BRUCE DICKINSON Shares Unboxing Video For 'Afterglow Of Ragnarok' Solo Single
November 17, 2023
An unboxing video for Bruce Dickinson's new solo single, "Afterglow Of Ragnarok", is available below.
Due on December 1, "Afterglow Of Ragnarok" is the first single from Dickinson's upcoming solo album, "The Mandrake Project", which will arrive in early 2024 via BMG.
"Afterglow Of Ragnarok" is a dramatic and epic track that introduces the world not just to the music of the album but to the compelling narrative that forms the basis of "The Mandrake Project".
"It was important to set the tone of the project with this track," Dickinson explained. "As befitting its title, it's a heavy song and there's a great big riff driving it…but there's also a real melody in the chorus that displays the light and shade that the rest of the album brings… and just wait until you see the video!"
"The Mandrake Project" is a dark, adult story of power, abuse and a struggle for identity, set against the backdrop of scientific and occult genius. Created by Dickinson, scripted by Tony Lee and stunningly illustrated by Staz Johnson for Z2 Comics, the series features 12 episodes that collect into three graphic novels and will be launched in 2024.
An eight-page comic prequel to "The Mandrake Project", titled "Afterglow Of Ragnarok", is included within the vinyl seven-inch single booklet which accompanies the single of the same name and sets the scene for the story to come. The seven-inch single also features Dickinson's original solo demo version of the song "If Eternity Should Fail", which first appeared on IRON MAIDEN's album "The Book Of Souls" in 2015.
More details regarding "The Mandrake Project" will be revealed when Dickinson appears as the keynote speaker on the opening day of CCXP23, Brazil's huge Comic-Con event in Sao Paulo, on November 30.
Having initially announced Brazilian and Mexican live dates for April and May next year, Dickinson and his phenomenal band — which features guitarist Roy "Z" Ramirez, drummer Dave Moreno, bass player Tanya O'Callaghan and keyboard maestro Mistheria — will continue their touring with a run of European shows, alongside a number of festival appearances in Europe.
Dickinson previously stated about "The Mandrake Project": "This album has been a very personal journey for me and I am extremely proud of it. Roy Z and I have been planning, writing and recording it for years, and I am very excited for people to finally hear it. I'm even more excited at the prospect of getting out on the road with this amazing band that we have put together, to be able to bring it to life. As you can see, we're playing as many shows as we can, in as many places as possible, for as many people as we can!"
"The Mandrake Project" will be Dickinson's seventh solo album and his first since "Tyranny Of Souls" in 2005. It will be released via BMG worldwide on multiple formats.
Back in December 2017, Dickinson said that his next solo LP would likely include a reworked version of "If Eternity Should Fail", the opening track on IRON MAIDEN's 2015 disc "The Book Of Souls". At the time, he said that he had about "half" of his seventh record already written and he also confirmed that "If Eternity Should Fail" was originally penned as a Dickinson solo track.
He told Finland's Kaaos TV that the original plan was for his next solo record to be "a whole concept album, which was gonna be called 'If Eternity Should Fail'. And 'If Eternity Should Fail' was the title track to my new solo album," he said. "And a bit like [Dickinson's 1989 solo song] 'Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter' [laughs], it got commandeered for IRON MAIDEN. So if I did do another solo album, which I think I will, I might just stick to my original plan and have that as the title track. I mean, I did write it — it was the first track that I wrote for it. So, yeah, I'd probably still include that song. But it would be… the feel would be slightly different — not very much, though — from the MAIDEN version."
In 2015, Dickinson told France's Hard Force magazine that "If Eternity Should Fail" ended up being used by IRON MAIDEN after bassist Steve Harris heard the demos that Bruce was working on for what was supposed to be his next solo album. "And [Steve] went, 'That's a really cool song. Can we use that? That's gonna be the opening song on the album,'" he recalled. "And I went, 'Yeah, okay.' And he was already writing, I think… He was already thinking of 'The Book Of Souls' as being the title, so he told me about the Mayan thing. And I'm, like, 'Yeah, that's cool. Okay. Yeah, I see where you're going.' But in my case, that song was written as part of a story. So the spoken word at the end is the beginning of a story that goes through the whole album. And one of the characters is Dr. Necropolis; he's the bad guy. And the good guy is Professor Lazarus; he raises people from the dead. So that introduces Necropolis in the spoken-word thing. And I asked Steve… I said, 'Look. Okay. I get having the song…' 'Cause it opens up with, 'Here is the soul of a man.' 'Yup. Get that. But what about the end?' I said, 'Will people understand what this is about? Because this is nothing to do with the Mayans or anything. This is to do with… I'd come up with a concept album that doesn't happen.' [Laughs] And he [went], 'No, no, no. It's just talking about souls and everything, and it sounds great.' I went, 'Okay.' [Laughs]"
Dickinson made his recording debut with IRON MAIDEN on the "Number Of The Beast" album in 1982. He quit the band in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career and was replaced by Blaze Bayley, who had previously been the lead singer of the metal band WOLFSBANE. After releasing two traditional metal albums with former MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith, Dickinson rejoined the band in 1999 along with Smith. Since then, Dickinson has only released one more solo album (the aforementioned "Tyranny Of Souls") but has previously said that his solo career is not over.
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