SOS Fest XII – Part II – The Longfield Suite, Prestwich UK

The third and final day of SOS is more of a classic rock day, although it features fewer bands for me that I was aware of than yesterday. Today is more of an adventure day, and I’m hoping for some discoveries. Continue reading

Iron Maiden Announces US Legacy Of The Beast Tour With The Raven Age

Iron Maiden is bringing its massively popular “Legacy of The Beast” greatest hits tour to the USA in 2019 for a series of arena and amphitheater shows produced by Live Nation. The tour will include a first-ever headline appearance at the Banc of California Stadium in LA, with special guests Fozzy. Direct support on all dates will come from The Raven Age, except the Los Angeles gig. The tour will cover a total of 33 cities right across the U.S.A. and Canada. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, November 16th at 10am local time at LiveNation.com. As always, there will be an exclusive pre-sale for Iron Maiden fanclub members. Go to www.ironmaiden.com for all ticketing details. The full list of dates is below. Continue reading

Sixteen Iron Maiden Studio Albums Are Getting Deluxe Remasters

 

On the heels of completing leg one of their massive Legacy Of The Beast retrospective tour, Iron Maiden and Parlophone Records have announced a series of sixteen remastered Iron Maiden albums as CD digipacks. This continues the reissues already out on vinyl from 2015. Iron Maiden The Studio Collection – Remastered will come from the same remasters as the 2015 hi-res digital releases. The albums will be released chronologically in batches of four, across a nine-month period superseding the previously available studio catalogue and all titles will also be made available on streaming platforms. As a bonus for collectors, one CD from each batch of releases will also be optionally available in a specially made artwork box featuring a 1:24 scale figurine and exclusive patch. In the November 16th batch, this will be The Number Of The Beast. Continue reading

Iron Maiden Responds To Lawsuit Over Theft Of Lyrics

As previously reported by Ghost Cult,  a lawsuit is being brought against Iron Maiden by their former singer Dennis Wilcock. The case alleges lyric theft for early classics ‘Prowler’, ‘Charlotte The Harlot’, ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, ‘Iron Maiden ‘ and ‘Prodigal Son’ from their first two albums 1980’s self-titled effort and 1981’s Killers. An Iron Maiden spokesperson initially told The Sun Newspaper: “This is outrageous. Absolutely ridiculous.” Now according to British law review website Ham High, the band has formally responded to the suit.

Continue reading

Iron Maiden Sued Over Lyric Theft By Ex-Singer Dennis Wilcock

According to The Sun newspaper in the UK, a lawsuit is being brought against Iron Maiden by their former singer Dennis Wilcock. The case alleges lyric theft for early classics ‘Prowler’, ‘Charlotte The Harlot’, ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, ‘Iron Maiden ‘ and ‘Prodigal Son’ from their first two albums 1980’s self-titled effort and 1981’s Killers. An Iron Maiden spokesperson told The Sun: “This is outrageous. Absolutely ridiculous.” More details about the suit can be seen below.  Continue reading

Iron Maiden’s “Piece Of Mind” Turns Thirty-Five Years Old

Thirty-five years ago this week, Iron Maiden released Piece Of Mind (EMI/Capitol) cementing their legacy as arguably the best band ever in heavy metal. Their second album with Bruce Dickinson, following the spectacular success of Number of The Beast, the band was certainly under pressure for the much-anticipated follow-up. After leader/bassist Steve Harris wrote most of Number, the group chose a more collaborative approach on the new album. In addition to new drummer Nicko McBrain (ex-Trust/Pat Travers) who’s powerhouse drumming has buoyed the band ever since. Continue reading

Iron Maiden Books Dates For 2017 European Tour

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Metal legends Iron Maiden will “up the irons” some more in 2017 as they sojourn further on their Book Of Souls World Tour. All shows will be supported by American southern rockers Shinedown. Continue reading

Iron Maiden Books First Official Tour Dates For 2016

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Iron Maiden has announced the first of what expects to be a long string of tour dates in support of the just released, smash hit album Book of Souls (Parlophone). Announcing dates for New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, more date are are soon to be revealed. The band has confirmed previously that a tour of the US will begin in late February. So far all dates will feature The Raven Age in the direct support slot, the band led by Steve Harris’s son George Harris.

