Author Topic: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls  (Read 594767 times)

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Online MinistroRaven

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10255 on: March 02, 2024, 06:09:37 AM »
Wow, just opened this up and for $35 bucks, what a steal IMO (and I don't even have a record player), Ministro who shared the link for walmart for this thank you!  :metal :metal









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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10256 on: March 02, 2024, 12:01:01 PM »
You guys are missing out, Tyranny of Souls is fantastic. The first half is kickass: Abduction > Soul Intruders > Kill > Navigate is an awesome four punch. The rest of the album is acceptable anyway and of course the title track is massive. It's not Chemical Wedding or Accident but what it is? In a different reality where Bruce tours for this record and plays most of it, I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Played it at work today. I've never not enjoyed it, but it's just never what I reach for when I want to hear some Bruce. There's a number of songs that I do like...Power Of The Sun, Navigating The Seas Of The Sun.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline ozzy554

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10257 on: March 02, 2024, 02:33:31 PM »
Finally gave the new Bruce a listen and it's perfectly fine. Don't know how much replay power It'll have with me but I enjoyed it. Sometimes though it did feel that this was stuff he had lying around for a long time.
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10258 on: March 03, 2024, 04:42:47 AM »
New album is really good! I know people's first instinct is always to rank this compared to his other solo albums or even the last few Maiden albums. I do think this album sounds better and has more interesting production than some of the more recent Maiden ones. I also really like the variety on here and it feels like a nice summary of his career with nods to different albums.

I agree Tyranny of Souls is really great and underrated. For me his two best are Chemical Wedding but I'm also a big Skunkworks fan (as a 90s kid). After that it gets harder to place the albums but I think the new one is giving Tyranny a run for its money for the 3rd spot. I'd probably put Accident at 5th and the first two albums at the bottom. I don't think he has made a bad album though, even Tattooed Millionaire and Balls to Picasso has some great songs on them.

Offline WardySI

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10259 on: March 03, 2024, 04:54:54 AM »
New album is really good! I know people's first instinct is always to rank this compared to his other solo albums or even the last few Maiden albums. I do think this album sounds better and has more interesting production than some of the more recent Maiden ones. I also really like the variety on here and it feels like a nice summary of his career with nods to different albums.

I agree Tyranny of Souls is really great and underrated. For me his two best are Chemical Wedding but I'm also a big Skunkworks fan (as a 90s kid). After that it gets harder to place the albums but I think the new one is giving Tyranny a run for its money for the 3rd spot. I'd probably put Accident at 5th and the first two albums at the bottom. I don't think he has made a bad album though, even Tattooed Millionaire and Balls to Picasso has some great songs on them.

Love everything you posted.  And regards our feeling the need for all these rankings, all well explained...

But Accident Of Birth at #5?

Whhhaaaaatttt?  :o :lol


« Last Edit: March 03, 2024, 05:24:16 AM by WardySI »

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10260 on: March 03, 2024, 07:30:13 AM »
New album is really good! I know people's first instinct is always to rank this compared to his other solo albums or even the last few Maiden albums. I do think this album sounds better and has more interesting production than some of the more recent Maiden ones. I also really like the variety on here and it feels like a nice summary of his career with nods to different albums.

I agree Tyranny of Souls is really great and underrated. For me his two best are Chemical Wedding but I'm also a big Skunkworks fan (as a 90s kid). After that it gets harder to place the albums but I think the new one is giving Tyranny a run for its money for the 3rd spot. I'd probably put Accident at 5th and the first two albums at the bottom. I don't think he has made a bad album though, even Tattooed Millionaire and Balls to Picasso has some great songs on them.

Love everything you posted.  And regards our feeling the need for all these rankings, all well explained...

But Accident Of Birth at #5?

