IRON MAIDEN is rumored to have completed work on a new studio album.
The British heavy metal legends haven't released any fresh music since 2015's "The Book Of Souls" LP, which was recorded in late 2014 in Paris, France with longtime producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley.
On Monday (December 23), Shirley offered a recap of 2019 on social media and alluded to a renewed MAIDEN collaboration, saying that he spent three months in Paris earlier this year "working very hard on an unnamed but not-very-secret project." He added: "I finished with a loud ringing in my ears."
Back in May, Italian web site Maiden Concerts first speculated that IRON MAIDEN was putting the finishing touches on a new album. The site concluded that the LP was nearing completion after gathering social media evidence that all six members of the band, their wives and Shirley were in Paris at the same time. The producer even posted new pictures of Guillaume Tell Studios, where MAIDEN recorded "Brave New World" (2000) and "The Book Of Souls", saying he was finalizing a major project.
During MAIDEN's summer 2019 North American tour, singer Bruce Dickinson hinted at new material, telling the crowd at the group's Oakland, California concert: "New IRON MAIDEN songs — sooner than you think." At MAIDEN's Nashville show in August, Dickinson said that fresh music from the band wasn't "beyond the bounds of possibility," adding that a new MAIDEN record was essentially a "certainty."
If the reports of a new MAIDEN album are true, it will mark the band's 17th studio effort and the sixth to be produced by Shirley, who has worked with MAIDEN for the past two decades.
In addition to MAIDEN, Shirley has collaborated with dozens of notable acts, including Joe Bonamassa, JOURNEY, DREAM THEATER and LED ZEPPELIN.
During the making of "The Book Of Souls", Dickinson was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the back of his tongue. He recorded all the vocals for the album with the tumor before undergoing treatment and making a full recovery in time for the LP's release in September 2015.
"The Book Of Souls" was the longest MAIDEN album, clocking in at 92 minutes, with lyrics heavily based in the themes of death, reincarnation, the soul and mortality.