IRON MAIDEN’s New Album “Senjutsu”: Facts and Oddities

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As the world is still waking up from its year long self-induced hibernation, what better alarm clock to use than a big, bold and HEAVY dose of metal? Iron Maiden’s timing is once again perfect, because on September 03rd the world will finally be able to experience “Senjutsu,” the long awaited 17th release of these British metal pioneers.

The band seems more excited than ever to reveal the new songs to the fans, and the anticipation for this release is building up every week. In preparation for the Earth-shattering event that a new Maiden album represents, we compiled 17 curiosities about “Senjutsu”:

“Senjutsu” Album Artwork

  1. With “Senjutsu”, Maiden will have released albums in six different decades: 70’s, 80’s, 90’s 00’s 10’s and 20’s. This true if we consider any of these two facts:
    1. Culturally, we say “the eighties” or “the twenties.” In other words, people commonly think of a decade (such as the 1980s, 1990s) as years ending in 0 to years ending in 9. So, 1970 to 1979; 1980 to 1989.  However, today’s Gregorian calendar counts decades starting with the first year 1 CE. The Gregorian calendar goes from 1 BCE to 1 CE; there is no year zero. In this case, 1981 was technically the start of the new decade, and the band’s debut album was released in 1980… or
    2. We consider “The Soundhouse Tapes” as an album, which in reality was self-released, and featured three of the original four songs from the Spaceward demo tape which was recorded in one 24-hour session on 31st December 1978. Only 5,000 copies of “The Soundhouse Tapes” were made, and they have become the “Holy Grail” for Iron Maiden collectors.
  2. After this album, Jannick‘s 10th with the band, every member of the current lineup will have at least 10 Iron Maiden album under their belts.
  3. “Senjutsu” continues the streak of this being the longest lasting lineup, with six releases. The second one is the classic lineup of “Steve/Bruce/Adrian/Nicko/Dave”, with four albums: “Piece of Mind,” “Powerslave,” “Somewhere in Time” and “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”
  4. “Senjutsu” will be the second-ever double album by Iron Maiden and marks the first occasion the band releases consecutive double albums.
  5. “Senjutsu” will be the first ever Iron Maiden studio album where the album title is not in the English language. It will also be the second album, regardless of studio or live with a non-English title, the first being “En Vivo”.
  6. “Senjutsu” will be the first time an Iron Maiden album has 3 songs in a row clocking at 10 minutes or more in length. In the spirit of number 3 it will also be the third album they record at the Guillaume Tell Studios, the other two were “The Book Of Souls” and “Brave New World”
  7. “Senjutsu” will be the second time in their history that Iron Maiden taps the Japanese culture for the cover artwork, the first time happened 40 years ago when they used an Eddie holding a katana for “Maiden Japan”. Although this wasn’t a single, the topic of samurais was also addressed on a previous Maiden song, “Sun and Steel”, from 1983’s “Piece of Mind”
  8. “Senjutsu” will be the first Iron Maiden album to share the exact same release date with another album, in this case with “Powerslave” which was released on September 3rd, 1984. It will also be the 5th Iron Maiden album to be released in the month of September. Besides “Powerslave”, other were: “Somewhere in Time” (September 29th, 1986); “Dance of Death” (September 8th, 2003) and “The Book of Souls” (September 4th, 2015);
  9. “Senjutsu” will be the first album in 26 years in which Dave Murray didn’t contribute to any song. The last time that happened was for “The X Factor” (1995).
  10. “Senjutsu” will be the first album in 23 years in which Steve Harris penned 4 songs on his own. The last time that happened was for “Virtual X” (1998).
  11. “Senjutsu” will be the 11th album which name is also the name of a track. The others had been: “Iron Maiden,” “Killers,” “The Number Of The Beast,” “Powerslave,” “Seventh Son of A Seventh Son,” “Fear Of The Dark,” “No Prayer for the Dying,” “Brave New World,” “Dance of Death,” and “The Book of Souls”. Another curiosity of title tracks and album names is the fact that “Senjutsu” will be the first Iron Maiden album having the title track as the first song. ”Caught Somewhere in Time” and ”Satellite 15… The Final Frontier” came close, but not exactly.
  12. “Senjutsu” marks the longest gap between two Iron Maiden studio albums (6 years), and continues a pattern of adding one year to the gap of their predecessors. It took them 3 years to release “A Matter of Life and Death”, 4 years to release “The Final Frontier” and 5 years to release “The Book of Souls”. We can thank Covid-19 for this delay.
  13. With the confirmation that the band will be playing two songs from the upcoming album on the remaining dates of the “Legacy of the Beast” tour, this marks the second time that a new song is introduced before the album’s promotional tour cycle. Previously, “Wildest Dreams” was played during the tour Give Me Ed Til Im Dead, which was not the “Dance of Death” tour cycle as the albums wasn’t released yet. “El Dorado” came close to that, but it was played on a handful of dates of “The Final Frontier Tour”, right before the album of the same name came out.
  14. “Senjutsu” is the second time in a row that the band uses their original logo on the cover, as opposed to the one with cut corners, which was used between “Virtual XI” and “The Final Frontier”.
  15.  This is the sixth album in a row produced by Kevin Shirley. Martin Birch remains the producer with the most Iron Maiden albums under his belt, with a total of eight albums (the run from “Killers” to “Fear of the Dark”)
  16. Mark Wilkinson, known for his work with Marillion and Judas Priest, delivers his fourth Maiden cover on “Senjutsu”, the others being “Book of Souls,” the compilation “Best of the ‘B’ Sides” and “Live at Donnington”.
  17. Believe it or not, “Hell on Earth”, from the upcoming album, will be the first song in the band’s discography with the word “hell” on the title. 

