other direction when Bruce spearheads the pre chorus inflection and the whole thing achieves its full grandeur (the "A tide of change is coming and that is what you fear, the earthquake is a coming, but you don't want to hear... you're just too blind to see" line just give me goosebumps). We're still presented with some stellar soloing action by Adrian but I really feel WOTW's true strength resides in some kind of dormant and yet immensely powerful force that lies a few inches below the surface during the whole track, like a volcano eruption that doesn't come to happen... and although it didn't you felt its power and damn sure know it's a question of time until one day it all explodes. Strong as hell in so many aspects while bringing some new flavors to Maiden's table. Simply love it. 8.75/10

Lost In A Lost World:
When I first listened to this songs's intro I thought "Man... this is great! It could easily be a separate prologue or developed to a song itself". Well, as @Gk1 rightfully pointed out it has similarities with a recent Deep Purple tune... but nonetheless this is truly top stuff. As for the verses this is tough and strong material: dense and muscular and yes, reminding somewhat of a less dark X Factor vibe, yet making justice to the Indian nation's demise (a more in depth and heartfelt look on the same issues already pointed on the all time classic hit Run To The Hills). The pre-chorus is also cool but once again the play along vocals/ lead guitar annoys me. The refrain then comes as a punch ... And although I like the effect it brings to the whole song (and Bruce's voice is on point) I think it lacks a lead guitar a la Wicker Man ... like I don't know... THE NEXT GUITAR MELODY??? ( that happens to be a bit too similar to Afraid To Shoot Strangers) to fill the gaps and solidify its bombastic effect. Without it while liking the dynamics it sounds a little "naked" to me but nice nonetheless. We're then propelled into an array of the said guitar melody and man... there could be at least half of the repetitions before the solo. This is far too much! It then returns to the chorus and pre chorus in acoustic form as an outro. So, although I loved it the first time I listened to it I can see now some of its faults (as well as another case of "melody lending"). Still think it's a great tune nonetheless and if it wasn't for those details the score would be even higher. 8.5/10

Days Of Future Past:
After a really cool intro the whole thing comes to an alt as the rhythm guitar gives the moto to a straight to your face traditional Heavy Rock tune. Do you like The Pilgrim's main riff? Then you'll also dig this one since it's down the same venue. The chorus has this certain pomp and dramatic (almost tragic) feel to it and is followed by a really cool solo. A brief calm bridge that works wonders follows before the refrain is recovered for a last go and the song comes full circle as it finishes with the intro. Hey! This is far from being a masterpiece but it's simple, has bounce, drama and is well put together. And I think that's all: must confess it's far from being Maiden's better achieved short Heavy Rocker but surely like it and it's a fun and easy track to listen to. 7.75/10

The Time Machine:
Cool concept on this one (my take is it deals with a man that somewhat reached immortality or something near to it). As for the music itself... mmmm... I have to say there's lots of blatant recycling going on. For starts the intro's melody is somewhat similar to The Talisman. The main section is an intricate mesh that kind of threads prog rock territory with a really colorful mesh that flows into a shinny chorus (IMO the best section on the track). Then this goes full recycling mode (Edge Of Darkness' main melody auto rip off) upon which Bruce lies some cool vocals followed by the chorus and then a couple of different patterns upon which some solid soloing action is placed. It all then returns to the "Edge Of Darkness" part (both instrumental and sang) as the song slows down and returns to "The Talisman" intro. So there you have it... some really cool parts while others are the most blatant auto rip offs on this album and I think this aspect (alongside the fact the song could easily be 1 or 2 minute shorter) truly hurts my final note. Nonetheless still enjoyable and the "new parts" sound on point. 7/10

Darkest Hour:
Really melodic and calm song yet with a tragic and dark tone to it. It's well written and it would easily fit in any one of later Dickinson's solo records (it's no coincidence... just check the authors). The sang intro and verses sounds a bit like Gates Of Urizen (while not reaching by no means Bruce's solo act excellence). As I said before it's a really well put together song in an already over used typology in metal (the calm, mellow, almost acoustic verses that flow into a bombastic chorus) which gives it even more value if you avoid vulgarity (and it sure does). Truth be told few of these songs sound so dark and depressive as the fittingly named Darkest Hour. Damn I'll go as far as saying that they really overpainted the black tones on this one. It conveys such a sense of dread and sadness alongside the lyrics it really becomes a tad bit too depressive. But what you expect from a World War II inspired song from the human perspective anyway? If that was the objective it was fully acheieved. Like it but not crazy about it. 7/10

