IRON MAIDEN's new album, "The Final Frontier", has entered the official Swedish chart at position No. 1. The CD, which has already been certified gold in Sweden for sales in excess of 20,000 copies, came out a week after the band performed in front of 47,000 people at the Swedish installment of the Sonisphere festival in Stockholm.
(Note: The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry [IFPI] in Sweden has revised the sales requirements for albums to reach gold status in the country twice in the last eight years — from the pre-2002 level of 40,000 to the current 20,000.)
On Kritiker.se, a web site that compiles album reviews in the biggest Swedish newspapers and magazines, "The Final Frontier" is one of the highest-rated releases among all national and international LPs with an aggregate rating of 3.6 out of 5 based on 16 reviews.
"The Final Frontier" is likely to sell between 65,000 and 70,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on August 17. That number will be good enough to secure the veteran British heavy metal band the No. 3 spot on next week's The Billboard 200 chart — behind EMINEM's "Recovery" and Detroit-raised R&B star KEM's "Intimacy: Album III".
IRON MAIDEN's previous album, 2006's "A Matter Of Life And Death", opened with 56,000 units to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart. This was a notable increase from the 40,000 first-week tally registered by its predecessor, 2003's "Dance of Death" (which debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 chart), and that of "Brave New World", which moved 38,000 copies in June 2000 to land at No. 39 on The Billboard 200 chart.
"The Final Frontier" was released in North America on August 17 via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). The effort was made available in a unique limited-edition collectors' "Mission Edition" CD case and features access to extra bonus content, including the director's cut of a video for the edited version of the opening song on the album, entitled "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier"; band "Mission Debrief" interview footage; wallpapers; photos; and the exclusive game "Mission II : Rescue & Revenge". MAIDEN is also for the first time making the album available as an iTunes LP with bonus content as well as the traditional digital format. There is also a limited-edition double picture disc.
The band reunited with long-time MAIDEN producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in early 2010 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau to record the album and then moved to The Cave Studios in Malibu, California to finish the recording and do the mixing. Compass Point Studio is very familiar to the band, it was where they recorded the "Piece Of Mind" (1983), "Powerslave" (1984) and "Somewhere In Time" (1986) albums.