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Iron Maiden - Senjutsu



8 | 421 votes |
Release date: 3 September 2021
Style: Heavy metal

Owners:

176 have it
40 want it


Disc I
01. Senjutsu
02. Stratego
03. The Writing On The Wall
04. Lost In A Lost World
05. Days Of Future Past
06. The Time Machine

Disc II
01. Darkest Hour
02. Death Of The Celts
03. The Parchment
04. Hell On Earth

Staff review by
ScreamingSteelUS
Rating:
8.3
For 15 years I have awaited a worthy sequel to A Matter Of Life And Death, and after a couple of suboptimal offerings in a row, I began to despair that Iron Maiden had succumbed to the solipsistic lethargy that eclipses so many titans of their stature and longevity.

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published 11.09.2021 | Comments (12)

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Comments: 165   Visited by: 1065 users
03.09.2021 - 21:06
Rating: 8
Nicko's Nose

This is better than their previous two imo. While they probably had higher highs (ok maybe not TFF) they had songs I really didn't care for but I really like every song on this.
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03.09.2021 - 21:08
Rating: 10
JsbMetal

There is always that special person who would give 1/10 rating to a masterpiece lol
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Counterpoint
JsbMetal
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03.09.2021 - 22:54
Rating: 8
Empty Skies

I've listened to it about 5 times now. It definitely gives me AMOLAD vibes. My top favorite tracks on the album definitely would have to be Hell On Earth, The Parchment, Days of Future Past and Darkest Hour. I think The Time Machine is one that might have to take me a few more listens. I do agree with some about songs that could be cut a bit, but I don't think it has really bothered me that much.
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03.09.2021 - 23:41
nikarg
Mod
Written by Nejde on 03.09.2021 at 13:35

This album exceeded my expectations by far. I guess with covid and no touring they actually have been able to focus on the song writing and I think it shows.

I agree, it is definitely better than I expected it to be as well and better than the previous two. Btw, covid had nothing to do with the songwriting, the album was completely finished in 2019 during a break of The Legacy Of The Beast Tour. They planned to release it and tour with it but Covid happened so it stayed in a vault until now. The fact that it did not leak during these two years is amazing in itself considering the times we live in and how easily stuff leaks.
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04.09.2021 - 00:09
Rating: 5
Will write something longer later and give a more precise rating, but I can't understand how they seem to be okey to release a album that sounds like some early pre-production demo. I did listen through it twice with my decent in-ears headphones and my ears were bleeding... the songs maybe will grow on me but with a mixing like this i'm not sure how much I want to listen anymore
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And what do you call assassins who accuse assassins anyway, my friend?
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04.09.2021 - 01:03
Rating: 8
Nejde
Green Devil
Written by nikarg on 03.09.2021 at 23:41

Written by Nejde on 03.09.2021 at 13:35

This album exceeded my expectations by far. I guess with covid and no touring they actually have been able to focus on the song writing and I think it shows.

I agree, it is definitely better than I expected it to be as well and better than the previous two. Btw, covid had nothing to do with the songwriting, the album was completely finished in 2019 during a break of The Legacy Of The Beast Tour. They planned to release it and tour with it but Covid happened so it stayed in a vault until now. The fact that it did not leak during these two years is amazing in itself considering the times we live in and how easily stuff leaks.


I actually read that in a Swedish review of the album after my previous post. It's also amazing how they managed to keep that a secret for two years. And how awesome wouldn't it have been if they had decided to drop the album without teasing it a month and a half in advance. I can just imagine the reactions.
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"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid." - Ricky Gervais
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04.09.2021 - 01:26
Rating: 9
IronArkadius666

Maiden could release audio clips of them shitting and I would still love it, so please don't take my opinion seriously. Regardless here it is: On par with Book of Souls, much better than Final Frontier, No Prayer, Fear of the Dark and Blaze-era, not quite as good as Dance of Death or Matter of Life and Death. Miles behind Brave New World, Seventh Son and Somewhere in Time.

