The legendary British heavy metal band Iron Maiden announced the upcoming release of their 17th studio album, “Senjutsu,” to the head-banging delight of the group’s loyal legion of fans. The band has been teasing clues about the album’s release this summer, and even released their first new music in six years on July 15 in the form of an animated video for their new song “The Writing on the Wall.” With the new release, Iron Maiden has no intentions of slowing down 46 years after the band was formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris in the Leyton area of London, according to Loudersound.
Iron Maiden hasn’t released a studio album since 2015’s “The Book of Souls,” per the band’s website, but the heavy metal outfit has played the long game, with Harris as the backbone and the only original member still in the six-piece group, Loudersound reported. Iron Maiden has sold over 100 million albums around the globe and attracted a legion of die-hard fans with their unwavering commitment to their heavy metal sound, their eye-catching creepy/cool album art, and their fantastical themes. Iron Maiden’s success seems to have largely come from the depths at which they are true to their art over all else.
When is Senjutsu's release date?
According to Iron Maiden’s Twitter feed, “Senjutsu” is slated for release on September 3, but fans can pre-order starting July 21. The album’s Japanese title is loosely translated as “tactics and strategy,” per the band’s news release. It was recorded and produced in Paris with Maiden’s longtime producer Kevin Shirley with Steve Harris co-producing.
Harris talked about the making of the album in a press release. “We chose to record at Guillaume Tell Studio in France again as the place has such a relaxed vibe. The setup there is perfect for our needs; the building used to be a cinema and has a really high ceiling, so there’s a great acoustic sound,” he said. “We recorded this album in the same way we did ‘The Book of Souls’ in that we’d write a song, rehearse it, and then put it down together straight away while it was all fresh in our minds.”
“We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the Legacy tour, so we could maximize our touring yet still have a long set up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video. Of course, the pandemic delayed things more — so much for the best laid plans — or should that be ‘strategies’!?” frontman Bruce Dickinson added.
Some new songs are different than Maiden's 'usual style'
“Senjutsu” runs just under 82 minutes, which translates into a double CD or a triple vinyl album. There are 10 songs, spanning from four minutes to the longest song at 12 minutes and 39 seconds. Steve Harris has the majority of writing credits, with guitarists Adrian Smith and Janick Gers and vocalist Bruce Dickinson co-writing several of the songs.
Harris described the new songs in the Iron Maiden press release. “There’s some very complex songs on this album which took a lot of hard work to get them exactly as we wanted them to sound, so the process was at times very challenging, but Kevin is great at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth the effort! I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for fans to hear it,” he stated.
Dickinson said in the news release that fans can expect something a little different in a couple of the songs. “The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised – in a good way, I hope!” he noted.
Senjutsu will be available in seven formats
With so many fans around the world, Iron Maiden must have figured they should release a variety of ways for people to get their hands on “Senjutsu.” Naturally, there is the digital option for streaming or downloading, and for those who still buy CDs, the band is offering a Standard 2CD Digipak or a Deluxe 2CD Book Format, according to Iron Maiden’s news release. You can also go big and get the Super Deluxe Boxset featuring CD, Blu-ray, and exclusive memorabilia. Everybody likes exclusive memorabilia.
For the audiophiles out there, Iron Maiden is offering a bunch of sweet collectible versions of vinyl. There is the Deluxe heavyweight 180G Triple Black Vinyl, the Special Edition Triple Silver & Black Marble Vinyl, and the Special Edition Triple Red & Black Marble Vinyl. Both Special Editions will only be available from selected retailers.
No matter which version fans buy, they can be sure to see Iron Maiden’s beloved mascot, the zombie-esque Eddie the Head, who has graced the band’s album covers since 1980 in various versions of his beautifully-drawn self, according to Loudersound. This time, Eddie, who was originally designed by Derek Riggs, takes the form of a sword-wielding samurai as created by artist Mark Wilkinson.
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