With the prognosis Bruce Dickinson’s fight with cancer pointing to recovery, U.K. legends Iron Maiden have confirmed the recent rumors about a new studio release by announcing the new album “The Point of Harsh Steel.” The release is the first of a trilogy concept series centered around the lore of the Viking Gods. The album is set to drop on July 16th (G/A/S), July 17th (EU), July 20th (UK) and July 21st (North America) via EMI Records. “The Point of Harsh Steel” will be issued in the following formats: digital, standard CD, 2CD digipak (with bonus live material) and a 4CD media book (complete with the 2CD as well as two DVD/Blu ray discs containing two full live performances from the most recent “Maiden England” North American tour).

The new release was once again recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas with bassist Steve Harris manning the production duties. Additional recording and mixing was performed at The Cave in Malibu, California with long time producer Kevin Shirley. The band once again commissioned Derrick Riggs for the album’s artwork.

Bassist Steve Harris commented on the album: “During the period just after recording ‘The Final Frontier,’ we wanted to do something darker and sinister, something Iron Maiden has never done before. The idea for the trilogy was based, in part, on the incredible rise of interest in Norse mythology throughout the world spawning TV shows and documentaries, movies and the myriad of bands celebrating its history. I’ve always been intrigued with the mystery surrounding the Norse and was pretty devastated that Manowar nixed that multi-album concept idea they had years ago. So rather than just re-record old material, we decided we would do this in traditional Maiden style, but with a nod towards the current trend of the elaborate three album series.”

The entire trilogy series has been fully recorded, with the dates for the next two releases expected in 2020 and 2028, respectfully. More details are expected soon.

The track list for “The Point of Harsh Steel” is:

1. Sinfiotli’s Revenge
2. The Taciturn God
3. The Scarlet Spinner of Secret Thread
4. Misgard: Humankind’s Misery
5. Serpent at the Roots
6. The Great Wisdom of Elder Edda
7. A Fire Rises From the South
8. Urda’s Sacred Well
9. Crucifixion, Self-Imposed
10. The Day Even Gods Will Die

In addition, the band will embark on a North American tour with young U.S. upstarts Judicator beginning this August, which will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the band’s most notable live release “Live After Death.” The tour will feature two full sets – one mirroring the set from the 1985 live release – and a second consisting of mainly new material and songs from “The X Factor,” in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of that release. The band has not confirmed the rumors reported on Blabbermouth that former vocalist Blaze Bayley will guest on the tour.

Steve Harris commented: “This tour will be the biggest production in the history of Iron Maiden. We celebrate the anniversary of those timeless shows from Long Beach on the ‘Powerslave’ tour as well as a period of Maiden’s history that is just as poignant: the non-Dickinson era. When we saw that our long time friends Judas Priest decided to bring along a personal favorite ‘younger’ band in Steel Panther for support, we thought we would dig a little deeper and bring along the young lads in Judicator. Nikko was able to catch their first ever live performance at a small festival north of Orlando last year. Its crazy…those guys first met the day they played their first gig. We thought the story was pretty amazing, so we invited them on the tour. You guys will love it.”

Confirmed dates are as follows:

July 15: Le Festival d’ete de Quebec, Quebec City
Aug 8: Petco Park, San Diego
Aug 9: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Aug 11: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Aug 12: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Aug 14: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Aug 15: Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Florida
Aug 16: LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee
Aug 18: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Aug 19: Marcus Amphitheatre, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Aug 21: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Aug 22: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, North Carolina
Aug 23: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana
Aug 25: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Aug 26: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, New York

More dates are expected to be added soon.

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