Album #5: Iron Maiden - En Vivo!
March 23, 2012
Yes, I know this is a live album. But it's Iron Maiden so it deserves it's own review.
So how many live albums does this make for them? 8? Not enough for me, I'd love a live album from every tour, especially the wonderful AMOLAD tour in 2006. So how does this one stack up against the rest? Pretty well I'd say. The real gems here are, of course, the new Final Frontier songs. I was lucky enough to see the proper TFF tour that most Americans didn't back in April 2011 in Florida. While I think the 2010 set was better (because, let's face it, that setlist was fucking phenomenal) there is some good stuff to be found here, despite the recurrence of a few of the usual suspects.
The Final Frontier is a solid opener and I really enjoy the live take here, El Dorado is waaaaaaaay better live than on the album, Coming Home is a great anthem to get the arena singing, When The Wild Wind Blows is majestic and punches you in the balls when it picks up from the intro (brought tears to my eyes in Fort Lauderdale, one of the best single numbers I've seen from the boys), and The Talisman is the real jewel here. An absolute monster and one of the best songs Maiden has ever written, the live version here is great and is probably the single song I've listened to most this year along with The Wreckers and Native Blood. Other highlights include Dance of Death (better version than Death on the Road), The Wicker Man, and Blood Brothers. It's also nice to have a more recent version of Running Free. One change that would have made the set and the live album much better is to keep These Colours Don't Run in from 2010 and exclude 2 Minutes to Midnight or The Evil That Men Do.
The production is pretty good, maybe not as good as Flight 666 but better than the overly muddy Death On The Road. Not as crystal-clear as the titanic Rock In Rio however. Performance wise everyone is spot on and Bruce sounds as good as usual (despite the lyrical flub in The Wicker Man). The DVD is also really good, although I have listened to the live CD way more. The Behind the Beast documentary is a terrific bonus feature and you'll see a few mugs from Metalsetlists.com in a number of shots.
Another great Maiden release. I'll give this one an 8.5 overall. A bit more variety in the set would surely push that ranking up, if I scored the post-Reunion chunk of the album separately it'd be a 10.
Roll on the 2013 European tour!