on March 29, 2012
Ever since listening to the Live After Death upon release back in 1985, I believed that there would never be such an awesome live album. But since we moved from Metal's climax in the 80's to "Alternative Grunge" in the 90s, and even more to pop/idol senstations (and I use those terms loosely, mind you( of today in the 00's, I've given up hope that crowds are truly as interested in seeing the performer as much as the performer is interested in seeing the crowds.
That said, 30 years later, and finally picking up a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance (Which they couldn't pick up due to touring - you gotta love their dedication to fans when they're on the road!), they come back full force with an album that doesn't compromise, doesn't "explore new directions" like other bands have unsuccessfully done, and remains classic Maiden metal while delivering fresh new songs, topics and energy while delivering that familiar sound that some of us have enjoyed for years - and decades.
Having been blown away by the new material when Iron Maiden toured North America in 2010, I saw them in concert. They toured before the release of the album, so we heard the songs before Final Frontier hit the shelves. I truly wished I could have heard the songs first and THEN see the concert. It was a great concert, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to be familiar with the songs, especially when they make up a significant portion of the show. So after missing the Somewhere Back In Time Tour, and previewing the Final Frontier content prior to release, I was really looking forward to En Vivo. I was ready for every song they've written, and excited to hear them live - again!
The concerts in the States pale in comparison to some of the shows Iron Maiden plays around the world, and I'm really glad they showcased Santiago Chile, as the crowd is absolutely amazing, and hungry for really good European Metal. Since this isn't about the concert clips, and I"ll be reviewing the movie later, it will suffice for now that the music and audio is amazing, but hearing the audience like you can on this album gives you goose bumps. This kind of fandom doesn't happen in the States. But Chile was on fire for a night of metal, and if this album is an indication, they sound like they got everything they wanted.
The lineup really focuses on the material from Final Frontier -Coming Home, El Dorado, The Talisman- and peppers in a few classics -2 Minutes to Midnight, Running Free and others- while digging into some later "classics" like The Wicker Man, Blood Brothers and Fear of the Dark. The dividing of tracks makes sense, and represents Maiden thoroughly. The live performance of When the Wild Wind Blows, however, is probably the track worth considering. It's flawlessly executed, and ranks up there with Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Alexander The Great (Neither included on this disc, and I wish they'd record Alexander the Great live one of these days!), which I think are two of Maidens longest - and best - songs. Bruce is at his best vocally, and really sounds like every song is given 100%.
The mix I've got the CDs now (Vinyls on order for the real test!) is right, as the bass is represented, guitar solos aren't faded in (thank goodness, some live performances do that to avoid pop notes and feedback), Steve Harris pounds that bass like a spoiled child and Bruce shows the Mic respect, as no p-pops or Mic bumps are heard throught the entire performance. This is where professionals and rookies are separated and Iron Maiden has shown that they're consummate professionals.
You might say, Hey, you're a fan. You gave it 5 stars. You go to their concerts. Yes, that's correct. In fact, I'll even counter that with, "I have pit tickets for their show in the summer with my wife and teenager and I'm a member of the Fan Club". It's true. I'm a fan of a great show, new music, having Iron Maiden as old friends on my turntable, and I enjoy watching Maiden continue to evolve into the greatest rock act ever to grace a stage. Nobody today even comes close. They deliver a product unlike any other band from the album art, website, pictures, inserts, even the colored vinyl is a touch that shows that the fans are still important, and still gets benefits for buying their records. In a world where "less is more" and "Look at me, I'm sensitive and care for the environment as evidenced by my paper CD packaging and private jet world touring" types, which is a popular marketing strategy, it's nice to see some of the excesses of modern metal still delivered by the guys who do it best. That's worth paying extra for, assuming I had to. I didn't. This price is insane for what you get.
Up The Irons!
This 2-CD set captures a monumental performance from probably the best live heavy metal band of all time. Look at their enormous tours, legendary concerts, and rabid following, and you can't really argue against it. In this show from Chile, Bruce Dickinson proves for the millionth time that he has preserved his voice better than anyone else in hard rock or metal. The man is in his 50's and doesn't sound a day over 25 or 30. Having a gigantic force like that fronting an older band is almost unheard of, as many of Dickinson's peers' voices have succumbed to age, hard living, or both. The rest of the band are no slouches either, delivering a powerful set with conviction and enthusiasm. Speaking of the set, En Vivo has a good mix of different eras. You get 17 songs, with five from the early 80's (from Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast, and Piece of Mind), one each from Powerslave and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son from 1984 and 1988 respectively, one song from the 90's (the title track to Fear of the Dark), three songs from the early 2000's, and six from The Final Frontier, the album behind the tour. Overall, they don't rely on their "greatest hits" in this show, playing many modern Maiden tunes, but they still deliver mandatory numbers like The Number of the Beast and The Trooper. The crowd in Chile completes the package for En Vivo, providing a massive wall of backing vocals, cheers, and chants. If you're a fan of Iron Maiden, pick this up for a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours.