Death Of The Celts:
After more than a minute of cool ambiance (although once again it could be briefer) we get a bass/ finger picking guitar combo that vaguely reminds a passage from Virtual XI's The Clansman (See? There's a difference between near recycling and making new stuff that is inspired in past songs... this part's a great example of the latter). And it is easily understandable due to the lyrical aspect (although both subjects being separated by a considerable time stretch both are deeply seeded in celtic folk soil) . Bruce starts singing upon the last of this patterns till it opens up to fat chords while the vocals keep on hitting the folk like lullaby and man this sounds great. And what to say about the chorus? Can things get more pompous and folk like epic than this? Don't know about you but I think the band absolutely nails it here as a whole. After a truly deep guitar solo a sudden break sends this song unto 100% vintage Maiden bouncing up front bass plus guitar harmonies territory and by now I'm really enjoying this (although once again it could be repeated less times) with Steve going bananas. Some more soloing action and the song returns to the chorus, just in time to end in the verse like sang lullaby that gives melody to the verses. I would give it another go on the verses/ chorus after the first chorus since that section is truly amazing and IMO the beef of the whole track (and cut a some runs on the equally great yet over repeated harmonies in the instrumental part as well as the initial part). But as it is I think it's still a great tune with lots of juice proving once again that when Maiden gets folk inspired you can only expect great things. 8.5/10.

The Parchment:
Beforehand I won't pay much attention to the Beckett like marching pattern the songs starts with since it's present in so many compositions. What comes to my mind is something more in the vein of Ravel's Bolero before the band hit the gas. And if pompous mid tempo heavy stuff full of keyboards like The Book Of Souls (the song) is your thing then you'll love this. Not that's recycling by any means (once again the band shows they can explore similar venues without copying themselves). Plus a certain middle eastern flavor is added to the mix even in the following solos and guitar harmonies. But you know what The Book Of Souls has this song does not? One of Maiden's best chorus in years. The Parchment doesn't even has a refrain (not that's a bad thing... my favorite Maiden song doesn't have one either - ROTAM) and although there's nothing wrong with not having one and the following harmonies and solos being great, I think once again there are too many repetitions. So by the middle of the song the initial mega punch is lost a bit and things start to get a bit stagnant. By the 6.45 minute mark a new melody seems to point where the track is heading next (somewhat similar to The Nomad's mid section) as Bruce comes sings the guitar's melody on top... well you already know how I think about this but it is what it is. The following part however is truly epic and the ensemble effect results in full, in a mix of power and almost poetical tragedy. Then we get some uptempo action, more soloing and a cool guitar harmony that reminds me of the band's debut title track bridge. Overall there's everything here necessary to make a great epic Maiden tune but I don't know... the song seems to drag itself at times and features too many twists and turns. And although being built upon well penned melodies and riffs there's something really tiring while listening to it. Nevertheless it's undeniable it has a lot of stellar moments. 7.5/10

