Iron Maiden fans across this silent planet have been waiting for a new album for 5 long years. When the news broke a few weeks ago that the bands 16th album Book Of Souls would be released on 4th September the internet was awash with overwhelming excitement. A drip feed of musical tantalisation followed with a clip of the new single Speed Of Light appearing last week. Today the wait is over, with the single being released from 8am across the web and being played on Planet Rock. So what is the verdict? Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. A track written by Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson is usually worthy of a thumbs up!
There's quite a lot to digest here musically, so deserves a few listens. It certainly has elements of classic period Iron Maiden and without question a bit of Deep Purple there too, especially in the opening. Bruce's vocals are energetic and ballsy, he appears to be pushing himself musically in a way which he hasn't done for quite some time. It sounds as if he's also taken a nod from his hero Gillan and we are getting a different, deeper vocal tonal sound from the air raid siren - which as a vocalist is to be expected given the sands of time. But his instrument is ever improving and evolving. Adrian's riffing is spot on, and he's created this clean futuristic sound which fits the song so well. The vox and guitars dominate the track but rest assured that the ever reliable percussion section are driving the track all the time. And Nicko is a devil with that cowbell!
They've also released a great video, produced and directed by Llexi Leon with animation and visual effects by The Brewery Production Company. It follows Eddie as he is drawn into a virtual video game landscape which reads like an evolution of video games and Maiden pop culture. Look out for some pretty nice touches like the Bat signal, Trooper Beer and plenty of references to previous Maiden albums too. This track shows signs of a band that has matured in their style but still unafraid of experimenting with their sound. If Speed Of Light is anything to go by, Book of Souls should be a very exciting ride indeed.