Iron Maiden – “Speed Of Light” Video

Iron Maiden – “Speed Of Light” Video

It’s been five years since British heavy metal gods Iron Maiden released a new album, 2010’s The Final Frontier, and it’s not unreasonable to have low expectations for fresh music from any band FOUR DECADES into its career. But after a nadir that spanned all of the 1990s, Maiden have been on a relative upswing this millennium: Their last four albums were also their best four albums since 1988’s Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son — and The Final Frontier was the best of that entire batch. (Check out our Counting Down ranking of all Iron Maiden’s albums from worst to best for a more detailed explication of this analysis.) That said, there’s plenty of reason to be trepidatious about Maiden’s upcoming The Book Of Souls: It’s Maiden’s first studio double album (!); its 18-minute closing track, “Empire Of The Clouds,” is four-and-a-quarter minutes longer than the band’s longest track to date, 1984’s “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner,” and there’s another song on here (“When The River Runs Deep”) that’s only 12 seconds shorter than “Rime”; and the whole thing comes only months after frontman Bruce Dickinson was successfully treated for cancer (a tumor found on his tongue, no less). But today, the band release the first single from The Book Of Souls, “Speed Of Light,” which should help to momentarily ease any such trepidation. The track (which comes in at a comparatively infinitesimal 5:01) was written by Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith, the same songwriting team that gave us such irreducible monuments as “2 Minutes To Midnight” and “The Flight Of Icarus.” I’m not gonna suggest that “Speed Of Light” is on that level, but then again, nothing else is on that level. This is still pretty goddamn good. Listen.

The Book Of Souls tracklist:

Disc 1
01 “If Eternity Should Fail”
02 “Speed Of Light”
03 “The Great Unknown”
04 “The Red And The Black”
05 “When The River Runs Deep”
06 “The Book Of Souls”

Disc 2
07 “Death Or Glory”
08 “Shadows Of The Valley”
09 “Tears Of A Clown”
10 “The Man Of Sorrows”
11 “Empire Of The Clouds”

The Book Of Souls is out 9/4, and you can pre-order it here.

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