Hell On Earth:
To close the album with we're presented with another long epic tune by Mr. Harris. And I must stress from the get go how absolutely gorgeous the opening calm sections are. Man this sounds truly immersive. But I think that, once again, the same effect would be achieved with a couple less bars although when we're talking about stuff of such quality the damage of over repetition on the main picture is merely residual. The track than goes full galloping mode and does something peculiar: wanders through all the sections from what one could call the song's second act even before Bruce lays a single singinging line on it. That being said let's get the least positive things out of the way so we can enjoy this anthem for the beast of a tune it is shall we? Well, first of all there are a couple of inflections and lines here and there that are really close to some in 2010's When The Wild Wind Blows (especially during the following part). Then there's the underlying guitar line... and while it works on the (shall we call it) pre-chorus it surely once again could be doing something else during the verses . You may say I'm nit picking but this track's overall humongous quality demands this much attention to detail IMO. My other complaint (and this one I must underline) is how the hell you compose such a marvelously epic chorus and only play the sang version once? Man, make this song 14 minutes long... I could care less! This chorus is bonkers and Bruce really nails it. Well, regarding my complaints that's all because everything else here is absolutely marvelous. And with so many lines pointing out stuff I consider could be better achieved you must be thinking I'll seriously penalize the song in my final evaluation. Well I won't. What happens is that when you compose such an opus like this one each minor "flaw" (regarding each one's taste) is way more noticeable than in a "merely" great song. And yes... this is a truly epic and fantastic Maiden opus overall! Dealing with what I believe to be the state this planet and humanity as a whole will be facing (mainly the the next generations) if we don't mend our ways and start being more compassionate with our fellow man (and how we would regret it if it happened all of a sudden), I really don't know where to start praising this thing. The pre chorus, the aforementioned refrain... just wow! And the way the solos make the perfect bridge to the song's next act is something. The spine chilling still part (really enjoy the doubled voices here) has that crescendo and tension before the whole thing explodes once again and man how I love the passion and fire Bruce puts on this section (that raspy tone in "anger"... wow)! The guitar harmony and solos here are also really good and the song fades as it returns to the intro soft melody. So Hell On Earth is not devoid of things I dislike but fact is the stuff I love is so breath taking it absolutely surmounts each one of those details. This song my friends is just another great chapter added to Maiden's gigantic legacy. Brilliant! (PS: with the passing of time I even like it more... 0.5 pts added) 9.5/10

PS: 8.15/10 points song average


So There you have it: 41 years after their debut is almost incredible how these guys can pull such a record. Not that it's on par with their best ones (nor it could be). But fact is it's rock solid and one of those albums that doesn't feature a single stinker or blatant filler which is one hell of an achievement on a double album. Bruce's voice (now cured of cancer complications) is sounding better than the previous album. The production is nothing out of this world but it's ok, even slightly better than some previous efforts so props to Mr. "Caveman". And what to say of this really demonic looking, blood drooling, ready to attack Samurai Eddie? Stellar work by Mark Wilkinson! On the downside some songs could use some trimming here and there, sometimes it gets a bit tiring and repetitive and in some other sections there's still an excessive use of lead guitar and vocals mimicking. Other point I must stress is, while the songs I liked the least are really enjoyable, there's not a single tune from Senjutsu I think I'd put on the top 10/15 tunes ever (just to reinforce how cohesive the record is). Nevertheless as a whole this record is a triumph... and if this is Iron Maiden's swansong it surely is a glorious way to say goodbye! (PS: with the passing of time and as the listening arrays I came to like the album even more... so 0.25 more points to the final score) 8/10
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
BTW after Senjutsu's release here's my album ranking. I think it can still climb one position with the passing of time (PS: yup... it did):

  • 17 - Fear Of The Dark - 5.25/10
  • 16 - Virtual XI - 5.75/10
  • 15 - Brave New World - 7/10
  • 14 - No Prayer For The Dying - 7.25/10
  • 13 - The Book Of Souls - 7.5/10
  • 12 - The Final Frontier - 7.75/10
  • 11 - Senjutsu - 8/10
  • 10 - Dance Of Death - 8/10
  • 09 - The Number Of The Beast - 8.25/10
  • 08 - Iron Maiden - 8.25/10
  • 07 - The X Factor - 8.5/10
  • 06 - A Matter Of Life And Death - 8.5/10
  • 05 - Killers - 8.5/10
  • 04 - Piece Of Mind - 8.75/10
  • 03 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 9/10
  • 02 - Powerslave - 9/10
  • 01 - Somewhere In Time - 9.25/10
 
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Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
OH MY!!! So far, unless things change with time, the 5 longest songs
are in a 5 way tie for my most favorite songs from the album! All
10/10 for me! With past albums when I had my mind made up about most
favorite songs, that NEVER changed over time. In some cases, second
and third songs became tied with what was 1 most favorite after I
heard those albums many times. Also, I rank The Time Machine at a 9.5
because of the extra vocal stuff and instrumental changes in the middle. Then Stratego,
Writing On The Wall and Darkest Hour would all be 9's and Days Of
Future Past 8.
 

