The Book of Souls: General album discussion

From this album, The Man of Souls is probably the only song I could give a full 10. I am not going into it now, but I think that all other songs either lack something, either have something too much to be that good. In The Man of Souls, everything flows perfectly. It is the album's zenith of beauty, atmosphere, originality, balance and depth.
Uh... which song are you talking about? :p
Well, yeah. It's funny, because, if I recall correctly, MoS was my one of my favourite songs along with Eternity when I first heard the album.

I don’t like the Lightning Strikes Twice intro, I hate the change at 2:24 and the chorus is one of the weaker on the album. The solos are good, but I’ve never been sold on solos only.

This is about the same song (if I understood correctly)
Which album are we talking about, exactly?
Well, I have a very specific and overly narrow rule: Every time a Maiden song uses the title of an older song by Bruce, the Bruce song is usually better. :D

This is about the same song (if I understood correctly)
Which album are we talking about, exactly?

Yes, I'm talking about MoS all the time. The intro reminds me of Lightning Strikes Twice. Sorry I haven't been clearer.
Well, that post was obviously meant to be silly, but I don't see anything wrong with Bruce's Wicker Man... :D
I just think it's quite boring and uninspired. Sorry everyone, flame away...
I wouldn't go as far as to say that I find it boring, but having spun it many times now, I just don't think the songwriting is quite up to the quality of the previous two albums. Songs like For the Greater Good of God, Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, The Talisman and Mother of Mercy are among my all-time favourite Maiden tracks, and I don't think any of the tracks on TBOS quite attain that level. The track which comes closest is The Red and the Black, which is a joy to listen to.
I didn't listen to TBOS since early December. I listened to it way too much up until then, so I decided to give it a rest until spring or so. Don't wanna get sick of it too soon :D
I've started writing a short album review about an hour ago. I quit. I'll just present some thoughts.

This is the only Maiden album which cannot be rated by just looking at the individual song scores. It contains twice the amount of music than stuff from the '80s, and it contains mostly all song types/sub-styles/whatever Maiden have tackled, plus going into several new territories. It really might be their magnum opus. If you look at it as an embodiment of band's 40 year career. Even the cover is appropriate, being the most stripped down ever. Which I love, btw. But since it does contain a lot of opposites, not everyone is going to like everything. I do not like 2 songs - The Red And The Black and Shadows Of The Valley. Former because it's got Steve's recent tendencies - "I'll write a long song with the most overused chord progression ever just by means of arrangement" - in mega 13 minute format, and the latter because it doesn't click, and that's probably 'cause it's unfinished. SOTV has some nice melodies and lyrics but the Gers solo is particulary painful because it starts nice with invocation of main melody and then proceeds nowhere. Sounds like a rookie practicing playing scale in time. But, my brother, who is younger and became a fan in the 'reunion era' likes TRATB and a lot of people here like SOTV, and I don't think these songs are bad (Maiden bad like stuff of FOTD, VXI, DOD, so on...). In context of an album they work, both evoke certain styles of Maiden songwriting and are the only tracks to do so, and some people like different styles. For me, they're not bad or irritating if you play through whole record.

Man of the match, definitely Bruce followed by Dave. Dickinson has two sole credits (Empire Of The Clouds is a feat alone) and Murray brought out his Pink Floyd and Hendrix influences all over the place and it really matters.

Production is absolutely brilliant on vinyl. The sound is immense, you can clearly hear what each of three guitars is playing and even feel it's location in stereo. Great stuff.
Live recording was seminal to get this, but still there are some errors in 1:30 of material. Nicko goes off tempo, a few solos/lines contain muted/uncleanly played notes, but for an album dominated by guitar and drums this is nothing in the long run. Still, some more attention to detail would be preferred. However the most irritating mistake is piano on EOTC where Dickinson made a clear mistake (pressed two keys instead of one, usual beginner fuckup), and that part is copy-pasted for the whole section.
In rgds. to EOTC, they've pulled it off. It's not a turbo-mega-great track, but it's very good and interesting. Sounds cliche at times, some parts drag on too long, but also has great parts. What's good about it, it feels shorter than 18 minutes. For me, it feels shorter than TRATB.

Anyway, right now i'd rate album as 9/10.
If I had to do individual it would be
TGU 10
Zare - entirely agree with your comments regarding the production and Davey's performance. I'm also on your side regarding Shadows of the Valley... I'm not nearly as impressed as some are with this song. However I think Red+Black is the strongest song on the album (how can you not love that riff that comes in just before the 12 minute mark!), and I'm diametrically opposed regarding The Great Unknown - in the "polls" section of the forum, I included it in my 10 worst Maiden songs!
Well to each his own, it's great that we both have something different to like about the album.
I don't love that riff because I fall asleep long before the 12 minute mark :D
[QUOTE="Zare, post: 567885, member: 7164 I don't love that riff because I fall asleep long before the 12 minute mark :D[/QUOTE] Hahaha, well that's a valid excuse!
Unfortunately, this album hasn't held up great for me. It's still a very good album, but probably my least favorite of the "reunion" albums.

That said, I'm looking forward to the tour!
Unfortunately, this album hasn't held up great for me. It's still a very good album, but probably my least favorite of the "reunion" albums.

That said, I'm looking forward to the tour!

Would agree somewhat; however, I think TBOS is one of the better albums of the reunion. 'Brave New World' I would probably rate as the most enjoayble, with AMOLAD being the poorest in my opinion.

TBOS is a good album, far too long of course without the musical ideas or creativity to justify the song lengths, however, I do like it but it wouldn't be an album I'd wish to sit through from beginning to end many more times. The hype has mostly worn off, and you can compare and contrast the album more clearly against their own back catalogue as well as against their peers and contemporaries. It's not at the level of their 80s output, but is definitely superior to the four albums of the 90s. A tough listen in parts due to the repetition, but I can see why die-hards rate it as high as they do.
Listening again after taking a break for a couple of months. "If Eternity Should Fail", "The Man of Sorrows" and the title track are emerging as clear favourites. "The Great Unknown" is a sleeper hit.
Eternity struck me immediately, and I remember thinking 'I need to listen to this more' with Great Unknown, but that's most certainly one of my favourites now.
IESF cooled off for me much quicker than any of the other songs. What I initially put as maybe top 3 has fallen from grace considerably. Agree about TGU being a real grower though.
I was hooked on Eternity from the he 1st listen and haven't changed my mind on that one. Also still love WTRRD as much as I did from the start. The tune that has developed the most for me is Man of Sorrows. After 2 or 3 listens it was the one song I didnt like but over the last week I find that its stuck in my head, I sometimes wake up with it spinning in my mind. I love the outro, I can imagine a 30 minute prog jam at the end based around the bass line.

For me, the dust still hasnt cleared and I can't put it in proper perspective. Which is ok. Theres no other band which I analyse as much as Maiden and thats a massive part of the enjoyment for me, it takes years before an album can be just listened to casually because to me the newest album is the freshest and thats where its at for me, id have every new album played live start to finish if I had my way!
At the moment my ranking for the album is:

1. Empire of the Clouds
2. The Book of Souls
3. If Eternity Should Fail
4. The Man of Sorrows
5. Speed of Light
6. Death or Glory
7. Tears of a Clown
8. The Great Unknown
9. Shadows of the Valley
10. When The River Runs Deep
11. The Red and the Black

When I first listened to the album, the title track was pretty down the bottom of my ranking, but now it's among my favourites. My god, it does strange things to me...