According to OfficialCharts.com, British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN are on track to have their fifth U.K. Number One album.
The band's 16th studio CD, "The Book Of Souls", is currently over 30,000 chart sales ahead of nearest rival Jess Glynne, putting them in with a good chance of topping the chart this Friday.
Released globally on September 4 through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.), "The Book Of Souls" was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year.
"The Book Of Souls" includes "Empire Of The Clouds", an 18-minute track penned by MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear after being diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue late last year.
IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris told Kerrang! magazine about the song: "I think it's a masterpiece, actually. I think I can say that because I didn't write it! It sounds like MAIDEN, but it's totally different from what we've done before."
He continued: "Eighteen minutes sounds like a long time, but it's actually such a journey that… Well, it's best just to leave people to listen to it and see what they think. But it's very interesting. It's certainly not boring."
"I think you'll see on this album that there's lots going on. There's a hell of a lot to take in. I think there'll be bits and pieces that will hit people initially, but I think they're going to need a few listens. It's a long album. I think it's a really interesting album. Hopefully other people will think it's interesting as well."
The band announced in May that touring plans to support the album wouldn't happen until 2016 to allow Dickinson time to fully recuperate after his successful cancer treatment.
"Whenever we do a new album, we always go out with a new stage show; that's exciting in itself," Harris said. "We always feel like every show is sacred these days anyway, and I suppose even more so now after the scare with what's happened with Bruce. It makes everything more important to us."
He continued: "'The Book Of Souls' is a really powerful album, we're really proud of it and we can't wait to come out and play new songs on the tour. We're really looking forward to it."