The Book of Souls: General album discussion

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
7. "Death or Glory" - Takes you back to No Prayer and a Maiden that just wanted to rock. Nothing wrong with that, the track is somewhat catchy - but it's subject matter sibling "Tailgunner" has both cooler riffs, lyrics and delivery. 5/10.
Even if you would like one other song better, why give this a 5? (My 50 favourite Maiden songs have a 9 or higher.)

You just said it is somewhat catchy. (Why somewhat? The chorus and pre-chorus are catchy, aren't they?) Why not a 6 or 7?

Also I don't get your 5 for the opening track. OK, the vibe reminds you of another band, and you think an outro speech is not original. In that light, a 5 looks too strict.

And what's weak about the guitar harmony?

Don't you think the verses are great (melodies and such?) When I heard the album, they were at least as striking as the chorus.
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I am glad we don't have anything like the worst vocal melodies in history (The Talisman).
Although I have a bad impression of TGU and WTRRD.
 
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Meliegree

Sound of distant drums
WTRRD is that kind of NPFTD kind of song that I like. TGU was my favorite from the beginning.

I just can't get my head around TRATB. I just can't see anything in that song that can make me go "WOW!".
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
@Maturin

For the record, your review sounds a lot less condemning already. I just especially wonder about your ratings of the opening tracks of CD1 & 2.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
Although I have a bad impression of TGU and WTRRD.

TGU sounds like it's the same melody (with a few variations) all along. Agree witn Gk1 that the intro is great. Sounds almost Toolish
WTRRD is one of those fun and unpretentious songs (like SoL), I love it
 

Brave New Pilgrim

What not to do if your bird sh#$% on you....
After giving it some thought, I'd like to retract my previous statement about Maidens reuinion era short songs, as I also do really like Rainmaker and The Fallen Angel.

Unfortunately, I don't think the shorter songs from this album (or TFF for that matter) live up to those songs either.
 

Meliegree

Sound of distant drums
I think that DoG is at the same level. But since Maiden is no longer short-rocker-song band I can't care less. :)
 

Brave New Pilgrim

What not to do if your bird sh#$% on you....
I think that DoG is at the same level. But since Maiden is no longer short-rocker-song band I can't care less. :)
Oh, I don't really care much either. BOS is all about the epic tracks, and will be judged on those.

All I'm saying is that I'm probably going to be skipping over 3 or 4 tracks from this album every time I listen to it.

This being said, the songs I think are inferior from this album (DOG, TOAC, SOL, WTRRD) would probably be amongst the very best tracks on lesser albums like NPFTD and FOTD. All about dat context.
 

Meliegree

Sound of distant drums
I think that these tracks would be considered amazing on any album since NPFTD. It's nice to have them even if now band is all about longer tracks.
 

matic22

Ancient Mariner
Has anyone else had the feeling that songwriting on disc 2 somehow gives us an retrospective on Maiden's career in chronological order?
Something like:

Death Or Glory: POM, Powerslave, maybe a bit of NPFTD
Shadows Of The Valley: SIT, SSOASS
Tears Of The Clown: X Factor, Chemical Wedding, BNW
A Man Of Sorrows: AMLOAD, TFF
Empire Of The Clouds: Something completely new

That's one of the things why disc 2 of TBOS is just perfect.
 

Natalie

Insect of Terror
Staff member
I think the same can be said for disc 1 and the entire work in general, matic22.

For instance, If Eternity Should Fail has an outro that is reminiscent of Bruce's work on Chemical Wedding and of Maiden's Number of the Beast stuff. The song itself has AMOLAD and BNW vibes as well (the more I listen to it, the more I hear Ghost of the Navigator in there).
Speed of Light has TFF vibes.
The Red and the Black harkens back to any Harris epic of the past 2 decades.
When the River Runs Deep has strong Man on the Edge vibes.
The Book of Souls is very much a child of BNW, DoD and AMOLAD.
 

matic22

Ancient Mariner
I think the same can be said for disc 1 and the entire work in general, matic22.