Whhhaaaaatttt?  :o :lol

I think #3 to #5 are all very close for me, the difference is minimal. I do like Accident of Birth but perhaps unfairly it's not quite as good as Chemical Wedding but it's similar in sound, and it also follows Skunkworks which I love personally and is a different vibe entirely. I might revisit all these albums and put Accident as high as #3 but never lower than #5, but just on a gut feeling I revisit Tyranny of Souls a lot and the new album is currently a bit of a joker card in the deck (no pun intended towards Accident of Birth) and we'll see how it fares in a few months from now once the new car smell wears off. :P

Offline Zydar

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10261 on: March 03, 2024, 07:58:55 AM »
Two listens now and I'm impressed with the new album. Plenty of standout tracks so far. I'm sure it will place high in my list of favourite albums this year, we'll see how it stands up over time.

By the way, is this a concept album of sorts? Some of the tracks seems connected lyricwise.
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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10262 on: March 03, 2024, 08:34:26 AM »
This absolutely is a concept album. Bruce confirmed it in several interviews.

I have no clue what the story exactly is, though.  :lol Can someone break it down song by song?

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10263 on: March 03, 2024, 08:48:22 AM »
This absolutely is a concept album. Bruce confirmed it in several interviews.

I have no clue what the story exactly is, though.  :lol Can someone break it down song by song?

Okay I haven't read any interviews so that's good to know then.

I found this on Genius by the way:

Afterglow Of Ragnarok

"This is meant to be like a hallucination from mandrake juice. Dr. Necropolis is a brilliant scientist, and an orphan. He’s interested in bringing back his brother who died at birth. He’s wondering why he survived and his brother died. And he’s tortured by this voice in his head, which he assumes is his brother. The voice just says, ‘Save me,’ over and over. It hits Necropolis like a depression. He gets into drugs and sex magic and the occult to try and contact his brother and try to figure out a way to bring him back. That’s what drives him and propels him through the story".

Many Doors To Hell

"This is about a female vampire who wants to be human again. She wants to feel what it’s like to not just bite people in the neck, but to maybe kiss them or make love. Instead of the weird vampire orgasm of drinking blood and stuff, she wants to feel what it’s like to be a woman again. She’s fed up with living forever with dead people. So she’s waiting for the moment when she can step outside. And that moment is when there’s an eclipse. During the eclipse, she can go out and she can be human. And maybe there’s a way back for her to be human permanently".

Rain On The Graves

"The title is a phrase I’d written down 10 years before I actually wrote the song. I was in a part of England called the Lake District, a very beautiful area that lots of poets and artists lived in. William Wordsworth had a cottage there and wrote a lot of his best poetry there. He’s buried in the local church, which is where this wedding was that I was invited to, and I decided to find his grave. It was raining and really atmospheric, and I sat there for about 40 minutes just thinking about what an incredible creative mind he had. Years later, Roy and I decided to write this song, which is kind of like ‘Cross Road Blues’ by Robert Johnson, where he meets the devil, but instead of at a crossroads it takes place in a graveyard".

Resurrection Men

"This one is related to the comic. The Resurrection Men are Professor Lazarus and Dr. Necropolis. While I was doing the beginning bit with these open guitar chords, I noticed the tremolo button on the amp. I went, ‘Hang on, what does this button do?’ It was the full-on Dick Dale surf sound, so I thought, ‘What would a Tarantino heavy metal opening sound like?’ So I played that on guitar. I thought Roy would redo it, but he decided to keep mine. And then I put the bongos on it later, because if you’ve got a Tarantino thing, you’ve got to have bongos on it as well".

Fingers In The Wounds

"The fingers in the wounds are the stigmata of Christ. I think it was St. Francis who had the stigmata appear, which proved that he was holy. The song is about the wonderful world of influencers, but with a twist: What if Jesus came back as an influencer? Like, ‘Put your fingers in your iPhones, put your fingers in my wounds, I’ll sell you a piece of my cloth. I can sell pearls to oysters, feed them to swine.’ It’s the way that everything on the internet now is just degraded by trolls and idiots and fake news and all that stuff. And all these influencers are just worthless, fake people. What have they done in their lives to justify all these people following them around like little dogs? I hate all that. That’s why I’m not part of it".

