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| 3 September 2012 | Reply

EMI, March 2012
Double CD, DVD, Blu Ray

By Shane Pinnegar

Recorded before 50,000 rabid Chilean fans in Santiago in April 2011, En Vivo is a glorious treat for any Iron Maiden fan, no matter which format you choose.

Having graduated to a status similar to that of the heavy metal answer to The Rolling Stones, Maiden now seem content to release a new album every 3 or 4 years to mixed response from fans and mainstream critics alike (old school fans bemoan the evolving of their style towards prog metal, critics see them as irrelevant and self indulgent), then touring for a year or two and releasing a live document on a myriad of platforms.

Personally, I enjoy their latest clutch of studio albums, and enjoy listening to them live – in person and on DVD/CD – but nothing they do will ever come close to the effect they had on me in 1981 when, as a 15 year old, I first heard Run To The Hills and Number Of The Beast.

This collection contains a mind blowingly solid track listing – heavy on the latter day material, but not to the exclusion of the classics, and it is performed, recorded, mixed and packaged as lavishly and lovingly as anything the band release.

The video portion of En Vivo is shot with no less than TWENTY TWO HD cameras, capturing every bit of the performance as well as the adulation and excitement of the crowd and delivers a real sense of being there in the heady atmosphere of that special night.

Bonus material includes a lavish 88 minute documentary entitled Behind The Beast – but as interesting as all the logistics behind a tour on this scale are, it doesn’t expand a huge amount on the Flight 666 doco from a couple of years ago. There’s also The Final Frontier promo video and a making of – and no doubt the Blu Ray has some more extras as well.

It’s been said before, but for a band with such a definable image in their ever-evolving mascot Eddie, and such lavish stage sets, they tend to dress down, shorts, faded t shirts and fatigues being the order of the day – which is fine, although rather incongruous against the space age stage set!

There’s not much you won’t love here, though no matter how enjoyable Maiden offerings such as Coming Home, Blood Brothers and Where The Wild Wind Blows are, there’s always an extra cheer reserved for a 2 Minutes To Midnight, The Trooper, Fear Of The Dark or Hallowed Be Thy Name.

Non essential if you’re not a completist, but definitely worth getting if you’re a Maiden fan who rates their latest material as well as their classic stuff.

Category: CD Reviews, Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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