on March 31, 2012
Okay, first let me dispense with the obvious: this is another 2-CD live Iron Maiden album. There are a great many of these, and most of them are very good to great snapshots of an amazing band. Do you need it? No. Rock in Rio and Flight 666 offer the same sonic weight from the band and energy from the crowd found throughout En Vivo. So why might you buy it? Two reasons, I think. First, you're a huge Maiden fan and you pretty much buy all their stuff, regardless of whether of not you really need yet another live version of Hallowed Be Thy Name. That's me. Or second, you're a Maiden fan and you want to hear some particularly good live recordings you can't get on other CDs, or you're looking for some live versions that are clearly different from those found on other, earlier, works. If you fit this second description, En Vivo would go really well alongside Rock in Rio and F666.
For example, Coming Home is a great tune off Final Frontier, and the version on En Vivo is amazing, sonically. It has something of the anthemic power of Blood Brothers or Fear of the Dark, and highlights all members of the band. The Final Frontier and El Dorado are a great opening pair, too, much like Aces High/2 Minutes to Midnight or Wicker Man/Ghost of the Navigator. And you can't get these three songs on other discs.
Dance of Death is as good, or better, than what's on Death on the Road - and that's a great version of the song. Fear of the Dark is closer to that on Rock in Rio than F666 (and I think that's a good thing), and yet distinct. Listen to them both and they differ - and are both really good. 'Iron Maiden' offers a slight variation on the main riff, different from F666.
When the Wild Wind Blows is actually better live than in the studio - there's another one, along those others I mentioned, that make the album unique. Finally, Running Free's here, which was missing from F666, and I think it's a better live version than what you'll find on Live After Death (I know! Heresy! But the recording/production value is 20+ years newer, and picks up so much more of the song...like Rime of the Ancient Mariner on Live After... vs. the version on F666...the latter blows the older one away). And here's a random note: Adrian has a lot more wah in his solos on this album than others - it offers nice texture you don't hear as readily on RiR or others. I like the difference.
Anyway, it's a very solid album that you do not need, and yet will likely enjoy a great deal if you buy it. So Up the Irons and buy it!
on March 27, 2012
The newer songs(especially Where The Wild Wind Blows) come across much heavier in a live arena. Bruce's voice live seems to get better with age and the sound quality of the recording is excellent. The set list is from the 2011 tour so of course you're going to have songs included that have been on other live albums, this shouldn't be a concern for any Maiden fan. The energy in the recording can't match what you see in an actual concert (it would be impossible) and I recommend you try to catch a Maiden live show on the 2012 North American tour. A good time will be had by all!!
UP THE IRONS!
on March 27, 2012
I have enjoyed a lot of Iron Maiden live releases, and this one didn't dissapointed me. It has songs from all Maiden eras. I like the fact that they included the classics we all love and songs from BNW, DOD and TFF. New songs, new live classics.
I just missed some tracks from AMOLAD, which in my personal opinion is the best Iron Maiden album since the return of Bruce Dickinson.
Up the Irons!
on March 29, 2012
OK, I'll admit, I am sick of hearing live versions of the songs Iron Maiden and The Number Of The Beast(and i was really glad Run To The Hills didn't appear on En Vivo!). But this album features 5 tracks from Final Frontier (6 if you split up Satellite 15 and the Final Frontier) and may i remind you all, the Final Frontier rocked. also features Fear of the Dark, which i never get tired of hearing live, and great versions of Dance of Death, Blood Brothers, and the Wicker Man.
Pick this one up if you're a real Iron Maiden fan (unlike some reviewers...)
on February 6, 2014
I did not know when I purchased this that it was a picture disc and if I had, I would have probably held off. I have read many reviews about the Iron Maiden picture disks and their substandard sound quality and this album is no exception. The volume of the album was the first thing that really caught my attention. The album was a lot quieter than any other black vinyl album that I own. I usually listen to my albums at 65 but had to turn up the receiver to 75 to match the volume of another new album I purchased.
The songs on the album are great songs and I love Iron Maiden but I wish they would release some quality standard vinyl pressings of their albums. I only paid $19 for this album so I do not feel cheated but If I would have paid more I probably would be very dissatisfied with the sound quality.
on March 28, 2012
First off, don't listen to the whiners with their ridiculous one star reviews - Maiden is by far the greatest metal band on the planet, known not only for their innovative approach to creating great music, but for the sheer power of their spectacular live shows!
So what are the "whiners" sniveling about? Oh, a lot of the songs are the same as on previous live albums - really????
Of course a lot of songs are the same! - They are the definitive Maiden songs that everyone wants (and expects) the band to play when they see them live! In addition, the band adds the new material from the lastest release,(The Final Frontier), that is being performend for the first time live.
