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Iron Maiden Announces First-Ever Double Album, ‘The Book of Souls’

Sanctuary Copyrights / BMG

Details on Iron Maiden‘s next studio effort, a first-ever double album to be titled The Book of Souls, are emerging – including a track listing, cover art and release date. Due on Sept. 4 via Parlophone/Sanctuary-BMG, the project was recorded in Paris with long-time Maiden producer Kevin Shirley.

“We’re really excited about The Book of Souls,” frontman Bruce Dickinson said in pre-release materials, “and had a fantastic time creating it. 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. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there! So we immediately felt at home and the ideas just started flowing. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double its going to be!”

Though complete for some time, Iron Maiden decided to delay releasing The Book of Souls until Dickinson was given the all-clear after a tumor diagnosis. The 11-song studio effort runs 92 minutes long, with a new emphasis on shared songwriting. Stalwart Steve Harris contributed to seven songs, all but one of them with other members. Dickinson wrote two songs, the most since 1984’s Powerslave, and collaborated with Adrian Smith on a pair of others. The full tracklisting, with credits, is below.

“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously,” Harris added. “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.”

The Book of Souls, Iron Maiden’s 16th studio effort, follows 2010’s The Final Frontier – which earned the group their highest-ever chart debut at No. 4 on the Billboard charts. The album will be available in a standard 2CD edition, a limited-edition deluxe edition that also includes a hardbound book, triple-heavyweight black vinyl, and as both a standard and high-res audio download. The cover art was created by Mark Wilkinson, who has collaborated with Iron Maiden before. A tour is planned, beginning early next year.

Track listing for Iron Maiden’s ‘The Book of Souls':
Disc 1

1. “If Eternity Should Fail” (Dickinson)
2. “Speed of Light” (Smith/Dickinson)
3. “The Great Unknown” (Smith/Harris)
4. “The Red and the Black” (Harris)
5. “When the River Runs Deep” (Smith/Harris)
6. “The Book of Souls (Gers/Harris)
Disc 2
7. “Death or Glory” (Smith/Dickinson)
8. “Shadows of the Valley” (Gers/Harris)
9. “Tears of a Clown” (Smith/Harris)
10. “The Man of Sorrows” (Murray/Harris)
11. “Empire of the Clouds” (Dickinson)

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