I pre-ordered “The Book of Souls” vinyl on Amazon about 2 months ago and was really surprised it arrived right on the album release day, which is September 4th. A beautiful limited addition triple heavy weight black vinyl set coming in a gorgeously designed sleeve awesome pictures and lyrics. The set also includes a code for digital version download.
This is a 16th band’s album and it contains 11 tracks, the last one “Empire of the Clouds” lasts for more than 18 minutes and takes the whole side of one of three records. This is the longest song Maiden ever made and trust me, it’s very enjoyable. Bruce plays piano there which collaborates fantastically with other instruments. So, yes, it’s a very long album with total play time of more than 92 minutes.
I liked that album much more than its predecessor “The Final Frontier” released in 2010, and I really agree with Bruce when he says he’d feel much more comfortable if “The Book of Souls” will be the band’s last studio work (I really hope it’s not the last one), not the Frontier.
The first track I heard from the record was the single “Speed of Light” I purchased on a CD in Best Buy about 3 weeks ago , and from that day I could not wait to spin the whole album on my turntable.
The album was recorded in 2014 in Paris, at the same studio they recorded “The Brave New World” in 2000. The release of the record was delayed, because the band waited until Bruce will be finally “clean” of cancer.
From the first minutes of listening I fell in love with the first track “If Eternity Should Fail”, but after ~90 minutes I was already blown away by the entire album. Here are the other songs I can consider my very favorites: “The Red and the Black”, “The Book of Souls” (dedicated to Robin Williams) , “Tears of a Clown” , “The Man of Sorrows” and the final one “Empire of the Clouds” .
As I mentioned earlier, all 3 records are heavy, 180 gram and recorded at 33 rpm speed. The sound quality is excellent. The vinyls are black. One side of each record has a unique logo and the other side has just a black one with song titles:
Overall it’s a fantastic album which continues good old school Heavy Metal tradition, but also brings some elements of classical. I’m so glad to posses it and very hope the band will be able to make a world tour some time in 2016.