Iron Maiden Fans Break Down Mysterious Clues From The Band

Sit back, metal fans. It's time to thread our way through a corkboard conspiracy of T-shirt logos, Twitter accounts, and Biblical references that may, in fact, lead us to a brand-new, shining — and of course lacerated and unholy — Iron Maiden record.

Iron Maiden has curated a very particular, handcrafted image over the years, something like "Dungeons and Dragons but what if music," full of B-flick zombie shtick and apocalyptic insanity. They've gone from mid-1970s local gigs at the Cart and Horses pub in East London to selling over 100 million albums across 16 studio albums, per Official Charts. They've consistently landed in the top of the charts in the U.K. and U.S., and watched their sales and popularity not dwindle with time, but if anything, increase; their most successful sales week ever came as recently as 2015 with their 16th album, "The Book of Souls," as Rolling Stone reports. Heck, they even have their own comic book series (outlined on the Iron Maiden website) and iOS/Android video game, "Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast" (per the game's website).

Suffice it to say, news of a new Iron Maiden album would be a pretty big deal, especially if it was teased in a subversive, cryptographic way. It's not hard to believe that the mischievous dudes of Iron Maiden would lead folks on a, let's say... wild ghoul chase. The most recent evidence? Frontman Bruce Dickinson's interview with SkyNews (watchable on Instagram) that all but confirms some secret, impending release.

Belshazzar's Feast may be coming July 15

This can all get a bit convoluted, so let's start with Dickinson's T-shirt in the aforementioned SkyNews interview. The shirt, though slightly obscured, is emblazoned with the same lightning-fonted logo — "Belshazzar's Feast" — as posters discovered across the grounds of the U.K.'s recent Download Pilot music festival (pictures on Twitter), which went down without a post-pandemic hitch in Donington Park from June 18 to 20, as NME reports. When pressed about Maiden news in the interview, Dickinson said, "The answer is right in front of you." 

Hot Press' Edwin McFee jumped on these words and did some diligent "tin foil hat" work, as he puts it. "Belshazzar's Feast" refers to a nifty morality tale in the Bible's Book of Daniel, readable on Bible Gateway, about a prideful, hedonistic king who requires the pious Daniel to interpret literal writing on the wall. And, the poster for Iron Maiden's upcoming Legacy of the Beast Tour — now postponed to 2022, per the Iron Maiden website — contains the letters WOTW, or "writing on the wall." 

The poster also says "IMXVI," which definitely looks like "Iron Maiden 17." This fits, since the band's last album, "The Book of Souls," was their 16th outing. The poster also included the numbers "15/07," which likely means July 15, as well as the words "Live Forever," "Man or Beast," and "Heaven or Hell," which definitely fit into Maiden's wheelhouse.

A secret email, an apocryphal Twitter account, and the Fire of Belshazzar

If you thought things couldn't get any deeper, well, nope. As Loudwire reports, we've got a full-on ARG (augmented reality game) component to this story in the form of the email "" on the bottom of the "Belshazzar's Feast" poster. Twitter user Logan Miller emailed the address and got the following reply (viewable on Twitter): "You have knocked and we have been summoned. You hunger and soon you will feast. Ascension assured to the patient. Be you a man or be you a beast. We of the brotherhood are watching. On our marks you'll need to get set. The Fire of Belshazzar is coming. What three words, we'll signal but not yet." Aside from the short, rhythmical lines that sound like lyrics, any long-time follower of Iron Maiden would immediately recognize such verbiage and say, "Oh yeah, this is definitely Maiden-related."

And finally, remember that Iron Maiden has released 16 previous albums? Also remember that "Belshazzar's Feast" comes from the Bible's Book of Daniel? Well, the Twitter account @bels_feast joined recently in June 2021 and followed only 16 other Twitter accounts, all with names related to Maiden's previous records. And the name of the account user? Daniel. This account might be apocryphal, but even if it is, it shows how interested Iron Maiden fans have gotten about the possibility of new music.

We'll just have to wait until July 15 to see if the Fire of Belshazzar is indeed on the way.