Ancient Egypt and / or Thelema?

"Powerslave" (Powerslave, 1984) famously tells the story of a pharaoh who encounters immortality, yet not in the way he may have envisioned it, but as a cursed mummy. What may look like a story written by Monty Python raises some questions when given a closer look. I argue that "Powerslave" is not only coined by … Continue reading Ancient Egypt and / or Thelema?

The Loss of a Mayan Book

"The Book of Souls" (The Book of Souls, 2015) tells the story how the Mayan empire vanished. At least this is what I learned during the two live concerts I visited during the respective tours. Mayan references are well recorded and dominated the stage set as well as they served as inspiration for the album … Continue reading The Loss of a Mayan Book

Guest Article: London: A Legacy – A Maiden London Walking Tour (abridged)

I am thrilled to say that I can present something very special today: a Maiden themed self-guided city walk through London! This is an abridged version; to access the full version (for free), please visit London Beyond Time and Place. As mentioned before, I have teamed up with Philipp Röttgers of London Beyond Time and … Continue reading Guest Article: London: A Legacy – A Maiden London Walking Tour (abridged)

Medieval History: Mysticism, Gnosticism, and the Siege of a Castle Atop a Mountain in Southern France

“Montségur” (Dance of Death, 2003) is not only based on a historical event, namely the siege of a castle in France of the same name followed by a massacre, but also the myths surrounding it. As I will show, it is as well deeply rooted in the belief system of the Cathars, the owners of … Continue reading Medieval History: Mysticism, Gnosticism, and the Siege of a Castle Atop a Mountain in Southern France

Guest Article: The Ides of Icarus and Alexander: Iron Maiden & Greco-Roman Antiquity

I am very happy to say that Dr. Jeremy J. Swist of Brandeis University has kindly contributed to this blog. Not only is he literate in Latin and Ancient Greek, as he teaches both languages as a lecturer at university, he is also an expert in the reception of antiquity in heavy metal. His research … Continue reading Guest Article: The Ides of Icarus and Alexander: Iron Maiden & Greco-Roman Antiquity

Retelling the Last Flight of the Red Baron (Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen)

The song "Death or Glory" (Book of Souls, 2015) tells the story of a deadly fighter pilot and his red triplane. This arguably refers to Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen, a German pilot in WWI and his Fokker Dr I, a bright red triplane. Von Richthofen's preference for red aircraft would soon grant him the nickname the … Continue reading Retelling the Last Flight of the Red Baron (Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen)

Legacies, Blake on Stage, and the Horror of the Inquisition

The Tate Britain has recently opened a new exhibition room dedicated to the "Legacy of Blake" (https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain/display/spotlights/ancients-and-moderns-legacies-william-blake) - which made me smile, thinking of the "Legacy of the Beast" (tour, 2018 - 2019 and mobile game of the same name of Iron Maiden). (And no, the very unfortunate author has missed the opening of said … Continue reading Legacies, Blake on Stage, and the Horror of the Inquisition

World War I Poetry and the Third Battle of Ypres: Paschendaele

"Paschendale" (Dance of Death, 2003) commemorates a long-lasting battle of WWI. Its imagery is vivid; the described horrors mortifying. Yet, what if I told you that I have seen the described dead bodies  in barbed wire on a photograph, a sight I will never forget? You will see something similar if you watch the live … Continue reading World War I Poetry and the Third Battle of Ypres: Paschendaele

Lord Alfred Tennyson, the Union Jack, and the Question of Patriotism

One of Iron Maiden's best-known and probably most sung titles is "The Trooper" (Piece of Mind, 1983). The just as well-known and almost always identical staging is an (anticipated) regular event during Maiden concerts. The traditional staging draws heavily on British national symbols. It involves a costume implying the "red-coats" next to a torn and … Continue reading Lord Alfred Tennyson, the Union Jack, and the Question of Patriotism