The Book of Souls is the upcoming sixteenth studio album by British heavy metal band IRON MAIDEN, due to be released on 4 September 2015. It is the band's first studio double album, and therefore also their longest to date, with a total length of 92 minutes. It also marks the longest gap between studio releases in the group's career at five years, following 2010's The Final Frontier. The album was produced by long-time IRON MAIDEN collaborator Kevin "Caveman" Shirley.
The band's intention to record a sixteenth studio album was first revealed by vocalist Bruce Dickinson in September 2013, who expected a possible release in 2015. The album was recorded at Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris with producer Kevin Shirley from September to December 2014, with the finishing touches added in early 2015. They had previously used the studios for 2000's Brave New World, with Dickinson stating "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!" The band originally intended to release the record earlier in 2015, but it was pushed back to 4 September while Dickinson received treatment for a cancerous tumour.
The album's title, artwork and track listing were revealed on 18 June 2015. Released by Parlophone, this is the band's first original studio album not to be issued by EMI, after both companies were acquired by Warner Music Group in 2013. In the US, the album will be issued by Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG. On 14 August, the band issued a music video for the song "Speed of Light", directed by Llexi Leon. In addition, the song was simultaneously made available as a digital download and was issued as a single-track CD via Best Buy in the US.
The album cover features the original version of the Iron Maiden logo, not used on a studio album since 1995's The X Factor. The artwork was created by Mark Wilkinson, whose previous works for IRON MAIDEN include Live at Donington (1998 remastered version) and Best of the 'B' Sides (2002 compilation), as well as "The Wicker Man" and "Out of the Silent Planet" singles covers. According to bassist Steve Harris, the cover art ties in with the title track, as the depiction of the band's mascot, Eddie, is based on the Maya civilization, who "believe that souls live on [after death]". To check the accuracy of the artwork, the band hired Mayanist scholar Simon Martin, who also translated the song titles into hieroglyphs. According to Martin, although the civilisation had no Book of Souls, "the Mayans are very big on souls ... So as a title, it's appropriate to Mayan culture, but it's very much Iron Maiden's own thing." According to Harris, it is not a concept album, although references to the soul do appear throughout.
A supporting tour based on the album has been delayed until early 2016 so that Dickinson can fully recuperate from his cancer treatment.
Todays tune "Speed of Light" is taken from their sixteenth studio album "The Book of Souls". The song was released as a music video on 14 August 2015 and was also made available as a digital download and issued as a single-track CD exclusive to Best Buy in the US.
The song's music video was directed and produced by Llexi Leon, creator of the comic book series Eternal Descent, as well as the virtual band of the same name. The video is an "'homage' to four decades of video gaming", centring around the band's mascot, Eddie, as he travels "through the combined 35-year history of video games". The visual effects were provided by The Brewery, who had previously worked on the films Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010) and Spike Island (2012), as well as the 2014 TV series Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond
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