With ‘Senjutsu,’ Iron Maiden Scores Highest-Ever Spot on the Billboard 200


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It’s safe to say heavy metal fans the world over were excited about Senjutsu, the new album from Iron Maiden.

Released on Sept. 3 to rapturous fanfare, the English icons‘ new album and first since 2015 landed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 — officially its highest charting album ever. 2015’s The Book of Souls and 2010’s The Final Frontier each peaked previously at No. 4.

Led by lead track “The Writing on the Wall” and the follow-up single, “Stratego,” Senjutsu is an epic listening experience from Iron Maiden, several tracks eclipsing the seven-minute mark and a few running past the ten-minute mark, the music and vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s powerhouse vocals hitting that confident stride befitting a legendary band on its 17th studio record to date.

Click here to pick up Senjutsu on 2-CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Senjutsu on Deluxe 2-CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Senjutsu on 3-LP from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up Senjutsu on Super Deluxe Box Set from our Rock Cellar Store

Via Billboard, a bit more on the details regarding the album’s chart placement:

Of Senjutsu’s 64,000 equivalent album units earned, album sales comprise 61,000 (making it the top-selling album of the week), SEA units comprise 3,000 (equaling 3.57 million on-demand streams of the set’s 10 tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum.

Senjutsu logs the second-largest week of 2021 for a hard rock album in both equivalent album units earned and in traditional album sales. It trails only Foo Fighters’ Medicine at Midnight, which debuted on the Feb. 20 chart with 70,000 units (of which 64,000 were in album sales). (Hard rock albums are defined as those that have charted on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart.)

More on the new Iron Maiden album, per a news release:

For Senjutsu – loosely translated as ‘tactics & strategy,’ the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular Samurai themed cover artwork, based on an idea by Steve Harris. With a running time of a little under 82 minutes, Senjutsu, like their previous record The Book Of Souls, will be a double CD/Triple vinyl album.

Harris: “We chose to record at Guillaume Tell Studio in France again as the place has such a relaxed vibe. The setup there is perfect for our needs; the building used to be a cinema and has a really high ceiling so there’s a great acoustic sound. We recorded this album in the same way we did The Book Of Souls in that we’d write a song, rehearse it and then put it down together straight away while it was all fresh in our minds. There’s some very complex songs on this album which took a lot of hard work to get them exactly as we wanted them to sound, so the process was at times very challenging, but Kevin is great at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth the effort! I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for fans to hear it.”

Lead singer Bruce Dickinson: “We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the Legacy tour so we could maximize our touring yet still have a long set up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video. Of course the pandemic delayed things more – so much for the best laid plans – or should that be ‘strategies’!? The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised – in a good way, I hope! “

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