The Book Of Souls will be released on September 4.
The LP was recorded in Paris with their longstanding producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley.
Whilst the bulk of the record was tracked late last year and completed earlier this year, Maiden decided to delay its release to allow for a proper recuperation period for vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from a tumour.
As well as confirming the worldwide release date for The Book Of Souls (September 4), the band have also unveiled the album's Mark Wilkinson designed artwork, which you can see below:
Songwriting duties have been split on the record, more so than on any previous Maiden offering. Steve Harris contributes to seven of the tracks; 6 of them with Maiden’s guitarists and one sole composition. This is also the first time since 1984’s Powerslave that a Maiden album also features two tracks written solely by Bruce Dickinson, one of which is the longest song Maiden has ever recorded! The album also features two Dickinson/Smith collaborations.
“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously. 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. I’m very proud of The Book Of Souls, we all are, and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it, and especially to take it out on the road next year!”
“We’re really excited about The Book Of Souls 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!”
Iron Maiden previously postposed touring plans due to Bruce's illness, but have promised to be out on the road again early next year in support of the album, once the vocalist has fully recovered. Up The Irons!
The full tracklisting for The Book Of Souls is:
1. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
2. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
3. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
4. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
5. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
6. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27
7. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
8. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
9. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01
2CD deluxe hardbound book limited edition
2CD standard edition
Triple heavyweight black vinyl
High res audio (24-bit Mastered for ITunes and non-Mastered for iTunes)
Standard res audio (16 bit/ 44.1 kHz)
You can listen to our interview with Iron Maiden's Steve Harris from backstage at Download Festival 2015 below: