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Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

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I FINALLY LOVE IRON MAIDEN AGAIN!

Maiden were my favorite band growing up. Bruce left before I got a chance to see the band live. The Blaze albums were OK....but it wasn't the same. It felt that Iron Maiden were forever relegated to the past. 

News that Bruce and Adrian returned filled my metal heart with joy. Then I heard "Brave New World." NOT what I was expecting. Pointlessly long songs, an abundance of clean guitars and rambling lyrics. It just wasn't what I wanted from Maiden. 

The tour was worse. They pretty much played the new album and the usual classics I'm sick of hearing. No "Aces High" or "Children of the Damned." They even played a Blaze song. As a lifelong Maiden fan who waited years to see his heroes, I felt abandoned and forsaken.

The subsequent albums brought similar feelings. Yet, there is something different about "The Book of Souls." It still SOUNDS like modern Maiden....but they also seem to be embracing the past again.

OK.....so this post has already grown long and bloated. I've written a detailed/thorough on my blog. You're welcome to take a look. 

 

http://greenandblackmusic.com/2015/10/01/iron-maiden-the-book-of-souls-album-review/

 

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This is a pretty cool album, but after several months of living with it, I'm not sure I love it as much as I used to. I almost feel that people were a little carried away with it when it first came out. I definitely rate it highly, and 'Empire of the Clouds' is a great song. 

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I think they killed the album with too many repetitions. Empire of the Clouds would´ve been better if they did not expanded it so it sounds like they are only wanting to beat the record of their longest song. But after not so memorable last album, this is step into a right direction.

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On 04/01/2018 at 10:13 AM, Comprodrigue said:

I think they killed the album with too many repetitions. Empire of the Clouds would´ve been better if they did not expanded it so it sounds like they are only wanting to beat the record of their longest song. But after not so memorable last album, this is step into a right direction.

‘Empire of the Clouds’ is definitely my favourite track from the album, but I agree with you about its length. Some of the repitition is cool but even I draw the line here. 

Great subject though, the airship disaster. It prompted me to read up on it and it’s fascinating. Great Maiden theme moment.

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On ‎5‎.‎1‎.‎2018 at 9:14 AM, Requiem said:

‘Empire of the Clouds’ is definitely my favourite track from the album, but I agree with you about its length. Some of the repitition is cool but even I draw the line here. 

Great subject though, the airship disaster. It prompted me to read up on it and it’s fascinating. Great Maiden theme moment.

I always loved Maiden for theme choices, I often found them to be really interesting and gripping and I love Maiden´s storytelling. 

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The Book of Souls is one of my favorite Maiden albums. Been a fan since I saw the video for "Stranger in a Strange Land" way back when. "Somewhere in Time" was the third Metal Album I ever bought so it kinda has a special place. I too was stoked at the announcement of Bruce and Adrian com8ng back and actually enjoyed "Brave New World". "Ghost of the Navigator" is one of my favorite modern era Maiden songs.
I finally got to see them on the BOS tour (both Oklahoma stops) which was a long time coming. Bruce still sounds amazing live and those guys can still put on a show.
I agree that the post Blaze era albums are not as good as the 70's and 80's albums but like it was said earlier, BOS was in the right direction. I really like all of the songs, but unlike others, Empire is my least favorite. "Tears of a Clown" tops my list with "Death or Glory" right behind it.
My all time favorite album will always be "Powerslave" 06bb2cdc009453f692c95b246dea4919.jpg

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Yeah Brave New World was really good. I actually like The Final Frontier album a lot more than the new one but it could have done without that stupid stupid intro on the title track. 

I like the mix and the way they play on BOS but I find the songswriting weak.

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15 hours ago, Lurrbabar said:

Yeah Brave New World was really good. I actually like The Final Frontier album a lot more than the new one but it could have done without that stupid stupid intro on the title track. 

I like the mix and the way they play on BOS but I find the songswriting weak.

I think 'Book of Souls' just just too long. A double disk of that standard of songwriting just really struggles.

There is also an absence of distortion on the guitars that causes them to lack a lot of punch. I don't know - I put this on again the other day and I had to turn it off pretty quickly. I definitely like it a lot less now than when I first bought it. 

