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

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Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
I believed him until I read "Harry Potter". Though I was serious when I said it'd be awesome 'cause Harry Potter is awesome :p
 

Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
I think El Dorado was released pretty early .. mainly because they had a tour kicking off the following day. Late August makes more sense this time around with the single being used to promote the new album, not a new tour
True, but first singles have ALWAYS been released around 2 months before an album's release date for every band ever no matter what their tour plans.
 

Maturin

Sköldpadda
I'm curious. Why does a site like amazon or itunes even need different foreign country subsites? I suppose there are warehouses based in the UK that will allow for faster and cheaper shipping to a UK resident compared to ordering from the US, but for digital music, what difference does it make? I would think a person can indicate their country and be charged the respective currency and it will all convert accordingly.

The main reason is the distribution. Whoever holds the rights to the material contracts different distributors in different parts of the world, who then have the sole right to sell the record in that area. (This also means bands who tour across these borders has to get the CD/LP's for the merch-stand from the distributor in the area they currently are in... Which means smaller acts who aren't sure how many they'll sell often don't even bother.) Digital music is even tougher in this regard. As a Swede, I can't buy digital downloads from Amazon.uk for example, but CD's are fine - they are just sold as imports.

It's very old fashioned, but unless something changes this is how it will have to be.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
Blabbermouth reports an inside band source as saying the new album is actually a rock opera that taps into the band's fascination with British culture, literature and fantasy.

Apparently, it tells the tale about the struggles of girl trying to make her way through the first year of Hogwart's School For Witchcraft and Wizardry as the Harry Potter saga reaches it's crescendo.
The source supplied the website with the following song-by-song outline:

If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
We meet our protagonist Eternity Cooper as she struggles to keep up with her course load and the expectations of her domineering mother under the piercing eye and barbed tongue of professor Snape

Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
Bullied by Pansy Parkinson, our hero discovers the shabby slippers gifted to her by her grandmother on her 8th birthday imbue her with the magical gift of super-speed

The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
Eternity has her fingers crossed for Gryffindor as the first-years get acquainted with the sorting hat

The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
Enter a shadowy cabal within the Hogwart's faculty that may be experimenting with the dread forbidden practice of voodoo

When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
A wrong turn in the shuffling network of Hogwart's staircases leads Eternity to vast subterranean river where she encounters a mysterious decaying individual calling itself Edward Hunter

The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27
Edward and Eternity recover the legendary Book of Souls, a horcrux of unimaginable evil

Disc 2
Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
Edward reveals he is caught by a spell in a doorway between life and death. Opening the Book of Souls will allow him to reach his destiny, but it will be glorious, or will it signify his doom?

Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
Eternity braves the dread lands below the Forbidden Forest in order to recover the amulet that could ensure Edward's safety

Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
She confides her dilemma to jolly Hogwarts percussion teacher Sir Nicolas MacMindus only to discover she has made a terrible mistake

The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
Armed with her amulet, Eternity defies the Council of The Red and The Black and opens the Book of Souls to save her friend

Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01
Boosted by the slippers of super speed, our heroes take to the skies on broomsticks to fulfill a now-healed Edward's lifelong dream of becoming a Quidditch star

Band manager Rod Smallwood says the album is also being adapted in a stage musical starring Emily Blunt with Hugh Jackman as Edward. It will debut in London in February of 2016.

Rubbububberibubbish, but well crafted rubbubberibubbish.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Just one thing that I want to point out is that Hooks In You was the last Dickinson/Smith collaboration before these two new songs. And I love this song. :p
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
From the REAL Blabbermouth article: "the first time guitarist Adrian Smith and vocalist Bruce Dickinson have written together without bassist Steve Harris since MAIDEN's 1990 LP "No Prayer For The Dying."

(CFH ponders this a bit, smiles, begins playing "Killing Floor" from Chemical Wedding on his iPhone, and enjoys. )
 

MaidenHeaven

Trooper
I'm fairly intrigued by the new album. Granted, when I first saw "double album," I was thinking that Bruce finally got his post-Powerslave wish. Instead, the lengths of some of these tracks are just so massively long that there was no other choice. I go back and forth with Maiden's latter-day epics, but there's definitely something to be said for an album unafraid to have three 10+ minute songs on it (with an opener that's not far behind). The fact that Bruce is getting sole writing credits on "If Eternity Should Fail" and "Empire of the Clouds" is what's drawing me in the most. Bruce isn't particularly known for epics, so I'm not really sure what to expect in either case. "Eternity" as an opener interests me because the band rarely has lengthy tracks positioned there ("Satellite 15... The Final Frontier" is a special case - "Sign of the Cross" is really the last time a longer song opened up an album). "Empire" almost reaches 20 minutes, so it's impossible for me to not be wondering what the hell is going on there.
 

Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
If say 75 minutes of the album were amazing and the rest was just average to shit, I'd still be quite happy. As amazing as TFF is for me, it does have what I consider a few weak Bruce moments. The verses in El Dorado, Mother Of Mercy, and The Man Who Would Be King as well as the vocal parts after the opening of When The Wild Wind Blows where Bruce sings really powerful. If they didn't match the mood of what the song is about so well, I wouldn't appreciate them nearly as much. So, out of 92 minutes, there will probably be a few weak type moments on TBOS. I'm sure a huge majority of it will be great though.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
I think at the very least, Bruce will sound great on the four tracks he wrote/co-wrote. He knows his voice better than anyone else and has a gift for writing in accordance to it. Hopefully they were patient enough to try and record it more than once or twice to make sure that he really nailed his performance.
 

Travis The Dragon

"Can you see them riding. Riding next to you!"
Bruce never sounds bad on Maiden's studio albums. And didn't they record the last 2 in a similar "live" fashion? So, I'm sure any mistakes made by Bruce got re-recorded until they sounded good. Maiden knows what they're doing so no worries here.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
Bruce never sounds bad on Maiden's studio albums. And didn't they record the last 2 in a similar "live" fashion? So, I'm sure any mistakes made by Bruce got re-recorded until they sounded good. Maiden knows what they're doing so no worries here.

Bruce is one of my favorite singers ever, if not my favorite singer. He's never been outright bad on a studio album, but I do think there were moments here and there that I felt he could have potentially been a bit better vocally. I dunno, just my opinion on the matter. I'm sure he'll be great for the most part.
 

blindg3

Nomad
If say 75 minutes of the album were amazing and the rest was just average to shit, I'd still be quite happy. As amazing as TFF is for me, it does have what I consider a few weak Bruce moments. The verses in El Dorado, Mother Of Mercy, and The Man Who Would Be King as well as the vocal parts after the opening of When The Wild Wind Blows where Bruce sings really powerful. If they didn't match the mood of what the song is about so well, I wouldn't appreciate them nearly as much. So, out of 92 minutes, there will probably be a few weak type moments on TBOS. I'm sure a huge majority of it will be great though.

I hope weak moments amount to exactly 10 minutes. It would be a perfect 82 minute CD!
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
It feels as if they've deliberately decided "let's write with a maximum of two people on every track". So who knows, before this all started, they decided: "let's write in pairs, and only if it is really not good enough, we can make an exception." or "let's work in pairs, and only if it is really not good enough, the same pair continues until it is good enough."

Steve said:
A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh.

So, in every song, either written before either while being in the studio, a maximum of two people took the "lead", and the rest followed.

There can always be individual suggestions but these were apparently not big enough to get a credit.
At least suggestions by third members were likely smaller than in the last 23(!) years = last 6 albums (The X-Factor til The Final Frontier):
Yep, it's the first time since The Fear of the Dark album since every track has a maximum of two people with a credit.

(Sorry @CriedWhenBrucieLeft but there's another parallel with one of these two albums :ahhh:)
 
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Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
It was quite clear that Steve was relieved that H is taking a more active role in songwriting. This is what he said in TFF interviews. Up till now - and since B and H have been working outside Maiden - I got the impression that still everything had to go through Steve so that the material is not too close to Bruce solo....I guess.
Who knows? Maybe this time around a bit more freedom was granted to the rest of the guys. One more thing that Steve said throughout the years is that more or less everyone expects him to do the structuring/arrangements. Well all we can do is the the hardest thing of all.....just sit and wait.
 

Maturin

Sköldpadda
I think at the very least, Bruce will sound great on the four tracks he wrote/co-wrote. He knows his voice better than anyone else and has a gift for writing in accordance to it. Hopefully they were patient enough to try and record it more than once or twice to make sure that he really nailed his performance.

Agreed. Steve has often demanded too much of his singers, writing impossible-to-sing-lyrics and too high-pitched melodies. How about "Your mission, exterminate with extreme prejudice" from "Edge of Darkness or those lines in "Hallowed"? And as cool as I think "The Talisman" is, I doubt Bruce would have written that melody-line and lyrics for it by himself... I think the only album he sounded absolutely perfect on in every aspect is Tyranny of Souls. Otherwise, he is a singer that's never afraid of getting out there and balancing on a ledge. He has the skill to not only get through it, but always sound reasonably good doing it. And that's exactly why he's the man for the job in Maiden.

Sometimes I do however wonder if the impression of him as a singer wouldn't be much stronger had they written more for his voice though.
 
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