British metal icons Iron Maiden to release new double album Senjutsu this autumn.
The record is the band’s 17th studio album and the announcement comes just after the six-minute single. Writing on the wall, which debuted Thursday.
Kevin Shirley has returned again to produce on Senjutsu and, as in the 2000s Brave New World and 2015 The Book of Souls, the new album was recorded at the Guillame Tell Studio in the western suburbs of Paris.
“The place has such a relaxed vibe,” says Steve Harris. “The installation is perfect for our needs; the building was once a cinema and has a very high ceiling so there is excellent acoustic sound. We recorded this album the same way we did The Book of Souls in that we would write a song, rehearse it and then compose it right away while everything was fresh in our minds.
“There are some very complex songs on this album that took a lot of hard work to get them exactly the way we wanted them to sound, so the process was very difficult at times, but Kevin is good at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth it! I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for the fans to hear it.
The title would translate from the original Japanese term as “tactics and strategy” and the album cover features the band’s mascot, Eddie, reimagined as a samurai warrior.
Indeed, in the video of Writing on the wall, Eddie takes on the guise of a samurai to fight the warped rulers of the great nations of the world, all in the midst of a post-apocalyptic landscape (it’s a Maiden video, after all).
Guitar-wise, the tones are rougher and rougher than recent productions, with a more improvised live feel and a generous handful of earworm riffs.
This debut single is over six minutes long, but is one of the shortest tracks on the record, with most of the album’s 10 tracks exceeding seven minutes.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was the inevitable result of a band with free time during the gigs slowdown of the past 18 months, but the record was actually made in early 2019.
“We recorded it during a break in the Heritage tour, ”says Bruce Dickinson. “So we could be maximizing our tour while still having a long pre-release prep period to put together some great album art and something special as a video. Of course, the pandemic has delayed things further – so much for the best-developed plans – or should they be “strategies” !?
“The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There are also a song or two that sound quite different from our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised – in a good way, I hope!
Senjutsu releases on September 3, 2021 and will be available in a variety of formats, including heavy vinyl and a deluxe box set. Check out the full track list and format list below.
Senjutsu song list
- Senjutsu (8:20) – Smith / Harris
- Strategist (4:59) – Gers / Harris
- Writing on the wall (6:13) – Smith / Dickinson
- Lost in a lost world (9:31) – Harris
- Days of the future past (4:03) – Smith / Dickinson
- The time machine (7:09) – Gers / Harris
- Darkest hour (7:20) – Smith / Dickinson
- Death of the Celts (10:20) – Harris
- Parchment (12:39) – Harris
- Hell on earth (11:19) – Harris
Senjutsu output formats
- Digipack 2CD standard
- 2CD Deluxe 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 Box with CD, Blu Ray and exclusive memorabilia
- Digital album (streaming and download)