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
I'm writing some quick thoughts on each song for now, I'll go deeper in the next days.
  1. Senjutsu: very very solid song and opener. Better than IESF, it's probably their best opener since SOTC actually.
  2. Stratego: sounds better than the single release, still insufficient.
  3. The Writing on the Wall: easy-listening rocker, good song with good solos.
  4. Lost in a Lost World: Omega-sounding intro, very good outro, but everything in between is basically a nonsense collage of unrelated ideas and a horrible chorus. Worst track up to here.
  5. Days of Future Past: a WTRRD's little sister of some sort, also has an Accident of Birth mood. Average shorter.
  6. The Time Machine: same as Lost in a Lost World, but with enormously better ideas. Needs some more listening.
  7. Darkest Hour: HUGE track. Annihilates everything up to here except for Senjutsu. Hats off to Adrian Smith.
  8. Death of the Celts: The Clansman rewritten. Very very solid track, top 3 of the album.
  9. The Parchment: Steve goes Phrygian dominant. Very interesting dark mid-tempo, with some TXF moods. Didn't like much how they attached the section after the solos, a possible grower tho.
  10. Hell on Earth: a typical "sing together" song by Steve with great solos and a huge chorus (best in the album). Good melodies. Didn't like the sudden stop before the outro.
PROs: technically better than TBOS, a lot of interesting ideas and "experiments".
CONs: too long and too much long tracks put together, they need to hire a producer/arranger, the lacking of Dave's tracks is evident.

Top 3: Senjutsu, Darkest Hour, Death of the Celts
Flop 3: Stratego, Lost in a Lost World, The Time Machine
Possible grower: The Parchment

Overall, best album since AMOLAD.
 

Jer

Love in anger
Early thoughts after a few YouTube listens and a proper CD listen:
  • “Senjutsu” - I really like the crushing march of the rhythm, the alternately haunting and melodic vocal parts, and the exotic guitar interludes. This feels like something genuinely different from them.
  • “Stratego” - Nice galloping rhythm, strong vocal melodies throughout. Don’t like the guitar doubling the vocal line, the solo is directionless, and the vocals sound dry and muffled with some reverb applied to try to moisten them up again. Still a good song, and one of their better reunion rockers.
  • “The Writing On The Wall” - Love the stark western intro and the folky groove of the song. More strong vocal melodies, awesome H solo, great outro. I enjoy this song more every time I hear it.
  • “Lost In A Lost World” - The opening has a Bruce solo material feel (a “Darkness Be My Friend” or “No Way Out…To Be Continued” sort of vibe). When the heaviness kicks in, Bruce’s vocals sound strained and the groove is by-the-numbers 90s Maiden. More vocal straining on the chorus, and the following interlude is again a simplistic, repetitive, by-the-numbers 90s Maiden affair. The second solo is pretty sweet. More icky doubling of the vocal line on the guitar in the pre-chorus and the outro. Not a bad song, but it’s got some meaningful weaknesses.
  • “Days Of Future Past” - Cool chiming intro riff, and another sweet riff drives through the verse. Nice vocal melodies again, though the chorus borrows some of its melody from somewhere — “The Man Of Sorrows”, maybe? Nice calm interlude. I like the rhythm switch-up in the chorus. Really good, very memorable.
  • “The Time Machine” - Well, this is awkwardly similar to the beginnings of “The Talisman” and “The Legacy”. I like the folky major key vibe of the verses, but the phrasing is awkward and the vocal harmonies are a bit of a disaster. The chorus is stronger. The guitar lead from the bridge feels lifted from some earlier 90s or 00s Maiden song that I can’t place at the moment. The heavier interlude is cool, as are the solos. Mostly good, if too familiar in parts.
  • “Darkest Hour” - Love the plaintive guitar lead in the intro. The verses have a little “Gates Of Urizen” feel to them. Good but not great chorus. Very nice solos. A classy take on the circular ending. Really good stuff.
  • “Death Of The Celts” - By-the-numbers Harris bass intro, but it sounds good. A “Clansman”-ish upbeat bit follows, with some awkward phrasing and a couple of vocal whiffs. More unfortunate doubling of the vocal melody by the guitar. Nice solos. The first interlude borrows from “The Legacy” in places, but also does some nice major key runs. Perhaps more than any other song on the album, this feels like something from the Blaze era to me.
  • “The Parchment” - Sweet subdued opening with a middle eastern vibe. When the heaviness kicks in, this suddenly becomes the song that “To Tame A Land” was always trying to be, but never quite achieved. Geez, even more guitar doubling of the vocal line here. Cool solos that maintain the middle eastern feel. Nice vocal melodies and strong instrumentals through the later parts of the song. Great stuff.
  • “Hell On Earth” - Nice bright bass-driven intro that works its way through some parts reminiscent of “When The Wild Wind Blows”. Great melodies on top of a triumphant gallop — but yet again, the guitars double the vocal melody. Some iffy vocal harmonies in the middle of the song. The soft, quick vocal section isn’t the best, but the “love in anger” part that follows is great. Suitably epic and a great album closer.
This album made a really positive first impression. In terms of raw sound it’s one of the better sounding reunion-era albums overall. It stretches into some new areas, there are no ridiculously repetitive vocal sections, and it has strong songwriting and soloing in general. That said, there’s some blatant recycling in places, some parts that could have used a few more takes, and some song sections that would have benefited from a little more time in the oven. And what’s going on with all the doubling of the vocal melodies on the guitar? That is not a good sound at all, IMO.

