‘Rain On The Graves’ is the second single to be taken from Bruce Dickinson’s forthcoming solo album The Mandrake Project which will be released on March 1st, via BMG. Riding on a towering guitar riff, with dramatic keyboards and a commanding vocal performance, it was inspired by a rainy visit to Romantic poet William Wordsworth’s grave in the Lake District. The song grew into a rumination on the nature of mortality and the deal with the Devil that artists have come to feel themselves making ever since Robert Johnson proved it worthwhile back in the 1930s.
“I had the chorus lyric since I visited Grasmere for a wedding back in 2012,” explains Bruce, “and it wasn’t difficult years later to create the rest of the song with so much rich imagery in my head!” It is a classic Dickinson/Roy Z collaboration; a catchy but heavy piece – full of melody but stripping out the spoken vocals of the verses in almost poetic fashion – maybe a further ode to the great wordsmith who inspired the title, somehow juxtaposed with music fit to raise the ghost of Robert Johnson at his metaphorical crossroads.
With a video shot entirely in a wintery Cornwall – again with Director Ryan Mackfall – we get to see Bruce the actor, a preacher no less, making his own deal with the Devil and dragging his ‘House Band from Hell’ into the bargain.
Check out the video or listen on your favourite streaming platform.