Iron Maiden - “Senjutsu” Album Review

Story posted September 10, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jon Mead

After six years, one of the most influential English heavy metal bands released their second double album, “Senjutsu.” With a career spanning since the 70s, Iron Maiden makes a triumphant return.

As many music listeners are consistently turned off by the later works of many classic bands, this record is sure to break that common stereotype.

For those unfamiliar with the metal genre or those who are new to it, Iron Maiden is one of those bands that inspired an entire generation of musicians, influencing bands such as Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Suicidal Tendencies and even Kurt Cobain.

This influence doesn’t just stretch out to other bands musically, but stylistically as well. Fans can tell just by looking at the cover art of many Iron Maiden albums and comparing them to the aesthetic of newer metal bands that it's taken hold of the creative minds of many.

Taking its name from the iron maiden torture device, the band was formed by longtime member Steven Harris - Iron Maiden’s songwriter and bassist. The band originates from London, England with guitarist Dave Murray second to Harris in being the longest-serving member.

Some of their most notable works consist of “Piece of Mind,” “Powerslave,” “Somewhere in Time” and “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.”

Over the years, their sound has taken different turns. One of their most praised LP’s, “Powerslave” consists of Harris’ galloping bass riffs and traditional heavy metal sounds, while “Somewhere in Time” is a little more melodic, nuanced and progressive.

Those gallant and galloping bass riffs return in “Senjutsu” as this album takes on a very balanced and cohesive experience.

Fat, confident drumbeats and the wailing of Bruce Dickinson’s operatic vocals pierce the ears of listeners in the album's beginning self-titled track, “Senjutsu.”

The acoustic guitar strumming in “The Writing on the Wall” is the perfect beginning to an overall amazing banger.
“Days of Future Past” plays on that already theatrical and opera-like atmosphere, very reminiscent of “Powerslave.”
The songwriting is just as interesting as the style of music, with themes of war, death and hopelessness. These themes fit the feel and energy built on throughout each song and echo that classic Iron Maiden sound.

By no means is this album a masterpiece, as it presents a work that is not unlike other things they’ve done in the past. But it’s a good record, nonetheless. Its songs are balanced, cohesive and never keep the listener bored.

“Senjutsu” may not compare to Iron Maiden’s more prolific works, but it still will blow a fan’s mind and entertain metalheads everywhere.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Senjutsu,” “Days of Future Past” and “The Time Machine”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Death of the Celts”


Jon Mead is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jkm6040@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Jon Mead's photo

Jon Mead

/