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Iron Maiden- A Matter Of Life And Death


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Iron Maiden plan to release their new studio album, entitled "A Matter of Life and Death", in early September.


The band started writing songs at the end of 2005 after a short break from their hugely successful festival appearances in Europe and the USA. After Christmas, the songs were completed and rehearsed when the band then got together with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley at Sarm West Studios in London to start work on recording the backing tracks.

Kevin Shirley has now co-produced three of the band's studio albums alongside Steve Harris, as well as two of their recent live DVDs and albums. From this the working relationship between Kevin and the band seems to get stronger and stronger. Says Kevin, "The beast is back! I feel from the outset we all clicked on this one. we spent two months in the studio, from go to whoa — from Nicko's 'tubs up' to final mixes and sequenced master! That's a tiny gestation period for an album. Producing IRON MAIDEN is like sitting in the head and driving one of those mammoth automatons from 'Star Wars' or Saturday morning cartoons! And there's nothing that can stop it!

"I feel incredibly privileged to have been around to see this album born and breathe life. There have been only a couple of occasions in my career when the ENTIRE process of recording felt so complete — and it is on display here."

As on previous projects all of the tracks were performed live and together in one room. No click tracks or computer tightening or manipulation has happened at any stage of the recording.

Says Steve Harris, "I think in many ways this has been the easiest album in terms of recording that we've ever done. The whole process of writing through to recording was very natural. I think in terms of the material we've also pushed our boundaries yet again and I think it will please our fans but also really surprise a lot of people as well. The sound we've managed to get is very powerful for a MAIDEN record and all of us have pushed ourselves in our own ways to create something that we're all immensely proud of and I think working as quickly as we did with Kevin really was part of that process. We simply can't wait to take this out on the road. We've played some great shows and had a lot fun recently introducing some of our older songs to a new generation of fans. However for us personally we're incredibly excited about getting out and performing these new tracks."

Says Bruce Dickinson, "This album has to be our best since working with Kevin. There is such a wide scope of musicianship on this album and in parts this album is truly epic. I thought with the likes of 'Paschendale' from the last studio album that we could only hope to surpass that but having now heard the album back as well as sitting with a few select people and hearing their reactions as well, I truly believe we have managed it. Every one of us has put everything into this record and it's really paid off. However we've had such fun making it that it's almost difficult to believe what we've managed to achieve in the time it took."

"A Matter of Life and Death" track listing:

01. Different Worlds (Smith/Harris) 4:17

02. These Colours Don't Run (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) 6:52

03. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) 8:44

04. The Pilgrim (Gers/Harris) 5:07

05. The Longest Day (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) 7:48

06. Out Of the Shadows (Dickinson/Harris) 5:36

07. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg (Murray/Harris) 7:21

08. For The Greater Good of God (Harris) 9:24

09. Lord Of Light (Smith/Harris/Dickinson) 7:23

10. The Legacy (Gers/Harris) 9:20

The band have just announced tour dates in Japan and the majority of the European dates at the end of 2006 are already sold out.

Also announced is the news that THE REINCARNATION OF BENJAMIN BREEG will be released as a very special single on 14th August.

Says Steve Harris, “This is a very intense album in many ways and we really wanted to go with a lead track that demonstrated that in the best way, rather than going for a shorter track on the album just to please the chart rules. Benjamin Breeg is a great example of the feel of the album in it’s really heavy riff and lyrically it’s a very dark, atmospheric and powerful song which really epitomizes what the album is all about for us. So it made a natural choice for us.”

In true Maiden style, the single will be released in two special Limited Edition formats, which by content will not be eligible for the UK singles chart. Manager Rod Smallwood explained, “There are various chart rules compliant to number of tracks, the maximum running time, price structure and all the rest of it. As for the new Maiden single - its simple - we’re putting out a two track CD - THE REINCARNATION OF BENJAMIN BREEG and HALLOWED BE THY NAME (Legends Session) and if it’s too long to qualify for the charts, then so be it. We have no problem with it being non-chart eligible.

EMI will also release a special 7” picture disc with collectable sticker of the ‘Crossed Guns’ Logo. B sides to both formats are from last years amazing ‘Radio 1 legends session recorded especially for the Zane Lowe show.

Limited Edition 2 track CD

The reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg

Hallowed be thy Name (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)

Limited Edition 7” picture disc

(To include ‘Crossed Gun Logo’ sticker)

The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg

c/w Run To The Hills (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)

The Trooper (Radio 1 ‘Legends’ Session)

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Steve also explains the thoughts behind the new album's title, A Matter of Life and Death: "Six, seven songs on record circles around war and religion. Religion has caused more death, pain and misery than anything else. And we never seem to learn. Unbelievable."

- If you liked Brave New World and Dance of Death, you'll be happy with it.

- The band continues on the progressive road and the music often switches between soft and hard.

- The big arrangements and complex structures of the last albums return.

- "Out of the Shadows" is said to sound a bit like Children of the Damned and Bruce's classic solo number Tears of the Dragon.


Regarding the future, Steve is more doubtful. "From the beginning I've said Maiden will make fifteen studio albums. In that case there's only one left and that makes me sad. There is a life after Maiden. And there's a lot I'd like to do I don't have time for now. Sure I'd miss the band, but there's no reason to live in the past. We'd probably piss off some people if we quit, but the day we don't want to do it anymore it's over."

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