Review #104: Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

Artist – Iron Maiden
Album – The Book Of Souls (2015)

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Iron Maiden are a heavy metal band formed in East London, UK. The band came together in the mid 70s, created by bassist and main songwriter Steve Harris. Over the last 40 years Iron Maiden have managed to rack up an impressive 37 albums, which includes 16 studio albums, 11 live albums, 4 E.Ps and 7 compilations. As well as their massive discography full of hits such as ‘The Number of the Beast’, ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Run to the Hills’, Iron Maiden are known for their incredible live performance, giving them the opportunity to headline Download and Sonisphere to name a few festivals and perform in almost every country they are allowed.

‘The Book Of Souls’ in many ways is very similar to Iron Maidens previous work, but also quite different. In terms of difference it is the bands first double album, of which you would think means plenty of songs, however it is a 92 minute album that includes just 11 songs due to some being 10, 13 and even 18 minutes long. The actual music is where everything seems similar, mostly in a good way. We see the return of Bruce’s epic vocal tone and range, but with a more dramatic ‘ballad’ style sound throughout a few songs, something some people (including myself) aren’t too keen on. Of course the gallop rhythm the band have become known for is still there, some great basslines from Steve and some aggressive crunchy lead riffs/solo along with the bands dual harmony guitar parts feature prominently. To try and justify the length of some of these songs and create an epic sense of scale the band have opted to incorporate brass/string/percussion elements. This as an idea sounds perfectly fine, however for the most part the instruments are blatantly synth instruments replicating trumpets or violins, but not even produced well enough to sound authentic, creating a flat sound in comparison to the band. My personal favourite songs on this album would have to be ‘Speed Of Light’ and ‘The Red And The Black’.

I think ‘The Book Of Souls’ is another typical Iron Maiden album, they have gone for something a little different in the double album and it has worked for the most part. There are some parts that do not gel, but what we love about Maiden is all there.


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