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I think the problem with Maiden is simply that they're past their prime. The band has fired their best shots already. I agree that a double album is only justified if the songwriting is strong. BOS has a series case of first disc syndrome. The strongest material is on the 1st disc while the 2nd is essentially filler. Judas Priest did the same with Nostradamus.

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I think the problem with Maiden is simply that they're past their prime. The band has fired their best shots already. I agree that a double album is only justified if the songwriting is strong. BOS has a series case of first disc syndrome. The strongest material is on the 1st disc while the 2nd is essentially filler. Judas Priest did the same with Nostradamus.
I agree to a point. I could have done without Empire (even though I know a lot of people who think that is the best song). Tears of a Clown and Death or Glory should have been on disc one and River and Unknown moved to disc 2. Disc one could have been the "regular release" and disc 2 included in a "special edition".
I would rank the songs as such;
1. Eternity
2. Clown
3. BOS
4. Death
5. Speed
6. Red & Black
7. Unknown
8. River
9. Sorrows
10. Valley
11. Empire


It is still one of my favs in the post-reunion era of Maiden along with Brave New World.
Powerslave will still always be #1 on my list.


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36 minutes ago, audiophile said:

I agree to a point. I could have done without Empire (even though I know a lot of people who think that is the best song). Tears of a Clown and Death or Glory should have been on disc one and River and Unknown moved to disc 2. Disc one could have been the "regular release" and disc 2 included in a "special edition".
I would rank the songs as such;
1. Eternity
2. Clown
3. BOS
4. Death
5. Speed
6. Red & Black
7. Unknown
8. River
9. Sorrows
10. Valley
11. Empire


It is still one of my favs in the post-reunion era of Maiden along with Brave New World.
Powerslave will still always be #1 on my list.


Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

That is the problem though. If those tracks were on disc 1 Maiden could easily have just released BOS as a single disc album and it'd be pretty ok. BOS is still better then Final Frontier, which imo has only one listenable song (The Talisman), but it is hurt by so many weak songs.

 

Personally I don't much care for anything post re-union. There are songs here and there but the albums don't stack up. FOTD was the last really strong Maiden record and maybe it should have ended there.

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'The Book of Souls' is a bloated, unrefined album that could have been so much better if the band spent more time choosing and rehearsing their songs, cut the length considerably, and found some of their old spirit. The production is poorly done too, which doesn't help matters. As a 50 minutes album, this would had been spectacular but 92 minutes is just overwhelming. I tend to listen to my favorite parts and ignore skip some of the weaker moments, that's something I hate to do since I love listening to albums as a whole.

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22 hours ago, IanMoone said:

'The Book of Souls' is a bloated, unrefined album that could have been so much better if the band spent more time choosing and rehearsing their songs, cut the length considerably, and found some of their old spirit. The production is poorly done too, which doesn't help matters. As a 50 minutes album, this would had been spectacular but 92 minutes is just overwhelming. I tend to listen to my favorite parts and ignore skip some of the weaker moments, that's something I hate to do since I love listening to albums as a whole.

100%. 

Here is the single disk edition that they should have released: 

1. The Red and the Black 

2. If Eternity Should Fail

3. Speed of Light

4. When the River Runs Deep

5. Tears of a Clown

6. Empire of the Clouds

Running Time: appx 63 mins

It would still be a pretty boring album but it would be a hell of a lot better. 

 

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If I'm being honest I've basically done a fan album which is the stuff I like from all the post-return albums.

 

1. Brave New World

2. The Longest Day

3. Paschendale

4. The Talisman

4. If Eternity Should Fail

5. Speed Of Light

6. The Reincarnation...

7. The Legacy

approx 61mins

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I buyed the album the day it came out, as a maiden fan i'm always happy with a new record. This one have a very good selections of songs, but some ones feel a little too long, obviously this is only my opinion. Regardless of this,  the album is amazing.

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I'm late to the party but I disagree. I found the album to be very weak and boring at points. Not even at points, but throughout most of the album. I've tried it 6 times and literally only two songs stand out and are at least partially memorable-"If Eternity Shall Fail" and "The Speed of Light". It's over an hour and a half, it's way too wanky and lackluster to warrant even 30 minutes. They're not the band for 13 and 18 minute long songs anymore-they released a masterpiece with longer songs in Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son but don't have the creativity to make long compositions interesting anymore. The guitar sound is so thin and makes their 80s work sound like sludge metal compared to it. 

