Iron Maiden is set to release their 17th studio album Senjutsu on September 3rd. For those set to start complaining about the length of Iron Maiden albums as of late, the album clocks in at 82 minutes shaving 10 minutes off of Book of Souls. The album still spills into a 2CD or 3LP format.
The album opens with an Adrian Smith and Steve Harris collaboration that shares the album title, “Senjutsu”. The song features Steve’s unmistakable bass tones but the standout in Nicko McBrain’s thunderous drums. The album certain takes its music theme, if you will, from the far-east inspired title track. “Stratego” was release as the second single from the album and features guitarist Janick Gers taking his turn writing with Mr Harris. Once again Nicko’s parts really add quite a bit to the overall sound of the song. The track “The Writing On The Wall” has a bit of a Celtic feel to this listener as singer Bruce Dickinson collaborated with Adrian on the song. The song has the booming, Dickinson-style chorus that you can see 80,000 singing right along with. “Lost In A World” is one of four songs penned by Steve himself. The song encapsulates the post-2000 sound of Maiden. “Days of Future Past” is another song between Adrian and Bruce that is everything you would expect from the duo; a driving riff and booming vocals. “The Time Machine” is probably the song on the album that is the least Maiden-sounding. After 17 albums real listeners will know what that means. Perhaps Janick’s influence on the song took it into some new territories. That is by no means a knock on the song. “Darkest Hour” is third Smith/Dickinson penned song and had a similar vibe to some classic Maiden songs like “Blood Brothers”. The second of the four Steve Harris solo compositions is “Death of the Celts” which starts around a minute and forty second instrumental interlude leading up a apply melody for a song about Celtics. The song feels like it could take you right into a battle. The listener may look at “The Parchment” and thing that 12 minutes is an eternity for a rock song. What I can say is that the beauty of it is that when the song ends you’ll never realize that it was that long. There is no wasted time and the song does anything but drag. “Hell On Earth” is another song that starts out nice and quite but builds with incredible fury and a great way to cap off a mammoth album.
- Senjutsu (Smith/Harris) 8:20
- Stratego (Gers/Harris) 4:59
- The Writing On The Wall (Smith/Dickinson) 6:13
- Lost In A Lost World (Harris) 9:31
- Days Of Future Past (Smith/Dickinson) 4:03
- The Time Machine (Gers/Harris) 7:09
- Darkest Hour (Smith/Dickinson) 7:20
- Death Of The Celts (Harris) 10:20
- The Parchment (Harris) 12:39
- Hell On Earth (Harris) 11:19