After much speculation as to whether another Iron Maiden album would actually see the light of day, after frontman Bruce Dickinson's battle with a cancerous tumour earlier in the year, the band has delivered one of its most ambitious albums to date.
In addition to being the band's 16th studio album, it's also their first double CD album, coming in at 92 minutes. It is a very ambitious project, and they sure as hell pulled it off.
Right out of the gate, the band graces us with If Eternity Should Fail, setting the pace for what's to come for the rest of the album. It's classic Maiden, and their signature sound is prevalent right from the get go.
While listening to this album, the thing that stuck with me the most is the fact that these dudes have been at it for close to 40 years, and the fact that they can still produce music of this calibre is an amazing accomplishment.
This album also contains one of their lengthiest songs to date: Empire of the Clouds.
All the songs on the album surpass the 5-minute mark, and the longer songs are not noticeable when you start listening. When I first popped in this album, I was surprised to realise that I had to insert the second CD, as the first one had already finished playing, and it felt as though I had just started listening.
Throughout all the years that Iron Maiden has been active, they have been able to stay relevant in the very fast changing environment that is the metal genre. With all the various sub-genres and subsequent arguments about said genres, there is one thing most metalheads would agree to, and that is that Iron Maiden are still the kings of metal.
Iron Maiden has enjoyed major success in their career, and this album shows us why exactly that is. After 40 years in the business, they can still produce albums that sound like they recorded it in their prime. Given the scope of the project, as well as the length of the album and the songs, I will come out and say that this is one of their best works to date.
This album isn't just a novelty because of the age of the band, it's a resounding success and one thing is clear, Iron Maiden is here to stay with us for a long time still. All hail the king!