Favourite song is probably Hell on Earth, a melodic masterpiece. But The Parchment, Darkest Hour and Writing on the Wall are not far behind (those solos and instrumentals are awesome). Weakest song is sadly the title track: it's uninteresting. I can appreciate Maiden trying something new and unlike their usual style, but the song just needs more to it. The chorus is forgettable, the verse more so, and the leads just don't stand out.

Biggest complaints? Bruce's voice is really quiet in the mix sometimes. Maiden's instrumentals are fantastic, but Bruce is the very large cherry on top. Why would they make him quieter?!
Too much of Bruce's vocals and the lead guitars sharing the same melody. I noticed this in Book of Souls and I'm not a huge fan of it. It works sometimes, like in The Parchment, but otherwise I would prefer them separate.

8.5/10, rounded up to 9. It sounds like a mix of Matter of Life and Death, Book of Souls, Bruce's solo album Chemical Wedding oddly enough, and the good parts of Blaze-era Maiden (yes they exist!)

Thanks Maiden
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04.09.2021 - 01:42
J the Metallizer

Quote:
Quote:
Written by Korah on 03.09.2021 at 20:41


Back in 2017, Cradle of Filth's "Cryptoriana" was leaked over 2 months before release.

There are people still listening to Cradle ?!

Yes and their last two records kick ass😁
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04.09.2021 - 03:17
Rating: 6
Gabrieldvkx

I miss the fast songs like The Wicker Man or the heavy songs like No More Lies on the last few albums... In Senjutsu there are dull moments here and there and a weak production but overall it's a good album and Bruce does a great job!
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04.09.2021 - 06:52
Rating: 8
Nicko's Nose

Ok this could actually be my favorite post-reunion album since Dance of Death.
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04.09.2021 - 08:27
Rating: 9
Lord Slothrop

I'm really enjoying it, but I agree with the complaints regarding the production. I've been obsessed with their song 'Alexander the Great' lately and think it has better production value than this album. Not that it's terrible, but this is Maiden. It should be stellar, not muddy. Still a damned fine album. 8.5, but I'll round up to a 9.
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04.09.2021 - 08:50
Stunning Cactus

Highest rated album since Brave New World? Maybe I'll actually listen to this one.
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04.09.2021 - 12:49
Rating: 8
Polaria

I've got to say I expected the worst, so I stand corrected.

Still, for the end with the lengthy songs I'd would have only kept The Parchment, so this album would have been 8 songs in a bit less than one hour.
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Life is all the pain we endeavour.
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04.09.2021 - 14:30
LordFezzington
Lost To Apathy
Not sure on how I would place this against the rest of the post-Bruce & Adrian return material, but I'm enjoying it a lot more than I did The Book Of Souls when it first came out, so that's a good sign.

Also think that the criticisms of the production I've seen are massively overblown. Could it sound better in places? Sure, but overall I think the sound suits the songs.

Pleasantly and happily surprised. #COYI
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"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
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04.09.2021 - 16:29
Rating: 7
Spacerunner

Written by Polaria on 04.09.2021 at 12:49
I've got to say I expected the worst

Actually, best review possible.
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04.09.2021 - 18:41
Rating: 9
Cuervo Raven

Excellent album, but Maiden is still sinning in the same thing, songs too long that could last half and be great songs. it is clear that Maiden tried to be more progressive even so there are excellent moments in this album I listened to it from beginning to end and everything new from Maiden is always appreciated.
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04.09.2021 - 19:50
Rating: 5
Metal Ern

Must more of the same from them since the reunion. Forgettable riffing and songs that are waaaaaay too long. I guess they think if they have a repetitive song that is 10 minutes long its progressive and epic. Just not my thing anymore. I'll always have classic Maiden but I don't think they have put out a great album in over 30 years. Its not awful, would pass for background music I guess.
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04.09.2021 - 20:51
Rating: 5
Everything more than a 7 for this album is too forced, 3 or 4 ok songs and the rest is a snoozefest.
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04.09.2021 - 22:33
sbgmetal

Quote:
Quote:
Written by Korah on 03.09.2021 at 20:41


Back in 2017, Cradle of Filth's "Cryptoriana" was leaked over 2 months before release.

