Iron Maiden have unveiled an epic animated video for their first new song in six years, “The Writing on the Wall.” The single and video follow weeks speculation and hype.
The British metal legends had been teasing a mysterious event called “Belshazzar’s Feast,” leading up to today’s premiere. Fans had anticipated either a new song or album announcement.
The “feast” actually takes place within the storyline of the video, which weaves a post-apocalyptic heavy metal tale. The clip sees Iron Maiden mascot Eddie — rendered in stunning 3D form alongside standard 2D animation — as the central hero, tossing axes into the skulls of Trump-esque dictators and saving humanity from imprisonment. Be sure to stick around for the twist ending.
“The Writing on the Wall” was written by guitarist Adrian Smith and frontman Bruce Dickinson and produced by Kevin Shirley with co-production from bassist and Maiden founder Steve Harris. Featuring warm, propulsive guitar riffs and a steady mid-tempo, it’s an instant classic in the Iron Maiden canon and one of their finest compositions in decades.
The animated video was in collaboration with former Pixar executives and longtime Iron Maiden fans Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon (The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille). BlinkInk, a London based studio, handled the animation under direction by Nicos Livesey.
According to Livesey, creating the video was a painstaking process that involved over 60 people in 13 different countries. Thankfully, the team held weekly Zoom meetings with Dickinson to reel in their collective vision.
Dickinson stated, “I had a pretty clear idea of the concept to accompany the song and when I met Mark and Andrew, on Zoom, it quickly became clear we were all very much on the same wavelength, and this was reinforced with the addition of Nicos and his young BlinkInk team.”
He added, “I’m very proud of the way the video turned out; it’s more like a mini-film really. I knew it was going to work out as soon as Mark brought my treatment to life with his incredible storyboards — I thought we could make something very special together. I think we did and hope our fans will agree. In fact, it’s pretty much created by Maiden fans!”
Rumors regarding Iron Maiden’s follow-up to 2015’s The Book of Souls will no doubt be swirling after the release of the new song. The band began working on new music back in October, and it is reasonable to assume there’s more where “The Writing on the Wall” came from.
Watch Iron Maiden’s music video for “The Writing on the Wall” below.