Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Check your pulse. Right now. If it hasn’t been racing since the rumours of a new Iron Maiden single arriving you’d better check yourself in to see your doctor as a matter of emergency.
The fact that the much teased (and finally revealed in grand style earlier this week) ‘The Writing On The Wall’ is a monster of Eddie-like proportions should bring a much needed and unhindered celebration in these difficult times.
To say this, first course of Belshazzar’s Feast, is good would be like pointing out to someone that Mount Everest is a bit of a climb. The fact of the matter is that it could rank as one of their greatest moments in a glittering career that has spanned more than four decades.
Being one of the biggest bands in the world comes with a certain level of expectation as to the quality of fresh material and Steve Harris and his merry troupe have never disappointed on that score, having pushed themselves and their boundaries to bring something worthy to their legacy every single time.
The thing is though, you don’t have to be one of the millions of hardcore Maiden fans to appreciate their integrity and work ethic, nor have their name emblazoned on your body, tattooed into your skin, to appreciate just how good they, and in particular, this new single is. Basically, you just need to like music.
‘The Writing On The Wall’ starts off with a deliciously subtle bit of classical Spanish acoustic guitar before the main riff kicks in and it’s one that bears all the swagger of classic Southern Hard Rock. Building and building as layers of guitars repeat the pattern, drums and the distinctive bass of Mr Harris join the fray before one of Bruce Dickinson’s most heroic and heraldic vocal comes in as they take us on a journey as only the sextet know how.
Matched by a compelling animated video that sees Eddie turning from a robot into a sword wielding Samurai and finally into the tempter of Adam and Eve like figures he’s just rescued, passing an apple to them, this is an epic entry into their canon.
Not only do we get this brain bursting, eye popping smorgasbord of delights, the track features one of the best guitar solos that’s ever featured in their catalogue. Immense, tasteful and forceful in equal measure, this is a bit of fretwork that alone would instantly propel the track into the upper echelons of their material and the fact it’s part of the weft and warp of this world conquering titan is the skull shaped cherry on top of the cake.
Brilliantly conceived, written and performed, ‘The Writing On The Wall’ confirms Iron Maiden’s place as kings of all they survey.
Available to stream on all platforms – https://ironmaiden.lnk.to/TheWritingO…
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