Iron Maiden Are Up to Something + The Internet Is Piecing It Together
UPDATE: Iron Maiden have released the new song "The Writing on the Wall." Watch the music video here.
Iron Maiden are definitely up to something and their trail of cryptic clues has left fans and internet sleuths to piece together the information, all of which seems to point firmly in the direction of new music, potentially as early as July 15.
The most significant clue came in a recent interview singer Bruce Dickinson did with Sky News. While many were fixated on Dickinson's comments damning Brexit's impact on musicians in the U.K. (he voted in favor of U.K. breaking away from the European Union), others were more intrigued by his T-shirt.
But this all actually starts quite a bit earlier than the rare occasion the singer sports a graphic T-shirt without the name of one of his son's bands printed on it (can you blame him?). In fact, Bruce had even been hinting toward new music while on the North American leg of the 'Legacy of the Beast' tour in 2019, which we can attest to hearing with our own ears at the time.
And away we go... time to play with madness!
Dec. 23, 2019 — Longtime Iron Maiden Producer Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley Hints at 'Not-Very-Secretive' Project
In a lengthy Facebook post where Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley mourned the loss of his brother, he also left behind a clue about a new album he had worked on.
"I left my family for Paris, where I spent the next three months working very hard on an unnamed but not-very-secret project. I finished with a loud ringing in my ears," wrote Shirley, who has produced every Maiden studio album since 2000's Brave New World.
Dickinson has been residing in France over the last year at the least and both Brave New World and The Book of Souls were recorded at Studios Guillaume Tell in Paris with Shirley.
NOTE: More clues lead back to Studios Guillaume Tell, as detailed further down the page.
May 25, 2021 — Bruce Speaks With Download Festival, Mentions 'Anticipated' Things Ahead
Iron Maiden will be performing at the Download Festival in 2022 and, this year, Bruce participated in the 'Heavy Metal Truants' charity 175-mile bicycle ride that concludes on the grounds of the fest.
When we wasn't griping about bicycle shorts, stating, "I'm not quite Henry VIII with a codpiece, but I'm getting there," he spoke about Maiden's upcoming Download appearance.
"I know more than you do about what other things that are going to be going on in the space between now and then. I confidently predict it's going to be anticipated for a lot of reasons, not just the fact that it's a festival, in the midst of a desert, of music. A whole load of other things are going to happen, which I think people are going to be dead chuffed about," he said.
It's intentionally ambiguous, but let's keep in mind the band hasn't released a new album since 2015 (The Book of Souls) and everyone just had a year off during the pandemic...
June 18, 19 + 20, 2021 — Download Pilot Festival Takes Place, 'Belshazzar's Feast' Flyers Spotted on Grounds
Flyers for 'Belshezzar's Feast' were seen on the grounds of the Download Pilot fest as the U.K. engaged in a trial run in reopening a festival with a pandemic to still contend with.
"Live forever," "man or beast" and "heaven or hell" were each printed on the flyer. More significantly, two sets of numbers also appear — "15/07" and the Roman numerals "IMXVII."
Hot Press did a lot of the heavy lifting on some of these clues and noted that "15/07" likely refers to the date of July 15 and the Roman numerals potentially stand for "Iron Maiden 17."
The successor to The Book of Souls will stand as Iron Maiden's 17th full length album.
The bottom of the flyer also contains an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have sent an email to this address, but have not received a reply at the time this story was published. We will update when and if any message comes through. Others online claim to have already received an email reply, which slyly works in the "WOTW" acronym, starting with the first letter of each of the last four lines.
It can reasonably be presumed that this stands for "Writing on the Wall," which we go into more detail about further down the page.
Wait a minute! Who is Belshazzar and what's the deal with his feast?
Belshazzar's feast is a story from the Book of Daniel in the Bible and is more commonly known as the story of the writing on the wall (which is the origin of the everyday expression about reading the writing on the wall/understanding something is imminent).
Legendary Dutch painter Rembrant famously painted a scene from this story with estimates indicating the work was done between 1635 and 1638.
And Rembrandt's birthday? That would be July 15, 1606. July 15!!!
