The Book of Souls: individual album judgement by yours truly

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
IMO they're both #1 :D . Now seriously I really don't understand how any Dickinson era Maiden fan doesn't rank these two tracks at least at their top 10.
Empire > Rime > Como > Aces has been my Top 4 for a long time and it hasn't changed with this listen. It's really, really tight. I love all four songs so goddamn much.
 

Poteitos

Prowler
My rating:

If Eternity Should Fail: 10
Speed of Light: 6
The Great Unknown: 7,5
The Red And The Black: 8,5
When The River Runs Deep: 8
The Book Of Souls: 8,5

Death Or Glory: 7,5
Shadows Of The Valley: 6
Tears Of A Clown: 7
The Man Of Sorrows: 8,5
Empire Of The Clouds: 10

Overall: 8
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Empire > Rime > Como > Aces has been my Top 4 for a long time and it hasn't changed with this listen. It's really, really tight. I love all four songs so goddamn much.
#1 Aces High/ Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and then the following 8 (no order in particular) :
Phantom Of The Opera
Killers
Revelations
Wasted Years
Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
Infinite Dreams
The Prophecy
Sign Of The Cross
(make it 11 and For The Greater Good Of God sneaks in)
 

Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
#1 Aces High/ Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and then the following 8 (no order in particular) :
Phantom Of The Opera
Killers
Revelations
Wasted Years
Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
Infinite Dreams
The Prophecy
Sign Of The Cross
(make it 11 and For The Greater Good Of God sneaks in)
I haven't thought about such listings in a while but I think about 5 of those made my top 10 the last time I thought about it. You, sir, have reasonably good taste.
In terms of Aces High, its fabulous. The best set opener they have ever had and it displays a ferocity not seen since the glory days of the Di'Anno era.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
My rating:

If Eternity Should Fail: 9.5
Speed of Light: 8
The Great Unknown: 9
The Red And The Black: 7.5
When The River Runs Deep: 8
The Book Of Souls: 9

Death Or Glory: 9
Shadows Of The Valley: 7
Tears Of A Clown: 8
The Man Of Sorrows: 7.5
Empire Of The Clouds: 9.5

Overall: 8.4

Probably #7 in my personal ranking of Maiden albums, right after TNOTB, SSOASS, POM, Powerslave, AMOLAD and IM.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
#1 Aces High/ Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and then the following 8 (no order in particular) :
Phantom Of The Opera
Killers
Revelations
Wasted Years
Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
Infinite Dreams
The Prophecy
Sign Of The Cross
(make it 11 and For The Greater Good Of God sneaks in)
I think Revelations is the only song off that list that would make it to my top 10. :)
 

SirRobbins

Ancient Mariner
Very solid effort from them....

If Eternity Should Fail - 8
Speed of Light - 7
The Great Unknown - 7
The Red And The Black - 10
When The River Runs Deep - 7
The Book Of Souls - 10
Death Or Glory - 7
Shadows Of The Valley - 9
Tears Of A Clown - 8
The Man Of Sorrows - 10
Empire Of The Clouds - 8

Average - 8.27
 

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
Five years later, The Book of Souls to me is:
  1. If Eternity Should Fail
  2. Where the River Runs Deep
  3. The Red and the Black - still don't like the first section, the chorus and the instrumental section are very good tho
  4. The Great Unknown - but still I regret they didn't record it in D
  5. Death or Glory
  6. Tears of a Clown
  7. The Man of Sorrows
  8. The Book of Souls - their 3rd best song of the post-Infinite Dreams period, the only issues to me are:
    • the coda isn't a pure instrumental
    • the acoustic reprise I didn't need
The rest would have been better left behind.
 
Last edited:

Yax

Ancient Mariner
The only keepers to me are IETSF and TBOS - Perhaps Speed of Light too. The rest suffer from the Dream Theater "The Astonishing" disease - It sounds good while you listen to it, but don't leave any noteworthy impression. It's just forgettable.
 
Last edited:

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
I think he inserted the list because it’s the tracklist he uses when listening through the album. Not a ranking.
It was so clear for any 3rd grader up I didn't feel the need to specify it, especially since I used the ordered list and put The Book of Souls 8th out of 8 songs, altough describing it as, and I quote myself,
their 3rd best song of the post-Infinite Dreams period
But, as @CriedWhenBrucieLeft proves, I have clearly been over confident.
 
