The story behind Iron Maiden's The Book Of Souls: their most… (2023)

Words:
Paul Travers

As had now become almost the norm, Iron Maiden followed The Final Frontier’s cycle with another set-piece tour, with the Maiden England World Tour harking back to the 1988 live video of the same name. This included a record-breaking fifth headlining appearance at Donington, another headlining slot at Sonisphere, and the biggest ever show by a British band in Chile, to a reported 60,000 fans.

And if they weren’t already spectacular enough, they started the Download show with a Spitfire flyover, while for Sonisphere, Bruce joined the Great War Display Team for an aerial World War I dogfight display over Knebworth.

It was the singer who revealed that the band were planning a 16th album. The Book Of Souls was recorded towards the end of 2014 but its launch was delayed to allow Bruce time to recover from the removal of a cancerous tumour.

When Steve Harris sat down with Kerrang! prior to the The Book Of Souls’ release in September 2015, he revealed that the album had been recorded before Bruce had been diagnosed.

“There was no inkling of any of it. He’d finished all his vocal bits completely anyway, and then there were some other bits and pieces we were doing. Really, we didn’t know anything – he didn’t show any signs at all. I mean his singing, when you hear it… He’s singing better than ever.”

(Video) Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson on 'The Book of Souls' + 'Empire of the Clouds'

The singer himself told us that he’d sensed that he might have cancer “but I put it to the back of my mind until we’d finished the album”. Which takes dedication to the cause way beyond the next level.

As soon as they’d finished, Bruce contacted a GP and was sent for a round of tests. When he got the diagnosis, with two tumours found on his tongue, one of his first thoughts was how it might affect his voice.

Asked by K! if he feared that he might lose his ability to sing, he revealed, “Yeah, or I thought, ‘What if this changes your voice to such an extent you can’t sing like you used to?’ But you know, I thought, ‘If The Book Of Souls is the last thing I ever did that has that voice, I’d be a very happy bunny.’ I would be happy with this album being my voice’s last statement.”

Even without the news of Bruce’s illness, The Book Of Souls would have been a remarkable album. As the years have gone by – and particularly in the 21st century – Iron Maiden’s recorded output has grown ever more progressive and ambitious. Their most recent album is also their longest, clocking in at just over 92 minutes, although they hadn’t planned to make a double album initially.

(Video) BraveWords Talks To Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson About The Book Of Souls

“In a way it was purely accidental because we didn’t have any idea about the album order until we finished it,” chuckled Bruce. “So we got to about track six and I went downstairs [in the studio] to Steve and went, ‘We either stop now or it’s a double album.’”

The singer was also responsible for writing the band’s longest-ever song in the shape of an 18-minute monster titled Empire Of The Clouds. The Steve Harris-penned Rime Of The Ancient Mariner had hitherto held that honour since 1984, but the bassist didn’t begrudge handing over the ‘most epic Maiden song’ crown.

“We kind of had to shut [Bruce] off because he was going off on one with it,” Steve recalled. “I think it’s a masterpiece – I think I can say that because I didn’t write it! It sounds like Maiden but it’s totally different from what we’ve done before. It’s certainly not boring, let’s put it that way! And there are still other long songs also.”

Indeed there were. If you played Empire Of The Clouds, The Red And The Black and The Book Of Souls back to back you’d have a running time longer than the whole of The Number Of The Beast album. Empire Of The Clouds didn’t make the live set but the other two epics did and, as with their other modern-era album tours, the band were not afraid to weight the set heavily in favour of the new material.

The tour itself was something that Bruce wasn’t quite sure would happen – or how it might go if it did.

“I was pinching myself for the first few shows back, because none of us knew how it was going to sound, my voice,” he said. Having been through gruelling radiation treatment and chemotherapy he was still left with an agonising wait. “I’d left it for 10 months or so, to let it rest and try to heal itself up. Unquestionably there were some things that had changed and it was difficult. You want to know what the deal is… you just had to open your gob and see what came out. If a bag of spanners fell out you’d think, ‘Oh shit.’”

(Video) Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls (The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter)

As anyone who caught them on The Book Of Souls World Tour could testify, Bruce remains one of the finest live vocalists in the world.

