Belshazzar’s Feast


What is the new Maiden like? “The Writing On The Wall” is the first new IRON MAIDEN song in six years…

Well, here goes: grab a large ladle of sloppy, “Slippery When Wet” Bon Jovi Western-style guitar, add more than a soupcon of power-balladish riffwork (emulate Bad Company’s Feel Like Makin’ Love circa ‘74, why don’t you?) add a mouthwatering scoop of 1987 vintage GNR… then ask Bruce to telephone his voice over, using an ancient landline, via an old-style modem, and what do you get? You get an invitation to join Belshazzar’s banquet, yum!

It’s a compelling piece of country / acoustic rock with more than a little progressive hardness, and comes with awe-inspiring percussion (Nicko taking over from the much-missed, much-loved Neil Peart as the most electrifying drummer in the world) and lots of exceptional guitar-work. We just wish the vocals were more, you know, more propulsive…

The Writing On the Wall

The Writing On The Wall” is the first offering to come from Maiden’s long-awaited 17th album, titled “Senjutsu” — it means tactics & strategy, in case you wondered — and is due September 3rd via Parlophone. The album promises to embrace Moody Blues style symphonic-prog, some folk, and a spattering of Western-style rock ‘n’ blues. Produced by longtime chief collaborator Kevin Shirley at Guillaume Tell Studios in Paris, we expect it be epic, intricate and elaborate.

 this time we confront overlords, plutocrats, potentates, and paymasters…

We know that war is a recurring theme in Maiden’s hard-rock collages, but this time we confront overlords, plutocrats, potentates and paymasters who dominate this planet and annihilate all they see in the name of greed. Yes, humanity is in mortal danger… we are sleepwalking into an apocalyptic cataclysm: where is the seventh Kurosawa samurai when we need him?

The music video, from Pixar animators Mark Andrews & Andrew Gordon (movie shared below) is impressively detailed and looks like some kind of novelization where Sons of Anarchy meets Gorillaz and everyone gets high on mezcal served by Eddie the Head, who happens to be dressed as an undead swordsman with a stone face. If that all sounds disorienting (if not completely confusing), maybe that’s what the band is aiming for: haven’t we learned, by now, that life is complicated and multifaceted? 

So what’s the new material like? It’s like Rush playing Afraid to Shoot Strangers (1992) but with a subaqueous Bruce…

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