Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson releases first new solo song in 18 years, Afterglow Of Ragnarok

Bruce Dickinson standing tall in 2023
(Image credit: John McMurtrie)

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has released Afterglow Of Ragnarok, his first new solo song in 18 years. 

The single is the first taste of Dickinson’s upcoming seventh solo album The Mandrake Project, which will be released in 2024 via BMG. Tour dates and a tie-in comic book series have also been announced for next year.

When Afterglow… was announced on November 6, Dickinson commented: “It was important to set the tone of the project with this track. As befitting its title, it’s a heavy song and there’s a great big riff driving it… but there’s also a real melody in the chorus that displays the light and shade that the rest of the album brings… and just wait until you see the video!”

Dickinson will release Afterglow… as a seven-inch single tomorrow (December 1), which comes with the original demo version of the 2015 Iron Maiden song If Eternity Should Fail as a b-side, plus an eight-page comic book that serves as a prequel to The Mandrake Project. Pre-orders are now available.

Marketing materials describe The Mandrake Project as “a dark, adult story of power, abuse and a struggle for identity, set against the backdrop of scientific and occult genius”. The three-issue graphic novel series was created by Dickinson and Marvel/DC Comics writer Tony Lee, which features original artwork by 2000AD, Robin and Catwoman illustrator Staz Johnson.

Dickinson said when The Mandrake Project was announced in September: “This album has been a very personal journey for me and I am extremely proud of it [Guitarist/producer] Roy Z and I have been planning, writing and recording it for years, and I am very excited for people to finally hear it. I’m even more excited at the prospect of getting out on the road with this amazing band that we have put together, to be able to bring it to life. We’re planning to play as many shows as we can in as many places as possible, for as many people as we can! As for what The Mandrake Project actually is… all will be revealed soon!”

The video for Afterglow Of Ragnarok was directed by Ryan Mackfall, who has previously worked with the likes of Gojira, Slayer, Green Day and Deftones. 

"These are my first steps into comic book adaptation," says Mackfall. "Honoured to be the man directing his first video in 20 years! Also, absolutely blown away to be working alongside 2000AD legend whose work I've looked up to for many years. And Mr Tony Lee who has co-written this story with Bruce. It feels serendipitous. Basically like pouring petrol on my creative fire. A real dream come true!"

Dickinson will tour Europe extensively to promote The Mandrake Project in spring and summer 2024. All announced dates are available below.

The vocalist will then return to the road with Iron Maiden, continuing their ongoing Future Past tour with a series of North American shows. The concerts will see the legendary metal band play material largely from their 1986 album Somewhere In Time and 2021’s Senjutsu. Full dates are also below.

Bruce Dickinson – The Mandrake Project European Tour

May 18: Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, UK
May 19: Manchester O2 Academy, UK
May 21: Swansea Arena, UK
May 23: Nottingham Rock City, UK
May 24: London O2 Forum Kentish Town, UK
May 26: Paris L’Olympia, France
May 28: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
May 29: Groningen De Oosterport, Netherlands
Jun 01: Budapest Barba Negra, Hungary
Jun 03: Bucharest Arenale Romane, Romania
Jun 05-08: Gdansk Mystic Festival, Poland
Jun 05-08: Solvesborg Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
Jun 09: Oslo Rockefeller, Norway
Jun 16: Berlin Huxleys Neue Welt, Norway
Jun 17: Hamburg Grosse Freiheit 36, Germany
Jun 19-22: Copenhagen Copenhell, Denmark
Jun 24: Mannheim Zeltfestival Rhein-Neckar, Germany
Jun 25: Munich Circus Krone, Germany
Jun 27-30: Clisson Hellfest, France
Jun 30: Esch-Sur-Alzette Rockhal, Luxembourg
Jul 03-06: Ballenstedt Rockharz Open Air, Germany
Jul 05: Rome Ippodrome Delle Capannelle, Italy
Jul 06: Vincenza Bassano Del Grappa Metal Park, Italy
Jul 09: Koln E-Werk, Germany
Jul 13: Zagreb Hala, Croatia
Jul 16: Sofia Kolodrum Arena, Bulgaria
Jul 19: Istanbul Kucukciftlik Park, Turkey

Tickets are on sale now

Iron Maiden Future Past Tour North America dates 2024

Oct 04: San Diego North Island Credit Union Ampitheatre, CA
Oct 05: Las Vegas Michelob Ultra Arena, NV
Oct 08: Los Angeles Kia Forum, CA
Oct 12: Sacramento Aftershock Festival, CA
Oct 14: Portland Moda Center, OR
Oct 16: Tacoma Dome, WA
Oct 18: Salt Lake City Delta Center, UT
Oct 19: Denver Ball Arena, CO
Oct 22: St Paul Xcel Energy Center, MN
Oct 24: Rosemont Allstate Arena, IL
Oct 26: Toronto Scotiabank Arena, ON
Oct 27: Quebec Videotron Arena, QC
Oct 30: Montreal Centre Bell, QC
Nov 01: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, PA
Nov 02: Brooklyn Barclays Center, NY
Nov 06: Worcester DCU Center, MA
Nov 08: Pittsburgh PPG Paints Arena, PA
Nov 09: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Nov 12: Baltimore CFG Bank Arena, MA
Nov 13: Charlotte Spectrum Center, NC
Nov 16: Fort Worth Dickies Arena, TX
Nov 17: San Antonio Frost Bank Center, TX

Tickets are on sale now

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.