"Book of Souls"

By Theron Moore

There’s no such thing as a bad Maiden record or bad Maiden anything.  From a musical perspective, “Book of Souls” runs the gamut of Maiden’s career.  Take  for instance, “The Red and the Black,” with its old school, 80’s feel harkening back to what they were doing on “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” while “The River Runs Deep,” sounds like it could’ve been on “Fear of the Dark;” and the first three songs hinting strongly at what the band’s been doing over the last 15 years with “Brave New World” and “Flight of the Navigator” as well as “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg” and “Different World.”   

It’s a big, sprawling diverse record that goes introspective at times (“If Eternity Should Fail” and “The Great Unknown”) then rocks out in typical march or die Maiden fashion (“Speed of Light”).  Should you spend hard earned money on this record?  Of course it’s Iron Maiden.  It’s amazing.  

I love this record because it sounds like the band, most likely not be design, is revisiting different periods of time with various songs throughout “Book of Souls.”  If you listen to Maiden from 2000 to their last record, with the exception of a few songs, they’re still themselves but with a slightly different sound and direction, certainly nothing earth shatteringly bad but like any band over time they’re going to change and evolve. 
With this record it honestly sounds like they’re travelling to different periods in their history and making songs that could’ve been on “Piece of Mind,” “Seventh Son…,” “Somewhere in Time,” etc. but not in a revisionist or nostalgic way.  This is Iron Maiden living in the here and now doing what they’ve done best and nailing a precise bullseye with this record.  “Book of Souls” and Motorhead’s “Bad Magic” are the two best records of the year.  This is a must have for any metalhead’s collection.  MUST HAVE.