Metal legends Iron Maiden have announced the release of their new album, The Book of Souls, for later this fall. The album will set a couple of milestones for the group: It will be the band’s first-ever double studio LP and also feature the sextet’s longest-ever song. The 92-minute album will be released on September 4th, a date predicated on frontman Bruce Dickinson getting time to recover from his recent bout with tongue cancer. He got the “all clear” last month.
The band recorded the album late last year in Paris with producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley, who has co-produced the group’s records since 2000’s Brave New World. Maiden recorded “finishing touches” on the album earlier this year. Artist Mark Wilkinson, who has previously made art for Maiden, Judas Priest and Marillion, designed The Book of Souls’ cover.
The band said that they’re excited about the personal advancements they achieved while making the record. “We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously,” bassist and frequent songwriter Steve Harris said in a statement. “A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs. They have almost a live feel to them.”
“We’re really excited about The Book Of Souls and had a fantastic time creating it,” Dickinson added. “We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the Brave New World album back in 2000, so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there…. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double it’s going to be!”
The album will be available in standard and deluxe hardcover editions, triple vinyl and high res audio. Clocking in at over 18 minutes, album closer “The Empire of the Clouds” – which Dickinson wrote himself – is the band’s longest-ever song. It’s also worth nothing that “Tears of a Clown,” as listed in the track list below, is an original Maiden song and not a Smokey Robinson & the Miracles cover.
The group is planning on hitting the road to support the album next year assuming that Dickinson remains healthy. The singer revealed that he had been diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue this past February, and the band reported in March that he was recovering well. Last month, Dickinson reported that his doctor had given him the “all clear.”
“I’m a firm believer in trying to maintain a positive attitude, and the encouragement from the global Maiden family meant a great deal to me,” the singer wrote in a statement at the time. “Right now, I’m feeling extremely motivated and can’t wait to get back to business as usual, as soon as I can!”
The Book of Souls Track List:
1. “If Eternity Should Fail”
2. “Speed of Light”
3. “The Great Unknown”
4. “The Red and the Black”
5. “When the River Runs Deep”
6. “The Book of Souls”
7. “Death or Glory”
8. “Shadows of the Valley”
9. “Tears of a Clown”
10. “The Man of Sorrows”
11. “Empire of the Clouds”