Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls review



Reviewer:
9.5

665 users:
8.18
Band: Iron Maiden
Album: The Book Of Souls
Release date: September 2015


Disc I
01. If Eternity Should Fail
02. Speed Of Light
03. The Great Unknown
04. The Red And The Black
05. When The River Runs Deep
06. The Book Of Souls

Disc II
01. Death Or Glory
02. Shadows Of The Valley
03. Tears Of A Clown
04. The Man Of Sorrows
05. Empire Of The Clouds


After The Final Frontier we had to wait five years for this album. But does The Book Of Souls deliver a great experience?

It does! Let me start with saying that this album is actually my 3rd favourite Iron Maiden album. Some (if not most) people might be surprised by that but I will also mention that I like the more progressive style that Iron Maiden went for with their 2000s albums. If you are not a fan of progressive metal, then the chances are pretty high you won't be a big fan of this album. Another reason of why I rank this album so high, is because I honestly think it's one of their most consistent.

I wouldn't be surprised if certain people find this album to be boring because of how long some of the songs can be. Many people for example will hate the long isntrumental part in "The Red And The Black". I love it!

Personally, I would say that the longer songs are actually the best songs on this album, songs like "The Book Of Souls","The Red And The Black", "If Eternity Should Fail", and, of course, "Empire Of The Clouds" (which I would dare to call an instant classic and is in my top 5 favourite IM songs).

Some people might wonder how Bruce sounds on this album. Bruce's performance on this album is overall really good. He does strain his voice on certain parts of songs. This is especially true for "When The River Runs Deep" and "The Great Unknown", but other than that, he sounds excellent, most notably on "The Man Of Sorrows", "Empire Of The Clouds", "If Eternity Should Fail", "Tears Of A Clown" and "The Book Of Souls".

The lyrics? Well they are excellent as you would expect from a Maiden record. In fact I recently showed a friend (who isn't a metal fan) the lyrics of "The Man Of Sorrows", "The Red And The Black" and "Tears Of a Clown". He was genuinely surprised by how well written those lyrics were.

The production quality... well... it's Kevin Shirley, whom I actually give more credit than most people do. I liked the production quality on Brave New World and A Matter Of Life And Death. Dance Of Death and The Final Frontier did have problems and I wasn't a fan of the production on them. The Book Of Souls does have better production than The Final Frontier. It's not as good as Brave New World but overall it's okay in my opinion.

I truly recommend this album. Like I said before, if you're not a fan of the longer Iron Maiden songs, you will probably be disappointed by this album. They really put a focus on a more progressive style. If you're a fan of progressive metal, listen to it; you will most likely enjoy it a lot. If you are an Iron Maiden fan then you've probably given this album already a listen. And if you haven't... do it! It's a very good album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written by tominator | 03.01.2017


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
D.T. Metal
Rating:
8.9
The cat is out of the bag - Iron Maiden dropped their 16th Studio Album today. Opus - such an overused word, and while other bands affectionately call their latest effort just that, the Brits literally delivered one with The Book Of Souls.

Read more ››
published 04.09.2015 | Comments (61)


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 119 users
03.01.2017 - 05:32
IH8Hipsters
Love this album. Maiden is my favorite band, but I don't feel this is a 9.5. Maybe a 9.0 at best which is excellent. I love The Red and the Black that was my favorite song on the album. It is long, but it's a journey I love taking. I do love Dance of Death and Brace New World more overall than Book of Souls for 2nd wave Bruce IM. I saw them on their last tour at Maidson Square Garden and it was really good, but I wasn't a fan of the setlist. I mean loved the songs, but they left out so many awesome live adventures.

Souls is #5 for me behind BNW, Dance, Powerslave and Beast.
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03.01.2017 - 11:42
tominator
Written by IH8Hipsters on 03.01.2017 at 05:32

Love this album. Maiden is my favorite band, but I don't feel this is a 9.5. Maybe a 9.0 at best which is excellent. I love The Red and the Black that was my favorite song on the album. It is long, but it's a journey I love taking. I do love Dance of Death and Brace New World more overall than Book of Souls for 2nd wave Bruce IM. I saw them on their last tour at Maidson Square Garden and it was really good, but I wasn't a fan of the setlist. I mean loved the songs, but they left out so many awesome live adventures.

Souls is #5 for me behind BNW, Dance, Powerslave and Beast.