There are people still listening to Cradle ?!

yeah i do
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05.09.2021 - 03:08
Rating: 10
IH8Hipsters

Very strong record for Maiden especially at their age. The solo on TWOTW is awesome as is that song, Stratego is a great upbeat track. Did not want too skip any songs. I got the book album and got a free poster. Definitely was happy. I'd love them to put out even crazier release offerings. Blu Ray, behinds the scenes footage, b sides, extended or remixed song versions, etc. I love me some Maiden and this album made my day yesterday.
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05.09.2021 - 06:11
Rating: 10
metalbrat

Well..well...I really wanted to comment on this new album but only after half a dozen spins, especially, as a fanboy I wasn't much impressed by their singles released. But now I feel that, unlike the last few albums, musically this album stands out much ahead in terms of originality, especially disc II. To those who are whining about the lengths of the IM songs, believe me, I hate any other band's songs which are more than 7 min in length, but for IM, its their signature style.
You can easily skip the first few songs if Disc I as we have heard them times that we don't remember and we feel as if those tunes were really written by us. My only problem with the album is I couldnt find a single pacy track which they could have added at least to satisfy the fanboys like me. But still this is a great album and I am surprised they could do this even after 40 yrs of existence.
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In the beginning I was made of clay. Then I bit the apple and they changed me to metal 🤘
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05.09.2021 - 09:31
Stormm

There is really and clearly big Iron Maiden fanbase. There were 54 voters and 20 voters gave 10 already. If album like this deserve 10 then I'm really missing something here. So far I wasn't able to recognize something new in those 81 minutes. Only riffs, melodies, soloes and song structures used many, many times before. And once again with bad production. It's hard to sound epic with production sterile like this.
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05.09.2021 - 09:45
Rating: 6
Frozen Catalyst

6 - Didn't really find the singles that memorable and when this released I turned it off halfway through the first song. 😲 Came back and listened to it all today but haven't been able to find anything I like to return too on this one. Maybe will try again later but I doubt it.

Liked the production though and being able to clearly hear the bass.

Personal taste, but needs more speed? 🤔
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05.09.2021 - 12:02
Rating: 7
Redel

Just finished my first spin, pretty underwhelmed. Not that I expected something different initially. And it perfectly fits the Book of Souls line, which is not a bad one per se I would say. On BoS I like four songs, which really stayed with me and I come back to from time to time.

Possibly because of the many positive posts on the album at hand I was though hoping for something... more, well, maybe unexpected?
And there are many interesting parts on the album, which I should return to soon, especially on disc 2, which I find more diverse so far.

For the moment, the overlong song structure, resulting in lengthy uninteresting parts, and an annoying mix of the vocals overshadow the good impressions of my first spin.
I am gonna promise a second spin at least, for many more I am not too confident though.
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05.09.2021 - 14:39
Rating: 8
Ruisdier

Could use some better production indeed, but overall a great release. Solid 8 from me.
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06.09.2021 - 12:04
Rating: 8
Daniell
_爱情_
I really can't understand all these complaints about the production. It's the best-sounding album since Brave New World.
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06.09.2021 - 12:13
Rating: 5
kevindebrajne

Listened to this fully minimum 5 times, and I must say this is insane downgrade when compared to their previous album.
There are many serious issues with this one, I'll start by pointing out the least important and as we progress further I'll speak about some major problems this record has.

The first and the most commonly noticed by the people is the production, which is very lacking. Everything seemed very buried in the mix, not a single instrument really shines. It all just sounds very muddy. I don't understand why one of the most popular, and the most selling bands of all time struggles with releasing something that is at least tolerable. On this field it really reminds me of The Final Frontier where production also wasn't one of its strenghts. Guitars lacked any punch, vocals were hidden, the bass sounded thin, pure nightmare. The worst case of bad production can be seen on the Stratego, which was also used as one of the two singles, and oh my God, the fact that fucking synths are empowering Bruce's voice is just emberassing.

