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On disc: Iron Maiden

- The X-Factor - Volker Raabe - 10 stars
- Brave New World - Amir Djawadi - 7 stars
- Rock in Rio (DVD) - Anika Peterson -  
- Dance Of Death - Amir Djawadi - 9 stars

Dance Of Death

Dance Of Death
(EMI - 2003)

The animated video clip for Wildest Dreams - the first single of Iron Maiden's new release Dance Of Death - is on air day and night at the music TV channels and shows that Iron Maiden are back!
Again it's obvious that Iron Maiden need Bruce Dickinson, coz without him they never sounded that dynamic and complete. No offence to the other Iron Maiden shouters, but with Dickinson it's something different. Iron Maiden without Bruce Dickinson is like Motörhead without Lemmy!
The British are still innovative, even after all those years. So they are one of the few bands with 3 guitarists on stage and all three are really good!
What's new? The first time - after almost 20 years - drummer Nicko McBrain added a song which is called New Frontier. Again the British sextet deliver a good and solid album which will keep them in the top 10 of the World's best traditional metal bands. Again they present what they are known for and fulfill the expectations of the fans without sounding backdated. In 2003 Iron Maiden are presenting the sound which became their trademark, but still sound fresh and innovative.
The 11 brand-new tracks - up to 10 minutes running time - show the different facets of an outstanding band, of Iron Maiden on Dance Of Death. This is another milestone of metal music.
So the expectations are high for the coming world tour. How will they visually support the set during their world tour? The open-air shows of the last summer documented the powerful live show of Iron Maiden and so this fall it's time for Dance Of Death...

9 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


Rock in Rio (DVD)

Rock in Rio (DVD)
(Sanctuary - 2002)

First I was shocked about the price of the DVD, but as a really Iron Maiden fan it was a must. And after watching it several times - stuck in my player for days - I have to confess, it's worth it!!!
Disc one has the Rock in Rio show of the British (set list at the end of the review) and it documents the incredible atmosphere of the Brazilian show. 200,000 fans were there to watch Iron Maiden and if you have - like I do - a Dolby DTS system, then you are part of the show! The well-experienced band carefully chose the songs and makes clear why they are one of the best bands of the genre. After all those years they still sound fresh and obviously have a lot of fun on stage.
The 2nd DVD the band used for some background information as well as interviews, off stage footage (e.g. from a signing session) and a photo diary of the tour. The introduction of the band members is mainly for metal fans who just started listening to them, coz long-time fans know the band well enough. With a click on the band member and a nicely animated menu you can get more information about the chosen member. No news to fans is that mainman Steve Harris is a huge fan of soccer. He is a quite decent player and shows his abilities and he's talking about his second passion. A look at the private life of Adrian Smith shows him fishing. He talks about the joy of fishing, but he looks like a beginner. Anyway, guitarist Dave Murray tells some stories while you can watch him and drummer Nicko McBrain golfing. Pretty nice. In-between some live sequences. The section about Nicko McBrain is identical, they did this together and it would have been cool to see some more of their non-musical life. Singer Bruce Dickinson is presenting his favorite sport and the fencing-master gives some in-depth look on his sportive activities. Does Janick Geers has no hobby? Or doesn't he want to share this with the fans? No idea, but so you can watch him opening a coconut and giving instructions 'how to do' and how to drink from a coconut. Well, this part isn't very interesting and more a joke then some really information.
At least I can re­commend this to every heavy metal fan and it's a must-buy for fans of the British! Lots of live footage and a look at their private life. Well done!!!!

  1. Intro
    (taken from the movie The First Knight)
  2. The Wicker Man
  3. Ghost Of The Navigator
  4. Brave New World
  5. Wrathchild
  6. Two Minutes To Midnight
  7. Blood Brothers
  8. Sign Of The Cross
  9. The Mercenary
  10. The Trooper
  11. Dream Of Mirrors
  12. The Clansman
  13. The Evil That Men Do
  14. Fear Of The Dark
  15. Iron Maiden
  16. The Number Of The Beast
  17. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  18. Sanctuary
  19. Run To The Hills

Anika Peterson(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


Brave New World

Brave New World
(EMI - 2000)

This is one of the most awaited releases of this summer, coz in the history of Iron Maiden a serious change. The prodigal son Bruce Dickinson returned and after a longer break he sang again on this Iron Maiden release.
This wouldn't be so hot, but the fact that the last two albums of the British wasn't that successful and the current world tour with Bruce is very successful and so there were high hopes that the coming studio release would be another milestone in the history of the British.
And the made it!!! It's a matter of taste, but this album should make it up with most of the fans and will relive the remembrance of the good old days. Even if he had the vocal abilities and was a great frontman, the CDs of the Blaze Bayley era couldn't convince the metal fans. But that's not his fault at all, coz his abilities as a song writer and singer he shows on his debut album Silicon Messiah (with your permission I can say that this is a rival for the brand-new Maiden output!!!). Rather it was the concept of Iron Maiden at that era which weakened the releases.
Forgiven and forgotten. With the three guitar front which are the gentlemen Gears, Murray and Smith - who returned to his former band as well - they are on the way to achieve the merits which they know from their successful past. Surprisingly the album is produced by Kevin Shirley (known for his work with Dream Theater, etc.) together with bassist and head of the band Steve Harris.
They created a collection of 10 great tracks. The first single The Wicker Man fit into the album and could have been released 10 years ago, a classic tune! They are back with a big bang and not just Nicko McBrain who is hitting the drums, makes it worth listening. Never gets boring. I won't present certain tracks, coz the album is a homogenous output which has elements of all the Iron Maiden epochs and the sound of the British is still fresh without copying their old hits.
Iron Maiden it back!!!

7 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


The X-Factor

The X-Factor
(EMI - 1995)

Personally I love the new album of Iron Maiden! First, for me Blaze Bayley's voice isn't that different to Bruce Dickinson and second, songs like Sign Of The Cross, The Aftermath, Look For The Truth and 2 a.m. have a different approach. The song structure is typical Iron Maiden, at least more then 85% of it. Okay, I needed a few spins to get into the new Iron Maiden, but now The X-Factor is one of the best releases of the year! After a few spins the album grows and you will find gems like Fortunes Of War.

10 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


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