In 2015, Iron Maiden made an announcement that made the Metal world a scene. Not only did the British metal god announce the release of a new album in the same year, but they also released their first double albums in history. With a duration of 92 minutes, The Book of Souls features 11 new songs, including an 18-minute epic ending song titled “Empire of the Clouds.”
Maiden fans are certainly cheerful. Since iconic vocalist Bruce Dickinson announced that he would undergo cancer treatment in early 2015, the future of Iron Maiden looks uncertain, but with this announcement, it is clear that Bruce will not just give up. His personal doctor has given Bruce the freedom to perform again, and according to the band’s official website, “Due to Bruce’s illness, our tour plans were delayed, but we promise to return to you in early 2016, while giving Bruce the chance to recover to be ready to entertain you are with Maiden. ”
Maiden’s new album received a positive reaction from metal fans around the world. Considering the announcement of new albums from veteran bands such as Black Sabbath, Slayer and King Diamond are often greeted cynically by fans who have lost confidence (or realize that some bands have indeed lost their mojos), it feels very pleasant and surprising that the new album Maiden is welcomed with The first album of Maiden came out in 1980 or 35 years ago. The band members are all pretty old, and this is their 16th new album. They no longer push the boundaries of genre (they also created this genre you know). They are not extreme, nihilistic, brutal, and clearly not “hip” (no matter how often Miley Cyrus uses an Iron Maiden shirt). They played the same type of music as they always played, and aside from the fact that Bruce Dickinson had been absent temporarily from 1993 to 1999 and alternating guitarists Adrian Smith and Janick Gers, the Iron Maiden lineup had remained stable since the 80s. Then why are people still enthusiastic about them? Why do people still care?
Because they are Iron Maiden. That’s the reason.
Iron Maiden is cool, that’s all. They were one of the first wave heavy metal bands, and still one of the best. They led the New Wave of British Heavy Metal which gave rise to chasing guitar playing, and shrill vocals for many angry and lost young generation. They are an intelligent metal band, spice up their epic songs with lyrics full of bombastic literary and theatrical knowledge. They are one of the coolest gigs with one of the best mascots, Eddie. Their release catalog is very rich, varied, and timeless. Even their late era albums whose quality was in accordance still maintained the ambitions and energy of the band. So there is no reason why The Book of Souls won’t be cool. Is this album cooler than The Number of the Beast or Powerslave? Obviously not, but it will still be good, because Iron Maiden is not the type of band that is willing to release substandard material – and the ‘ordinary’ album Iron Maiden is still far better than a lot of new band material.
Heavy metal still places a lot of significance on the past because of its young age. Unlike blues, electronic music, or even rock’n’roll which already has a long history. Many first-generation metal bands are still active today, in fact, Black Sabbath — considered the first Heavy Metal band of all time — still toured until 4 February. The elders of this genre still stand tall, even though age is increasingly eating away. The gods of war began to show cracks in their armor and their mortality became more apparent. We have been haunted by the number of those who left the world too quickly, such as Ronnie James Dio, Cliff Burton, Jeff Hanneman, Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott, and it seems that this trend will continue.
If we count from the beginning of the birth of Black Sabbath in 1968, heavy metal is 49 years old. Assuming that many people first started when the teens or early 20s — Tony Iommi was only 20 in 1968 — it is not surprising that in recent years we have heard a lot about the health problems of metal music celebrities. Vocalist Judas Priest, Rob Halford has undergone various back and waist surgeries. At that time, the god of metalhead and bassist Motorhead, Lemmy was still alive, even though he was sickly and forced to reduce the consumption of cocaine and Jack Daniels. Iommi, the iron man, developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012.
During 2011, King Diamond underwent triple open heart bypass surgery after several heart attacks. This underlines the reality that many of our heroes are getting older. No matter how strong and mighty these figures are, they are still made of meat, not steel, and as their body condition begins to decline, we try to hold on tighter with their myths. They have dedicated their lives to heavy metal and one day they will die.
This will certainly be sad and we will all mourn. But do you know what will last? “Run to the Hills” will continue forever. “Sweet Leaf,” and “Raining Blood,” and “Rainbow in the Dark,” and “Cemetery Gates,” and many more songs that will not be forgotten. A classic song is a classic song whether it’s being listened to for the first time or the 5,000th time. Iron Maiden will never die. Heavy metal will never die.