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On 6/16/2018 at 3:31 PM, Franconia said:

I'm late to the party but I disagree. I found the album to be very weak and boring at points. Not even at points, but throughout most of the album. I've tried it 6 times and literally only two songs stand out and are at least partially memorable-"If Eternity Shall Fail" and "The Speed of Light". It's over an hour and a half, it's way too wanky and lackluster to warrant even 30 minutes. They're not the band for 13 and 18 minute long songs anymore-they released a masterpiece with longer songs in Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son but don't have the creativity to make long compositions interesting anymore. The guitar sound is so thin and makes their 80s work sound like sludge metal compared to it. 

Same with me.  I thought that it was uninteresting, and only ever listened to it once as a result.

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On 6/17/2018 at 10:16 PM, Balor said:

Same with me.  I thought that it was uninteresting, and only ever listened to it once as a result.

I'd rather spend 87 minutes listening to Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven by Godspeed You Black Emperor! than relisten to The Book of Souls.

As much as I have disdain for post-rock and hipster bullshit at least the ambient can get interesting at points, unlike the album we're talking about here. 

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On 6/17/2018 at 8:31 AM, Franconia said:

I'm late to the party but I disagree. I found the album to be very weak and boring at points. Not even at points, but throughout most of the album. I've tried it 6 times and literally only two songs stand out and are at least partially memorable-"If Eternity Shall Fail" and "The Speed of Light". It's over an hour and a half, it's way too wanky and lackluster to warrant even 30 minutes. They're not the band for 13 and 18 minute long songs anymore-they released a masterpiece with longer songs in Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son but don't have the creativity to make long compositions interesting anymore. The guitar sound is so thin and makes their 80s work sound like sludge metal compared to it. 

Yeah, I agree with all of this. 

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I think it is an improvement on The Final Frontier, which I think was really bloated and full of repetitive and unmemorable tracks. With Book of Souls, there are a few songs that really grab me and I still listen to, to this day. Namely, Tears of the Clown, Death or Glory, If Eternity Should Fail & The Red & The Black. As for the rest, is okay stuff which is listenable, but not something I really every feel the need to put on. Really think they should have got in a capable piano player to record Empire, given it a really grand sound as opposed to Bruce struggling away with it.

 

As for the re-union albums, A Matter of Life & Death is my favourite, but none of them have really come close to matching their glory days for me.  

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8 hours ago, vantagepointrocks said:

I think it is an improvement on The Final Frontier, which I think was really bloated and full of repetitive and unmemorable tracks. With Book of Souls, there are a few songs that really grab me and I still listen to, to this day. Namely, Tears of the Clown, Death or Glory, If Eternity Should Fail & The Red & The Black. As for the rest, is okay stuff which is listenable, but not something I really every feel the need to put on. Really think they should have got in a capable piano player to record Empire, given it a really grand sound as opposed to Bruce struggling away with it.

 

As for the re-union albums, A Matter of Life & Death is my favourite, but none of them have really come close to matching their glory days for me.  

I listened to all of the post-reunion albums, some for the first time, while reading Martin Popoff's 'Iron Maiden - Album by Album' book. So, a) I'm well over Maiden for the moment and b) I discovered that I actually really like 'Brave New World' and 'A Matter of Life and Death'. 

Anyway, the point of this post was to say that apparently 'The Final Frontier' is the second longest album of their career at 76:34, and the longest is now 'The Book of Souls' at a staggering 92:11. So their last two albums are the two longest releases they've done throughout their 40 odd year career. 

I think this is an interesting fact and quite revealing. It sort of suggests that in their old(er) age they seem to be overestimating their ability to create epic songs and even more epic albums, and that they may have a problem with being self-critical and rejecting riffs/songs that don't meet quality control. What are they trying to achieve with such huge albums? Their last two albums combined run to nearly 3 hours of music, and while I really do like Maiden as a concept, they just don't have the freshness and creativity to make that work. 

I hope the next albums is 50 minutes of energetic songs with a bit of heaviness in the guitars and Bruce singing in key all the time and not only 80% of the time. 

 

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