Well, I can’t say I hadn’t high hopes in this Maiden’s release. The first full listening was kinda weird. I’ve been listening to Speed of Light since it was out, and it is a very energetic song, just how I like. But I tend to forgot that Iron Maiden last albums are way less energetic than the older ones.
The cover, well, the best since Fear Of The Dark. Pure simple Eddie. An evil Ed. Just pure Maiden. Love it.
So, If Eternity Shall Fail starts the album with an unusual mid-paced song. Then here comes a more speedy one, Speed Of Light, which I really, really enjoy the guitar work. The Great Unknown reminds me of A Matter Of Life and Death, a song I can listen without much expectation.
Now, the thing starts to get serious. The Red And The Black. A song that can be nothing but a epic masterpiece. I can picture this one playing live, everybody singing it out loud like there is no tomorrow.
When The River Runs Deep is a short one, straight to the point, and differs a lot from the previous, not my favorite. The next, the title of the album song, The Book Of Souls. Another fucking masterpiece. Loved so much the main riff because it feels fresh, modern, heavy.
Death Or Glory is in the small ones team, and it is a dissonant song, just like the others that are short too.
Shadows Of The Valley is a bit nostalgic with its guitar riff at the beginning and with the main verse riff too. Then, back to a short dissonant song, Tears Of A Clown. Tears is a post homage to the actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide. It’s a very likeable song, with Bruce interpreting it so well.
Man of Sorrows is the song that I would really cut out of the album. Nothing new to see here.
And for the grand finale, a huge, 18 minutes long, epic master song, The Empire of The Clouds. An empire of a song. And here we have something really new at Maiden level. Bruce is playing the piano for the first time in a Maiden album. And it feels so right. It’s a song that you have to listen if an calm, almost empty mind. So beautiful. Worth the 18 minutes.
At the end, the album is a fresh view of all that Iron Maiden have already done, add some great new stuff (piano stuff) and the soul of every musician. I can’t tell that it is an album made by a 40 year’s old band, with 60 year’s old crew. It has so much energy. My favorite album since Brave New World.
Up the Irons!