How about you? Are you as anxious to hear this album as we are? Give us your comments below, and let us know if we missed any curiosities from the information revealed so far about “Senjutsu”. Up the Irons!

IRON MAIDEN- 2021 Photo copyright by JOHN McMURTRIE

“Senjutsu” track-listing:

1. Senjutsu (Smith/Harris) 8:20
2. Stratego (Gers/Harris) 4:59
3. The Writing On The Wall (Smith/Dickinson) 6:13
4. Lost In A Lost World (Harris) 9:31
5. Days Of Future Past (Smith/Dickinson) 4:03
6. The Time Machine (Gers/Harris) 7:09
7. Darkest Hour (Smith/Dickinson) 7:20
8. Death Of The Celts (Harris) 10:20
9. The Parchment (Harris) 12:39
10. Hell On Earth (Harris) 11:19

“Senjutsu” will be released on the following formats and available to pre-order from all good music retailers starting Wednesday July 21st

  • Standard 2CD Digipak
  • Deluxe 2CD Book Format
  • Deluxe heavyweight 180G Triple Black Vinyl
  • Special Edition Triple Silver & Black Marble Vinyl (from selected retailers)
  • Special Edition Triple Red & Black Marble Vinyl (from selected retailers)
  • Super Deluxe Boxset featuring CD, Blu-Ray and Exclusive Memorabilia
  • Digital album (streaming and download)

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19 Comments

  1. KONSTANTINOS ILIAS on

    ”Senjutsu” is the first Maiden album having the title track as the first song.
    ”Somewhere in Time” and ”The Final Frontier” came close, but not exactly…

  2. Iron Maiden didn’t release a album in the 70’s other than The Soundhouse Tapes which was pretty much a self released demo.

  3. How does “Somewhere in Time” come close? “Caught Somewhere in Time” is the 1st track on the record. I can see that “The Final Frontier” comes close because of Satellite 15.

    • “Caught Somewhere in Time” and “Satellite 15… The Final Frontier” both came close to be the exact album title.

    • We counted “The Soundhouse Tapes” as an album, which in reality was self-released, and featured three of the original four songs from the Spaceward demo tape which was recorded in one 24-hour session on 31st December 1978. Only 5,000 copies of “The Soundhouse Tapes” were made, and they have become the “Holy Grail” for Iron Maiden collectors.

  4. Ben Fleury-Steiner on

    Senjutso is the first Maiden album with the title track as the album opener

  5. Wonder why Dave Murray didn’t contribute to any songs. Interesting. Thanks for this article, interesting stuff. Up the irons!!

  6. Victor Draganov on

    Wildest Dreams was played in the tour Give Me Ed Til Im Dead. It was not the Dance of Death promotyional tour and was before the release of Dance of Death album. So The topic number 13 its wrong. They already did it with Wildest Dreams.

  7. Andrew Pôbiš on

    I was trying to find out if by chance the drummer contributed some song. I’ve looked at all the albums and it seems that Clive Burr or Nicko McBrain never contributed with any song. Who knows, maybe on the 18th album there will be a song by Nicko McBrain. But what could the song be about ?… My question is probably a broad concept. 🙂

    Fan from Slovakia

    • New Frontier from the Dance of Death album was written by McBrain, Smith and Dickinson.

    • Ganglands off NOTB was co written by Burr. Steve still laments leaving off Total Eclipse from the original release in favour of Burrs 1st writing credit

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