Front man Bruce Dickinson has commented on getting Maiden back on the road:

“We cannot wait to get back out on tour.

“When we start in the USA in late February, it will be 19 months since our last show at Sonisphere in the U.K., so we are raring to go.

“Maiden thrive on touring and getting out to our fans, it’s what we do best, so it will be a great feeling to board our new Jumbo Ed Force One with the crew and the gear and head round the globe and get back on stage for you guys.

“We haven’t played in AU and NZ for a number of years, so it will be a pleasure to play for our Antipodean cousins again, irrespective of who wins the dates with destiny at Twickenham in a few weeks’ time!

“Of course, we haven’t decided on the set list as yet and won’t until we start rehearsing, but we really look forward to playing a number of new songs live, especially as the recording was so much live. However, as it’s been a while since we saw you all, I am sure we will include plenty of older fan favorites too. I think the fans will be delighted by what we have in mind. We are also in the middle of creating the new show and rest assured we are working hard to bring you all something spectacular, something with a lot of heart! You certainly deserve it for your patience.”

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Tickets go on sale at noon local time on September, 24th.

Iron Maiden Tour Dates with The Raven Age:

Apr 29 : Christchurch Horncastle Arena, NZ
May 01 : Aucklane Vector Arena, NZ
May 04 : Brisbane Entertainment Centre,
May 06 : Sydney Allphones Arena, AU
May 09 : Melbourne Rod Laver Arena, AU
May 12 : Adelaide Entertainment Centre, AU
May 14 : Perth Arena, AU
May 18 : Cape Town at the Grand Arena, SAF
May 21 : Johannesburg Carnival City Festival Lawns, SAF

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

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The arrival of a new Iron Maiden album is nearly always something to be celebrated. Probably the most consistently inventive and compelling heavy metal band of the past thirty years, the band’s new record, a double album effort, The Book of Souls (Parlophone/Sanctuary/BMG), is their 16th opus. For a band with such a celebrated history, it is a joy and delight to confirm that it stands resolute as one of the best things the band has produced. Ever.

Given the backdrop to the arrival of this record, notably lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s unexpected brush with cancer, one could be forgiven – and forgive the band – if you thought that, given the turmoil, something sub-par might turn up. Not a bit of it. Far from The Book of Souls being a “will this do?” contractual obligation effort, The Books of Souls sees the band in ridiculously fine fettle, delivering an album with heart and chutzpah in equal measure. It is a record of heft, of innovation and invention. It is an album to cheer from the rooftops.

The first two songs on the album are Dickinson only compositions and, perhaps more so than any Iron Maiden album even since his debut on 1982’s The Number of the Beast (EMI) his personality and musical talent positively radiates and dominates the record. ‘If Eternity Should Fail’ and ‘Speed of Light’ are both superb tracks, full of power and emotional range, substance and guile. On ‘The Great Unknown’ and ‘When the River Runs Deep’, the creative and intelligent interplay between Adrian Smith and Steve Harris is much in evidence. Harris’s role as a key driving force in Maiden has never been in doubt; Smith’s song writing is taught and focussed as ever, his musicianship breathtakingly accomplished. It’s a performance of valediction.

For an album that lasts the length of a movie but contains only eleven tracks it is perhaps inevitable that much of the focus on The Book of Souls will revolve around the album’s epic songs: ‘The Red and the Black’, ‘The Book of Souls’ and ‘Empire of the Clouds’.

