Lately, NWOBHM legends Iron Maiden have been the subject of pretty softball news, whether they’re appearing on superhero video game soundtracks or getting their own Igloo cooler. But now, frontman Bruce Dickinson has teased something new which appears to have larger and perhaps more sinister connotations.
In a new video via the Iron Maiden Twitter account, Dickinson invites fans to something called ‘Belshazzar’s Feast.’ In the video, Dickinson appears on the balcony of a massive opera house (we think) and announces, “July the 15th. Rain or shine. Heaven or hell, man or beast, you’re invited to Belshazzar’s Feast…but your mum can’t come.”
— Iron Maiden (@IronMaiden) July 9, 2021
On Bruce’s shirt, and shown at the end of the video, is a flyer for Belshazzar’s Feast, which were seen all around this year’s Download Pilot festival, according to the fellows over at Kerrang!
While we have no idea what exactly Bruce is getting at, here’s a little context. Belshazzar’s Feast is a story from the Book of Daniel in the Bible. Basically, King Belshazzar holds this great feast, and at it he drinks from a cup raided from the First Temple of Jerusalem. A magical hand appears and writes a phrase on the wall. Belshazzar can’t understand it, and when summons his diviners and sages none of them can read it. At his wife’s request, the King calls Daniel to read it. Daniel interprets the writing to say that Belshazzar has offended God, and that his days are numbered. And wouldn’t you know it, that night Belshazzar gets killed.
The story is where we get the phrase ‘the writing on the wall,’ which usually means something really bad is about to happen. Like, The writing’s on the wall, guys — tomorrow, The Pit starts reporting about pop-punk nostalgia and nothing else. So on the one hand, Iron Maiden seem to be suggesting some sort of doom is upon us. Could this be the band’s announcement that they’re retiring? Or are they just putting out a biblical new album?
We’ll see what the band say on Thursday. In the meantime, European fans can catch Maiden at one of the following dates in 2022:
Iron Maiden 2022 Tour Dates
6/4 – Hyvinkää Rockfest FIN
6/11 – Download Festival ENG
6/13 – Belfast, Belsonic Festival (On-sale April 16) N. IRE
6/16 – Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting BEL
6/18 – Copenhagen, Copenhell DEN
6/20 – Prague, Sinobo Stadium CZE
6/23 – Oslo, Tons Of Rock NOR
6/26 – Paris, La Defense Arena FRA
6/27 – Arnhem, Gelredome (On-sale April 16) HOL
6/30 – Zurich, Hallenstadion (On-sale April 23) SWI
7/2 – Cologne, Rhein-Energie-Stadium GER
7/4 – Berlin, Waldbühne GER
7/7 – Bologna, Sonic Park ITA
7/9 – Stuttgart, Cannstatter Wasen GER
7/10 – Wiener, Neustadt Stadium Open-Air, AUS
7/20 – Bremen, Bürgerweide GER
7/22 – Gothenburg, Ullevi Stadium, SWE
7/24 – Warsaw, PGE Narodowy POL
7/26 – Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank Park (On-sale April 23) GER
7/29 – Barcelona Olympic Stadium SPA
7/31 – Lisbon Estadio Nacional POR
Words by Chris Krovatin