Gary Graff of Billboard.com recently spoke to IRON MAIDEN guitarist Dave Murray about "The Final Frontier", the band's forthcoming 15th studio LP which will be released in North America on August 17 (one day earlier internationally) via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
"We breezed through the album, really," Murray tells Billboard.com. "We actually finished it in six weeks. We were getting down a track a day — all playing together as a band, Bruce (Dickinson) singing, all in the same room, so there's a very live-in-the-studio feel to it. Once we finished a track we'd jump straight into doing some extra guitar bits. It was very quick for us."
Murray says the 10-track set mixes "straight-ahead, uptempo rock songs with good grooves with some other tracks that are kind of longer and more complex." The album closer, "When the Wild Wind Blows", is an 11-minute track that's one of the longest songs IRON MAIDEN has ever recorded. "The rhythm's a little bit different from what we've done before, and there's lots of melodies," Murray says. "It's a big song. We learned it in sections just because it was such a complex arrangement, but it sounds quite natural (on the record)."
The band reunited with long-time MAIDEN producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in early 2010 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau to record the album and then moved to The Cave Studios in Malibu, California to finish the recording and do the mixing. Compass Point Studio is very familiar to the band, it was where they recorded the "Piece Of Mind" (1983), "Powerslave" (1984) and "Somewhere In Time" (1986) albums.
"The Final Frontier" features artwork illustrated by Melvyn Grant.
The track listing for the CD is as follows (total running time 76:35):
01. Satellite 15....The Final Frontier (8:40)
02. El Dorado (6:49)
03. Mother Of Mercy (5:20)
04. Coming Home (5:52)
05. The Alchemist (4:29)
06. Isle Of Avalon (9:06)
07. Starblind (7:48)
08. The Talisman (9:03)
09. The Man Who Would Be King (8:28)
10. When The Wild Wind Blows (10:59)
Following the U.S. dates, the tour will ship over to Europe starting in Dublin on July 30 and playing a few selected major festivals and stadiums , finishing in Valencia, Spain, on August 21 and including a concert in Transylvania.