"The Book of Souls" - Official pre-release thread (CONTAINS ALBUM SPOILERS)

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MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Yeah, normally I wouldn't even bother to try guessing what a song would be about without actually hearing it. Especially with just the title and the songwriter to go by. However, as you've already pointed out, it's a song solely written by Bruce and I do think the title seems to have that sort of edge to it. Could be anything though, so we'll have to wait and see.

I just have a feeling that the song being about air-travel might be a bit too easy a guess, even though this is Bruce that we're talking about here.

Bruce has a tendency to write a lot about religion and the potential fallacy of the afterlife. He also certainly has a love for writing about the skies, space, the world above but not always the world beyond.

My wild speculation is that If Eternity Should Fail will be more straightforward Bruce writing: calling religion and heaven into question while searching for hope in our mortality. Empire of the Clouds probably started as a song about aviation, turned into a philosophical pondering about the nature of human buoyancy and how that relates to the concept of an eternal soul, then became a theoretical brainstorming session on how man would live in the clouds, then turned into a question of man and God being one and the same, which snowballed into a final verse about dogs licking rainwater off a windshield.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I like the artwork more and more. The best cover they've had since Brave New World.
It wasn't that hard an achievement. But yes, it's intriguing. I'd love to hear more about the "concept" or main/themes, and then the artwork could make more sense.
 
Solely from looking at the cover art, i can tell you that at least one song (probably book of souls) will have a tribal theme to it. I know i'm going out on a limb here.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
It wasn't that hard an achievement. But yes, it's intriguing. I'd love to hear more about the "concept" or main/themes, and then the artwork could make more sense.

Considering how this take on Eddie is very tribal-looking, I would not be surprised if the album deals with a lot of ethereal or mystical themes. Especially since Bruce is finally back to writing some songs entirely on his own.

Bruce has a tendency to write a lot about religion and the potential fallacy of the afterlife. He also certainly has a love for writing about the skies, space, the world above but not always the world beyond.

My wild speculation is that If Eternity Should Fail will be more straightforward Bruce writing: calling religion and heaven into question while searching for hope in our mortality. Empire of the Clouds probably started as a song about aviation, turned into a philosophical pondering about the nature of human buoyancy and how that relates to the concept of an eternal soul, then became a theoretical brainstorming session on how man would live in the clouds, then turned into a question of man and God being one and the same, which snowballed into a final verse about dogs licking rainwater off a windshield.

This is very true. I'm also a lot more confident in the quality of "Empire of the Clouds" with this being a song written by Bruce than I would if it had been entirely written by Steve. I don't think we'll have to worry about this song being repetitive musically or lyrically. However it's definitely still a big gamble on the band's part, so we'll have to wait and see what they put out.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I don't know what ya'll are talking about. There clearly won't be anything tribal about this album.

This is very true. I'm also a lot more confident in the quality of "Empire of the Clouds" with this being a song written by Bruce than I would if it had been entirely written by Steve. I don't think we'll have to worry about this song being repetitive musically or lyrically. However it's definitely still a big gamble on the band's part, so we'll have to wait and see what they put out.

You know, I thought that, too, but then I thought: Steve has written some of my favorite long Maiden songs all on his own...Wild Wind, Greater Good of God, No More Lies, Clansman, Fear of the Dark, Seventh Son, Alex, Tame a Land, Hallowed, Phantom, Rime of the Ancient Mariner...

Granted, none of those are 18 minutes, but the man is pretty much responsible for 80% of Maiden's great epics. I think slighting him just because he gets repetitive is too easy. The man can write a damned good epic, regardless of repetition.

But, then again, he also wrote The Angel and The Gambler, which invalidates all those good ones.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
I don't know what ya'll are talking about. There clearly won't be anything tribal about this album.

Maybe, maybe not. We'll see.

You know, I thought that, too, but then I thought: Steve has written some of my favorite long Maiden songs all on his own...Wild Wind, Greater Good of God, No More Lies, Clansman, Fear of the Dark, Seventh Son, Alex, Tame a Land, Hallowed, Phantom, Rime of the Ancient Mariner...

Granted, none of those are 18 minutes, but the man is pretty much responsible for 80% of Maiden's great epics. I think slighting him just because he gets repetitive is too easy. The man can write a damned good epic, regardless of repetition.

But, then again, he also wrote The Angel and The Gambler, which invalidates all those good ones.