Brave New World is my 2nd favourite album. Dance Of Death has one of my favourite Maiden tracks on it which is Paschendale but for me that album is an album with 2 different faces (so to speak). On one hand there are tracks that I absolutely love (Dance Of Death, Paschendale, Rainmaker, No More Lies, Face In The Sand and Journeyman) but also songs like: Montsegur, New frontier, Gates Of Tomorrow and Wildest Dreams are songs that I don't listen to very often. When I listen to the songs seperately the chances are very high it will be song from the ones that I mentioned first. With The Book Of Souls and Brave New World, I listen to every song on a regular basis.

Even my 4th favourite album by Iron Maiden (Piece Of Mind) has a song on it that I don't listen to very often (unless I'm listening through the whole album) which is Quest For Fire. Sun And Steel is an ok song imo and the others are brilliant. Fantastic album but not as consistent as The Book Of Souls imo because of that one song that just isn't up to par with the rest of the songs. About 9 years ago (I was 11 years old) I got into metal (it all started with Rammstein) but soon after I got into Maiden and they are still my favourite band. Anyway the advantage of getting into Maiden that late is that you aren't blinded by nostalgia. Something which I often see tbh. People that say they didn't make anything good after Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son or even after Powerslave... I basically experienced all the albums (except for The Final Frontier and The Book Of Souls) in a random order, so for me it was probably easier to accept the changes that the band made. I'm not someone for isntance that hates Blaze as a singer for Maiden but that could also be influenced by the fact that I already knew Bruce got back in 2000.

A few months ago I made a list in which I ranked the studio albums of Iron Maiden. It was really hard to pick between my 7 favourite albums by them. 1,2 and 3 were quite easy but 4 - 7 was really hard. After those albums there is a bit of a gap (in terms of score that I would give them) and after 8 and 9 there is another gap. I definitely realize that a lot of people think that I'm a fanboy (certainly when we are talking about the scores that I give some of the lesser liked albums like The Final Frontier and The X Factor) but that's fine. Maybe they are right but in the end music is subjective so... . And there are definitely IM albums that people either love or hate. I'm usually on the side that really likes them but that's probably because I'm a huge fan of their style.

Do they have some disappointing albums? Certainly, but even those have some good or very good tracks on them imo.

I'm going to see them in April when they do their European extension of their The Book Of Souls World Tour. It will probably the same setlist but we'll see I guess.
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30.01.2017 - 18:48
next820
Undying classic rock !! My childhood and youth !! First love!
myloweslife.com
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31.01.2017 - 02:17
tominator
Written by next820 on 30.01.2017 at 18:48

Undying classic rock !! My childhood and youth !! First love!

I agree
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31.01.2017 - 22:46
Azarath
I don't think that Kevin Shirley can be solely "blamed" for Maiden's recent productions. Steve Harris knows what kind of sound he wants and that's what we get. Some albums sound better than others.

Anyway, the instrumental part in "The Red and the Black" is definitely an album highlight.
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01.02.2017 - 02:53
tominator
Written by Azarath on 31.01.2017 at 22:46

I don't think that Kevin Shirley can be solely "blamed" for Maiden's recent productions. Steve Harris knows what kind of sound he wants and that's what we get. Some albums sound better than others.

Anyway, the instrumental part in "The Red and the Black" is definitely an album highlight.


Yeah you're right Harris has a big influence on it as well. So it's not only Shirley. I just think some people complain a bit too much about Shirley (that's why I mentioned it in the review). He's not a bad producer imo. Like I said in the review I think some people don't give him enough credit. He did produce Brave New World which is imo one of the best productions on any Iron Maiden album. And I loved the sound of A Matter Of Life And Death as well.

So Harris and Shirley are definitely capable of producing a good album.
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01.02.2017 - 19:44
Azarath
Written by tominator on 01.02.2017 at 02:53

I just think some people complain a bit too much about Shirley [...] He did produce Brave New World which is imo one of the best productions on any Iron Maiden album.

Brave New World is his best work with Maiden. And then came Dance of Death which is his worst. It can't be easy having Harris as co-producer.

Outside of Maiden, Shirley gave Rush some much needed balls, and Dream Theater perhaps the best production of their career.
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02.02.2017 - 02:40
tominator
Written by Azarath on 01.02.2017 at 19:44

Brave New World is his best work with Maiden. And then came Dance of Death which is his worst. It can't be easy having Harris as co-producer.

Outside of Maiden, Shirley gave Rush some much needed balls, and Dream Theater perhaps the best production of their career.


Yup, Dance Of Death and The Final Frontier weren't very good in terms of production to say the least. And I agree on the Dream Theater part as well. I liked his production on all those albums he produced for them.
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