The Parchment

How good is The Parchment on a scale of 1-10?

  • Total voters
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)
What is this nonsense? It doesn't sound exactly the same. It sounds distinctly different each time if you pay close attention. Also, it's a very nice note but it isn't especially high, reaching A4 at the top, which for Bruce is easily done, even today. It's a cool touch to the end of the song though, because doing a run of that style (base note => full step up => base note => half step down => base note) is much harder than doing a similar run but only taking a half step up, i.e. base note => half step up => base note => full step down => base note. Essentially, reaching a full step higher is harder than doing a half step.
I would like to add couple of more variables which can easily clarify things:
- Bruce is professional singer with 40+ years of singing experience and he has hell of a vibrato, not to mention that he knows how to control his breathing and voice
- He was definitelly well rested when he did the take on that one segment, or the whole song. We don't know much about the way how he's recording his vocal lines, is it whole song in one take, or segment by segment (verse/chorus/etc...)
- He's a non smoker, which is a huge advantage
- You're forgetting Hallowed Be Thy Name on Rock In Rio '01 and that YEEEE note, which he held for 36 seconds after singing for almost two hours in a lot "worse" conditions (I know, he was 20 years younger then)
If they play this live and Bruce can remember all the words he deserves a raise.

I think if he does that then Rob Halford should buy him a pint and say "fair enough mate, you were justified taking the piss out of me for having Breaking the Law on a teleprompter"
This is overall perhaps the best song on the album, tied with Hell on Earth. Phrygian dominant scale is almost like a cheat code for writing great music; Powerslave, Gates of Babylon, Dream Theater's Home, this track. Such a great feeling of mystique whenever it is used. Perfectly executed on this track, making me completely entranced by this song from start to finish.
The Parchment

Steve starts with a D power chord, military bolero rhythm. Guitars play a phrygian dominant melody, keyboards pads in the back. Modulation up to E. Enter Nicko + nice fat heavy riffage, remaining in phrygian/phrygian dominant, harmonically ambivalent, which makes it so great to sustain for a long time IMO, old trick, great mood.
Vocals in phrygian as well, in Bruce's lower register, which I prefer on this album. The lyrics start "When the moon is in the seventh house..." or something ... and transition to "lord of light, in the darkness, our guide :::!" Great!
Great transition how the guitar solo slides in, but the solo is very short. Then the 1st Maidendance part starts, regular E minor now, first alternating with Bm; a bit weaker, this part. Would have preferred a longer solo. Ah, here the solos come ... cool playing, emotional as well. Back to phrygian dominant, adventurous solo on top, very cool! Second Maidendance part interlude, again, weaker IMO, which becomes the melody behind Bruce, who sings about army and God. A repeating melody leads to the final line "afterlife, meet me there" in strong 7th son manner. Does he believe in an afterlife? Next up: 3rd Maidendance, Janick's gonna love this one live. Then an old school FIRE Steve/Nicko groove with great wanking solos by Janick and a melodious one by Adrian (I think). A proggy 70s unisono scalar riff leads to end on D, 7th of E, which then becomes the new I, as the phrygian beginning ends the song.
This is Maiden at their most atmospheric and theatrical ever and I absolutely love it. The intro sets up the mood perfectly - it's really cool how it looms out of the silence with that sinister melody. Once the heavy part kicked in, I was completely sold. In fact, I was surprised with how hard it hit! Great stuff. The whole thing is very hypnotic and trancelike. I love how Adrian, Janick and Dave sank their teeth into the atmosphere of the song and delivered very fitting, super interesting solos. I'm just not entirely sure about the final part of the song, where it speeds up and abandons the dark vibe. I get what they were going for, but the part itself could have been stronger. Or maybe it could have ended after Meet me there. Anyway - fantastic track!

I hope they play this live! Imagine how cool would it be to hear live interpretations of these solos. Not to mention the lights, smoke effects and whatnot. Fingers crossed.
- He was definitelly well rested when he did the take on that one segment, or the whole song. We don't know much about the way how he's recording his vocal lines, is it whole song in one take, or segment by segment (verse/chorus/etc...)
Exactly. A blatant example is Somewhere In Time, where I think Bruce pull the most outstanding performance of his career on a studio album. However, during while the ensuing tour's shows it was clear his voice wasn't yet recovered from the brutal effort that was the World Slavery Tour and songs like Caught Somewhere In Time and Stranger In A Strange Land don't come out at the same level than the studio takes. So the chance to make multiple takes on a controlled environment is a strong advantage per se, and no studio magic is needed to do it, just rest and several takes if needed.
re: Theeeeeeere

Sorry, I really do not hear any difference between these parts (as explained).

Still this song is the highlight of the album for me. Mindblowing.
Parchment is bloody excellent. It's definitely one of the best tracks of the album.

And my point is not that I think that Bruce (or anyone else) is not able to sing in this manner, or can bring such power, note bending or breath.
My point is that this particular result does not sound real. The segments really seem (robotic/technical/trickery/you name it) duplicates.

@Yax I'm sure you could figure this out to be sure, with some technical/digital analysis.
Last edited: