The Book of Souls: General album discussion

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I regoconized the solos pretty quickly, often before they finished the first quarter. Sometimes it took longer, e.g. in Death or Glory, and sometimes I knew it in the first couple of seconds. Style certainly. But that's what makes them distinguishable enough.

Dave and Adrian use more effects and in some songs and I thought they drowned a bit more in the rest of the music compared to Janick, who sounds more upfront. But it also might have to do with the way they play, and/or how they were mixed, and/or with my position. I was more to the side, and less in the middle. Dunno, how this added up, hard to say.

Dave used more new effects, also more wah than usual. Adrian also used some wah. Adrian perhaps also more than usual, at least more than in previous studio efforts (is it true that Adrian uses more wah in live situations than on the studio versions?).
 

Meliegree

After reconsideration - I actually care
Can you compare overall sound to other albums? SOL was kind of FotD + SIT style for me with a little bit of NPFTD.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
This album surely has his own sound, its own identity. Stylewise I recognized some No Prayer/FOTD vibe in Speed of Light, but the way the album sounds...
I think the distinctness, the separation in the guitarists is heard very well, especially in cleaner, calmer parts. Perhaps the boys knew better than ever what fitted well, how to build layers, but Kevin surely may have had a role in it as well, capturing everything (or most) that has been done in a good way.

The boys have been so good on the dramatic and creative side, that to me, sound has even become more inferior to the content, than it already was.
 

Meliegree

After reconsideration - I actually care
Well… I just pray for it to be similar to albums like AMOLAD, DoD(I love montsegur and DOD) and POM. SOL was pleasant suprise - at first it was huge WTF but then I loved it, if album is like that but better - that's all I can ask for.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
In my individual song comments, I might have made a little mistake. Here an addition to the parts where I mention
Montségur.

Earlier I couldn't think of the song but now I got it: One of the parts (might be in Empire but it can also be one of the other two) sounds more like this part from The Legacy. Still, about the same rhythm as Montségur, but this follows The Legacy's melody more literally.
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
@Forostar @Brigantium On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the album?
Remember it's just a first impression. I guess higher than 8. Perhaps between 8,5 and (around) 9. Not a perfect 10 because a couple of songs did not have the nicest vocal melodies (and singing style as well to be honest) and because of a less impressive instrumental piece.
 
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Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I agree with Foro - this album definitely has a sound of its own, despite a few little nods to much older songs. In part of Disc 1 I briefly got a feeling of AMOLAD, but that didn't carry on throughout. I'd rate the two discs separately. 7.5 to 8-ish for the first one (remember, the jury is still out on 2-3 songs) and a 9.5 for the second.

Yes, definitely shades of Montsegur in at least one song. I can't believe that didn't strike me as soon as I heard it, being a bit of a devotee of Montsegur, but it's fair to say the song in question was an instant hit with me. That explains it!
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
@Forostar and @Brigantium are there any intros on the album like The Powerslave intro or the wind effects of Alexander/Wild Winds....Also, any musical nods to the Mayan themes of the album? Perhaps in the title track?


At least one effects type intro, opening track. There was a bit of Latin American/Spanish sounding guitar here and there in Disc 1 in particular. I remember one review describing an Eastern sounding intro. I did hear that, but tbh it could also be taken as Middle Eastern-influenced Spanish.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
I agree with Foro - this album definitely has a sound of its own, despite a few little nods to much older songs. In part of Disc 1 I briefly got a feeling of AMOLAD, but that didn't carry on throughout. I'd rate the two discs separately. 7.5 to 8-ish for the first one (remember, the jury is still out on 2-3 songs) and a 9.5 for the second.

Yes, definitely shades of Montsegur in at least one song. I can't believe that didn't strike me as soon as I heard it, being a bit of a devotee of Montsegur, but it's fair to say the song in question was an instant hit with me. That explains it!

This is a good summary of my first impressions too. Disc 1 has two powerhouses on it, but the other tracks either aren't all that great or are going to prove to be growers.

Disc 2 on the other hand...

 
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Meliegree

After reconsideration - I actually care
Well, second disc…
It can go head to head with SSOASS as far I'm concerned. Disk one is great but his problem is that after disk one we have amazing disk two.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
I am deeply impressed. Most of the tracks are very strong; I really enjoyed every song, and I don't think there's any "filler". It's gonna take more listens, but this could be one of their best albums.
 

Meliegree

After reconsideration - I actually care
I need booklet. As english is not my native language I have sometimes problems with understanding what Bruce is singing. But there is no bad song and everyone will find something to enjoy.
 

