IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson says that he and his bandmates have been dying to tell their fans about their upcoming album, "Senjutsu", "for ages."
Although the follow-up to 2015's "The Book Of Souls" was recorded back in 2019, MAIDEN didn't announce the new LP until earlier this month, preceded by the music video for the disc's first single, "The Writing On The Wall".
Dickinson addressed the long gap between the "Senjutsu"'s completion and official announcement while recording a video message to promote his upcoming spoken-word tour of the United Kingdom.
"So now you know. The big secret is no longer a secret. The album is called 'Belshazzar's Feast'," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET), referencing the story of the writing on the wall in the Bible which MAIDEN used to tease its new LP before the LP's official announcement. "No, it's not. So, 'Senjutsu' is the album.
'Really, you cannot imagine how long we've wanted to tell people about the album," he continued. "We've all been, like, [bites hand in frustration], like this for ages. So, it's amazing that the news of it is out. It's also a great opportunity, 'cause I'm doing these one-man shows, and I can actually talk about it. Actually, you can ask me questions about it, and I can talk about it. You never know, we might even take the opportunity, 'cause we're gonna have a big screen and a big sound system and there's an amazing video with some really cool stuff, which, of course, you know about. But oh my God, on a big screen. See the video on a big screen. We could talk about the video. We could play the video. Oooooh, there's an idea."
"Senjutsu" will be released on September 3 via BMG. It was recorded in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by bassist Steve Harris.
The video for "The Writing On The Wall" was made by BlinkInk based on a concept by Dickinson with two former Pixar executives. It followed a month-long teaser campaign and global "treasure hunt" for clues about the track title and concept.
For "Senjutsu" — loosely translated as "tactics and strategy" — the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular Samurai themed cover artwork, based on an idea by bassist Steve Harris. With a running time of a little under 82 minutes, "Senjutsu", like their previous record "The Book Of Souls", will be a double CD/triple vinyl album.
IRON MAIDEN hadn't released any fresh music since "The Book Of Souls", which was recorded in late 2014 in Paris, France with Shirley.
"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.
Back in May 2019, 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, 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 2019, 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."
"Senjutsu" marks MAIDEN's sixth album 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.