THIS IS WHAT A LIVE SHOW IS ALL ABOUT - a document of the bands live performance at a particular time/tour. Thus, the glory of listening to the band evolve during every new tour - some of the songs WILL stay the same (Can you even imagine a Maiden show without Number of the Beast being played? Then people would whine!!!)
It's an incredible feat that Iron Maiden is still able to do what they do so well, after all these years - absolutely immpecable musicianship and stellar vocals that never cease to amaze! Very few bands that began in the 1970's can come close to achieving that!
This live album is a document of The Final Frontier tour, and marks another point in the history of the band. That is the purpose of a live record!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you feel the songs are "the same", then I am sure you don't go to any Maiden shows, since God forbid, they might play songs you've heard before! I've seen Maiden 7 times so far (with number 8 coming this July), and of course they play a lot of the same (older) material - that's why I go to the show! I want to hear the older classics and the new material!!!!!!!!
Point being, this is an incredible live show, and a must own for any true Maiden fan. I own every live album the band has ever released, and LOVE them ALL!!!!!!! Why? Each is different in it's own way, whether they are playing classics or new material, since it provides a "snapshot" of the bands sound/live performance at that time (in this case 2010!) Yes, they do sound different than they did in 1983, 1993 or 2003 - that's the point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't listen to the "same old songs whiners" who don't appreciate a current live document of the world's greatest heavy metal band. If you are a true Maiden fan, you'll love this latest installment of the Iron Maiden live catalog!
Up The Irons & Maiden On The Charge 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on April 6, 2012
Alright, let me first say that I am somewhat of a fanboy, having been a fan for over 25 years now. I always buy the "new" release whatever it may be, on the day it's released (or in this case pretty soon thereafter). But when I write a review here on Amazon I always try to be honest and objective, hey let's face it even the mighty Maiden are not infallible.
Having said that let me also say that The Final Frontier was/is not my favorite studio release to say the least. It's full of very wordy, epic-length, non-rhyming, mid-paced songs that sometimes take their toll on even a fanboy, but it's still a good album, just not Maiden's finest hour. Well, En Vivo is the live album that documents maiden touring for that album, so as any Maiden fan should know, Iron Maiden have put a lot of new material on the set-list--they're proud of it and I can respect that.
Surprisingly, the half of FF that's played live sounds pretty damn good. Much more well... ALIVE sounding. This live CD has gotten me "re-interested" in The Final Frontier and after a few more spins I like it better. they play six new tracks on this set-list, all of them played to perfection, as expected. of course any Maiden fan probably already has all these songs on separate studio releases, but the fun in a live album is hearing your heroes perform live and spontaneously, channeling the live-experience on to you, the listener. Iron Maiden have certainly perfect this, they are a LIVE band that must record studio albums if only to have a reason to tour and play live.
The set-list is good, but anyone could nit-pick it, me included. As far as new tracks, I don't care for the single El Dorado and would have preferred to hear something else off the new album, The Alchemist or Mother of Mercy perhaps.
Satellite 15/ The Final Frontier are great and certainly belong right where they are. the Talisman sounds even better live, it reminds me of Rhyme of the Ancient mariner. Coming Home is another great track, sound like a Dickinson solo song to me. And finally, When the Wild Wind Blows is another new song that I appreciate more fully now.
As far as "old" songs, I for one could live without the endless live renderings of Trooper, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden, Hallowed, Number etc. But, I also understand that this is a live album, and the people who paid big money for a concert ticket to see Maiden, fully expect to hear thes songs played live, and so would I. I just don't need another CD with The Trooper on it.
If there's anything "wrong" with the set-list it's just that they have a ton of great songs and only a few albums represented here. Nothing from A Matter of Life and Death, Somewhere in Time, Powerslave, Killers, No Prayer (understandable),X-Factor or Virtual XI.
On the bright side, everything here sounds awesome, all the songs are good ones and Maiden are still alive and well. It's much more fun to see though, so I recommend the DVD or Blue-ray.
on April 3, 2012
An Excellent Double CD Live Document from their last tour recorded in Santiago, Chile. The recording is excellent, the show is as usual high energy with a very vocal crowd and Bruce Dickinson is in fine voice. How many other bands rock/metal etc that have been together 30+ years still sound as vibrant live as Maiden? Keep in mind this is not a compilation of Greatest Hits Tracks, this represents a show from the Final Frontier Tour so the song selection will be the set list represented from that tour. (6 of the Tracks are from the Final Frontier Album)
That being said, the highlights for me are some of the new stuff. The Final Frontier, The Talisman and El Dorado all sound great. Wicker Man from Brave New World is also a highlight with an energetic and vocal audience providing some vocals. If you are looking for some of the old stuff that is here too. You will find 2 Minutes to Midnight and the Trooper blending with the newer stuff showing up on Disc One and to close out Disc Two, Seven classics in a row to close out the show. Overall, a great live document of the Final Frontier Tour.