Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, has revealed an unexpected tidbit about his upcoming solo album, The Mandrake Project. One of the tracks, "Shadow of the Gods," boasts surprising origins – it was penned for a never-materialized metal dream team project called The Three Tremors.
Envision this: Dickinson's soaring vocals intertwined with the legendary registers of Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate. That's the sonic landscape that would have made of The Three Tremors, before the idea sadly succumbed. But the dream didn't die entirely.
In a new interview with Australia's Wall Of Sound (transcribed by Blabbermouth) Dickinson shared: "'Shadow Of The Gods' was written at the time of 'Tyranny of Souls' or shortly afterward. Because Roy and I were… There was an idea to do a project called The Three Tremors, which was gonna be me, Rob Halford, and Ronnie James Dio doing an album together and then going out on tour. Well, that never happened 'cause Ronnie, unfortunately, passed away. The idea was maybe to get Geoff Tate involved and that kind of didn't work out. But in the meantime, we were busy trying to write songs that would feature three singers."
"When the project didn't happen, we'd done two of them. One of them was 'Tyranny Of Souls', which, if you notice, the opening lines to 'Tyranny Of Souls' is the 'three witches' speech from Macbeth." Dickinson revealed "And, of course, if there were three singers, you'd have them all on stage going, [singing] 'When shall we three meet again?' And the first three lines would have been sung by me and then Rob and then Geoff Tate."
"So, on the demo version of it, you know, I was, like, 'When shall we three meet again?' And then I'll do the Rob voice, [singing more aggressively] 'In thunder, lightning, or rain?' Then you get, [singing in clean, high-pitched voice] 'When the hurlyburly's done?' And then the chorus is all three of us, 'A tyranny of souls.' Anyway, that never happened. So I said, 'Well, screw it. I'll do all the bits myself and make it more like my style of singing.'"
"Shadow Of The Gods," however, refused to be relegated to the vault for all eternity, and it's been included in the upcoming album: "'Shadow Of The Gods' was written for the same project. And, basically, the same thing happened with 'Shadow Of The Gods', So, when the heavy riff happens two-thirds of the way through the tune, people go, 'Wow, that sounds like vintage Priest.' I went, 'Yeah, well, guess who was supposed to be singing that bit.'"
The Mandrake Project, recorded at Los Angeles's Doom Room with Roy Z at the helm (who also played bass and guitars), also features keyboardist Mistheria and drummer Dave Moreno, both reprising their roles from Dickinson's previous solo album Tyranny Of Souls.
In addition to the previously announced 2024 live dates in Brazil and Mexico, the Iron Maiden frontman recently announced a handful of European shows. His live band through all these dates will include Roy Z on guitars, drummer Dave Moreno, bass player Tanya O’Callaghan, and keyboardist Mistheria.
And if all that touring wasn't enough to keep him busy, he has landed himself a role in an upcoming horror movie called Bjorn Of The Dead.