In the years that followed, Maiden embarked on a multi-year global trek for another themed tour, The Legacy Of The Beast. And what a legacy it is. Over four decades they’ve sold more than 100 million copies of their 16 studio albums. They’ve revelled in the glory days and fought through leaner years to stand today as one of the most successful, influential and downright magnificent bands in metal ever.

And the best thing? It doesn’t look like it’s over just yet. We recently asked Steve Harris, the man who began this whole crazy adventure, if he ever thought about retirement.

“Yeah, and I don’t like the idea of it at all!” he laughed. “We’re not getting any younger, and you’ve got to think in reality it’s got to end at some point, but hopefully that’s a way off yet.”

We’ll raise a glass of Trooper to that.

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FAQs

What is the book of souls based on? ›

The track features Dickinson on piano for the first time and is based on the 1930 R101 airship crash.

Who wrote the book of souls? ›

Book of Souls (Will Piper, #2) by Glenn Cooper.

Why is Iron Maiden so important? ›

Iron Maiden are one of the biggest bands on the planet. Forming in Leyton back in 1975, their combination of bombastic heavy metal, headbanging riffs and falsetto vocals has earned them the millions of fans all over the world, with countless sold-out shows under their belt and even their own aeroplane!

What does the name Iron Maiden mean? ›

Iron Maiden were formed on Christmas Day, 25 December 1975, by bassist Steve Harris shortly after he left his previous group, Smiler. Harris attributed the band's name to a film adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, the title of which reminded him of the iron maiden torture device.

What is the origin of souls? ›

Origin of the soul

According to soul creationism, God creates each individual soul directly, either at the moment of conception or some later time. According to traducianism, the soul comes from the parents by natural generation. According to the preexistence theory, the soul exists before the moment of conception.

How does the Bible explain souls? ›

According to Genesis 2:7 God did not make a body and put a soul into it like a letter into an envelope of dust; rather he formed man's body from the dust, then, by breathing divine breath into it, he made the body of dust live, i.e. the dust did not embody a soul, but it became a soul—a whole creature.

Who is the inventor of soul? ›

Sam Cooke. His soaring vocals and importance as a musician earned Cooke the nickname the King of Soul. He is cited as the inventor of the genre and credited with bringing gospel music to popular attention.

Who founded the order of souls? ›

Read Sea of Thieves: Origins Volume 3 – The Vision of Order, which tells how Madame Olivia came into her power and founded the Order of Souls.

Who wrote The Real Book of Enoch? ›

The 3rd Book of Enoch, the Hebrew Enoch, or 3 Enoch, is a Rabbinic text originally written in Hebrew usually dated to the fifth century CE. Some experts believe it was written by Rabbi Ishmael (second century CE), familiar with both 1 Enoch and 2 Enoch.

Was the Iron Maiden a myth? ›

The widespread medieval use of iron maidens is an 18th-century myth, bolstered by perceptions of the Middle Ages as an uncivilized era. But the idea of iron-maiden-like devices has been around for thousands of years, even if evidence for their actual use is shaky. And basically fictional.

What are Iron Maiden fans called? ›

Iron Maiden fans don't really have a nickname, but they do have a saying: “Up the irons!” It derives from a nickname for the London football (soccer) club West Ham United, “The Irons”, which Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris is a fan of.

What is the Iron Maiden stereotype? ›

The iron maiden stereotype reinforces the idea that to be confident, ambitious, and competitive is to be unfeminine (Shuler, 2003). Each of these stereotypes defines women by their gender and discredits women as workers.

Who did Iron Maiden inspire? ›

Metallica

Lars Ulrich might be the world's biggest Diamond Head fan, but he acknowledges that it was Maiden who remain his band's biggest inspiration. “They have always been the one that's probably inspired Metallica the most, they had cooler record covers,” he told Zane Lowe in 2020.

Why do they call it maiden name? ›

An unmarried female was referred to as a maiden. When she married, she would traditionally take her husband's last name in order to have the same name as her husband and children. So the name a woman had before marriage, or if unmarried, was her “maiden name.”

How many souls can a person have? ›

Soul dualism, also called dualistic pluralism or multiple souls, is a range of beliefs that a person has two or more kinds of souls. In many cases, one of the souls is associated with body functions ("body soul") and the other one can leave the body ("free soul" or "wandering soul").

What are human souls made of? ›

The Epicureans considered the soul to be made up of atoms like the rest of the body. For the Platonists, the soul was an immaterial and incorporeal substance, akin to the gods yet part of the world of change and becoming.

