“Nothing against Maiden, but their songs have gotten so long”: Kerry King critiques Iron Maiden’s recent albums

Kerry King next to the artwork for Iron Maiden album Senjutsu
(Image credit: Andrew Stuart | Parlophone/BMG)

Slayer guitarist Kerry King has offered his thoughts on Iron Maiden’s recent albums, describing them as too long.

Talking to Riffx (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), the 59-year-old briefly critiqued 2015’s The Book Of Souls and 2021’s Senjutsu, after noting that he hasn’t yet heard the new solo album by singer Bruce Dickinson, The Mandrake Project.

“Haven’t heard Bruce’s new album, but I have a friend who told me it’s better than Iron Maiden,” King said.

“Wouldn’t surprise me — nothing against Maiden, but their songs have gotten so long, man, I just can’t be bothered with it. And my attention span isn’t that much.”

King added that he hasn’t yet heard the new album by fellow UK metal icons Judas Priest, Invincible Shield, but that he’s enjoyed what snippets he has caught on the radio.

“I haven’t heard the entirety of Judas Priest's new album, but I heard a handful of songs on satellite radio,” he continued.

“Some are, you know, typical. I heard one that stood out. The Serpent And The King. That’s really cool; it sounds like a progression of what Priest does. I enjoyed that one.

“I haven’t heard the whole album, but I definitely will. Actually, I’m going to be playing with Priest in a couple of weeks.”

King, who co-founded Slayer in 1981, has long cited Judas Priest as one of his biggest influences.

The guitarist told Guitar.com in 2010: “I think we’ve morphed into something completely different. But if you give credit to anybody, it would be the Judas Priest guitar style of two guitar players.

“We never went for the big time harmonies of the Iron Maiden dual guitar players. We went for more of the two-guitar rhythm attack.”

King released his debut solo album, From Hell I Rise, on May 17 and is currently touring with his namesake band to promote the record.

The guitarist will return to the stage with Slayer for the first time in five years this autumn, playing a short string of US festivals.

King is the cover star on the new issue of Metal Hammer, where he talks about From Hell I Rise, Slayer’s comeback and much more. Order your copy now and get it delivered directly to your door.

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.