Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls

IT is comforting in a way that Iron Maiden are still around.

While many old school heavy metal bands have been swallowed up by the passage of time, the London six-piece are still going strong after 40 years.

With Bruce Dickinson's distinct vocals, those galloping drums and electric guitar solos, Iron Maiden's music is truly part of the fabric of the rock scene.

The Book of Souls is the band's 16th album since 1980 and it does not reinvent the wheel in that respect.

Iron Maiden are well known for charting their own path and ignoring new musical fads and styles so this new record could have just have easily been written years or even decades ago.

But at the same time it stands out with a more progressive songwriting style.

With 11 tracks with a run time of 92 minutes over two CDs, it is Iron Maiden's longest record. That includes the 18-minute monster of a track, Empire Of The Clouds.

Other highlights include The Great Unknown which boasts plenty of the band's signature big riffs and starts out with a bit of a Guns N' Roses guitar lick.

Meanwhile, title track The Book of Souls is a slow burner which then builds to a crescendo.

With more than 90 million album sales already under their belts, Iron Maiden's latest offering will certainly keep their fans happy.

And it is admirable that a band can still be so creative and hard working four decades on.