Iron Maiden: Everything you need to know about their new album, Senjutsu

Iron Maiden’s upcoming album Senjutsu is just around the corner. Here’s what you need to know before it’s released this autumn.

Iron Maiden: Everything you need to know about their new album, Senjutsu
Kerrang! staff

Iron Maiden are gearing up to release their 17th studio album, Senjutsu, this September. Rumour was that the London lifers were working on the long-awaited follow-up to The Book Of Souls during lockdown, but it turns out they’ve been sat on it since 2019! And now, finally, it’s almost time to hear one of the most anticipated metal releases of the year.

But before all that, we know you have some questions. So we’ve tried to answer as many as we can for you below.

What is the new Iron Maiden album called?

You should really know this by now, but Iron Maiden’s new album is called Senjutsu.

What does Senjutsu mean?

Senjutsu is a Japanese term that loosely translates as ‘tactics and strategy’, but can also refer to skill, technique, trick, resources and – most interestingly – magic.

When is the new Iron Maiden album released?

Senjutsu will be released on September 3 via Parlophone and is available to pre-order from July 21.

What is the tracklist for Senjutsu?

Iron Maiden’s new album is comprised of 10 tracks, which are as follows:

1. Senjutsu
2. Stratego
3. The Writing On The Wall
4. Lost In A Lost World
5. Days Of Future Past
6. The Time Machine
7. Darkest Hour
8. Death Of The Celts
9. The Parchment
10. Hell On Earth

How long is the new Iron Maiden album?

It’s a whopper. Those 10 tracks above clock in at just under 82 minutes, which is about 10 minutes shorter than their previous album, The Book Of Souls.

Is the new Iron Maiden album a double-album?

With a runtime of 80-odd minutes, Senjutsu is Iron Maiden’s second-ever double-album – following on from 2015’s 92-minute epic The Book Of Souls. It will be available as either a double CD or triple vinyl edition.

What number Iron Maiden album is this?

Senjutsu will be Iron Maiden’s 17th studio album and their first full-length studio release in six years – the longest-ever gap between Maiden albums.

Where was the new Iron Maiden album recorded?

Senjutsu was recorded at Guillaume Tell Studio in France, the same location they recorded The Book Of Souls in 2015. “The place has such a relaxed vibe,” said bassist and founding member Steve Harris. “The set-up there is perfect for our needs; the building used to be a cinema and has a really high ceiling so there’s a great acoustic sound. We recorded this album in the same way we did The Book Of Souls in that we’d write a song, rehearse it and then put it down together straight away while it was all fresh in our minds.”

Who produced the new Iron Maiden album?

Senjutsu was produced by Kevin Shirley, who has been a long-time collaborator with the band, having also produced 2015’s The Book Of Souls, 2010’s The Final Frontier, 2006’s A Matter Of Life And Death, 2003’s Dance Of Death and 2000’s ‘comeback’ album Brave New World. So it’s fair to say he knows his way around an Iron Maiden tune.

“There’s some very complex songs on this album which took a lot of hard work to get them exactly as we wanted them to sound, so the process was at times very challenging, but Kevin is great at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth the effort!” said Steve Harris. “I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for fans to hear it.”

What singles have been released from the new Iron Maiden album?

So far, the only song we’ve heard from Senjutsu is The Writing On The Wall, which was teased for weeks ahead of time via some carefully placed T-shirts, posters and Twitter accounts. The video was premiered on Friday June 15, 2021, under the guise of Belshazzar's Feast.

The state-of-the-art animated video features countless nods to various aspects of Maiden lore. Frontman Bruce Dickinson actually came up with the concept, which was fully realised by two former Pixar execs, Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon, plus London animation studio BlinkInk.

Reviewing the first single, K! writer Nick Ruskell said: “As a song to break silence with, it’s not the most obvious route one might take. It’s not a fast-paced banger, but a more steady thunderer with space between the notes. But then that ties in with the video, one you watch intently, unpacking it all a little more with each repeat. And as you do, things click into place, and quite how good The Writing On The Wall is reveals itself.”

What have Iron Maiden said about their new album?

Speaking about Senjutsu when it was announced, Bruce teased: “We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the Legacy tour so we could maximise our touring yet still have a long set-up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video. Of course the pandemic delayed things more – so much for the best laid plans – or should that be ‘strategies’!? The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised – in a good way, I hope!”

What does Eddie look like on Senjutsu?

For The Book Of Souls, Iron Maiden mascot Eddie took on a Mayan vibe, but for Senjutsu he has transformed into a Samurai warrior. On the album sleeve, he’s seen brandishing a katana with bloodied scars running down his face, still very much in battle mode. Not an undead monster you’d want to mess with.

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