7 Things You Didn’t Know About Bruce Dickinson’s New Solo Album

Bruce Dickinson, the legendary frontman of Iron Maiden, has made a triumphant return with his latest solo album, “The Mandrake Project.” As his seventh solo release, this album promises a unique musical journey, blending elements of traditional heavy metal with experimental sounds and storytelling. Here are 7 things and interesting facts about this highly anticipated musical endeavor that you didn’t know!

1.Long Development

The album’s inception dates back to 2014, but it wasn’t until Dickinson reunited with Roy Z in 2021 that the project truly took shape, following a period marked by challenges like COVID, his battle with throat cancer, and Maiden commitments.

2.Collaborative Core

Built on the creative partnership between Dickinson and guitarist/producer Roy Z, “The Mandrake Project” continues the tradition of their two-man creative core, that started on “Balls To Picasso” in 1994 and that has produced masterpieces like “Accident Of Birth” and “The Chemical Wedding”.

3.Comic Book Connection

The album is part of a larger project that includes a comic book series, adding a visual dimension to the storytelling and enhancing the overall experience for fans. The plan is to release 12 quarterly issues that will be collected into three annual graphic novels.

4.Guitar Solo Debut

A notable first on this album is Dickinson’s guitar solo debut on the track “Face in the Mirror,” showcasing his versatility and adding a personal touch to the song. Also, Dickinson showcases his versatility by debuting as a bongo player on the track “Resurrection Men,” adding a unique rhythmic dimension to the album’s sonic landscape.

5.Mix of Old and New

The album features a blend of new compositions, including tracks like “Afterglow of Ragnarok” and “Many Doors to Hell,” alongside older songs that have been reworked and refined over the years. “Sonata (Immortal Beloved),” the album’s final track, has a storied history dating back 25 years, inspired by the film “Immortal Beloved”. The song “Eternity Has Failed” shares similarities with Iron Maiden’s song “If Eternity Should Fail.” Originally, “If Eternity Should Fail” appeared on Iron Maiden’s 2015 album “The Book of Souls.”

6.Thematic Depth

While not a strict concept album, it centers around a character named Dr. Necropolis, exploring themes of identity, genius, and existential struggle within the nefarious scientific venture known as The Mandrake Project. Dickinson has described the album as more than just an album, hinting at a deeper, multilayered experience that will be revealed as the project unfolds.

7.Unrealized Collaborative Project

The song “Shadow of the Gods” was originally intended for a collaborative project called Three Tremors, which aimed to feature Dickinson alongside icons like Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio but never came to fruition.

Our take on the record

“The Mandrake Project” not only reaffirms Bruce Dickinson’s status as a musical icon but also highlights his ongoing commitment to innovation and artistic expression. With its blend of old-school metal riffage and experimental flair, this album promises to captivate both devoted fans and newcomers alike, cementing Dickinson’s legacy as a pioneering force in the world of heavy music.

In conclusion, it is always nice to hear Dickinson outside the Iron Maiden box. Sometimes it sounds like he is still there, but there are also moments when he is not, and it all sounds very genuine. Not many artists can achieve that, going out of their comfort zone with their original bands. A very interesting record, and far better than Senjutsu.

Key songs: Afterglow of Ragnarok, Resurrection Man, Rain on the Graves, Face In The Mirror

Ratings: 7,5/10

If you want to expand your collection with a CD or vinyl, you can grab your copy of “The Mandrake Project” here.

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The Mandrake Project Charts (edited 14.03.)

  1. Germany: No. 1
  1. Sweden: No. 1
  2. UK Official Album Charts: No. 3
  3. US Billboard 200:
    • Top 200 Album Sales: No. 5
    • Current Album Sales: No. 5
    • Current Rock Album Sales: No. 1
    • Current Hard Rock Album Sales: No. 1
  4. Canada:
    • Top Canadian Album Sales: No. 1
    • Top Current Album Sales: No. 1
    • Hard Music Album Sales: No. 1
  5. Finland: Top 10
  6. Switzerland: Top 10
  7. Italy: Top 10
  8. Belgium: Top 10
  9. Netherlands: Top 10
  10. France: Top 10
  11. Brazil (Latin America): Top 10
  12. Mexico (Latin America): Top 10
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