The Final Frontier is British heavy metal band Iron Maiden's upcoming fifteenth studio album, set for release on August 16, 2010.
At 76 minutes and 35 seconds, it is the band's longest studio album to date. It will be their first album since the release of A Matter of Life and Death in 2006, the longest gap to date between two consecutive Iron Maiden studio albums.
The North American leg of their tour in support of the album started in Dallas, Texas on June 9, with a European tour beginning in Dublin on July 30, and further dates to be announced. Melvyn Grant, a long-time contributor to the band's artwork, created the cover art for the album.
On April 22, 2009, during a Rock Radio interview promoting Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Nicko McBrain revealed that Iron Maiden had booked studio time for early 2010.
On March 4, 2010, the album title was announced as The Final Frontier, along with North American and European tour dates for summer 2010.
On June 5, the band's official website opened to a countdown screen which counted down to 12:01 am (UTC) on June 8.
At the end of the countdown, the expected announcement revealed the album artwork, release date, and track listing, as well as providing a free download of the track El Dorado.
On November 2, 2009, Janick Gers confirmed to BBC News that the band already had new material written and would head to Paris, France, to start composing and rehearsing the bulk for the new album. The band took time off for Christmas and New Year's Eve before recording the new album in January, with Kevin Shirley producing.
In another interview with heavy metal DJ Eddie Trunk, drummer Nicko McBrain confirmed that the band had finished writing eight songs for the new album which he claimed would probably be released in 2011.
On April 6, producer Kevin Shirley told Blabbermouth.net that he had completed mixing the new album.
On May 6, Shirley commented on the final stages of the album's production:
"Bruce Dickinson flew in for a few days and sang all his parts before flying off to the four corners of the globe and Steve Harris stayed behind to finish the record with me. He's pretty hands-on like that. Adrian Smith dropped in from time to time to hear stuff, and like in any band, not everyone has the same end result in mind, but we get there."
Regarding the band's return to Compass Point Studios, where they had previously recorded in the 1980s, vocalist Bruce Dickinson remarked:
“The studio had the same vibe and it was exactly as it had been in 1983, nothing had changed! Even down to the broken shutter in the corner... same carpet... everything... It was really quite spooky. But we felt very relaxed in such a familiar and well-trodden environment and I think this shows in the playing and the atmosphere of the album.”
"El Dorado", the album's first single, was released as a free digital download on June 8.
In a July 1 interview with Billboard.com, guitarist Dave Murray discussed the song "When the Wild Wind Blows", the band's third longest song to date, after "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Sign of the Cross":
"The rhythm's a little bit different from what we've done before, and there's lots of melodies... It's a big song. We learned it in sections just because it was such a complex arrangement, but it sounds quite natural."
On July 9 a teaser video with the album's first track "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier" was released, alongside the news that the full music video, the album's first, will be released on International day of Rock, July 13.
No. Title Music Length
1. "Satellite 15... The Final Frontier" 8:40
2. "El Dorado" Dickinson, Smith, Harris 6:49
3. "Mother of Mercy" 5:20
4. "Coming Home" 5:52
5. "The Alchemist" 4:29
6. "Isle of Avalon" 9:06
7. "Starblind" 7:48
8. "The Talisman" 9:03
9. "The Man Who Would Be King" 8:28
10. "When the Wild Wind Blows" 10:59
* Bruce Dickinson - lead vocals
* Dave Murray - guitar
* Adrian Smith - guitar, backing vocals
* Janick Gers - guitar
* Steve Harris - bass, backing vocals
* Nicko McBrain - drums, percussion
* Kevin Shirley - production
* Melvyn Grant - artwork