Which leads me to my second problem, what is the purpose of those synths? They are so simplistic and unimaginative, yet they are so high in the mix, changing every track they appear into a chore. If you really want to make those synths work, don't let them just emitate the guitar work with the same notes (often off key). It could turn out so much better if they hired some additional session member for the recordings.

I won't talk about Bruce's vocal delivery much, because I actually liked him quite a bit. It's not Halford during Firepower, but he's good enough. It's still one of his weakest performances on an album, but the age takes its toll, so it's understandable.

The songwritting is the reason why It will probably end up as one of my least favorite Iron Maiden albums ever. The overall direction seems to be very similar to those presented on the previous albums, but there's a twist. Everything sounds darker, slower, more grim, almost as if they wanted to recreate The X Factor with their current approach to the music. This is not a problem of its own, personally I really liked The X Factor, I think it's by far Maiden's most interesting album from the 90's, and also the most underrated from their catalog. But with less focused songwritting, and longer running time, the record gets very stale in sound. The songs have no dynamic tempo changes, instead they often relay on slow passages and interludes, which makes them very forgettable and plain. Really after many relistens, I still find difficulties in stating which is my favorite song from the album. It all just blended together into one big critical mass, that is sometimes hard to swallow. After the premiere it makes sense why mediocre tracks like "Stratego" and "The writting on the wall" were decided to be a singles, they are simply the most standing out. Listening to them in a full lenght album such as this is very awkward, as it absolutely kills any momentum.

The one postive I have is that, while still being one of their worst efforts yet, it's still better than The Final Frontier.
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06.09.2021 - 19:54
Rating: 6
Vinther1991

I was one of those who didn't really like The Book of Souls, it never really clicked for me. I could see it had some obvious strengths and was overall well executed, but it just didn't resonate as much with me as most other Maiden albums. I remember the great reception it got when released, yet when reading reviews of Senjutsu, a lot of people seem to feel the same as me now. Maybe some recency bias helped The Book of Souls a lot, I doubt it will be remembered as a significant album in Maiden's carreer.

The last part also applies to Senjutsu unfortunately. It is difficult for me to pinpoint exactly where The Book of Souls failed, sure some flaws were very obvious, but not to the extend that they should make me care as little about the album as I did. In the case of Senjutsu, I think the flaws are much more obvious. For one, the production is horrendous, even compared to the last two albums, but the songwriting is also very inconsistent. It also lacks any sort of cohesive vision or theme. Not that I expect a concept album, but most Maiden albums have some sort of identity. Book of Souls had the whole Maya stuff going on, which was encapsulated well by the title track, and the same sort of mythology and spirituality was very present in all of the disc one songs, and some of disc two.
The japanese influence in Senjutsu is very hard to find in the music, although I didn't pay all that much attention to the lyrics yet.
Anyway, unto the songs:

Senjutsu - It really is a bore! Possibly the weakest title track AND the weakest album operner in Maiden's discography. It is just overall dull. Nothing stands out as original. Solos are weak, verse and chorus are boring, it drags! Possibly the worst song on the entire album.

Stratego - This is a great, fast paced track, that blows the corresponding singles from the two previous albums out of the water (El Dorado, Speed of Light). Unfortunately, it is one of the songs that suffer the most from the weak production, but the songwriting is clearly strong with a very catchy chorus.

The Writing on the Wall - Another brilliant song, the riffs are a blast, the verses and choruses are really good. Even the solos are strong. It gets slightly repetitive towards the end, but overall a great song.

Lost in a Lost World - The first of four Harris' epics, and this is one of the really good ones! An exceptional intro and outro, many parts throughout are among the strongest on the album, both in the vocals and in the instrumentals. Clearly it also has some weaker parts, that could be trimmed, but overall very satisfying.

Days of Future Past - This album's answer to "Death and Glory", just as fast, just as tedious. Nothing in this song is special in any way, a snoozefest. Fortunately it's the shortest track.

The Time Machine - It's alright, the chorus is strong, and the song is overall pretty solid, but also suffers a lot from the terrible production. On a great Maiden album, this would be the filler, here it is somewhere in the middle of the bunch.

