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SENJUTSU

Iron Maiden

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Iron Maiden Senjutsu album cover
3.81 | 56 ratings | 4 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (40:21)
1. Senjutsu (8:21)
2. Stratego (5:00)
3. The Writing on the Wall (6:14)
4. Lost in a Lost World (9:32)
5. Days of Future Past (4:04)
6. The Time Machine (7:10)

CD 2 (41:41)
1. Darkest Hour (7:21)
2. Death of the Celts (10:21)
3. The Parchment (12:39)
4. Hell on Earth (11:20)

Total Time 82:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Bruce Dickinson / vocals
- Adrian Smith / guitars
- Dave Murray / guitars
- Janick Gers / guitars
- Steve Harris / bass, keyboards
- Nicko McBrain / drums

Releases information

Formats:
- Standard 2CD Digipak
- Deluxe 2CD Book Format
- Deluxe heavyweight 180G Triple Black Vinyl
- Special Edition Triple Silver and Black Marble Vinyl (Selected Retailers)
- Special Edition Triple Red and Black Marble Vinyl (Selected Retailers)
- Super Deluxe Boxset featuring CD, Blu Ray and Exclusive Memorabilia
- Digital album (streaming and download)

Released on September 3, 2021

Thanks to silly puppy for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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IRON MAIDEN Senjutsu ratings distribution


3.81
(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

IRON MAIDEN Senjutsu reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Rain Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Senjutsu" is the 17th album by English metal prog gods Iron Maiden. First of all a brief background of my history with the band. I remember buying "Brave New World" back in 2000 and liking it. But then lost track of them and it wasn't until 2010 when "Final Frontier" came out that I would listen to them again. That was my favourite album by them up until this year. I loved all the longer tracks on the album especially. Then their next album "Book of souls" came out five years in 2015 which I also bought and was a double album. For a band that pushes their sound and their own boundaries a lot this was ambitious even for them and featured their longest track to date which was in the 20 minute ball park.

Here we are though in 2021 and now finally after 6 years we have a new Maiden album. Obviously, there was an extensive "Book of souls" tour, but they also did a tour looking back at an older album too with their "Legacy of the Beast" tour. This year thanks to Tim's Twitter listening party where two of the albums involved were "Powerslave" and "Seventh son of the seventh son" has seen me really get into Maiden in a bigger way than ever before. While I haven't got into the whole back catalogue yet. I have listened to a lot of the 80s stuff and also bought a lot of the live DVDs they have released over the years.

In terms of the build up to "Senjetsu", Maiden did make it fun for fans by giving out t-shirts to famous music friends like Frank Turner and Tim Burgees and getting them to wear the t-shirts or post on social media to create this hype wagon. There was then a countdown to specific day and time at one point which ended up being the premier of a new song which was "Writing on the wall" which was soon followed by the album announcement. "Writing on the wall" I felt shows everything which is good about Maiden; great guitar work, great vocals and all round great song composition. I did see some reaction afterwards from reviewers saying Bruce's voice has gone but I have to disagree with that. I think he still has it.

In terms of the album, like "Book of souls" this is a double album which is roughly 40 minutes per CD. 6 tracks on the first side and 4 tracks on the second side. The first 6 tracks have what I would call some of the more accessible tracks on the album and ones which would appeal to more people. Tracks like "Writing on the Wall", "Stratego" and "Days of Future past" are the shortest tracks on the album. "Stratego" I thought was alright when I first heard it but I think it's a track which fits on the album better than listening to it as an individual track. "Days of Future past" for me is a better track. It has a fast tempo kind of like "The Trooper" without being a carbon copy. For me it's a lot more of a hit than "Stratego" and I think it deserves the single treatment and definitely an appearance in their live set.

Title track "Senjetsu" sets up them album well, being the first track. The big drum comes in straight away and the 8 minutes it lasts for feels like it's over all too soon. Much like other tracks on this album. Another track on the first side is "Lost in a lost world" which is the longest track on the first side at around 9 minutes. I would say this has one of the best outros on the album as it winds down with about a minute to go with Bruce's lyrics slotting in absolutely perfectly with the music.

To be honest I think they could have gotten away with just releasing the first disc as an album itself. Yes, it's 6 tracks but it's also 40 minutes which is more than acceptable for an album. It is nicely contained, has the longer tracks and has the more anthemic tracks. I certainly wouldn't have complained if this was the album. However, if you hear the 4 tracks on the second disc you would probably change your mind. The first disc is excellent, but the second disc reaches places and moments which are out of this world and for me arguably up there with best Iron Maiden have ever done.

The shortest track on this disc is "Darkest Hour" which is still 7 minutes long. Then you have "Death of the Celts" at 10 minutes, "The Parchment" at 12 minutes and "Hell on earth" rounding off the album at 10 minutes. Now I think the best way to get across how good these songs are, is that when you look across at say 5-6 minutes through any of these songs. I don't look at it and go "Oh no another 5 odd minutes to go". At these points I'm thinking "You absolute beauty 5-6 minutes to go". These songs are all absolute epics. I must pay particular attention to "Death of the celts" as this gives me major goosebumps. The long guitar instrumental section on this is just sensational. The way the track progresses and the change in pace along with the interplay between guitarists is this best passage of music I have heard all year. "The Parchment" I feel has an uphill task following this and I think on most other Maiden albums it would stand out a lot more as it well and truly still has its moments. And when I say moments, in Maiden terms moments equals minutes. The way this song builds up and finishes with an epic guitar solo is spot on.

