Photo Credit: Craig Hawkins

Photo Credit: Craig Hawkins

It’s official: Iron Maiden will release their anticipated new album ‘The Book of Souls’ this September. The upcoming effort marks the first album from the heavy metal veterans since their well-received 2010 effort ‘The Final Frontier,’ which subsequently became the band’s most successful album to hit the charts to date.

It turns out that work on ‘The Book of Souls’ had already been completed back in 2014, with only a few final details completed earlier this year, however the members of Iron Maiden agreed to delay it’s release out of respect to frontman Bruce Dickinson, who at the time was battling cancer – an obstacle he’s since defeated triumphantly.

The track listing Iron Maiden’s ‘The Book of Souls’ is bound to feature a number of epic tracks, seeing as five of the eleven songs that fit on the album’s two discs and three vinyl records clock in at over seven minutes each.

“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously,” says bassist Steve Harris. “A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs, they have almost a live feel to them, I think.”

Included alongside these same tracks are two songs that were solely written by Bruce Dickinson, marking the first time since 1984’s ‘Powerslave’ that the vocalist has been accredited as the sole songwriter. Perhaps not coincidentally, one of those same tracks is “Empire of the Clouds,” which at eighteen minutes and one second is the longest Iron Maiden song ever.

“We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the ‘Brave New World’ album back in 2000 so the studio holds special memories for all of us,” adds Bruce. “We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there!”

The album artwork for ‘The Book of Souls’ was designed by Mark Wilkinson, who previously worked on cover artwork for Iron Maiden in addition to studio albums from Judas Priest and Marillion.

While we likely won’t see the members of Iron Maiden back out on the road touring in support of their new album until later next year while Bruce continues his recovery, the fact that this formidable unit is back with new material is nothing less than exciting for dedicated fans.

Iron Maiden’s ‘The Book of Souls’ is expected for release on September 4 through Parlophone Records.

Iron Maiden, ‘The Book of Souls’ Track Listing:

01. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
02. Speed of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
03. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
04. The Red and the Black (Harris) 13:33
05. When the River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
06. The Book of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27
07. Death or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
08. Shadows of the Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
09. Tears of a Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
10. The Man of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
11. Empire of the Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01