Oh, I don't want to undermine Steve's contributions to the band. More than any other member, Steve Harris is Iron Maiden. I love his songwriting, as it's been a huge inspiration for me as an aspiring writer/filmmaker. However I recognize that he's got certain faults that have become more recurrent in recent years, which are normally manageable with the shorter epics (i.e. 6-9 minutes long), but would likely be a problem with a song that's eighteen minutes long.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
For me, I got a huge swerve when over-analyzing the track names of The Final Frontier. Nothing I thought was true turned out to be correct, and I'm just not getting that anxious about anything yet. I keep telling myself to be calm, even though I'm excited. In the end, I expect my true enjoyment will ramp up when the single hits.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Maybe, maybe not. We'll see.

:ninja:

Oh, I don't want to undermine Steve's contributions to the band. More than any other member, Steve Harris is Iron Maiden. I love his songwriting, as it's been a huge inspiration for me as an aspiring writer/filmmaker. However I recognize that he's got certain faults that have become more recurrent in recent years, which are normally manageable with the shorter epics (i.e. 6-9 minutes long), but would likely be a problem with a song that's eighteen minutes long.

I can agree with that.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
I'm also wondering which classic 70's progressive rock band(s) Bruce has been listening to lately, because I think it's a safe bet that this song is going to be Maiden's attempt at the "side-long epic" prog trope. I know Steve is a big Genesis fan and that Bruce loves Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, but does anyone have any knowledge of prog bands that Bruce enjoys listening to?
They're not 70's but I remember that Bruce likes Dream Theater, probably the reason DT tour with them in 2010.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
They're not 70's but I remember that Bruce likes Dream Theater, probably the reason DT tour with them in 2010.

Not too surprising, though I doubt we'll see any influence from DT on the album. Perhaps we might see some influence from Rush though... Not sure if Bruce is a fan of 'em or not.
 
I think the cover is excellent. I don't think Death or Glory is cheesy. Tears of a clown is utter cheese & I'm pretty sure they could have done better. Having said that...

Everyone is concerned about long outros or intros. When the wild wind blows is a long song & the intros & outros were perfect. That 10+ min song goes by VERY quickly & doesn't feel that long at all. Not redundant & repetitive like past songs. At least 3 Complex & varied progressions within 1 song. That's what keeps it from being repetitive & boring.

Everyone is already complaining about repetitive choruses on the longer songs when aside from the Final Frontier on the last album(short song), it was an album void of long repetitive choruses. On long or short tunes. A major departure of previous albums. Everyone feared this on the last album as well and turned out to be an unjustified fear or gripe.

Long songs are what they've always been about. Face it. Every album had at least 1 dating to the very beginning. They couldn't afford to do more in the old days because of media space. They'd be 5 or 6 song albums. Modern times, they can do it & have gradually increased the length of songs as media sizes increased. Some songs, I feel the repeat choruses are just worthless (Longest Day, AATG, No more lies, For the greater good of god, ) I personally did not care for the Man who would be king on the last album. But, I just skip it.

They've been away for 5 years. The amount of material is worth the 5 year wait. I don't care if it was 1 song of 92 minutes. Whatever Maiden wants to give, I'll gladly accept. My advise is to just listen to it before prognosticating what it's like. Let your ears decide. Everyone thought the long songs on the last one would be repetitive & it was the farthest thing from the truth.

Listen, then judge.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
They couldn't afford to do more in the old days because of media space.
Modern times, they can do it & have gradually increased the length of songs as media sizes increased.
Not at all. What comes out, is what was written. And what was written was not written with an agenda like: now we can do more songs because we have the right media. A songwriter gives something to a song because it feels good and stops giving when he thinks it doesn't feel right.

Especially not in the old days when there were so many good short songs.
 
Not at all. What comes out, is what was written. And what was written was not written with an agenda like: we have to write long songs. Especially not in the old days when there were so many good short songs.

They don't set out to write long songs or short songs, they happen. Obviously. But, back in the day, they knew they couldn't afford longer material in droves like today. Media space did not allow. This is simply fact. Just look at their albums & the increasing song lengths of each album in succession. It is not a coincidence. Obviously they don't go in thinking the songs will be a certain length. But, you could bet your last dollar that they cut songs short back then where as today, they are not forced too.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
They don't set out to write long songs or short songs, they happen. Obviously. But, back in the day, they knew they couldn't afford longer material in droves like today. Media space did not allow. This is simply fact. Just look at their albums & the increasing song lengths of each album in succession. It is not a coincidence. Obviously they don't go in thinking the songs will be a certain length. But, you could bet your last dollar that they cut songs short back then where as today, they are not forced too.
But if they wanted to, bands did put long songs on an album, in a time when Maiden didn't even exist:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thick_as_a_Brick
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Passion_Play
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meddle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Miles_High_(album)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxtrot_(album)
 

Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
cause Maiden HAS the balls and talent
Fixed! Considering how long Maiden has been around and how amazing their longer songs have always been, we already know they have the talent to pull this off. There is NO doubt in my mind that the entire album will be just as amazing as the last 4.
 
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