Where is the soul located in the body? ›

The soul or atman, credited with the ability to enliven the body, was located by ancient anatomists and philosophers in the lungs or heart, in the pineal gland (Descartes), and generally in the brain.

Is the spirit and the soul the same? ›

Our soul is reflected in our personality. The Greek word for spirit is pneuma. It refers to the part of man that connects and communicates with God. Our spirit differs from our soul because our spirit is always pointed toward and exists exclusively for God, whereas our soul can be self-centered.

When a person dies what happens to the soul? ›

When we die, our spirit and body separate. Even though our body dies, our spirit—which is the essence of who we are—lives on. Our spirit goes to the spirit world. The spirit world is a waiting period until we receive the gift of resurrection, when our spirits will reunite with our bodies.

Is the soul in the body? ›

In Aristotle's treatise On Youth, Old Age, Life and Death, and Respiration, Aristotle explicitly states that while the soul has a corporeal form, there is a physical area of the soul in the human body, the heart.

Whats is my soul? ›

Your soul is the part of you that consists of your mind, character, thoughts, and feelings. Many people believe that your soul continues existing after your body is dead.

Who is the godfather of the soul? ›

James Brown set the standard for dynamic live performance in American music. Inspired by preachers in the Black church, Brown started out singing in gospel quartets. As the "Godfather of Soul," he transmuted gospel into secular music centered in the emotional conduit of the soul singer.

What are the 7 souls? ›

The Seven* Souls
  • True name. "The soul that should not be" Name. Determination. Knowledge. ...
  • Soul of Restoration. True name. The soul to heal all pain. Name. Kindness. ...
  • Soul of Balance. True name. The soul to prevent all injustice. Name. Justice. ...
  • True name. The soul of judgement. Name. Integrity. ...
  • The soul of. Name. Perserverence. Knowledge.

How do you join order of the souls? ›

Any players wishing to represent the Order of Souls on the open seas can do so by becoming an Order of Souls Emissary. To hoist an Order of Souls Emissary Flag, Players must first purchase it from any Company Representative for 20000 Gold once they have achieved the level 15 Rank of Mystic Apprentice.

Who is the guardian of souls? ›

A Guardian of Souls is a Nighthaunt wizard. In life, they were lesser Necromancers that used Amnethyst magic to their own ends, but no matter how much sorcerous might they accrued, they could not escape death. When Nagash acquired their souls, he reshaped them to his own needs.

Why the Book of Enoch was removed from the Bible? ›

200 that the Book of Enoch had been rejected by the Jews because it contained prophecies pertaining to Christ.

How many heavens are there according to the Bible? ›

In religious or mythological cosmology, the seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens (Heaven). The concept, also found in the ancient Mesopotamian religions, can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; a similar concept is also found in some other religions such as Hinduism.

Where did Old Testament believers go after death? ›

So, where did the souls of people forgiven Old Testament saints go when they died? Their souls went to what we call paradise, the same place we as Christians will go after our demise.

Did iron maidens actually exist? ›

Despite its reputation as a medieval instrument of torture, there is no evidence of the existence of iron maidens before the early 19th century. There are, however, ancient reports of the Spartan tyrant Nabis using a similar device around 200 B.C. for extortion and murder.

What does broken on the rack mean? ›

Usually, the victim's shoulders and hips would be separated and their elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles would be dislocated.

Was the brazen bull real? ›

The brazen bull, also known as the bronze bull, Sicilian bull, or bull of Phalaris, was a torture and execution device designed in ancient Greece.

Who is the front man for Iron Maiden? ›

Iron Maiden

What is Iron Maiden worth? ›

Iron Maiden members' total net worth is $150 million in 2022. That's why Iron Maiden is regarded as among the richest heavy metal band.

Who found Iron Maiden? ›

Founded by bassist Steve Harris in the mid '70s, Iron Maiden were already firmly established as heavy metal's brightest hopes when they stormed the world with their third album (and first with vocalist Bruce Dickinson) The Number Of The Beast in 1982.

