Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM
LISTEN NOW!WATCH NOW! LOGIN
KNAC Magazine KNAC KNAC Downloads KNAC Contests KNAC Store
Reviews

IRON MAIDEN Senjutsu

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Monday, September 27, 2021 @ 10:58 AM


- advertisement -
IRON MAIDEN
Senjutsu

Sanctuary Records/BMG
http://www.ironmaiden.com




Whenever anyone asks me who my favorite band is, I invariably divide my answer into two categories: All-Time and Currently Active.

While IRON MAIDEN would make both of those lists for me, they are definitely #1 on my Currently Active list. Despite nearing their 50th anniversary as a band, they have consistently turned out great albums and tours, year in and year out. This helps them put bands that are decades younger than them to shame.

So when the official word finally came out that they were going to be releasing a new album, like many fans, I was rejoicing quite happily both in person and online. And when they released the song "The Writing On The Wall" as a precursor to the full album's release, I thought it was a great song. Like many IRON MAIDEN albums before, the song was a fast paced track that sounded extremely radio friendly. It served as a clarion call to wake IRON MAIDEN fans from the six year doldrums without any new music from the group. While opinions varied on the song, for the most part I believe it was received pretty well.

The day of Senjutsu's release finally came and though I had myself an epic adventure trying to get myself a copy, I was finally able to lay my hands on the media book version of the release. (There's a standard 2 CD edition and an expensive box set version as well.)

Since that day, I've been listening to the album in order to write this review. But it has taken this long to get said review written because Senjutsu has been, to say the least, challenging.

Let me tell you about it...

Disc One

"Challenging" is the word I used to describe the album. And those challenges pretty much started from the beginning.

The first two songs on the first disc are the title track and "Stratego". The first few times I listened, I found that the production level on the songs seemed to come across to me as being very muddied. It just didn't seem all that clear sounding to me. I was listening to the album on a relatively standard volume level, but when I turned the volume up, things seemed to be a bit clearer. I don't know if that's my ears playing tricks on me or what, but all that muddy sound seemed to be pushed back. But that didn't necessarily improve the songs overall.

To be honest, I thought both songs were (and I know this might be considered blasphemy) rather boring. The title track took forever to get anywhere and the destination didn't seem that interesting when it got there. While the uptempo pacing of "Stratego" at least gave you a little bit of an energy boost, the song still seemed unable to fully coalesce into a complete whole.

I already mentioned that I liked "The Writing On The Wall", but I didn't tell you why. I liked the way the song's intro rolled out. It had a heavy kind of stomp to it. It felt a bit more like a "hard rock" type of opening as opposed to a straight on metallic opening surge. And it just kept pace throughout the song...like a rallying cry to the King's Banner.

On "Lost In A Lost World", the slow lead-in lasted over two minutes before the tempo switched to a heavier and more driving pace. It closed on a slower note but I have to say I was kind of lost with this track. Despite a number of times listening to it, I just could never really get into it. My attention seemed to wander a lot during the song and I actually can't even recall hearing the song title in the lyrics until the last time I played the album before sitting down to write this review. When does that ever happen?

The kind of fire-in-the-belly performance you usually associate with IRON MAIDEN was on full display in the song "Days Of Future Past". Fast paced and crackling with an electricity that makes you want to listen to the song over and over, it's just a damn good track.

The first disc closes out with "The Time Machine", which like a number of the album's songs, starts slow before growing into more a heavier sounding song. It's a pretty decent track after a number of spins.

Disc Two

Due to the album's lengthy running time, there's only four songs on the second disc but with three of the songs well over the ten minute mark, you aren't lacking in terms of content.

When I first listened to "Darkest Hour", the song's move between mid to uptempo in style left me a bit cold. It seemed, much like the title track, to take forever to get anywhere. It did end up growing on me a little after all the repeated listens but I wish I didn't have to say I had to work at liking any IRON MAIDEN songs.

The rhythmic styling on "Death Of The Celts" really helped sell the song to me. It had a quick stepping pace and it just seemed the song hit me just right. It's easily the best song on the second disc.

While I did appreciate that "The Parchment" got more lively, musically speaking, towards the end of it's more than twelve minute run time, the overall slow build to that point wasn't too terribly interesting to me. This is particularly galling because I am accustomed to liking those lengthy musical explorations that come as part and parcel of IRON MAIDEN's longer tracks.

If the mind-numbing three-and-a-half minute intro to the album's closing song "Hell On Earth" (that starts slow and gets heavier before Bruce Dickinson's vocals kick in) wasn't enough of a pain, was I the only one that seemed to realize that IRON MAIDEN appears to have ripped themselves off? I'm being serious here. Unless I'm going completely wacky, there's a sizeable portion of the music on "Hell On Earth" that sounds an AWFUL lot like the music from the band's song "When The Wild Winds Blow" off their 2010 The Final Frontier CD. Please tell me I'm losing it because that is just depressing if I'm right.

I've never experienced quite the level of disappointment that I'm feeling after getting myself fully immersed in the musical world of the Senjutsu album. Previously I always considered The Final Frontier to be the most disappointing album the band has made with Dickinson on vocals. But now I have to unhappily put a fine point to this review and say that with the large portion of actually boring material on the album, Senjutsu is overall a rather weak and very disappointing demonstration of what IRON MAIDEN has to offer their fans.

2.9 Out Of 5.0


Please log in to view RANTS

If you don't have a username, click here to create an account!

Username: 
Password: 

Message: 
 
 

 





 Recent Reviews
OMNIUM GATHERUM Origin
WORMWITCH Wolf Hex
TOBY HITCHCOCK Changes
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY In Houston Photo Gallery
HALESTORM, PLUSH In Salt Lake City With Photos!
JINJER, SUICIDE SILENCE & ALL HAIL THE YETI In Cleveland, OH With Photos!
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Bullet For My Valentine
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Doom Crew, Inc.
KHEMMIS Deceiver
SWALLOW THE SUN Moonflowers
AEON God Ends Here
SUFFOCATION Live In North America
OBSCURA A Valediction
THE THREE TREMORS Guardians of The Void
SEBASTIAN BACH, KALEIDO In Orlando, FL With Photos!
VICTORY Gods of Tomorrow
THE GRANDMASTER Skywards
RIVERS OF NIHIL The Work
LORDS OF BLACK Alchemy Of Souls Part II
FRANK BELLO Fathers, Brothers And Sons: Surviving Anguish Abandonment And Anthrax
BUCKCHERRY, HARD LABOUR In Ottawa, Canada
THE DEAD DAISIES In Portland, OR With Photos!
LORNA SHORE ...And I Return to Nothingness EP
NORTHTALE Eternal Flame
RUNNING WILD Blood On Blood
PLUSH Plush
CRADLE OF FILTH Existence Is Futile





HOME | MAGAZINE | ON-AIR | DOWNLOADS | CONTESTS | STORE | HELP

©2021 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News