Iron Maiden - Senjutsu
Band: Iron Maiden
Genre: Heavy Metal / NWOBHM
Release Date: 3rd September 2021
Label: Parlophone Records / Warner Records
3. The Writing On The Wall
4. Lost In A Lost World
5. Days Of Future Past
6. The Time Machine
7. Darkest Hour
8. Death Of The Celts
9. The Parchment
10. Hell On Earth
Steve Harris: Bass
Dave Murray: Guitar
Adrian Smith: Guitar
Yanick Gers: Guitar
Bruce Dickinson: Voice
Nicko Mc Brain: Drums
The release of a new album by the living metal legend is always an eager anticipation for me as for any Maiden fan, and together with the band we experience that musical flash that makes us reborn every time. Iron Maiden are back in style with 'Senjutsu', the seventeenth album in a long career that has had its ups and downs (very few). Ten new tracks with which the band will succeed in making a breach even among the most doubtful who, after the release of "The Book Of Souls", had been a bit bashed, a bit for the length of the tracks, a bit for the direction taken.
I don't want to dwell on the length of the tracks, because I've never been interested in how long a song lasts, but in the quality it contains, and it's in the quality of the title track "Senjutsu" that you can already hear the merits of this new work in which Maiden go beyond their own style, an incisive track in which Nicko's rhythms are well controlled and which is developed together with Steve Harris with his penetrating bass and Dickinson's essential vocal presence that always manages to be articulate in every song.
Much more direct is the following "Stratego", between powerful and stylish is well balanced between intense bass lines, highly catchy and easy refrain, The guitars cross over into simple but effective riffs, the use of keyboards is pleasant and the big solo is inevitably brilliant. The Maiden mark can be heard, although slightly distant from what we have always been used to hearing.
"The Writing On The Wall" it's surprising because it's absolutely out of the Maiden mould, the southern rock aspect of Maiden I never considered and yet the riff takes up this vein. Accompanied by the first video released for this album, the track has been discussed far and wide with the sad dwell on the length rather than the composition. Courageous or farsighted, Iron Maiden always set their music at the right time, whether this relates to the era or the timing in which the music is released, always a step above the rest.
Confirming their musical evolution, the track 'Lost In A Lost World' has an acoustic intro which obviously leads into a fast-paced rhythm with refined changes of pace and a keyboard that actually confuses me.
Immediate and speedy is "Days Of Future Past", a very good track with a Maiden tone and an excellent melody that follows the trend of the significant variations of the song. Here we can also hear the lyrics, which are undertone, maybe in another context they would have been more appropriate.
Great Bruce Dickinson in "The Time Machine" who phlegmatically performs with a recitative tone and with Nicko's incisive rhythms and the labyrinthine guitar twists of Smith, Murray and Gears create an exciting piece. Vaguely resembling the compositions on 'The X Factor' album, the solo is great in itself. The keyboards are also present in this track.
From 'Darkest Hour' to the end of the album, the tracks are fantastic, introspective and majestic, as befits Iron Maiden. No high notes for Bruce, but a clean and aware voice, a great solo and an emotional pathos for this piece of high musical value, as well as for "Death Of The Celts", evocative and emotional, a beautiful composition that brings the band back to the splendor they have always accustomed us to. I would say that Steve Harris, who also signs the last tracks on his own, has managed to resume that common thread that we all love and which is the main essence of the band.
"Hell On Earth" has the typical flavor of Maiden with that ride we will never escape, the vocalizations of Dickinson always at the forefront for an excellent production and the sharp and always sharp guitars with Adrian Smith who manages to shine with his own light throughout the entire album.
If so far I have listened to this album with due detachment, it is time to listen to it as a fan and as always, UP THE IRON!