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Customer Review

on 29 March 2012
This is a difficult album to review. Mainly this is because its another Iron Maiden live album and follows a similar pattern to the others that have preceded it, a mix of new stuff and classic stuff. So, with that in mind... lets go.
The positives: The production work is very very good and the sound quality is excellent, particularly from the 'tight as an aquatic mammals ring piece' rhythm section of Harris and McBrain. The drums sound great as does the bass (not as overtly bright as on some live recordings while retaining the Harris signature twang with beef behind it). Bruce's air raid siren voice hasn't really dissipated over the years and is on fine form here. The rhythm guitar work is as usual, bang on, as is the mixture across the soundstage of the three guitars. The crowd is also very vocal which makes a difference to the energy of the concert.
The negatives: The biggest one for me is the solo's. Listen to Live After Death and the solos are either close to the original, melodic, or come ripping out to accentuate the songs as solos should, or a mixture of the three. On En Vivo, we get a rather poor series of overt noodlings, squeals and fretboard wrangling that leaves one rather flaccid when you have been built up to unleashing the solo by the excellent work before it. Case in point is this version of Hallowed Be Thy Name. It kicks off half way through with the pounding rhythm and builds to the point of solo release and then 'quack'... not the uplifting moment of the original but rather a mess of confused twiddle and whammy bar nonsense that just makes you think 'here it comes!... oh... meh'. Out of this mess the only person to remain mainly untarnished is Adrian Smith who remains the most able of the guitars. The choices of song are also a bit hit and miss in places, but generally this is a limited gripe as you can't expect classics like Icarus, Mariner, Wrathchild et al on every release, but you are somehow left wishing they had been.
Anyone looking for a live Maiden album, go get Live After Death is you haven't got it already. If you have it, don't buy this thinking its as good, its not. Rather, its a good time concert of precision rhythm and production interspersed with poor finishing. Worth having in the collection but I wish I had waited until it was discounted in a few months.
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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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