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

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CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
I infer that Flash is, on balance, excited about this. That inference is based on the subtle clue in his post, shortly after the word "disappointed":

"I am excited like a motherfucker."

It's a reach, I know.
Okay, okay. I hope, in the end, Flash likes it though. I'm not a massive fan of lengthy songs either. I totally get his point.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I have a lot of optimism that they've gone with their musical instinct on this album in a big way. I was slightly worried they'd have an ill-fated bash at crowd-pleasing by coming up with an album of short rockers that fall short of the mark. But that's clearly not the case. A small part of me wonders if there will be something Dance of Death-y about the title track, not least because it's a Gers/Harris composition.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Just noticed all the songs with Smith in the credits are on the shorter side. Interesting, guess he decided to go for shorter songs after all. Overall it seems like he may have had significantly less impact than on TFF. Not sure how I feel about that. My only dissapointmemt is that there's no Smith/Harris/Dickinson tune. That writing partnership has produced some of their best recent epics. Very minor complaint though and doesn't hinder my excitement at all.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I have a lot of optimism that they've gone with their musical instinct on this album in a big way. I was slightly worried they'd have an ill-fated bash at crowd-pleasing by coming up with an album of short rockers that fall short of the mark. But that's clearly not the case. A small part of me wonders if there will be something Dance of Death-y about the title track, not least because it's a Gers/Harris composition.

Just to take myself out of the equation, by short/straight-forward I didn't mean "short rockers". Think more of Mother of Mercy and Coming Home, than The Alchemist.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Just to take myself out of the equation, by short/straight-forward I didn't mean "short rockers". Think more of Mother of Mercy and Coming Home, than The Alchemist.

No worries, not referring to you. ;) Just the general man-on-the-street Maiden gossip. Not that I often hear anyone on the street talking about Maiden.
 

Perun

In the labyrinth of eternity
Staff member
Let's see how far some speculation on the individual tracks can take me.

1. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
Unless this follows the same idea as Final Frontier did, with a four minute intro followed by a four minute rocker, this is definitely going to be a departure from the last albums. Bruce is essentially the most fearless of Maiden's songwriters, and I would trust him to come up with anything. Having said that, the last sole songwriting credit he had was on Tears of the Dragon. And that's 21 years, four solo albums and six Maiden albums ago. Bruce's recent songwriting output was diverse enough for me to say that we can expect anything here.

2. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
Short Smith/Dickinson tracks used to be staples on Maiden albums, but they've become significantly rare. In fact, the last one we had without Steve's meddling was Hooks in You. Having said that, most Smith/Harris/Dickinson numbers are more on the rocky side of things, although there are notable exceptions. But if any song on this album will sound anything like The Wicker Man or Two Minutes to Midnight, I bet it's going to be this one.

3. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
In most recent cases, Steve took on the role of arranging other people's composition fragments. Which is why songs like Mother of Mercy, Isle of Avalon, Paschendale or Different World, despite having H's clear handwriting, have Steve's name on it as well. This might also be one that will have more of a traditional Maiden sound to it.

4. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
It's an interesting tendency of Steve's solo compositions that they got longer on each album since Blood Brothers. They also all had a very distinct, recognisable sound, sing-along melodies and all that, and I sort of doubt Steve will radically alter this with this one. Nevertheless, When the Wild Wind Blows was already a significant departure in terms of composition while still staying recognisable in its sound. I expect a next evolutionary step here. If it is indeed going to be about the Stendhal novel, it's nice to see Steve tackling literature again.

5. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
Same comments as for The Great Unknown.

6. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27
With this running time, I think this is going to be the most likely candidate for the soft intro/verse/heavy part/extensive soloing/soft outro structure that we know so well from this pairing - Dream of Mirrors, Dance of Death, The Legacy, The Talisman, etc. I'm fine with that, mind you. But somehow I have a gut feeling that this one will get the most flak.

7. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
Same comments as on Speed of Light.

8. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
I doubt that what I said about The Book of Souls applies to this one as well, given it's relatively short running time. This might be more of the Gers/Harris team we know from songs like The Mercenary or The Pilgrim.

9. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
Again, this might be more of an Adrian composition arranged by Steve. I dislike the title a lot, though. Could turn out to be a ballad.

10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
Murray/Harris almost always means extensive, melodic soloing, few vocals and longer instrumental sections. While most songs in question (e.g. Thin Line, The Man Who Would be King) are significantly longer than this, Age of Innocence would be a reference point to a shorter piece with similar writing.

11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01
I have absolutely no idea whatsoever about what to expect from this.


So the bottom line is that with some songs, I have an idea of what they might be like, while others leave me completely in the dark. But in general, it's all speculation, and I'm just going to wait until I hear the songs. If anything, this has me quite excited. And I'm quite happy to see that Maiden are still willing to take risks. I love the Eddie, although I'm not sure yet about what I think of the minimalist approach for the cover.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
The info we've got today is exiting and frightening at the same time. I love the artwork as much as I disliked the previous one, and the return of the old logo (although not in red) is welcome. The double CD format, the old logo and the importance given to the sole figure of Eddie (a remeniscence of the first album I think. It ends as it has begun) makes me think that they have in mind that this maybe their last record.
The frightening side? 18 minutes song by Bruce. I hope this is a proper song, not some kind of atmospheric stuff with narrative parts. How a man who on his own admission doesn't really play an instrument could write a song that long ? I must openly admit that this saddens me a bit : I thought the Rime would never be topped, let alone by anyone else than Harris himself.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
I would guess Speed of Light as they tend to put their more "single-y" songs towards the front of the tracklist.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
The info we've got today is exiting and frightening at the same time. I love the artwork as much as I disliked the previous one, and the return of the old logo (although not in red) is welcome. The double CD format, the old logo and the importance given to the sole figure of Eddie (a remeniscence of the first album I think. It ends as it has begun) makes me think that they have in mind that this maybe their last record.
The frightening side? 18 minutes song by Bruce. I hope this is a proper song, not some kind of atmospheric stuff with narrative parts. How a man who on his own admission doesn't really play an instrument could write a song that long ? I must openly admit that this saddens me a bit : I thought the Rime would never be topped, let alone by anyone else than Harris himself.

He does write parts on guitar and/or piano.
Besides Powerslave is his exclusive track, and he surely didn't write that 3 minute instrumental section.
 

THESEVENTHMARINER

Ancient Mariner
This is the news I've been waiting all year for!

Now, I'm just wondering which songs will be played live. I'm ruling out Empire of Clouds, at 18 minutes it would just be too long to work well in a setlist.

September is going to be an exciting month - Maiden, David Gilmour's new album and tour and Slayer! :D
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Flying. It'll be about flying.

I've had a mass Googling session, and found a book of the same title about how Britain used to dominate aviation. I'm pretty sure this is NOT the subject of the song....but I'm also pretty sure Bruce will have read this book. :lol: Something meaningful with a hint of aviation. Another 'Coming Home'?:D
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
I do see how some could find the cover "offensive" or "racist" in our hyper-sensitive society, with the likely african tribe theme to eddie.

How? I'm genuinely perplexed because I saw the "racist cover" comment on Blabbermouth too, thought it was just a stupid troll.
I just don't see any connection.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I've had a mass Googling session, and found a book of the same title about how Britain used to dominate aviation. I'm pretty sure this is NOT the subject of the song....but I'm also pretty sure Bruce will have read this book. :lol: Something meaningful with a hint of aviation. Another 'Coming Home'?:D
yup, see my edit; great minds think alike
 
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