We’ll see how the dust settles over repeated listens, but this is definitely one of the strongest reunion-era albums, and could very well end up landing as my #2 favorite reunion album behind AMOLAD. (And I’m seriously considering replacing “To Tame A Land” with “The Parchment” on my Piece Of Mind playlist — the remake is way better!)
 

MindlessPieces

Educated Fool
I was wondering how this album sits beside Book of Souls for me so I mixed up the songs and ordered them favourite to least favourite

The Red and the Black
Hell on Earth
The Parchment
Lost in a Lost World
Death of the Celts
Empire of the Clouds
The Writing on the Wall
Senjutsu
The book of souls
If Eternity should fail
Shadows of the Valley
Stratego
The Great Unknown
When the River Runs Deep
Speed of light

<items above this point are really good, really enjoyable, items below are a bit of a chore. DOFP and DH are new so not too bored of them yet but I feel they will settle below this line>

Days of Future Past
Darkest Hour
Death or Glory
Tears of a clown
The man of Sorrows
The Time Machine
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
I was wondering how this album sits beside Book of Souls for me so I mixed up the songs and ordered them favourite to least favourite
Interesting comparison. In my case what came out was:
  1. The Book Of Souls - 9.5/10
  2. Hell On Earth - 9.5/10
  3. The Writing On The Wall - 8.75/10
  4. Stratego - 8.75/10
  5. The Red And The Black - 8.5/10
  6. Death Of The Celts - 8.5/10
  7. Lost In A Lost World - 8.5/10
  8. Senjutsu - 8.25/10
  9. The Great Unknown - 8.25/10
  10. If Eternity Should Fail - 8/10
  11. When The River Runs Deep - 7.75/10
  12. Days Of Fure Past - 7.75/10
  13. Death Or Glory - 7.75/10
  14. The Parchment: - 7.5/10
  15. Tears Of A Clown - 7.5/10
  16. Empire Of The Clouds - 7.25/10
  17. The Time Machine - 7/10
  18. Darkest Hour - 7/10
  19. Speed Of Light - 6.5/10
  20. The Man Of Sorrows - 6.25/10
  21. Shadows Of The Valley - 5.75/10
 
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After a weekend of multiple listens and realizing the “new album factor” I can honestly say this album is one of the best of their entire discography. It’s just so consistent. There’s not one filler on the album. When the Senjutsu tour commences in ‘22 or ‘23, it would be great to see the album played in its entirety. It’s that good. The only song that I’m not a big fan of is “Time Machine”. But even it has some superb ideas. “Darkest Hour” is incredibly good. The phrase “you sons of Albion awake” is enough to give one chills.
Sure, it takes a few spins to appreciate the longer tunes, but that’s Maiden.
Also, great solos all over this album by the three amigos.
as far as ranking the songs, I reserve the right to change them around from time to time. But as of now…
  • Darkest Hour
  • Hell on Earth
  • The Writing on the Wall
  • Death of the Celts
  • Senjutsu
  • Lost in a Lost World
  • Days of Future Past
  • The Parchment
  • Stratego
  • The Time Machine
 