Eternity Has Failed

"Originally, it was entitled ‘If Eternity Should Fail.’ The title comes from a Doctor Strange episode. It was going to be the title track to the record, but then Maiden co-opted it onto their record. By the time I returned to it, I’d already got this idea for the comic series pretty well developed, so I thought I’d just tweak a couple of the words to make it reflect the story more. So we did that, and then stuck a few more bits on, like the flutes and percussion at the beginning that give it that spaghetti western type of feel. The last bit of spoken word is the last slide of episode one of the comic".

Mistress Of Mercy

"Who is the mistress of mercy? It’s music. I wrote this on acoustic guitar, but the middle bit, the funny little Jeff Beck-type guitar riff, I wrote on a keyboard. And then Roy played it on guitar. I wanted a mashup of something that was really thrashing, like some garage band going apeshit, along with the acoustic feel. The idea is that the music is the dominatrix. She holds you, pins you down, but you can’t help but adore her and love her. The ecstasy, the harmony, the melody drives you absolutely crazy. That’s what the song is about".

Face In The Mirror

"This is a melancholy tune. It’s about alcoholism, but also it’s about the way people judge other people and judge themselves. It’s sung from the point of view of somebody who is a drunk, but he’s turning around and saying, ‘You’re laughing at me because I’m lying on the ground, but when I hold my glass up, I can see right through you. I can see all your bullshit. I can see all your lies. You’re going to judge me because I’m an alcoholic, but take a look in my mirror, because you might see yourself as well".

Shadow Of The Gods

"This one goes back to just after Tyranny of Souls. This and the title track from that album were written as a pair for a project that never happened called The Three Tremors, which was supposed to be three metal singers, like The Three Tenors in classical music. It was going to be me, Rob Halford, and Ronnie James Dio. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because Ronnie passed away. So I recorded ‘A Tyranny of Souls’ for myself and then kept this one. When I revisited it, I put a couple references to the comic in it. There’s a part two-thirds of the way through that sounds very reminiscent of Judas Priest because that’s who was supposed to sing it".

Sonata (Immortal Beloved)

"This is the oldest song on the record. It’s almost 25 years old. There’s a sample of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ running underneath the drum machine, so Roy and I were just calling it ‘Sonata’ for a while. Roy later told me it was inspired by the film Immortal Beloved. He went to the movies, came home, and pulled an all-nighter, layering keyboards and guitars just for the hell of it. When he sent it to me, I didn’t have any ideas, but I just gave it a try and what came out was about 80% of the vocal, including the spoken word. I just did it freestyle, with no notes or anything. I don’t think that’s happened to me ever again in that way, with that level of detail".


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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10264 on: March 03, 2024, 09:26:52 AM »
That's odd. It's not exactly a storyline. Bruce talked about it as if the entire record is about Necropolis and Lazarus. Apparently, they're only referenced in the couple of tracks.

Offline Mosh

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10265 on: March 03, 2024, 11:59:29 AM »
I’m not sure you could reasonably call Mandrake a concept album. Only three songs are directly tied to the comic and a bunch of songs have really specific themes that are unrelated to the story in any way. Bruce has also said pretty clearly that he did not hold himself to following a strict theme. Honestly it’s less cohesive than Seventh Son and is about as much a concept album as Accident of Birth and Chemical Wedding are considering those albums also have a small number of songs that follow a loose theme.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10266 on: March 03, 2024, 12:15:43 PM »
Chemical Wedding might not tell a story but has the common theme of Blake's works and feels more cohesive, story wise, than The Mandrake Project.
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10267 on: March 03, 2024, 01:04:30 PM »
TMP to my ears is ALL OVER THE PLACE! Still trying to find more than 1 or 2 songs that are connecting with me. Overall I'd give it a 6/10.

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10268 on: March 03, 2024, 02:11:31 PM »
Chemical Wedding might not tell a story but has the common theme of Blake's works and feels more cohesive, story wise, than The Mandrake Project.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10269 on: March 03, 2024, 05:06:43 PM »
First listen, but not really listening.

