Is Iron Maiden’s New Album Called ‘Writing on the Wall’?
Evidence is mounting that Iron Maiden are about to release details of their 17th album, which appears to be associated with the title Writing on the Wall or Belshazzar's Feast.
Teasers have been circulating for several days now, with Irish magazine Hot Press assembling a strong argument that suggests details will be revealed on July 15.
Writer Edwin McFee started his hunt for hints after noting that singer Bruce Dickinson was wearing a T-shirt in a recent TV interview with “Belshazzar’s Feast” emblazoned on the front. During the conversation, he touched on Maiden’s upcoming plan. “I can’t tell you what it is, but it’s right in front of you," he said.
McFee then noticed that a range of Maiden graphics recently featured the slogan “W.O.T.W.,” which he theorized referred to “Writing on the Wall” – the Bible story also known as “Belshazzar’s Feast.”
He then presented a roughly produced "Belshazzar’s Feast" poster that was seen at the Download Festival 2021 Pilot festival last month bearing the date "15/07" and the letters “IMXVII,” which could refer to “Iron Maiden” and 17 in Roman numerals. “There are three titles – ‘Live Forever,’ ‘Man or Beast’ and ‘Heaven or Hell,’” McFee reported. “Could these be song titles or lyrics to new material?”
He also pointed to an interview with singer-songwriter and Maiden fan Frank Turner. During the chat at Download, he was asked what he knew of Maiden’s next album. While he refused to reveal any information, he opened his hoodie to reveal a "Belshazzar’s Feast" shirt beneath, just like Dickinson’s.
Searching social media, the writer discovered an email address “email@example.com” and the Twitter account @bels_feast run by someone known as Daniel – in whose book the Bible story appears. “I’m sure the fact that he only follows 16 accounts, all with a vague reference to 16 of Maiden’s albums (so far!) like The X Factor and Killers is merely a coincidence,” he wrote dryly.
A fan who sent a message to the email address noted the cryptic response he received.
McFee added a further point: “The mystery of Belshazzar’s Feast officially started on June 28 and will end 17 days later on July 15. Is that a cheeky reference to an impending 17th LP from the greatest metal band on the planet? You decide ... but my excitement levels are at 666 percent!”
UPDATE 7/9: Iron Maiden posted a video on July 9 inviting fans to some sort of announcement arriving the following week. It doesn't really clear up much, but it looks like we'll have some sorta answer to all these mysteries soon enough.