For instance, If Eternity Should Fail has an outro that is reminiscent of Bruce's work on Chemical Wedding and of Maiden's Number of the Beast stuff. The song itself has AMOLAD and BNW vibes as well (the more I listen to it, the more I hear Ghost of the Navigator in there).
Speed of Light has TFF vibes.
The Red and the Black harkens back to any Harris epic of the past 2 decades.
When the River Runs Deep has strong Man on the Edge vibes.
The Book of Souls is very much a child of BNW, DoD and AMOLAD.
Yeah the whole album is somewhat Best Of of their songwriting. I just mentioned disc 2, because it's in chronological order. I also revisited TRATB today and I like it more than after first two listens. I don't know why, but it reminds me a lot of The Sign Of The Cross (maybe darkness of the song). Still the first half doesn't reach the greatness of the second, but I noticed that there are some serious growers like TRATB and WTRRD. IESF I loved straight away, BOS is good could've been amazing if it was faster for just 5-10 bpm, SOL is... well SOL. The Only track on the full album I'm not so sure about is TGU. Still 6,5 out of 10 but didn't click yet.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
I am happy to see so many people raving about the album. I try to be as calm as possible. I admit that this is a solid album. Whether it would stand the test of time I am not sure. Even the songs I like seem to be a bit random. They don't seem to be so thought out. I think Bruce is just not having an easy time on some of the songs and the choruses don't really contain any hooks. I think each song has some very strong parts but in some cases some really mediocre parts. I mean what is the deal with the chorus on WTRRD and most part of SOTV? It is quite an enjoyable album in general and it has got some speed after all these years but.........

Some songs are just too long for their own good. Now I understand what Janick meant when he said that Steve had to put more choruses on TBOS. It just slows the song down for too long.

In total there are some very strong moments and some not so great. I did not find a single song that I liked from start to finish. Let's wait for the official CD release as the sound of the leak is really poor for my liking. I would say in a brief that this is their most consistent post reunion album but still there is something missing for me.
 

Sara

Not even Wensleydale?
Unlike a lot of people here, I think it's actually the shorter songs which truly elevate this album to great heights. Yes, these days Maiden are mainly known for writing a lot of long songs, but I think the short songs help keep the album grounded, and also adds up to a more dynamic album, with more moods to make the listening experience more exciting. Songs like the frenetically fun "Speed Of Light", and the punishing "Death Or Glory" allow the great epics on the album like "If Eternity Should Fail", the title track, and "Empire Of The Clouds" to stand out more, and really shine. I know it's the epic numbers that will garner the lion's share of attention from most, but for me, the shorter songs here deserve an equal share of the attention, because they are an intrinsic component in the success of this album.
 
This Book Of Souls is triumphant.

Maiden has created a stunning work of art that will in time be regarded as the band's masterpiece. A bold statement perhaps but I am very comfortable to put it on record. The album is overflowing with creativity, emotion and skill. All six members are in red hot form and seem to have really enjoyed the songwriting and recording sessions.

On first listen it was The Great Unknown that stood out and it is still my favourite. It has an epic heaviness similar to BTATS and Janick's solo slays...but more detailed analysis in the individual song threads. The title track is colossal, it is easily Janick's greatest composition since joining the band. It is a big, big song. Empire Of The Clouds is pure magic and every moment of R101's fateful voyage is clearly articulated by the music. Call me crazy but the music speaks..it tells the story even when Bruce is silent. There have been some grumblings in the forum about a few songs - The Red And The Black, The River Runs Deep and Shadow Of The Valley - but these happen to be the three songs that are stuck in my mind.

Excellently produced, it's great to have the three guitars clearly audible and separated.

Wow.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
and the choruses don't really contain any hooks.

I must admit the chorus of Red&Black is playing in my mind all the time since yesterday (when I'm not listening to anything else of course)
So you don't have to actually physically repeat the chorus 22 times to get it into somebody's head after all, there are better ways :D
 
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Azas

Alchemist / The Rose of Paracelsus
I agree that album benefits very much from having great short songs. To me
If Eternity Should Fail 10/10
Death or Glory 10/10
Tears Of A Clown 10/10
are very Bruce soloish :)
add Empire of The Clouds (11/10) and we have Bruce's EP :D
 
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