IRONS UP you bastards \m/ The time has come upon us like a wave of blood. “The Book Of Souls” has been opened for a week’s time now. It’s pages have already been decrypted by millions the world over. And with good reason… The name Iron Maiden carries an undeniable air of legend. Nostalgiac metalheads and medieval torturees are especially prone to fainting at the very thought.
The band is going as hard as ever. While writing “The Book of Souls”, they composed an epic tome complete with two separate albums spanning 90+ minutes. This is modern fan service at its finest hour. On top of this, Iron Maiden will soon be embarking on an extensive world tour in support of “The Book of Souls”. I’m talking 6 out of 7 continents, covering 55,000+ miles. Now that is a damn tour. Not to mention this venture will be executed by captain Bruce Dickinson and his trusty Boeing 747. You can read more about this quest by CLICKING HERE.
Speaking of world tours, their last occurred in the years 2010-2011. I had the pure joy of seeing Iron Maiden from a front row spot near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2010. I still consider it to be one of the richest experiences these eyes have seen. Even caught drummer Nicko McBrain’s wristband as a souvenir of worth. The reason why I bring this concert up (other than to be a self indulgent shit) is to draw attention to them playing almost exclusively newer music. I’m talking tracks from albums such as “Brave New World”, their most recent at the time “The Final Frontier”, “Dance of Death”, and other brilliant releases reigning from the year 2,000 onward.
What sets “The Book of Souls” apart from these, at least from my perspective, is that much of this album is submerged deep in nostalgia. Almost everything about this record screams classic. Pure heavy fucking metal. Every step from the composition to the production feels steeped in classic Iron Maiden armor. This effect is incredible. This is an effect that has not been felt as much in some recent Iron Maiden records as the band, to a point, experimented in places with new ideas, sounds, and modern production – which is incredible in its own right. But when I listen to “Book of Souls”, I hear so many things that just remind me so heavily of the classic Maiden we all know and love… just with much longer tracks!
Speaking of longer tracks, I’d say that this release is laced with certain Iron Maiden master strokes. The band themselves were very hyped about certain installments on “The Book of Souls”. And yet again, with good reason. The performances found on numbers such as the title track ending disc 1 or the 18-minute “Empire of the Clouds” ending disc 2 are just as phenomenal as they are lined with creative intelligence.
Every track found on this dual album has brilliant moments to behold. Besides the two names I just dropped on the tail end of the previous paragraph, some of my favorites have to include “The Great Unkown”, “When The Rivers Run Deep”, “Shadows of the Valley”, “Death or Glory” and the single “Speed of Light”. By the way, if you haven’t seen the music video for “Speed of Light” and played THIS GAME, you’re fucking up… badly. Someone had to say it.
And speaking of things that someone had to say – objectively, this won’t be everyone’s cup of iron. Some of the songs may seem too long or over ambitious. I’ve even heard remarks saying that the album sounds tired. These critiques may have their merits… But here at The Circle Pit, we say that’s all horseshite! This album is the very soul of classic metal incarnate \m/ As the reviewer of this double LP (DLP?), I have no qualms with Iron Maiden pushing forward their legacy in any way, shape, or form – especially when they’re doing it on this awesome of a level!
Final thoughts… This double album is worth every minute. Listen to it. Speaking of which, if you’re inspired to listen to the entirety of “The Book of Souls” right now after reading this dashing, masterfully written review, CLICK HERE and find out how to get that metal in your ears. Thank you, Iron Maiden, for all that you’ve done for us over all this time. We salute you \m/