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Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls CD (album) cover

THE BOOK OF SOULS

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.87 | 226 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars An amazing come back!!!!!

I must admit I was quite disappointed by Iron Maiden´s latest releases. They were not really bad, ok, but for a band that sparkled such a revolution in the music scene in the 80´s with such iconic and classic stuff like The Number Of The Beast and Iron Maiden, their 2000 CDs sounded more or less the same: overlong, lacking their famous energy, repetitive. In other words, not up to what they used to do so easily before. Well, I´m glad to say that finally they seem to have come up with a collection of songs that not only live up to their glorious past, but also deliver them with a kind of gut and energy rarely seen (or heard) from them for many, many years. In fact, The Book Of Souls is certainly their best since Fear Of The Dark

Their new CD sounds to me like a incredible rebirth of sorts; from the opener If Eternity Should Fail, we are presented with a song that sounds familiar, yet bringing new prog elements to their trademark heavy metal sound: atmospheric keys give introduction to the magical twin guitar leads their were famous for while Steve Harris bass is pumping great lines again together with Nicko McBrain´s drums. Then Bruce Dickinson comes in with gusto and his voice is in top form. It´s been a long time since I listened to such vigorous and inspired guitar solos from them. sudden tempo changes, varying rhythms and tasteful power chords abound. It reminded me of the times when IM could do no wrong and every note seemed to fall evenly on every spot. It is also ok that there is few novelties apart from the massive Empire Of The Clouds (see more below).

Certainly the album is not perfect: the shorter songs are not as powerful as the long ones, yet none is weak either. The first single, Speed Of Light, is probably the link between their latest offering, The Final Frontier and their new found return to form. But it is also just that a small clue, since the band has a lot more to offer and in at least two moments they truly were able to produce another Iron Maiden classics in the form of the epics The Red And Black and Empire Of Clouds. The former is a 13 minute piece that pretty much sums up the best the band had to show up till some years ago, meaning that it has all Iron Maiden traits and clichés, yet it sounds fresh and exciting. The latter however, is really the piece of resistance of the whole CD: an 18 minute opus where the band boldly goes where they never have been before. A truly prog metal epic, it starts with an acoustic piano and violin (!), then slowly building up to several parts that takes to a great ride where all the band members shine until the grand finale. That track alone is worth the price of the CD.

It´s amazing how energetic ant tight the band sounds after all these years. The songwriting is again top notch, varied and creative, helped by a very organic production and stunning performances. Not a dull moment in the whole album. And that´s a lot to say for a double CD with over 90 minutes of music!

Conclusion; it is so nice to see a classic band finding their muse again. Iron Maiden seems to finally merged seamlessly their early 80´s energy with the more complex, progressive streak of latter days.

I wish all classic bands around could rejuvenate like this.

Rating: compared to their masterpieces of the 80´s The Book Of Souls is a four star affair. However, nowadays itis just too good astonishing work to deserve less than 5. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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