Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls (2015, Parlophone, Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG)
Of the few bands that can be the best introduction to Metal music in general, Iron Maiden along Metallica are the two sure shots that almost anyone knows and loves or hates. For me, Iron Maiden represents Heavy Metal and the band that stayed true to its roots despite success, waves of grunge and alternative rock, line-up changes, etc. So to have a new record in 2015 is precious and intriguing. After such a huge career, aging, sickness, and more, Iron Maiden still make new music and will embark on a huge world tour involving their singer/pilot Bruce Dickinson taking the lead in both positions.
My first album of Iron Maiden was Brave New World and it was the album that was released after the return of the best members of the band. Most notably the aforementioned Dickinson. And The Book of Souls is probably the closest of the recent Iron Maiden albums to what Brave New World sounds. Recorded live, all the instruments at once in a studio gives a nice sound since they are recording all their albums since Brave New World that way it gives a genuine sound and scape of their music.
Like many reviews of the album, I must mention the overlong songs and the not so apparent necessity of the double album concept. Some editing would have been enough to trim to a near 60 minutes release that would probably be more concise and straight to the point like, let’s say, Piece of Mind. It is a good album and it sounds really well but it is a lot of Iron Maiden and their longest songs have never been their best.
However, this is the kind of album that played live would be great and even better. In fact, to me, Iron Maiden is more of a live act and I’ve seen them so many times that the songs only exist in live in my mind. For that we’ll have to wait for 2016 for Dickinson’s full recovery.