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The Book of Souls Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 175 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 16th full-length release from the British heavy metal band was produced by Kevin Shirley.
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Top Track

Tears Of A Clown
All alone in a crowded room He tries to force a smile The smile it beamed or so it seemed But never reached the eyes, disguise Masquerading as the... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Kerrang!
    Sep 2, 2015
    100
    The Book Of Souls is an album of extraordinary vision. [5 Sep 2015, p.50]
  2. Aug 31, 2015
    90
    They could have coasted gracefully the rest of the way and nobody would have complained. But they did push themselves like they’ve never done before, and they’ve rewarded their millions of worldwide fans with a late-career zenith.
  3. Sep 3, 2015
    80
    For the most part, The Book of Souls is marked by a impressive rawness that scratches against the album’s more grandiloquent moments.
  4. Sep 11, 2015
    80
    There is, thankfully, life in the old beast yet.
  5. Aug 31, 2015
    70
    On Souls, Maiden mostly hits its target.
  6. Sep 8, 2015
    70
    In fairness, we have heard the duelling solos, galloping Guitar riffs and Dickinson’s operatic Rock vocals all before, in that sense there’s nothing particularly new in form of style (but that’s no bad omen). Upon The Book of Souls the band do, however, sound tighter than ever, offering a raw atmosphere that makes the album sound as though it was almost written in order to be played live.
  7. Q Magazine
    Aug 31, 2015
    60
    Their 16th LP is their most challenging to date. For all the fine musicianship and vaulting ambition, though, there are lengthy longueurs. [Oct 2015, p.111]

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Sep 4, 2015
    10
    A great album with epic songs like 'The Red and The Black', 'Empire of the Clouds' and 'The Book of Souls'.

    Bruce's voice sounds great
    A great album with epic songs like 'The Red and The Black', 'Empire of the Clouds' and 'The Book of Souls'.

    Bruce's voice sounds great again, specially in "The Book of Souls".
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  2. Jan 12, 2016
    10
    The Book Of Souls by Iron Maiden. A german review.
    Diese Scheibe ist schlicht und ergreifend eine der herausragendsten Alben der jüngsten
    The Book Of Souls by Iron Maiden. A german review.
    Diese Scheibe ist schlicht und ergreifend eine der herausragendsten Alben der jüngsten Musikgeschichte. Die Jungs hauen ein episches Meisterwerk nach dem anderen aus den Boxen. Dies war nach dem eher schwachen The Final Frontier nicht unbedingt zu erwarten. Besonders gut sind Empire Of The Clouds, Tears Of A Clown und der Opener If Eternity Should Fail.
    Die Bewertung fällt nicht schwer: 10/10
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  3. Sep 6, 2015
    10
    Rolling guitars roll of the proverbial lick of a modern-classical riff's tongue, conjured by the never-ending nature of each propulsive word,Rolling guitars roll of the proverbial lick of a modern-classical riff's tongue, conjured by the never-ending nature of each propulsive word, so passionately disseminated by the timeless and undying brilliance of Bruce Dickinson, who's vocals have not seen a day of wear or tear, even with the weighing burden of cancer, his gritted teeth determination and tenacity are reflected in great light here.

    Key songs for me are 'The Red and the Black' - 'Empire of the Clouds' - 'Speed of Light' and perhaps the eruptive intro, arguably the strongest ever from Maiden, 'If Eternity Should Fail'
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  4. Sep 16, 2015
    10
    I'm not able to describe this legacy album in just a few words, but I'll do my best.

    I was expecting something similar to the relaxed
    I'm not able to describe this legacy album in just a few words, but I'll do my best.

    I was expecting something similar to the relaxed classic heavy metal style album, like they did with the albums after Bruce's comeback.
    They didn't... instead they surprised me. I'm still trying to understand how they did something so much different from their usual sound style and even more surprised on how they did this without loosing their distinct and perceivable sound style.
    I didn't need a confirmation from Iron Maiden. I could say they are the fathers of heavy metal, the fathers of my childhood, even without having heard the album from X-Factor and on.
    But they still leave their watermark, with every new album. And this is not a watermark. This album is a legacy for all of us.
    I will not say anything about their songs. I will only comment for Bruce's voice.
    Bruce is amazing. Despite his condition, and his age, he sounds great. His voice reminds me now of Balls to Picasso, but even better. Especially the "sick" touch in the Empire of Clouds epic-saga-epos, and more precisely from 10.30 and on.

    If you are to listen to this album and especially if you were a bit disappointed with their previous works, listen to it with your eyes closed, out in the wind if possible or on a balcony and be relaxed when you do so. Don't judge it from the 1st time you listen. Give it a couple of rounds. Once you start feeling the magnificence of the drums on each loop, the change of every sound on every rhythm, giving you a different feeling on each loop, on every different riff, and the deep voice from Bruce, all the feelings you felt long ago, during their golden era, will come back to you.

    Up the Irons!
    They are our fathers forever.
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  5. Mar 2, 2016
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Amazing Album. A familiar sense of speed and power, complete with longer songs and varying tempos. The ending song "Empire of the Clouds" is one of the most impressive anthems I've ever heard. The instrumental breaks complete with Dickenson's genius vocals perfectly end the album. Well done. Expand
  6. Sep 4, 2015
    8
    By the time they announced the tracks and their respectively lengths we could know that this album would be something like Maiden's last two,By the time they announced the tracks and their respectively lengths we could know that this album would be something like Maiden's last two, with a little more "power short songs" than those previous mentioned.
    The Book of Souls sounds like A Matter of Life and Death, with some flavor of the 80s. Their most powerful songs, like the opener "If Eternity Should Fail", "Speed of Light", "The Great Unknown", "When The River Runs Deep" and "Shadow of The Valley" may take a couple of listening to get the right mood of them. But as their last two albums, their greatest works are at the most progressive songs. "The Red and The Black", "The Book of Souls" and the 18-minute epic "Empire of the Clouds" are the highlights of this double album. For the ones that loved A Matter of Life and Death, or those that prefer "new Maiden" style, this album is gold. For those that are not too much into it, like me, you will have the feeling that it lacks more powerful songs, with major and catchy riffs and lyrics. We can't argue about the quality of the sound though. This is why Maiden is still among the greatest, if not the great metal band still around.
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  7. Sep 9, 2015
    5
    I am a big Maiden fan and love almost all their work. I really wanted to love this record especially after reading all the glowing revuesI am a big Maiden fan and love almost all their work. I really wanted to love this record especially after reading all the glowing revues before hearing it, but truth be told I think it's an very weak album. Most of the riffs are just slight reworkings of old familiar favorites. The overall feel is that they are trying too hard to do something epic, something like their own version of Trans Siberian Orchestra, but they just fall short and the songs all song the same and lack the power and focus I am accustomed to from these true masters of the genre. Empire of the Clouds is just a long mess or over repetitive nothingness that never has a focus or build up or payoff. Rime of the Ancient Mariner it is not, and not even close. Red and Black is perhaps the best but even it has the familiar undertones of the main riff of Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

    Sure Bruce sounds great as always and the musicianship is excellent, but the mixing, and overall live feel just comes off sounding less crisp, heavy and hard as I usually expect from Maiden. There's not really a single memorable song of the bunch and I don't foresee any of these songs ending up on my favorites playlist. I laud them trying to be different, but different isn't enough, it also has to be good, and I just don't feel it from this effort. Sure it's better than most of the crap that comes out from everyone else out there today, but as a Maiden album it is arguably one of my least favorite.
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See all 34 User Reviews