‘The Red and the Black’ is a Harris-penned song  and his only solo effort on this album; however, when it is as powerful and inspiring as this, you need not worry. This is a magnificent composition, fourteen minutes of atmospheric, captivating metal that is so brilliant put together that you can only sit back and admire the artistry at work. Whether it’s the infectious wo-oh-ohs, the cheeky and cunning nods to ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ on parts of the musical interludes, or the sheer bloody joy of it all, it scarcely matters. This is Maiden at their most epic, most versatile and most bellicose.

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Photo from www.ironmaiden.com

The album’s title track is similarly effortlessly brilliant. A continent-sized riff eases the listener into one of those epic, universe spanning classics that lets Bruce and his not inconsiderable lung power free. It’s familiar, alien, exotic, defiantly Maiden. The middle part sounds awfully like ‘Losfer Words’, the instrumental track off 1984’s Powerslave (EMI) but, as with the rest of the record, this sounds more like a band embracing their heritage rather than plundering it.

It’s the piano that initially knocks you sideways on the stunning coda that is ‘Empire of the Clouds’. Dickinson’s retelling of a British R101 Airship disaster of 1930 is, simply, majestic. This is historical narrative set to a Maiden soundtrack, passionate in its re telling the tale of human frailty and human heroism. This is progressive music at its very best: complex without indulgence, structured but not arch. Above all, it’s a song that for all the talk of it being eighteen minutes long, is actually something that would benefit from being longer. It’s an extraordinary way to end what is, let’s not be coy here, an extraordinary record.

The Book of Souls is everything that you hoped it would be and more. In this world of short attention spans, the announcement that Iron Maiden’s new album was going to be a proper double, weighing in at a hefty 92 mins felt like some statement of intent. Iron Maiden have never been ones to follow the vagaries of fashion and given their history and their collective sense of purpose they were deeply unlikely to start that kind of nonsense at this stage in their career.

An album that works on a number of levels – the strength of the songwriting, the collective and individual musicianship, the range and power of the entire album are all deeply impressive. This is a record about confronting mortality in an adult and mature way but it is no maudlin self-indulgence and is resolutely in favour of life and resolutely life-affirming.

The Book of Souls is the collective endeavour of a band still resolutely in love with music and still gracious and humble enough to want to share that with its audience. Happy and glorious, from epic start to bombastic end.

 

10/10

 

MAT DAVIES

Iron Maiden To Release Double Album The Book Of Souls In September

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Iron Maiden will release their long-awaited new record in September, a double album entitled The Book of Souls. Due for release on September 4th from Parlophone Records (Sanctuary/BMG in the USA), it will be their 16th full-length release. Produced by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in 2014, with a last few finishing touches coming in early 2015, this is Iron Maiden’s first release that is a double album, which is not a live concert recording. The artwork was created by returning cover artist Mark Wilkinson and can be seen below:

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The album marks the return of activity for the band who suspended shows and plans while frontman Bruce Dickinson battled cancer, until his recent “all clear” diagnosis. The band is looking to a full return to touring in 2016 as well.

 

Steve Harris comments on the creation of The Book of Souls:

“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously. A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs, they have almost a live feel to them, I think. I’m very proud of ‘The Book Of Souls’, we all are, and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it, and especially to take it out on the road next year!”

 

Bruce Dickinson comments as well on the recording process:

“We’re really excited about ‘The Book Of Souls‘ and had a fantastic time creating it. We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the ‘Brave New World’ album back in 2000 so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there! So we immediately felt at home and the ideas just started flowing. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double its going to be!”

 

Book of Souls track listing and format details:

The full track listing is:

Disc 1

01. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
02. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
03. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
04. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
05. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
06. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27

 

Disc 2

07. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
08. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
09. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01

Formats:

* 2CD deluxe hardbound book limited edition
* 2CD standard edition
* Triple heavyweight black vinyl
* High res audio (24-bit Mastered for ITunes and non-Mastered for iTunes)
* Standard res audio (16 bit/ 44.1 kHz)