Overall, I think and hope this goes down as a classic Maiden album. I think it's better than "Book of souls" and "Final Frontier which was my favourite album by Maiden for a long time has now been moved off its perch. It's harder to compare it to the classic albums they did in the 80s. This is a very different beast. I have listened to this at least twice a day for the last week and I still think there is more to discover and unlock. One things for sure, if I have an hour and twenty minutes to spare in the coming months I sure know what I am going to be doing with it!

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Iron Maiden has consolidated its 21th century style since Brave New World with producer Kevin Shirley. He gives the band all freedom to work in a sort of live in the studio setting; recording bit by bit the tracks as they are written. That album - Brave New World - sounded fresh and modern at the time, but since then the progression of the band its style has come to a stalemate. As with all other albums since then I can't really stop thinking about all missed opportunities for the band. To me the songs sounds unfinished and under-produced. The importance of the overall arch of the songs is ignored, making the songs just 'long' without any build-up that justify the length. The mixing is awful and makes the songs ineffective; everything is just loud all the time. By taking back some gas during refrains or during bridges a lot of excitement could have been build. The recording of the instruments sounds however far better then on the sloppy 'Book of Souls', that sounded like a demo to me. This album has some strings / synths hidden in the mix. They could have been a welcome addition, had they been given the space to work like they did on the 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' record. The legendary vocalist Bruce Dickinson still has a very loud voice and manages to scream over most triple guitar riffing, but his voice sounds much better if doesn't have to do that all the time. My main concern with Iron Maiden latest records is however the lack of a recognizable style for each album like they had up to 'Fear of the Dark'.

Even the title track 'Senjutsu' has nothing more than a bit of ethnic war drumming to it. A good producer would have, by the way, strongly advised to give that song a short pre-chorus or break because the chorus comes out of nowhere and misses its opportunity to shine completely. 'Stratego', co-written by Janick Gers, is a relatively concise song and has some of the better melodies. Without the flat mixing this could have been a classic track for the band. 'The Writing on the Wall' has a nice folky intro and sets up the band to do something original here. The chord patterns and rhythms for the rest of the song are however Iron Maiden recycling its power chord patterns as they have done so often the last twenty years. "Lost in a Lost World' hints at how interesting a spacey folk song by the band could have sounded, but alas, after a few minutes we get boring hardrock riffs. The main melodic theme of the song (starting at 3:38) is the most effective part of the album. A bit like how the song 'Brave New World' struck at first spin. In the ending section we get to hear this part in a clean setting with Bruce not having to scream and it is really beautiful. A good producer would have forced Iron Maiden to rewrite the song and use that as an opening. The solo sections remind me of the X-factor album, though that album showed a nice restrained when it comes to the production - giving the themes a sense of depth. 'The Days of Future Past' is written by Dickinson and Smith and does indeed sound like a track that wouldn't have done badly on an album like 'The Chemical Wedding' (Dickinson solo). 'The Time Machine' is a leftovers song; it has a pleasant atmospheric opening section (where are the sound effects Shirley?) before the riffing starts. The verse riffs in the major key and vocals are among the most exciting of the record and the way Dickinson rises in pitch is very uplifting. At 3:03 another track starts out of nowhere and the form of the song is ruined. 'The Darkest Hour' has a nice opening section with a lead guitar lick reminding me a bit of the 'Somewhere in Time' period. The song has some clean guitars, which gives it some time to breath and work as a song. This is another composition by Smith/Dickinson and it sounds like a fine Dickinson solo recording like 'Taking the Queen'. Then begins the run of Harris' three epics. By the way, they all open with the acoustic bass of Harris. 'Death of the Celts' is basically a rewrite of 'Viritual XI' its 'Clansman' and you can't really blame Iron Maiden for recording it, on this album it is one of the least faceless songs. 'The Parchment' has little new to offer and it doesn't sound very memorable either. The album's closer 'Hell on Earth' fails to leave an impression on me as well. Just Iron Maiden galloping in the minor key and some simple lead guitar melodies.

In conclusion; Iron Maiden has become a band that has its success guaranteed since the return of Bruce Dickinson. They are confident and do what they feel like. They record an album the way they want to. With the song-writing talent they have, the vocals of Dickinson and instrumental prowess they can still showcase they are sure to have another well selling heavy metal album and sold out gigs all over the world. Progressive rock fans have shown great interest as well in this album because of the lengthy epical songs. I myself am not impressed by this record that should have - yet again - been so much more. Had I been given the choice; the full Senjutsu album or a single song like 'The Flight of Icarus', I would have probably chosen the second option. The overall production sound is however the best since Brave New World and it surely is one of the better records of their 21th century run.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review #112. I bought my first Iron Maiden album when it was released, back in 1981. Yes, it was the album Killers, and I was 13 years old. Since then, I listened to many different styles of music, but I was always following Maiden's releases. Their last album, The Book of Souls wasn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#2592711) | Posted by The Jester | Tuesday, September 7, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Despite long length in many songs and tempo and rythm changes it is still not prog metal, (but yes, is becoming even more prog related if you will) and still sounds like pure Maiden. With the 17th studio album Iron Maiden delivers one of the top 3 works since the 1999 reunion (the others being Brav ... (read more)

Report this review (#2592680) | Posted by Jmgf | Tuesday, September 7, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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