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naranja

Educated Fool
After a weekend of multiple listens and realizing the “new album factor” I can honestly say this album is one of the best of their entire discography. It’s just so consistent. There’s not one filler on the album. When the Senjutsu tour commences in ‘22 or ‘23, it would be great to see the album played in its entirety. It’s that good. The only song that I’m not a big fan of is “Time Machine”. But even it has some superb ideas. “Darkest Hour” is incredibly good. The phrase “you sons of Albion awake” is enough to give one chills.
Sure, it takes a few spins to appreciate the longer tunes, but that’s Maiden.
Also, great solos all over this album by the three amigos.
as far as ranking the songs, I reserve the right to change them around from time to time. But as of now…
  • Darkest Hour
  • Hell on Earth
  • The Writing on the Wall
  • Lost in a Lost World
  • Death of the Celts
  • Senjutsu
  • The Parchment
  • Days of Future Past
  • Stratego
  • The Time Machine
No offense but a near 90 minute album played live in its entirety is a bad idea in my opinion
 

Severian

Have a good time, all the time!
No offense but a near 90 minute album played live in its entirety is a bad idea in my opinion

Here in the UK we used to have a series of show's called Don't Look Back where bands would play one of thier albums in full, i went to alot of them and they almost universally good, plus the AMOLAD tour was one the best shows i've been to personally, I would all like to hear all songs on Senjutsu played live at least once but I'm not really sold on the idea of playing all of them on one setlist
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Ok so first impressions after the first half week or so.

The last 3 are the best on the album.

Senjutsu - 9, great vibe and groove, only minor complaint is that it doesn't really need to stay in the same groove for that length of time, I feel I'm also maybe overlooking it a bit being sandwiched between the start of the album and the two singles.

Stratego - 10, a proper hooky pop single from Maiden

The Writing on the Wall - 10, ditto and with H flexing his muscles in the solo department

Lost in a Lost world - 8, intro and outro are brilliant, love the Moody Blues vibe at the start and that the outro doesn't reprise it but instead reprises an earlier verse but changes to a chillaxed mood. The bulk of the song is quite poor though, very VXI, and the section where they repeat 2 riffs one after the other and then do it again, is something I criticised Metallica for in Frayed Ends of Sanity, so I can't let Maiden away with it

Days of Future Past - 8, a solid enough track but only about as good as Power of the Sun or River of No Return not anything on AOB or CW as people are claiming. The lack of any separation between the verse and chorus kind of makes the chorus seem incidental especially as it's not got a great hook

The Time Machine - 9, the bulk of this is pretty good but this is one that could have tightened up the arrangement, if it had something as flab free as Stratego it would be great

Darkest Hour - 9, pretty good, with good solos, I drop a mark though as it feels a bit like Maiden does Manowar

Death of the Celts - 10, being a big Thin Lizzy fan I'm all on board this one, instrumental section is very Lizzy, and especially feel there is some winks and nods in the solos. Love the build up to the instrumental section as well, the acoustic bass sounds fanatastic, and the gradual rising in tension to match the lyrics is what Maiden is all about.

The Parchment -
10, again another brilliant one, that's almost trance like, with the groove being maintained for the whole of the track, which I feel the variety of the riffs results in this idea being more successful here than on Senjutsu. Solo armageddon as well from the boys.

Hell on Earth - 10, this one doesn't really feel like an epic at all, it reminds me of the Thin Line Between Love and Hate, there's an interesting mood setting opening section, up tempo verses making up the bulk of the song, and then a kind of chillax outro that really works well at bringing the album to a close.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner

It's like mentally I'm tricked into thinking the album is only starting after TWOTW because I'm more used to the singles and it seems like I'm only getting to the new stuff now, forgetting that I've already listened to Senjutsu. This feeling will wear off soon though.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Days of Future Past - The lack of any separation between the verse and chorus kind of makes the chorus seem incidental especially as it's not got a great hook
Really? I think it’s one of their greatest hooks of all time, and the #1 selling point of that hook’s intensity is the fact that you don’t expect the sudden eruption into that chorus. Maiden utilize pre-choruses so much that I expected to hear one here and yet instead we just exploded as light shattered (Adrian’s electrifying playing) and the angels started dancing around the room (Bruce singing his soul out). It’s so good, and I also love the tempo change-ups in the last run through.

