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Iron Maiden are a legendary act that have earned the right to do things their way. Generally their way is very well prepared. Plans are set out some times years in advance. Album release schedules, touring schedules etc are meticulously planned out as the machine that is Maiden rolls on.
Recent years have been disruptive to this routine however, firstly with the delays to the release and tour of ‘The Book of Souls’ due to the cancer treatment undertaken by frontman Bruce Dickinson. Then with Dickinson fit and well and the band enjoying the highly successful ‘Legacy of the Beast’ tour, a global pandemic hits!
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Tour plans again are torn up and replanned, then torn up again. Now with the world praying it’s on a better path, live shows are again scheduled and the machine is coming back online. So, despite still having some ‘Legacy of the Beast’ dates to fulfil, the band are back with their seventeenth studio album, ‘Senjutsu’.
With the album clocking in at over 80 minutes, clearly this isn’t an album aimed at winning over new audiences. Indeed Iron Maiden already have a dedicated and well established base of listeners. For those fans this album is another treat. It is Iron Maiden doing exactly what you’d expect Iron Maiden to do.
That being said, whilst this is a typical Maiden release it isn’t the album you’d suggest if asked to pick an album to introduce somebody to the band. In fitting with recent releases this is a feature length record that deserves to be listened to as a whole. You certainly won’t find any short and sweet, radio friendly unit shifters on here.
Again, this is a band with a plan, a well oiled machine that knows its place. ‘Senjutsu’ is safe and collectors will welcome it into their set. There isn’t a bad track here, but there aren’t any that particularly jump out either.
It will be interesting now to see how many tracks make their way into the live show moving forward. Given we said that the album stands as a whole, perhaps full album shows are deserved here. One way or another these songs will come to life and as always with this band will take on new life once unleashed live.
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