Ragnarok - Didn't like the track when it came out but it's pretty good here, the chours is better than I remember.

Doors to Hell - Pretty solid for a second track in on an album.  Standard rock track but enjoyable.

Graves - I like the vibe of this one.  The mix of the youtube video made Bruce sound odd but his vocals sound fine here.

Resurrection Man - Didn't really like this one at all.  The chorus is so simple and basic and just lacks creativity IMO.

Fingers - Cool vibe and mood in this one.  Didn't mind it.  The middle Tea Party sounding section was cool.

Eternity - Better the second time around.  Gus' solo seems to fit better than it did the first time I heard it.

Mistress - Yeah, lol, nice Freak reprise.  A bit more energy in this one which is cool.  The start of the pre chorus too sounds like it's from AOB.

Face in the Mirror - Pretty blatant Empire of the Clouds thing going on in the verses.  Chorus is another really average boring one.  This could be up there with easily one of the worst things Bruce has done.

Shadows of the Gods - It's fine.  Nice that it gets a bit heavier in the second half but was hard for me to keep focused on it.

Sonata - Yeah, found this one pretty boring to be honest.

Overall, I'll need another listen but a pretty disappointing album IMO.  I didn't expect it anywhere near the quality of the last 3, but hmmm...........didn't really enjoy this at all.
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10270 on: March 04, 2024, 08:53:42 AM »
"First listen but not really listening" proceeds to shit all over it and end with "i'll need another listen". I'm happy I'm not the sort of person to completely dismiss an album after 1-2 spins.  :lol

Offline nobloodyname

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10271 on: March 04, 2024, 10:36:32 AM »
Agreed :lol

Face in the Mirror definitely has shades of Empire of the Clouds about it, especially in the verses. Thought that the moment I heard it. And the riffing in Mistress of Mercy is incredibly reminiscent of something on one of his earlier albums.

I think it's a pretty good album overall.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10272 on: March 04, 2024, 01:28:31 PM »
"First listen but not really listening" proceeds to shit all over it and end with "i'll need another listen". I'm happy I'm not the sort of person to completely dismiss an album after 1-2 spins.  :lol

I'm so sorry if I hurt your feelings.  ::)
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Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10273 on: March 04, 2024, 01:29:58 PM »
Don't worry, I'll be doing another proper listen and give it another go just to appease ypu guys.
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10274 on: March 04, 2024, 02:05:48 PM »
Don't worry, wolfking, your assessment was just right. I'm loving the album so far, though.  ;D

Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10275 on: March 04, 2024, 02:13:21 PM »
I mean, reading back, besides a couple of tracks, to say I 'shit all over it' is quite an unfair embellishment IMO.
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Offline kaos2900

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10276 on: March 04, 2024, 02:23:04 PM »
Based on a lot of the reviews and feedback here I went to the new Bruce album with very low expectations. After a few solid listens today I can say that it's good, not great. Some good tracks overall and a few duds. Seems on par with most Bruce's solo output. Nothing I'll go back too often but not terrible.

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10277 on: March 04, 2024, 02:58:55 PM »
Based on a lot of the reviews and feedback here I went to the new Bruce album with very low expectations. After a few solid listens today I can say that it's good, not great. Some good tracks overall and a few duds. Seems on par with most Bruce's solo output. Nothing I'll go back too often but not terrible.

It's only on par with bruce's other solo work if you don't include Accident of Birth or Chemical Wedding.  I actually otherwise agree.  It feels completely in line with the other 4 solo albums and "good but not great" is how I'd describe it after 3 or 4 listens now. 

Offline The Realm

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10278 on: March 04, 2024, 03:20:13 PM »
I'm a big fan of most of Bruce's solo work. The Chemical Wedding (especially) and Accident at Birth are both awesome albums. The new album is nowhere near that level and like Wolfking I really didn't like it at all on my first listen. After a few more spins I am enjoying it and put it in the good, not great bucket.


