Senjutsu (Japanese: 戦術, loosely translated as "tactics and strategy") is the band's first studio album in nearly six years (although having been put on hold for well over two years), following The Book of Souls (2015), marking the longest gap between two Iron Maiden studio albums. This is also their second studio double album, and their first studio album since Powerslave (1984) to have no songwriting contributions from guitarist Dave Murray in any way, as well as the first since Virtual XI (1998) to feature multiple songs written by bassist Steve Harris alone.
The name of the album is rendered on the right side of the cover art by the actual vertical Japanese spelling of "senjutsu" (戦術), and on the left side by a font reminiscent of Japanese characters.
Senjutsu is one of Iron Maiden's most successful albums, chart-wise, eventually peaking at number one in 23 countries and marked their first album not to peak that position in the UK charts since A Matter of Life and Death (2006), which peaked at number two. It did, however, top the UK Rock & Metal Singles and Albums Charts. The album also gave the band its highest chart position in the US at number three on Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and number one on Billboard's Physical Albums Chart.
It was recorded in Guillaume Tell Studio in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by Steve Harris. The band used their break from Legacy Of The Beast tour in 2019 to record the album. Unfortunately the COVID pandemic busted through Europe in the next year, cancelling all touring plans and therefore Senjutsu was put literally in a safe. None of the band members had a copy (except Steve Harris of course) until 2021.
Released: 3 September 2021
1. Senjutsu (Smith/Harris) 8:20
2. Stratego (Gers/Harris) 4:59
3. The Writing On The Wall (Smith/Dickinson) 6:13
4. Lost In A Lost World (Harris) 9:31
5. Days Of Future Past (Smith/Dickinson) 4:03
6. The Time Machine (Gers/Harris) 7:09
Total Time: 40:15
7. Darkest Hour (Smith/Dickinson) 7:20
8. Death Of The Celts (Harris) 10:20
9. The Parchment (Harris) 12:39
10. Hell On Earth (Harris) 11:19
Total Time: 41:38
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitars
Adrian Smith – guitars
Janick Gers – guitars
Steve Harris – bass, keyboards
Nicko McBrain – drums
Kevin "Caveman" Shirley – production, mixing
Steve Harris – co-production, art direction, design
Denis Caribaux – engineering
Ade Emsley – mastering
Stuart Crouch Creative – art direction, design
Mark "The Tinkerer" Wilkinson, Michael Knowland – illustrations
Ruth Rowland – calligraphy
Moe Iwata – Japanese translations