IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson took the band's headlining performance at the Download festival as an opportunity to announce the long-awaited details of their new album. IRON MAIDEN are currently performing on their "Give Me Ed...Til I'm Dead" Tour, headlining dates throughout Europe and the USA.
The new album, entitled "Dance Of Death", is the band's thirteenth studio album and is due for release in September 2003. Work began on the album late in 2002 when IRON MAIDEN reconvened from a break to start putting the album together. They teamed up again with producer Kevin Shirley who co-produced their last album, "Brave New World" with Steve Harris. The album was recorded and mixed at Sarm Studios in West London during the spring.
Kevin Shirley has been even more impressed working with IRON MAIDEN this time round. "The band are so in sync with each other — it's incredible," he said. "There is very little friction in the studio, and the sessions couldn't have been any more fun and productive, and they rock so fucking hard too! It all augers well for the finished product, and whatever period in MAIDEN's history is your favorite, I doubt whether they've all played as together as this before.
"In the ZEPPELIN tradition of 'Tight But Loose', this is a band which moves — pushing the beat, pulling it back, and that's real rock!" Shirley added. "No click tracks, no ProTools computer tightening and manipulation — what you hear is what they play. I'm just saying it like it is, and MAIDEN are the last and the best of the naturally moving rock bands."
Vocalist Bruce Dickinson is equally as pleased with the results on "Dance Of Death". "I think 'Brave New World' was only a stepping stone to what we have managed to achieve on this record for everyone," he said. "Recording this album was almost like being back when 'Number Of The Beast' was recorded in that the speed and the energy that went into the writing and recording was phenomenal. Everything has come together on this album and I think everyone that hears this record will be moved in different ways from the epic sound of songs like 'Paschendale' through to the more heavy tracks like 'Rainmaker' and 'Montsegur'. This album will open a lot of eyes and ears to the world or IRON MAIDEN.'
The full track listing for "Dance Of Death" is as follows:
01. Wildest Dreams
03. No More Lies
05. Dance Of Death
06. Gates Of Tomorrow
07. New Frontier
09. Face in The Sand
10. Age Of Innocence
The 11 tracks represent the work from all band members including, for the first time, drummer Nicko McBrain on the track "New Frontier".
Another first for the band is that the album has also been mixed to 5.1 Surround, which will take those who have 5.1 Home Cinema to a whole new level of hearing the album. Comments Steve Harris, "When I was working with Kevin on the audio for our 'Rock In Rio' DVD, the whole 5.1 mixing process really opened my eyes to what could be achieved. I decided there and then that the new album had to be mixed the same way when it was finished. That's not to say that we wrote any specific songs which can only be heard properly in 5.1, I simply wanted to take the listener right into the middle of the studio so they could close their eyes and imagine themselves there. We've really managed to capture that feeling."
IRON MAIDEN are also to release their "Visions Of The Beast" DVD and VHS on Monday June 2 . This Double DVD, which runs in excess of three hours of material, is the definitive chronicle of IRON MAIDEN through the years and includes many promo clips never previously available. Not only is every video the band has ever made included — 31 in total — but on the DVD version the bonus features include never-before-seen Camp Chaos animated versions of six classic tracks, interactive menus and discographies, and some special hidden extras.