Last edited:

Natalie

Insect of Terror
Staff member
The only keepers to me are IETSF and TBOS - Perhaps Speed of Light too. The rest suffer from the Dream Theater "The Astonishing" disease - It sounds good while you listen to it, but don't leave any noteworthy impression. It's just forgettable.
:eek: Strong words! I don't remember it being that bad!
Ok since I'm on a nostalgia trip this week it seems anyway, I did a re-listen to The Book of a Souls as an album. Review in brief below.

If Eternity Should Fail - Pretty damn excellent. The sound is crisp and Bruce's voice sounds good, lyrics not too outlandish. 8/10

Speed of Light - Fun, forgot about it though to be honest. Could have been like 3 minutes long instead. 5/10

The Great Unknown - Ok, good intro, otherwise fine. 4.5/10

The Red and the Black - Mmmmmm....not sure what's happening here, the lyrics are really hard to hear and then there's the stadium-friendly whoa-whoa that comes in seemingly out of nowhere that seems to expect me to have an emotional attachment but I don't. Way too long. There's some nice riffs in there around the 7:30 mark and on. Getting some Angel and the Gambler vibes. I'm at 10 minutes in and checked the clock and am dismayed to find its's 13:33 long. I like these riffs, but am too fatigued to be really into it. Rating this is tough. 3.5/10.

When the River Runs Deep - Makes a nice change of pace, but again not super into it, the chorus is lame. 4/10.

The Book of Souls - This builds quite nicely, lyrics are compelling. BUT, when the instrumental section kicks in at 6 ish, I can't shake the feeling that it'd have been ok if that had been the end of the song. Also am getting a 'copy paste' sense to it all, as if I've heard all these riffs before. Shades of The Legacy with the outro. 6/10.

NOTE: Had to take a listening break at this point, was just drained.

Death or Glory - Kinda fun, but also a bit dumb and exceedingly repetitive towards the end. 4/10

Shadows of the Valley - Wasted Years intro rip-off that could be interpreted as a fun nod but given the 'sea of madness' in the lyrics shortly after, makes me cringe a bit. The rest of the song has Dance of Death and AMOLAD album vibes, wouldn't have been out of place on either of those. Gets better as the song progresses., although could do without the whoa whoa portion. 5.5/10

Tears of a Clown - This feels a bit out of nowhere in terms of the context of the album, especially since I know it's talking about the very time-specific passing of Robin Williams. That being said, I think it's a very good stand-alone song that might have been better suited as a single, similar to Virus. I really like the lyrics, and the song feels like its going somewhere, has purpose, and, it ends at an appropriate length! 7.5/10

The Man of Sorrows - Aside from the title (which I find weird that Bruce agreed to, given his own solo work), this is a good song. I really enjoy the cymbal-heavy instrumental portions where the bass and drums fall away, it is a bit like The Man Who Would Be King in how unusual it is for Maiden. 7/10

Empire of the Clouds - So when I first heard this I loved it. And just hearing the intro riff brings goosebumps. But it isn't an 'easy' listen and especially at the end of an already over-long album, its just tough. Again, single material with The Man of Sorrows, Tears of a Clown, and If Eternity Should Fail as B-sides??? Just going off minutes, that's actually decent album material right there. On its own though I love this thing, the orchestral bits, the piano, the solos, everything. Its 18 minutes long but it actually doesn't feel that way. 10/10

In total this album gets a 5.9 on individual scores of the songs alone. However, it doesn't ever feel like an album. If Eternity Should Fail gets me pumped up for something its not and by the start of the Red and the Black, I'm tired. There's just too much rinse and repeat disjointedness as if they had a bet going on how many nods to previous songs they could squeeze in, there's very little flow to the thing. Even the best songs feel like they come out of nowhere. So I'm not sure where this would fall in the pantheon of Maiden albums...its too much of a 'best of' collection without enough 'best'. I guess I agree with @Yax on this one 5 years down the road, just not on which songs to keep! :halo:
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Don’t know whether to react with :( because of your take on the album, or with <3 because of that 10/10 rating for Empire. :p
 
Top