Whoa! Didn't the 'WOTW' already appear on recent Iron Maiden tour flyers before all of this?
Yes. Take a look here.
Back to the Download Pilot... Even English Punk/Folk Singer-Songwriter Frank Turner Is In on the Tease
Speaking with Neil Jones at the Download Pilot fest, Frank Turner was asked about the new Iron Maiden album that is rumored to have been completed.
As he's asked about this at the very end of the interview, he unzips his hooded sweatshirt to reveal he's wearing a 'Belshazzar's Feast' T-shirt without making note of that action nor the shirt at all.
The timing can't be a coincidence, can it?
June 28, 2021 — Bruce Dickinson Wears 'Belshazzar's Feast' T-Shirt During Sky News Interview
In a plea for the government to do more to help U.K. musicians as the touring situation has been complicated by Brexit, Dickinson appeared in front of cameras wearing a 'Belshazzar's Feast' T-shirt, bearing the same design as the flyer seen at Download.
With this television appearance, the link between the imagery and Iron Maiden is solidified.
There's Still More We Can't Even Begin to Explain, But This 'Daniel' Person May Know
A twitter account @bels_feast was created in June of this year (displaying the name 'Daniel'... the story of the feast is also taken from the Book of Daniel) and has been circulating images pertaining to the now viral 'Belshazzar's Feast' imagery and related happenings.
Some sneaky sleuths on Reddit also noticed that this Twitter account was only following 16 other pages, all of which discreetly reference Iron Maiden's existing 16 full length albums.
June 29, 2021 — Iron Maiden Leave Cryptic 'WOTW' Tweet Acting Like It's Just About Soccer/Football
On Twitter, the band wrote "Huge game in England tonight, it will be interesting to see Gareth's strategy and tactics. Maybe he'll start Walker on the wing?" That last line... another instance of 'WOTW' — Walker on the wing.
Iron Maiden made the same post on Instagram, and engaged in a 'WOTW' exchange with their own Trooper Beer account.
June 30, 2021 — A Fake New Iron Maiden Song "Writing on the Wall (Belshazzar's Feast)" Is Posted on YouTube
A new YouTube account under the name 'Daniel Belshazzar' was also recently created. A fake new Iron Maiden song, titled "Writing on the Wall (Belshazzar's Feast)." It's played in the style of Maiden, but that is clearly not Bruce Dickinson singing. It's actually the song "Redemption" by the band Black Phantom.
But what on earth does that mean? We really don't know. Is this to throw everyone off the scent?
Is 'Daniel' actually a plant and this was all orchestrated by design to appear like some truth-hungry Iron Maiden fan?
*Not a Real Iron Maiden Song* "Writing on the Wall (Belshazzar's Feast")
June 30, 2021 — Another Cryptic 'WOTW' Tweet by Iron Maiden
In a photo of Eddie dressed as "The Trooper" backstage, the skeletal mascot runs his sword beneath a line of cable. The caption cautions he should be wearing safety gear when "working on the wires." More 'WOTW' coding...
July 1, 2021 — More 'WOTW' Writing Appears in Eddie Image Promoting Nicko McBrain's Rock n Roll Ribs Restaurant
This one is a bit harder to see, especially without the aid of a zoom feature. And, yes, we understand that it is perfectly natural to see food in an image promoting a restaurant, but it just can't be ignored that Eddie is cooking up a feast of sorts.
July 2, 2021 — @bels_feast Twitter Account Shares Email Reply With Clues Linking Back to Studios Guillaume Tell
An email reply, presumably from the email@example.com address, suggesting this is an elaborate plan — "All that you see is by design" — and two lines — "Find the apply by the river / Did they choose heaven or did they choose Hell?" — are now connected to the aforementioned Studios Guillaume Tell in Paris.
On June 25, the studio shared a photo which shows an apple in their logo. Additionally, another 'Belshazzar's Feast' flyer is seen hung in the background, which, as noted earlier, contains the words "Heaven or Hell."
And the studio? Well, it just so happens to be located near the Seine River.
So... WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Whatever it is, keep your eyes locked on July 15. Up the irons!