In this week’s Heavy Hitters, Metal Edge showcases four of the latest and greatest, shining a spotlight on new albums from some of our favorite bands. And it just so happens, they’re all multi-album vinyl collections…
IRON MAIDEN Senjutsu
It’s no stretch to say that Iron Maiden’s 17th studio album was an epic undertaking four decades in the making. The band’s Maiden Japan was recorded in May 1981, and its artwork featured Eddie wielding a samurai sword. Fast forward to September 2021, the release of Senjutsu, and an album cover bedecked by a fully-evolved samurai Eddie. But unlike the live EP, which clocked in at just over 16 minutes, finding two songs on Maiden’s latest opus that tally below that mark might require algebra. Even more glorious than 90 minutes of brand-spanking-new Iron Maiden? Packaging it as a three-disc vinyl set and proudly displaying the artwork in the full tri-fold splendor that it deserves. My Japanese is rusty, but I’m pretty sure Senjutsu translates to “Iron Maiden rules.”
SCORPIONS Rock Believer
As if a new Scorpions album isn’t cause enough to celebrate, Rock Believer cranks the festivities past eleven with more than an hour of new music from Germany’s favorite metal pioneers. “Gas in the Tank,” “Roots in My Boots” and “Knock ‘Em Dead” kick the guitar-driven gala off with three jolts of Rudolf Schenker-administered adrenaline, and Klaus Meine’s unmistakable vocals pepper the proceedings with a lyrical sturm und drang. “Hot and Cold” shimmies and spins, “When I Lay My Bones To Rest” flails and wails, “When You Know” is classic Scorpions balladry, and the resultant album is an over-achieving effort that will rock you like a hurricane yet again. There are two options to tantalize your turntable – the standard 11-track vinyl, or the 2-LP, 16-track deluxe edition.
DREAM THEATER A View From the Top of the World
Dream Theater were my gateway drug to prog, and 30 years later they continue to embody everything I love about hard rock and heavy metal: The unapologetically grandiose gestures; the sprawling caterwaul of instrumentality that, not being a musician, I can’t pretend to understand, but I remain helplessly in awe of; and arrangements that remind me of everything I loved about studying advanced mathematics in college. I proudly hail myself as a music nerd, and A View From the Top of the World is Dream Theater’s latest studio epiphany to make my freak flag fly. Meanwhile, the vinyl nerd in me is giddy over their limited edition, 2-disc translucent green vinyl and CD package. Only 500 were made - pull me under, I am not afraid…
MOTLEY CRUE The End: Live in Los Angeles
Did anyone truly believe that this was the end? Instead of pretending that we ever thought Mötley Crüe were actually done, let’s appreciate this album for what it is – a moment in time that celebrates the legacy of a band that changed the way we experience music. The Crüe are a sonic juggernaut, and The End: Live in Los Angeles commemorates a career that spans from “Live Wire” and “Looks That Kill” to “Saints of Los Angeles” and “Motherfucker of the Year,” shouting at the devil and kicking ass on the wild side everywhere in between. While the blood they spilled to sign their farewell contract may not have made its way into our 2-LP “motley merlot” colored vinyl variant, this limited edition collection – only 650 were pressed – will still kickstart your heart.