Darkest Hour - Unfortunately another tedious drown-out 'semi-epic' opens the second disc. The leads are possibly the best on the album, and there are elements of the song that are decent enough, but nothing to write home about. Smith and Dickinson can really not be satisfied with their contributions to the songwriting on this album. Outside of TWOTW their credits have been TERRIBLE.

Death of the Celts - Very unremarkable. I think Harris thought the rhythm during the verses were something special, they really aren't. The song last 10:20, it has nothing that justifies that length, even if parts of the instrumental section is strong (the bassline in particular). Next to Senjutsu, it is possibly the weakest track.

The Parchment - It's a solid enough epic with some strong parts, especially the verses. Like The Time Machine, this would be a filler on a better album. Only two problems: 1. It is not a better album. 2. The song is freaking 12:39 long!

Hell on Earth - Phenomenal! Just edges out Stratego as the best track on the album. Many strong melodies, even if some sound a bit too familiar (parts of it sounds very close to When the Wild Wind Blows, I think). It doesn't really drag like some of the other epics here. The last couple of minutes are truly special, and Dickinson delivers a tour-de-force performance.

All in all, I can't with a straight face say that Senjutsu is an objectively better album than Book of Souls, but I can say that it resonates a lot more with me than its predecessor. I would rank the 'reunion' albums as follows:

1. Brave New World
2. A Matter of Life and Death
3. The Final Frontier (Controversial, but I think it is underrated)
4. Senjutsu
5. The Book of Souls (Probably technically better than 3 and 4, but it does very little for me)
6. Dance of Death
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07.09.2021 - 00:57
Rating: 9
tominator
At best deranged
Initial thoughts after my first listen (waited until I could listen to the CD which I had ordered), it's not as strong as The Book Of Souls. However, just like the previous one there isn't really a song that I would almost always skip (maybe The Darkest Hour being the exception) like on for instance The Final Frontier or Dance Of Death. Speaking of those records, this really is an amalgamation of the previous 4 records with some touches from the 80s and 90s records.

What this one lacks for me though compared to the previous one is that insanely strong epic like Empire Of the Clouds was or like Paschendale was on Dance Of Death. I do like the shorter tracks on this album slightly more than on The Book Of Souls. Both Stratego and Days Of Future Past are more memorable to me than Death Or Glory and Speed Of Light.

Lost In A Lost World didn't really do it for me (mostly the vocal melodies) on this first listen and the same goes for The Darkest Hour (feels a bit like Coming Home with a bit more flair in the guitar solos but a lot less memorable chorus). Yet they both have some elements that I still like. The guitar melodies on Lost In A Lost World and the guitar solo work on The Darkest Hour.

I was thinking about how it compares on a song per song basis to the previous one and I'd say it's basically even. But the eleventh track on The Book Of Souls brings that little bit of extra + the best tracks on that album beat the best ones on this one overall I think.

All in all for me it falls right into the middle in my ranking of the 2000s albums. It's better than Dance Of Death and The Final Frontier and in the same regions as A Matter Of Life And Death. But yeah Brave New World and The Book Of Souls are better imo. Again this is after my first listen and my first listens of Iron Maiden albums are always a bit special with me. I have had some major opinion changes on them in the past after a couple more listens. So far I dig it and my favourite tracks are Stratego, The Writing On The Wall, Days Of Future Past, The Time Machine and The Parchment with Hell On Earth probably going to be one of those tracks that will really grow on me.
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07.09.2021 - 17:27
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
What to say, maybe biggest album what all was waiting what came out this year. From new this years albums I have not listen so many times as this,
Negative so far is Bruce vocals somehow, or is it studio mix, ist weak. If You want old IM forget it. Its not bad, better as ''The Final Frontier'' and ''The Book Of Souls'' Its even better as whit Blaze era albums. Its equal as 3 Bruce come beck. Think they get older and if you can somehow accept ''progressive'' you will hear its not bad, more you listen more you like it.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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