"Shadows of the Valley", "Death or Glory", "Speed of Light" and "If Eternity Should Fail" were the first songs written for the album, the last of which, according to. 1 book of souls 2 empire of the clouds 3 the red and the black 4 if eternity should fail 5 speed of light 6 tears of a clown 7 shadows of the valley 8 death or Glory. A year later, The Book of Souls is no less impressive than when it first came out It also includes their longest song: the minute closing track.
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I'd say the great unknown will be a top ten. Heck it's # freakin 1 right now. I've listened to it at least 15 times today. Eventually as the hype and. The Book Of Souls by Iron Maiden song meaning, lyric interpretation, video and chart position. The Book Of Souls was a landmark for Iron Maiden on many levels. are some short songs on the album, Speed Of Light and Death Or Glory." .. Another weighty song, clocking in at 13 minutes, is The Red And The Black.
I wanted some kick-ass flurry of galloping Maiden, and a song like "If Eternity Should Fail", which kicks off the album, is building up rather slowly, turning into a great tune with some solid hooks that you may have missed on the first spin. The energy is kicked up a notch in shorter bursts like "When the River Runs Deep" and "Death or Glory", with hard-rocking riffs.
I prefer Maiden when they lean closer to metal which is why "2 Minutes to Midnight" is my least favorite Powerslave track. Fortunately the songs do include more 'metallic' parts to keep me interested. Another thing that I at first complained about was Bruce's vocals which I found too strained and grating. Many spins later, that problem too has disappeared, and at times I think he sounds great.
Many - not all - vocal lines employed on the album sound fresh as well. There's no doubt it's Maiden, but I don't find myself remembering other songs as much as I do when listening to other post-Blaze works such as Dance of Death.
The Book of Souls, then, is a two-sided affair in more than one way. It is both new and old, it both invents and borrows. The album is a tad too predictable, perhaps, with no instrument standing out. The guitar solos just kind of drift by, and at no point do I raise my eyebrow in surprise at the drumwork.
I kind of miss Steve's galloping bass, and at times the songs are a little too soft for my liking - but then again, these days I have Nile to satisfy my taste for the heavier, faster stuff. Iron Maiden managed to turn me completely around with this one.
The album truly needed some time to sink in, and now I can appreciate it for what it is.
Yes, it could benefit from being more dynamic; yes, it is a bit long; yes, there's stuff you've heard them do better before. Yes, it is predictable and many breaks and hooks you can see coming from a mile's distance, but Maiden has been around since the seventies, and it is a testimony to the durability of the genre that they can release a double album in with the essence of the early eighties largely intact.
The Book of Souls takes the listener through all the Maiden nuances, from the slightly staccato riffs of the earliest albums, through the melodious epics and to the 'new' Maiden, which mixes hard rock, heavy metal, and acoustic instruments into one delectable whole. Bruce is not a trained pianist. But he can vamp out a bit. Some of the bits he did were a bit… rustic, for want of a better word. So we patched him up here and there.
But it was better to do that and have him playing, for the feel of it.
I think a proper pianist, if you like, would come in and play it too nice, too clinical. Adrian: "For all of us, that song was a challenge to play. But because I was writing it in the studio, that was a great advantage. We could piece it all together as we went along. Bruce: "That has a lot to do with Nicko.
He really bought into the story. I told him I wanted all this dissonant stuff for the airship plummeting to earth. I wanted that in the percussion. You take a violin bow, scrape it against the edge of the gong, and it just resonates. That was the moment I had in my head.
Steve: "Well, that song was a fucking nightmare for me. But in the end, I wrote some new melodies for the song, and we combined this with some ideas that Janick had. It turned out really well. It intrigued me, in the same way that I was interested in ancient Egypt when we did Powerslave. The Mayans believed in the Underworld and were scared of losing their souls. That mystical element was the key to the song.
Steve: "The lyric in that one is a real tongue twister laughs. In my opinion, Bruce is such a great singer he can get his head around anything. Sometimes he does get the hump with me, and fair enough. I understand why he gets frustrated.
But he usually ends up doing what I want him to do.
Adrian: "I wrote that with Steve, and he came up with that title. It could be about Robin Williams. It was very shocking what happened to him, but it happens to a lot of people. As a group, how did you choose what songs made the cut this time around?
Steve: "We just pick the strongest ones. But the standard is so incredibly high in Maiden. If you have a deadline, you get your act together! The thing is, with music, if you try to analyse it too much, it can spoil it. That bit of magic, you just want it to happen. But then I thought: fuck it. Embrace it. Even the band's mascot, Eddie the Head, looks a little more mummified than usual, starkly and stunningly illustrated by Mark Wilkinson, inspired by the Mayan belief of the soul living after death.
Much has been made about the album being a double-disc, when, in fact, pretty much every Iron Maiden release is a lengthy tome. But the sequencing is key, and after songs like the barn-burner "Speed of Light" and the chant-along "The Red and the Black," the title track bookends the first disc or side three of six on the triple-vinyl with the group in full theatrical mode.
Co-written by guitarist Janick Gers and founding bassist Steve Harris, "The Book of Souls" is not quite Maiden at its proggiest skip on over to the divisive , if not admirable, minute "Empire of the Clouds" for that , but it does reflect the band's penchant for exploration ever since Dickinson rejoined in If anything, the first half of the song is most akin to 's "Mother Russia," weighted by keyboard strings and a drama punctuated by stadium-sized power chords, as well as a truly remarkable vocal performance.
Then, without breaking the moment, Maiden kicks into a speed-metal gear with a series of melodic and thoughtful solos and twin-guitar leads that have come to define its three-guitar attack. There's a sacredness to "The Book of Souls" that, like Iron Maiden's respect to its roots, also looks forward with wonder, forever upping the irons.
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