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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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Timdano
5 stars Fantastic recording and the best 2000s-era offering since "Brave New World."

Some takeaways:

- This one is a "grower" as it took over a week of repeated listens to really get it. Now it's a classic with such epics as The Red and the Black,, the title track, Empire of Clouds, Great Unknown, River Runs Deep and others. The weakest track here to me (despite the dramatic subject content) is Tears of a Clown.

- Bruce Dickinson is clearly straining to hit some of the notes here, listen to the Great Unknown for what I'm talking about. Nevertheless he still sounds great and I'd still want an aging Dickinson (and cancer-stricken at the time!) than no Dickinson.

-Attention audiophiles: the production here is a challenge. I'll give it to the guys and their producer that they achieved a "raw" sound; almost live. Across different listening platforms (high-end car stereo, studio headphones, lower-end headphones, desktop sound system, etc.) the listening experience differed in quality dramatically. There isn't enough separation between instruments (especially guitars) and the audio brightness and life of releases like "Seventh Son" are flattened out- which is a shame and in this reviewer's opinion unnecessary.

Due to the overwhelmingly strong material here, I'm giving this release four and one-half stars rounded up to five. Given the possible outcome of Bruce Dickinson's illness at the time of recording, "Book of Souls" may have been The Beast's swan song retirement album. Given the quality here I would have been OK with that.

I'm even happier though that the Irons are still Up for the foreseeable future!

Timdano | 5/5 |

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