Severian

Have a good time, all the time!
Please bare in mind this is still very early but this is what i think so far
When I first listend to TBOS i felt something i didn't know how to explain, but after 3 or 4 Listens i think i've figured it out.

In Cinema there is a technique known as the Dolly Zoom or better known as "The Vertigo Effect", the act of pulling back while simultaneously zooming in. Iron Maiden have used this to full effect on TBOS, pulling back to their classic period & zooming in on their post-reunion period.

Firstly Maiden have done something i thought they personally never would, looking back, looking back at a long and lustrous career with lyrical references to songs like Sea of Madness & Lord of Light but also musical references to songs like Wasted Years & The Legacy. What is more subtle though is pulling back Performance-wise, All 6 members are on fire, Dickinson gives his best prefomance since the reunion, Harris returns to form with strong & Impressive basslines, Nicko; as Stoic and Tantamount as ever, but the shining stars here is the 3 headed beast of Murray, Smith & Gers honestly in my humble opinion give the best prefomance not just in post-reunion but in Maiden's entire history.

Secondly, Iron Maiden Zoom in, into what modern Maiden is all about pushing boundaries but sticking to a solid unbreakable style and Structure that any maiden fan will just have to get used to because it's who they are now and it's what they do best.

Earlier this year the German heavy metal band Scorpions released an album (Return to Forever) compiled of songs written in '82 - '90 but unrecorded until now, Iron Maiden don't have to resort to such tricks as on The Book of Souls they undoubtedly prove they can write & preform songs just as good if not better than there "Classic" Period and if anyone felt they had lost there way think again because Iron Maiden are in their prime.
 

Travis The Dragon

"Set yourself on fire as we remember this forever"
Even though I only got a chance to make it to WTRRD, this is definitely sounding like Maiden's most progressive album of all time. It is going to take at least 4-5 listens to really get to know all of it.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Perhaps in taste they will, but much not in form.

That's what I was going for.

I've read all the reviews and tried to filter it through the context of my knowledge of the band and my own prejudices.

These are my expectations:
1) Eternity will be much-loved by myself and the fanbase in general as dark, heavy and original - a real powerful track
2) Speed is a good typical single that will be minimized by those who aren't fond of this side of Maiden, but is necessary comfort food to me, a lover of songs like Different World and 2 Minutes.
3) Unknown will be an atmospheric song that I like more than a lot of Maidenfans will
4) Red and Black will be one I like immediately and quickly grow to love. I will not be able to get enough of the instrumental.
5) River will be this record's Montsegur or Mercenary for me - heavy, decent, but one I'm more likely to skip because the melody won't grab me.
6) Book will be a Dance of Death - a very good song that I will not fall for as immediately as some, but will slowly climb my list
7) Death or Glory will be a good fast rocker - no Aces High, but a Man on the Edge or a Be Quick. It will be the type of song the PlayClassics crowd has been clamouring for (even if it doesn't satisfy them)
8) Shadows seems like a good but unremarkable song, maybe at a Die with Your Boots On level?
9) Clown has gone from the least-appealing title to my bet for the song that will be my early favourite. I'm picturing the intelligent hard rock of Mother of Mercy blended with the melodic awesomeness of Rainmaker.
10) Sorrows will be initially awkward, but a grower, much like the Man Who Would be King.
11) Empire will deliver on the hype.

This anticipation is great. Only a week until I unwrap the present and see how reality matches the hype.

And since I caved, how first impressions matched expectations:

1) Not as dark and heavy as I was expecting
2) Obviously correct here :D
3) Less accessible than expected, but otherwise correct
4) Nailed it
5) I was right about the type of song, wrong about the catchiness
6) What I expected
7) Less thrashy, much more melodic and conventional than I expected
8) Less obvious, more progressive
9) Yep
10) My biggest surprise — not awkward at all
11) Yep

Initial faves were Red and the Black and Tears of A Clown.
I suspect that will change.
I get what Foro was saying about the vocal melodies on disc one; disc two was definitely more accessible.
But there was nothing that made me want to hit fast-forward.
And plenty left to explore and appreciate.
 

hellishere

Invader
9/10:
1) Shadows of the Valley
2) Death or Glory
3) Red and the Black

7/8:
4) Book of Souls
5) Tears of Clown

6/7:
6) When the River Runs Deep
7)Eternity

4/5:

8)The Man of Sorrows
9)The Great Unknown
10)Speed of Light

na:

Empire
 
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