Iron Maiden – Senjutsu – 2021
I wish I could say that Senjutsu is what we all have been waiting for, but I really can’t. Long are the days since a new Iron Maiden record swept me off my feet and conquered my soul. It isn’t bad by any standards it’s just one of those albums where you realize that you have heard it all before. Obviously, I haven’t heard these exact songs prior to listening to this album but I feel every note is just where I thought it would be. I recently started to follow a reaction dude on youtube, a composer, which makes a point of pointing out the E-flat minor key in every Iron Maiden song he reacts to. I feel kinda like that here. Spoiler alert, this is in E-flat Minor… Of course, I have no idea if it’s really in E-flat Minor or not. It just sounds the same as it usually does. Same scales, same chord progression, and so on.
But if we talk a bit about the performance it’s not bad. It sounds vital and there are a lot of long songs on Senjutsu, which according to Google Translate translates into Tactics. So many long songs that it is really a 2 CD album. Or if you like the vinyl release there are actually three discs. I don’t know if it’s actually necessary from a technical point of view. But I guess if there’s more space available, regardless if it’s on an analog vinyl album och a digital CD, the better the sound quality. And it sounds good, there’s no doubt about that. You can tell that Bruce Dickinson is not the singer he used to be. But he doesn’t try to be either. He does a good job. I wouldn’t expect more.
So, as a whole, Senjutsu is a really solid album. But just a bit boring. There’s all the usual elements, the traditional galloping sound and the background keyboard they have used for years. Solid compositions with a good performance. I think fans will be satisfied but they won’t get any new followers with this album. I’ve listened to it a few times today and the last time I even wished it would end since I was so tired of it. I’m not sure it was such a good idea to finish off the second disc with three songs all over 10 minutes. With a little more dynamics (like Rime of the Ancient Mariner) in the songs, it might have worked. But now there’s a huge risk that you’ll find it boring in the end.
I expected you to write about this one and I’m glad you did. I am listening to it right now and I, just like you, didn’t find it amazing, but rather good. I love Maiden, but it always takes a little effort to listen to a new album nowadays…. There are some songs I really enjoy here though, Senjutsu I really liked! Magnificent drumming and even if it’s long it’s got what I want!
Thanx for posting about it!
I so agree that it’s harder to find an album amazing right away these days. I don’t know it’s the life experience or the innocence of youth but the “old” stuff that formed me is usually still the best and what I return to time after time. It’s always enjoyable to find and discover new things though, even if it’s an old band like Iron Maiden. Thanks for commenting!