You must register to read it, but here is an early review of Maiden’s new album, The Book Of Souls. I suppose it could be gone by the end of the day, but it could also be authorised publishing to finally start some very late hype for the project.
The reviewer is Dom Lawson, and his main point is this: The Book Of Souls is Maiden at their very best, a blend of the post-millennium progressive epicness and the more direct heavy rockers of their classic 1980s heyday.
“Speed Of Light, Death Or Glory and Tears Of A Clown all climax at around the five minute mark, and all three are instant top-notch Maiden anthems, the shrewd songwriting hand of Adrian Smith making its presence felt and bringing plenty of that off-kilter edge that was sometimes missed during the decade he spent away from the line-up.”
This early review seems to indicate that the balance of styles is perfectly judged, something yours truly felt was less so on the previous album The Final Frontier, and the division of songwriting credits (no more than two members per tune) might have something to do with this.
Kevin Shirley also gets credit for his “powerful, unfussy production” here, and the little teaser we just heard seems to show this off. The pièce de résistance, according to this writer, is the album’s monumental conclusion:
“The longest song the band have ever recorded, Empire Of The Clouds is essentially an 18-minute heavy metal opera, replete with Dickinson on piano for the first time and sumptuous orchestral flourishes that add hugely to the song’s cinematic feel.”
It’s a 9 out of 10, Lawson says. And it sounds nothing like a band on its last legs, according to him.
Now, with management allowing this review to be published so early, it might have been inevitable that it would be a very positive and PR-friendly one, but we’ll find out soon enough.