The Book of Souls
The best post-Blaze album yet. Book of Souls is their longest album yet, for those who didn't know, and none of it is filler. Every song works well with the rest of the album, and nothing is left to be desired. It may not have any amazing classics like Number of the Beast or Powerslave, but with The Red and the Black, Speed of Light, Empire of the Clouds, and the title track, this is a masterpiece. Certainly deserves to be higher on the list than Dance of Death, A Matter of Life and Death, and Final Frontier, but I guess that's just because it's so new.
This is a progressive metal masterpiece. Iron Maiden has evolved so much throughout their career and this album exemplifies it. Empire of the Clouds could very well be the best Iron Maiden song of them all. Although, I'm not going to convince anyone who was/is still waiting for Powerslave II. Be proud that Iron Maiden has done more than master one style. After about 6 full listens of the album, here are my personal scores per song:
If Eternity Should Fail - 9/10
Speed of Light - 9.5/10
The Great Unknown - 8/10
The Red and the Black - 10/10
When the River Runs Deep - 8.5/10
The Book of Souls - 10/10
Death or Glory - 7.5/10
Shadows of the Valley - 8/10
Tears of a Clown - 9/10
The Man of Sorrows - 8.5/10
Empire of the Clouds - 10/10
Where does this rank with past albums? I'd say it's the best of the modern era of Iron Maiden (BNW and beyond) and just behind SSOASS when compared to classic era Iron Maiden.
I tell you, this album was only released two weeks ago and already I have to re-order my original list to give this album a spot in the top... Three! Yeah, it's that good! Empire of the Clouds is an 18 minute long closer written by Bruce Dickinson, and is quickly becoming one of my favourite Maiden songs. Of course, there are songs on this album that I prefer more than others. But there's no stinkers or fillers on this album. Just 11 killer tracks. Maiden is back. - IronSabbathPriest
This album is pure Maiden with a 2015 kick in the pants. The band truly gets better with age. I dare any metal fan to listen to the guitar run offs on "The Red and the Black" and not get chills. From the opening track "If Eternity Should Fail", which by the way is their strongest opener since "Two Minutes to Midnight" off of Poweslave, to the last track masterpiece "Empire of the Clouds" this is classic Maiden. I fully expect this album to stand the test of time and cement itself as one of the top 3-5 Maiden efforts of all time. As I listened to this for the first few times, I was transported back to junior high in the mid 80s all over again and feeling absolute joy in knowing these heroes of my youth are still here to save the music world.
The variety of songs, the energy, the melodies, the storytelling, and the EPIC length and quality make this perhaps the best Maiden album of recent years even since SSOASS. Contains their longest song ever in Empire of the Clouds. And even the second longest song on this album The Red and the Black is almost exactly the same length as their previous longest song Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. But although the songs are long, they are some of their best material. No fillers here!
In addition this is their first double album! And how cool is Speed of Light? Some say it is the weakest song on the album. It is very catchy, but so different than the rest. I love it!
I can not really choose what is my favourite but if I had to listen to the same Maiden album for the rest of my life, I would probably choose this one. It has many great songs and it has the most beautiful Iron Maiden song of all time, The Empire of the Clouds. But I personally love every single album more than anything else. UP THE IRONS!
Without making any pretentious comments like "progressive elements" or "the album of the year" I'll give it an 8/10. As a rock and metal progressive bands listener I would add that, no matter how hard they will try, the Maidens are not a progressive band and I don't think that they will have a great success in that particular area.
Empire of the Clouds alone would make this album. Unlike other older bands, Iron Maiden continues to successfully push themselves and maintain relevance even today. There is no denying that this record is among the greats.
Already, although only out for a day or so, I can see that this is probably the best post Seventh Son album. It's great from start to finish, Empire of the Clouds is extraordinary! - mzoogleberry7
After so many great songs over the past decades, this album just reached the stars. It compels all the greatness of previous experiences with a closer empathy to everyday man existence concerns.
I don't believe in saying the old stuff is the best just because it's old. This is an incredible musical achievement, comparable to Powerslave and Seventh Son.
I am an iron Maiden fan. Listened to all the albums and I just think this is the most amazing albums of all. It's got the touch of the old with the edge of the contemporary...
Just because this masterpiece is new does not mean it cannot be one of the best! It is not the definitive best, but is definitely in my top 5!
The haters are right. This is not the Iron Maiden we know. This is something much, much greater. Just listen to Empire of Clouds.
Fantastic double-album. The only weak song on this issue is "The red and the black", too long and too boring.
Even though its not as good as SSOASS in my opinion it's a close second ( not lying ) empire of the clouds is my favorite maiden song now its very beautiful and emotional along with the title track and the red and black. Amazing
This is my favorite now man that was unexpected it's a masterpiece
Their best and lengthiest work to date. I like when long albums are listenable.
Every track is fantastic. The best since Seventh Son. - IronSabbathPriest
In my opinion this album should be number 3 and it's better than the seventh son of the seventh son
I name this their best album since Seventh Son. - IronSabbathPriest
This album is not just music, it's a way of life.
One of the best in modern times kicks most of todays bands asses
This was the greatest album ever created because it features the song death or glory
Empire of the clouds is a masterpiece, no discussion there