What killer has Iron Maiden DBD? ›

NameKillerRate
Iron MaidenTrapper3.44
Iron MaidenClown3.44
Iron MaidenDredge3.43
Iron MaidenLegion3.43
11 more rows

What is my maiden name if I'm not married? ›

What's a Maiden Name? A maiden name is the legal name given to a woman from her birth up to her marriage. The term “maiden” refers to a female who is unmarried.

Can a woman take back her first husband's name after divorce a second husband? ›

In California, you can file an “Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name” to request a name change after your divorce has been finalized, in order resume using your maiden name or another former name.

Why do ex wives keep last name? ›

Many women choose to hold onto their married name after a divorce because of their children. Sharing the same last name can make women feel more connected to their children. It can also provide a sense of stability for younger children who will not understand why their mother has a different last name.

What book is BTS map of the soul based on? ›

The album itself is based on the book Jung's Map of the Soul, about the theories Carl Jung created for psychology. The lead single, the Halsey collaboration "Boy with Luv," has been described as a funk pop song about happiness and love.

What is the book Library of Souls about? ›

Synopsis. It focuses on Jacob Portman, Emma Bloom, and Addison MacHenry trying to save their friends. Jacob and Emma meet a man named Myron Bentham, who is Alma LeFay Peregrine and Caul's brother. They learn that Jacob is more than he seems and is likely the final key to the Library of Souls.

What is the book Journey of souls about? ›

Synopsis. In this groundbreaking book, 29 subjects under hypnosis reveal graphic details about how it feels to die, what the spirit world is really like, where the soul goes and what it does there, why souls come back in certain bodies, how to recognize soul mates, and much more.

What reading level is Library of Souls? ›

Product information
Publisher‎Quirk Books; Illustrated edition (April 11, 2017)
Reading age‎14 - 17 years
Lexile measure‎820L
Grade level9 - 12
Item Weight‎1.08 pounds
9 more rows

What is Suga favorite book? ›

According to reports, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is suggested to be Suga's favorite book.

Why does Jimin cry at the Map of the Soul? ›

According to Jimin, he realized that fans were watching the concert in real-time after performing “Boy With Luv.” This surprised him as he did not know he would be able to see ARMY watching the concert live. Because of this, he became emotional during the concert's encore.

What is Jimin favorite book? ›

BTS' Jimin book recommendation includes 'Between Calm and Passion– Rosso' by Kaori Ekuni. The book is only available in the Korean language but it was adapted into a Japanese film 'Calmi Cuori Appassionati' in 2001.

Is there a part 2 of Miss Peregrine's Home? ›

Hollow City is a 2014 dark fantasy novel and a sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children written by Ransom Riggs.

What happened at the end of Library of Souls? ›

Miss Peregrine's brothers grow into gigantic monsters who eventually end up dueling each other, but thanks to a recipe given to Jacob by Bentham that's used by the ymbrynes as the fight goes on, the library collapses in on Caul and Bentham.

How does Miss Peregrine book end? ›

Jacob and his new peculiar friends give chase, kill Golan and the hollowgast, and rescue Miss Peregrine. Miss Avocet is taken away, and Miss Peregrine is stuck in bird form. Because she can't change back, the time loop collapses, the bomb falls, and the home is destroyed.

What is the purpose of souls? ›

Our soul purpose is firstly to remember the truth of who we are, and then share that with the world. It is a feeling, rather than a physical thing. It is why we do something, rather than what we do. It can be as simple as smiling at a passer-by in the street, or as grand as trying to save the world.

What is the mission of the soul? ›

Your soul mission is not so much something you do, but rather is the energy or passion that drives everything you do. Getting clear about your soul mission streamlines your energy and focus so that you can make the difference you feel called to make.

What is the meaning of soul travel? ›

The soul's ability to leave the body at will or while sleeping and visit the various planes of heaven is also known as "soul travel". The practice is taught in Surat Shabd Yoga, where the experience is achieved mostly by meditation techniques and mantra repetition.

How old should you be to read Throne of Glass? ›

Violence: PG-13 Lots of death. Many times Celaena thinks through ways to kill someone.

Where does Library of Souls take place? ›

The Library of Souls is a location in the ancient loop of Abaton. Like its name suggests, it is like a library where peculiars check out souls when they are born, and return them upon death for future use by others.

What level of reading is Lord of the Rings? ›

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Pt. 1 (Vol 1)
Interest LevelReading LevelWord Count
Grades 7 - 12Grade 7177227
6 Oct 2020

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