Iron Maiden “Legacy Of The Dead” Review

Iron Maiden
“Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast, Live In Mexico City”
Warner Music Group
Released: November 20, 2020

The almighty Iron Maiden have yet another live album in the works, this time live in Mexico City.

There is no question, that given the choice, the legions upon legions of Iron Maiden fans the globe over where prefer a new studio outing over yet another live record, but that will have to wait for another day, it would seem. Yes, that’s right, there is another live recording coming out. This time, the audio is taken from the Legacy Of The Beast tour, or more specifically, the three Mexican dates off of the tour, which took place between the 27th and 30th of September of 2019. The tour itself, was presented as being a hits tour, hence the name – the legacy of the beast tour.

The first leg, consisting of 38 European dates, was later extended to include North and South American dates and again into 2020 with Dates in Australia, New Zealand, Asia – including their first ever show in The Philippines, followed by another run in Europe. In total, a hundred shows were booked, but a whopping thirty-five of those had to be rescheduled to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on travelling. One of the many terrible side-effects of this poxy pandemic.

Anybody that is even remotely aware of the band, the most casual of fans, will recognize the vast majority of the songs included in this package. We roll back around to the word of the day – Legacy! This could also be consider a live best of collection, with ease. It practically is exactly that. A legacy rich in both quantity and quality, means that there is so much to select from. One of the highlights here, at least for me, is hearing Bruce Dickinson sing songs from the Blaze Bailey era – Sign Of The Cross and The Clansman, to be exact. The Bailey era is quite often ignored, and for nor no just reason. Also of note, is Flight Of Icarus, which I don’t think has been played since the early ​90s, or there about.

The for the most part, the boys are bang on. The triple guitar attack is in full gear, flying high – as always. At this point, I assume you’re reading this because you’re an Iron Maiden fan and well aware of the groups illustrious legacy. Thus, telling you about these classic cuts is going to be redundant, isn’t it? And if you’re not – if you’re a casual or new to these legends, beware that this is not the place to start. No, you’d be better off digging through a proper album. Say any of the first oh.. seven records? I’d even even say you can’t go wrong with No Prayer For The Dying or Fear Of The Dark either, but that is something some Maiden faithful aren’t in agreement with. This, however, is a topic for another day.

In short, what we have here, is a modern display of four decades worth of cannon from one of the greatest bands in rock history. Sure, it is flawed (keep reading!) but it is an accurate depiction of where the band is at this stage in their illustrious career. Lets call it a legacy, because it is a legacy. Since the tour from which this material was cut short, and Maiden like every other band on the planet was sent home to hide from this bloody virus, maybe the next Iron Maiden album will drop soon, and will be a studio effort. At the end, when Maiden is one for the history pages, we will look back on these live albums and reminisce, like I do with my Black Sabbath records, but until then – lets have some fresh, new songs to cheer about.

See Also : Motorhead “Ace Of Spades Box Set” Review

Now, there are a few question marks to go along with this release. As I mentioned before, it is yet another in a long line of live releases. Their thirteenth live album, to be exact. Did we really need another live record? Especially coming off the back on a live record. Some will say no, while, I’m sure, Maiden purists will shout bring it on. Beyond that debate though, are two main flaws. The biggest being that the mighty vocalist Bruce Dickinson is most definitely not at his best here. Still great – just not the same pitch and delivery Maiden fans have come to adore over the years. Still, given all that Dickinson has gone through – surviving and besting throat cancer, I’ll give him a pass on this one. It remains something that needs mentioning, however.

The other is more to do with the sound engineer who recorded these sets and the way it was mastered more than anything. As silly as it sounds, the way the audience was tracked deters from the album as a whole. This, after all, is an album recorded in Mexico – a place known for raucous crowds. So let them sing! The fans are singing their hearts out throughout this lengthy set, yet for whatever reason, they’re dialed out on the recording. That is a mistake. Lets hear them! Lets hear how much love there is for the band in those seats. Instead, we get an irritating background hum that just doesn’t do the record justice what-so-ever. This is about the bands legacy, so lets hear that legacy roar.

There are various packages available for pre-order through Warner Music. Two vinyl editions, included a triple LP set, that features a green, a red and a white record – the colors of the Mexican flag. A classic black vinyl version, and multiple Compact Disc variants, too. In fact, there is a whole slew of merchandise available around this release. Shirts and posters, all sorts. Unfortunately though, there isn’t a DVD or Blu Ray video available just yet. Maybe down the line. Get your pre-orders in today. As a massive Maiden fanatic – you can bet I have!

Forever, up the Irons!

For Fans Of: Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead
Track Listing:

01. Churchill’s Speech
02. Aces High
03. Where Eagles Dare
04. 2 Minutes To Midnight
05. The Clansman
06. The Trooper
07. Revelations
08. For The Greater Good Of God
09. The Wicker Man
10. Sign Of The Cross
11. Flight Of Icarus
12. Fear Of The Dark
13. The Number Of The Beast
14. Iron Maiden
15. The Evil That Men Do
16. Hallowed Be Thy Name
17. Run To The Hills