I don’t know if this is a 10 yet though, because the verses seem kinda typical Maiden (and remind me of “The Pilgrim”), but I do love Bruce’s darker lyrics here and they don’t waste time with this track at all. And by the time they’ve done the chorus I’m already jumping. It’s definitely a terrific rocker all around.
 

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
  1. Senjutsu: 8 – excellent opener
  2. Stratego: 4 – may be the worst reunion track by Janick, here and there sounds incomplete to say the least
  3. The Writing on the Wall: 6.5 – easy listening, classic lead single
  4. Lost in a Lost World: 3 – horrible, only the intro and outro are of some interest
  5. Days of Future Past: 6 – average shorter
  6. The Time Machine: 6.5 – meh
  7. Darkest Hour: 7/8 – excellent track, now we're speaking
  8. Death of the Celts: 8 – awesome riffing
  9. The Parchment: 7.5 – interesting experiment, amendable here and there
  10. Hell on Earth: 7/8 – the intro buildup is kinda long, but the chorus and post-chorus solos are awesome
Overall: 6.5/10
 
Senjutsu-7.5
Stratego-7
Writing on the Wall-9
Lost in a Lost World-8
Days of Future Past-7.5
The Time Machine-6.5
Darkest Hour-9.5
Death of the Celts-9
The Parchment-7.5
Hell on Earth-9
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Senjutsu is one of Maiden's best albums with no fillers and with some future classics for the band.

Senjutsu - 10/10
Stratego - 10/10
The Writing On The Wall - 8/10
Lost In A Lost World - 9/10
Days Of Future Past - 10/10
The Time Machine - 8/10
Darkest Hour - 10/10
Death Of The Celts - 10/10
The Parchment - 10/10
Hell On Earth - 10/10
---------------------------------------
Average album score: 9,50
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
The album is in my top three of the reunion era, along with BNW and AMOLAD. Only one song really hits the "filler" mark.

Senjutsu - 7.5/10. Might reach an 8 as it grows on me but I don't like it as an opener. Too plodding, and too long without variation.
Stratego - 9.5/10. Classic Maiden-style rocker with catchy melodies. Bruce is on fire here. Fun song.
The Writing on the Wall - 9/10. Gives me a space western vibe. One of Adrian's all-time catchiest solos.
Lost in a Lost World - 5/10. Some of the riffs are cool but there's nothing new here. This is the album's low point.
Days of Future Past - 7/10. Excellent chorus, cool verses. The solo is meh. This song needed more meat to it; Lost in a Lost World needed less.
The Time Machine - 7.5/10. Classic semi-predictable happy vibes Janick. Breaks up the melancholy of some of the other songs a bit.
Darkest Hour - 9/10. Great song, even though this isn't the style I go to Maiden for. Sounds more like Bruce's solo stuff. Excellent solo!
Death of the Celts - 7.5/10. It's growing on me, but it's a bit underwhelming. Bruce never reaches his epic wailing mode, which I dislike.
The Parchment - 10/10. Excellent. Long tune but I never get bored. Dave's solo is phenomenal. So many groovy riffs!
Hell on Earth - 10/10. Honestly, one of the most emotive songs the band has ever done. Easily in my top 5 of reunion era tunes. It's mesmerizing.
 
Senjutsu - Great song, it sounded a little bit to draggy in the first couple of listens but I love it as I grew more accostumed to it.
Stratego - This song is just a perfect rocker. very fun song.
TWOTW - love this song, its absolutely amazing.
LIALW - good song, the pre-chorus and the outro are the best parts for me. with a better chorus, as the one in the song is just average, it could be a highlight.
DOFP - easy listen. good rocker and maybe one of the best choruses in the album.
TTM - a good song but not great. I feel the lyrics are a bit void of ideas, they go around and around and nowhere at the end. A little bit too much recycling here are there.
TDH - this song just didn't grab my attention. it's not bad, but it's just as skippable as Coming Home or Out Of The Shadows. I don't really see any difference between this three. They are all equally average and missing any wow-moments for me.
DOTC - This is tied with HOE as my favorite of the album. Really love the etnic melodies and the vocal line is so good. The bass riffs in the instrumental section are killer.
The Parchment - good song but a little bit to draggy. It could use some tempo changes before the 9min mark.
Hell On Earth - this song sounds like a summary of everything Maiden is. Its perfect.
 
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