THE GREATEST BAND OF ALL FREAKIN’ TIME is back with a new song:
This is definitely not what you might call “standard” IRON MAIDEN. But I have to say, it is very, very good.
IRON MAIDEN has definitely slowed down a lot in recent years – well, that is to say, since 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death, as their songs generally move at a stately canter rather than a full-on gallop. Then again, the band has been around since – and I’m not making this up – 1976. They’re damn near fifty years old. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of truly great rock bands out there which have been around that long, and with so relatively few line-up changes after their first album. And every single member of the band is over 60 – the drummer is at least 67.
And they’re still making bands one fifth their age look slow and stupid by comparison.
As for the song itself – this is a much more philosophical, mid-paced, groove-oriented approach to music than the band has had for quite some time. IRON MAIDEN’s slower tracks tend to be a little hit-or-miss at times – “Wasting Love”, anyone? – but when they get it right, they really get it right. And this is one of those times where they get it very right indeed.
The song itself is a reference to Daniel 5:
5 King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.
2 Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father[a] had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
5 Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. 6 Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. 7 The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared[b] to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed.— Daniel 5:1-9, English Standard Version
Watch the video and you will see that it is LOADED full of Biblical imagery. Clearly, both the band and the animators have done their homework. I’m not entirely keen on the ending – referencing the Fall from Eden – but the song itself is excellent.
So it looks like we have a new IRON MAIDEN album to look forward to before the end of the year. And, given how amazing The Book of Souls was, I have to say, I am very much looking forward to what the band has produced this time.