Iron Maiden have officially announced their 17th album, Senjutsu, which come less than a week after the metal legends debuted a music video for "The Writing on the Wall," their first new song in six years.

As was the case for the single, the lead-up to this announcement was part of an elaborate teaser campaign.

Iron Maiden uploaded the artwork to their past 16 studio albums over the course of one week. On July 13, the first 11 album covers were distributed, followed by one successive cover each day, right up to the news of Maiden's newest album.

Hidden in these images were more clues —Belshazzar's Feast T-shirts were now being spotted on characters in cover art and even the Japanese symbol for 'death' appeared on both The Final Frontier and The Book of Souls covers, which suggested that the samurai Eddie seen in the video for "The Writing on the Wall" would be the latest incarnation of Maiden's iconic undead mascot.

Senjutsu, which loosely translates to 'tactics and stretegy,' is Iron Maiden's first album since 2015's The Book of Souls and marks an end to their longest drought between albums — six years — and will be released on Sept. 3. Pre-orders begin on July 21.

"We chose to record at Guillaume Tell Studio in France again as the place has such a relaxed vibe," began bassist and founder Steve Harris. "The setup there is perfect for our needs; the building used to be a cinema and has a really high ceiling so there’s a great acoustic sound. We recorded this album in the same way we did The Book Of Souls in that we’d write a song, rehearse it and then put it down together straight away while it was all fresh in our minds."

He continued, "There’s some very complex songs on this album which took a lot of hard work to get them exactly as we wanted them to sound, so the process was at times very challenging, but Kevin is great at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth the effort! I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for fans to hear it."

Singer Bruce Dickinson added, "We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the 'Legacy' tour so we could maximize our touring yet still have a long set up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video."

"Of course the pandemic delayed things more - so much for the best laid plans – or should that be ‘strategies’!? The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long," Dickinson went on. "There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised - in a good way, I hope!"

View the artwork, created by Martin Wilkinson, and track listing for the 10-track, 82-minute double album, which was produced by Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley and co-produced by Steve Harris, below.

Iron Maiden, Senjutsu Album Art + Track Listing

Iron Maiden, 'Senjutsu'

01." Senjutsu" (8:20) Smith/Harris
02. "Stratego" (4:59) Gers/Harris
03. "The Writing On The Wall" (6:13) Smith/Dickinson
04. "Lost In A Lost World" (9:31) Harris
05. "Days Of Future Past" (4:03) Smith/Dickinson
06. "The Time Machine" (7:09) Gers/Harris
07. "Darkest Hour" (7:20) Smith/Dickinson
08. "Death Of The Celts" (10:20) Harris
09. "The Parchment" (12:39) Harris
10. "Hell On Earth" (11:19) Harris

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