Offline wolfking

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10279 on: March 04, 2024, 03:29:04 PM »
I'm a big fan of most of Bruce's solo work. The Chemical Wedding (especially) and Accident at Birth are both awesome albums. The new album is nowhere near that level and like Wolfking I really didn't like it at all on my first listen. After a few more spins I am enjoying it and put it in the good, not great bucket.

Good to read.  I'm sure it will open up with some more spins.

I too like everything Bruce has done.  Picasso is criminally underrated and Skunkworks is top 3 behind the obvious two.  TM is a fun listen but is at the bottom of the pile.  There's some real cringe moments on that one but Son of A Gun is a classic.
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Offline nick_z

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10280 on: March 04, 2024, 03:32:58 PM »
Yep, couple more listens in and still pretty disappointing to me, unfortunately. Like I said before, I feel it overall sounds a bit “tired”. I mean, it is to be commended that Bruce didn’t go for something totally obvious but, even without comparing to his past work, there isn’t much that wowed me.

If I DO compare it to his past work, though, I think it’s quite lacking. And not just vs. Accident or Chemical.




Offline emtee

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10281 on: March 04, 2024, 03:40:49 PM »
I listened twice. Honestly, both listens required a bit of dedication to get through. Certainly not bad by any means but just not an album I will want to spin again.

Offline goo-goo

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10282 on: March 04, 2024, 04:10:14 PM »
The album sounds way better in Atmos than the stereo. There are lot of details and small sound effects/vocal effects that get lost in the stereo. But it's a good album, not great. A bit difficult to digest compared to the rest of his solo discography.

Offline WardySI

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10283 on: March 04, 2024, 04:37:24 PM »
Honestly think this has that Chinese Democracy cloud surrounding it.

After 'allegedly' working on this for what, some 15 odd years fans can't be blamed for having high expectations for this record.  Unfair no doubt but guess the high bench mark left by those heyday classics have become the albatross around Bruce's neck ( ;)) particularly given the long wait.


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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10284 on: March 04, 2024, 04:40:55 PM »
Honestly think this has that Chinese Democracy cloud surrounding it.

After 'allegedly' working on this for what, some 15 odd years fans can't be blamed for having high expectations for this record.  Unfair no doubt but guess the high bench mark left by those heyday classics have become the albatross around Bruce's neck ( ;)) particularly given the long wait.
I think this is about right. The album is also a hodgepodge like Chinese Democracy is in the sense that there's material that was recorded back in the 90s as well as in the mid 00s, which makes the album less cohesive. I think people have been away from Bruce's solo career for a very long time and forget that most of his solo discography is pretty spotty, aside from two albums.

Anyway the album is a grower, I'm enjoying it more after a couple additional listens.
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10285 on: March 05, 2024, 09:32:29 AM »
i've listened to a few tracks so i know what to expect when i see him live in may. Going to let the rest be a surprise for then :-)

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10286 on: March 05, 2024, 10:21:22 AM »
I bought The Mandrake Project. The CD is sitting on my kitchen table, not opened yet. I'll get to it tomorrow. I've listened twice on Spotify. I like it. It's not Accident of Birth (which for me, his his solo high point), but it's a solid listen.

A buddy of mine, Richie, from the Focus on Metal podcast, mentioned on FB the other day that Roy Z is absolutely underappreciated for what he's done for the solo careers of both Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. I couldn't agree more.
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10287 on: March 05, 2024, 05:20:31 PM »
But of course not underappreciated to us fans of Bruce and Rob though ;)

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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10288 on: March 05, 2024, 06:16:36 PM »
Interesting to read the background on "Eternity Has Failed". When I saw the song title, I thought it was a sequel to the Iron Maiden track.  :corn
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Re: The Iron Maiden Thread v. The Merge of Souls
« Reply #10289 on: March 05, 2024, 08:53:35 PM »
Gave this a listen in the work van the last couple days, since I've been driving to a job much farther out that our normal jobsite radius. Just discovered I tagged all the songs wrong because I was reading the song titles on the back left to right by row first, and not by column first, so all the song titles were messed up.
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