The Parchment

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Beforehand I won't pay much attention to the Beckett like marching pattern the songs starts with since it's present in so many compositions. What comes to my mind is something more in the vein of Ravel's Bolero before the band hit the gas. And if pompous mid tempo heavy stuff full of keyboards like The Book Of Souls (the song) is your thing then you'll love this. Not that's recycling by any means (once again the band shows they can explore similar venues without copying themselves). Plus a certain middle eastern flavor is added to the mix even in the following solos and guitar harmonies. But you know what The Book Of Souls has this song does not? One of Maiden's best chorus in years. The Parchment doesn't even has a refrain (not that's a bad thing... my favorite Maiden song doesn't have one either - ROTAM) and although there's nothing wrong with the following harmonies and solos I think once again there are too many and some parts are repeated too many times and by middle of the song the initial impact of its initial punch is lost a bit and things start to get a bit stagnant. By the 6.45 minute mark a new melody seems to point where the track is heading next (somewhat similar to The Nomad's mid section ) and Bruce comes singing the very same melody on top... well you already know how I think about this but it is what it is. The following part however is truly epic and the ensemble effect results in full, in a mix of power and almost poetical tragedy. Then we get some uptempo action, more soloing and a cool guitar harmony that reminds me of the band's debut title track bridge. Overall there's everything here necessary to make a great epic Maiden tune but i don't know... the song seems to drag itself at times. And although being built upon well penned melodies and riffs there's something really tiring while listening to it. Nevertheless it's undeniable it has a lot of stellar moments. 7.25/10
 
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Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Well, it's not note-for-note similar like Nomad, but it's definitely reminiscent in sound if not structure too. All being said, I like Nomad's instrumental (and the instrumental part of the original) a lot, and Parchment is so far my No3 song on this album.
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
Well, it's not note-for-note similar like Nomad, but it's definitely reminiscent in sound if not structure too. All being said, I like Nomad's instrumental (and the instrumental part of the original) a lot, and Parchment is so far my No3 song on this album.
No it's not note for note, but I didn't want to point that out because that's not as funny.
 

Mega

Ancient Mariner
Oh yes. This one. I really think Steve nailed it. Such a powerful riff! It's as if I stepped into an alternate universe where Steve wrote Powerslave. So good. Of course it's also reminiscent of Nomad, but in a good way. Phrygian dominant working overtime.
The verse riff is very To Tame A Land, but the melody of course makes it distinct. Usually like that with Steve's "self plagiarizing".
Fantastic riff afterwards. I don't remember Maiden ever modulating like this, I'll figure it out after this listen.
Who plays the first solo? Sounds like Janick or Adrian. Weird. Then a cool Dave solo, then here's Janick for a brief solo. Maybe it was Davea the entire time trying some new things? Not sure.
The riff after that is killer again. This is definitely Adrian this time. Great solo.

Here's where things get weird. In my first listen I felt like is a different song from here. But this is my 2nd listen and it feels more coherent. Cool verses. Feels epic. Then I guess it's a new chorus? Not sure. It's nice. Now I'm looking at the time and there are still 3 minutes of song. I wonder what's coming? A fast part which is even more unrelated to the beginning. I think I still need several listens to decide if the transitions work for me here, but the first 6 minutes are amazing.
A long Janick solo, then another great Adrian solo, then another part that doesn't fit the beginning. You can definitely call this song progressive.
Finally, ending like it began. Not sure why, seeing as the last 6 minutes didn't make any callbacks to the first 6. Oh well, still in the top 5 of this album.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Bruce performance from 9:22 to 9:33 is out of this world.
It seems very difficult to do... bending and then so long afterwards... (I hope it was no studio magic :ahhh:, as if I heard a repeated section, copy pasted, sorry for cursing in the church)
 
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Edington

Let's Get Volatile
This song is a guitar player's dream, gonna be so much fun to play. Very riffy for a Steve song, and six killer solos, I love the way some of them creep in from a lead melody then snake out into another melody line. I might even go so far as to say Dave's is one of his best, at least of the 21st century. This started as probably my least anticipated of Steve's epics but could well be my favourite after Hell on Earth.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
It seems very difficult to do... bending and then so long afterwards... (I hope it was no studio magic :ahhh:, as if I heard a repeated section, copy pasted, sorry for cursing in the church)
Maybe it was studio magic, but I can tell you from experience that the way the song is set up, with almost solely lower vocals from Bruce, which he’s able to make sound so much more impressive than you’d expect because of his natural charm as a storyteller, imbuing a beautiful cadence into the lines that makes them flow like a river instead of the avalanche they’d be with almost anyone else — because he’s singing low notes throughout the whole song, to lift up into the final line he doesn’t have to go all out. He just takes it up a bit and then hangs on until the end of that section. Because he stretches out the line (“meet... me... theeeeeeeeeeeere!”), he’s able to take some breaths in between before going for it. All it takes to execute this is breath control because it’s such an easy note to hit in the first place, both for me, an amateur, and for Bruce himself. And Bruce has held notes on way longer and more challenging stuff in the past, so this line should come naturally to him.

It’s obviously possible there was some studio doctoring and I’d be interested to know for sure, but at the same time, the experience of hearing him draw out that note is so fantastic. The perfect climax to the song before Steve and the amigos go nuts. Just listening for the first couple times and going, “Oh, he’ll just drop it off here,” and then, “Oh my god he let it hang!” Just awesome. A contender for the best moment on the whole album. On what might just be its greatest song too!
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Listening again to that part and I even estimate it was pasted twice, so you hear three times the same bit, and thereby expanding it all.

Theee - HE HE HE heeeeee HE HE HE heeeeee HE HE HE heeeeee eeee eehh eere

The first "HE HE HE heeeeee" is what was copied.

The 2nd and 3rd HE HE HE heeeeee is what was pasted. It sounds exactly the same.

The underlined words is what was recorded (sung by Bruce). The non-underlined stuff is what was pasted (re used).

(I put the three HE's in capitals, marking these as the highest bits from where the repetitons started)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
There is a possibility that he sang all these pieces, maybe someone can analyze it and look at the sound waves.
Maybe he can sing exactly like that. I hope he will attempt it live.
 

Midnight

E Unum Pluribus
Listening again to that part and I even estimate it was pasted twice, so you hear three times the same bit, and thereby expanding it all.

Theee - HE HE HE heeeeee HE HE HE heeeeee HE HE HE heeeeee eeee eehh eere

The first "HE HE HE heeeeee" is what was copied.

The 2nd and 3rd HE HE HE heeeeee is what was pasted. It sounds exactly the same.
I beg to differ, but I think each repetition sounds different. Bruce almost falters after the "HE HE HE" melisma in the first repetition, but then he handles it much better in the next two repetitions. The amount of vibrato on the held note also decreases with each repetition.
 
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