Legendary NWOBHM band Iron Maiden have released the obligatory video single from their upcoming album The Book Of Souls. Retaining the blue-collar ethic of recent singles like ‘Wicker Man‘, ‘Rainmaker‘, and ‘Wildest Dreams‘, this is a pleasant listen in the moment but ultimately disposable. But as has been the trend with recent Iron Maiden albums, ‘Speed Of Light‘ should be entirely unindicative of the direction in terms of concept or quality that The Book Of Souls eventually veers in.
By this time, Iron Maiden are a sound unto themselves, unadmitting of any and all outside influences. ‘Speed Of Light‘ has an organic, somewhat muffled sound due to the band’s unusual studio approach of recording entire songs at one go and as a completely functioning ensemble. Bruce Dickinson is in fine fettle delivering a predictably catchy chorus and the third guitar is as redundant as ever, but perhaps the most heartening thing to take away for long time fans is just how reliably Iron Maiden (TM) this song is.
‘Speed Of Light‘ is released as an animated video that imitates the early video game era. Eddie The Head runs around the nascent Iron Maiden universe, at least up to Somewhere In time, taking on all manner of opponents and uncovering some easter eggs in the process. It’s all very unthreatening and childlike and perhaps that is why it feels like a visit from an old friend like no other band in active circulation. Santa Claus isn’t real but let us believe in him for a while yet.
The Book Of Souls is due to be released on September 4, 2015.