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Rock in Rio

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(102 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • Wow, it is great to have Bruce back in the band. The Blaze Bayley albums (X-Factor and Virtual Xi) were somewhat depressing, although in my opinion, still a step up from “Fear of the Dark” and “No Prayer for the Dying.” With Bruce and Adrian rejoining the band, the band is capable of playing at a more genuine, vintage pace and timbre. “Rock in Rio” is a return, to some degree, of the olden days (though this album is a far cry from “Live After Death”).

    On the plus side, it is a treat to hear Bruce singing the Bayley songs “Clansman” and “Sign of the Cross.” Both are played exceptionally well and Bruce actually adds to the songs what Bayley lacked. In fact, even the crowd makes “The Clansman” much more entertaining — you can almost picture William Wallace with his sword aloft as he charges the field of Bannockburn yelling “Freedom!!!” Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

    On the down side, IM doesn’t need a third guitarist. Why are they still clinging to Jannick Gers? From a guitar-player’s standpoint, he tremolo picks every solo (that is, he picks the string as fast as he can, whether it’s in time with the song or not), and his fret-work is sloppy. Is he drunk in concert? He doesn’t have this problem on the studio albums, and the songs that he writes are decent. When he plays live, he stinks. His on-stage antics are unbearable. I laughed out loud when I saw him strumming his guitar windmill-style during “2 Minutes to Midnight” on the DVD version of this album. Janick, leave the windmilling to Pete Townsend! And if you think about it, he looks and acts a lot like Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) did while playing live. The guitar-spinning, hoisting, knelt-down poses and wannabe 80s hair-band style of guitar playing is CHEESY! Janick is a good guitarist (although Murray and Smith are better, IMO)—he should just stick to playing guitar and stop the show-boating. It’s embarrassing.

    Another point — if you’ve got Adrian Smith back, then play some of his stuff! We haven’t heard “Stranger in a Strange Land” (one of his best compositions) in nearly 20 years, and “Wasted Years” (a crowd favorite) is all but gone. “Infinite Dreams” was another great song that featured Adrian that is played no more. This was understandable while Smith was gone. But now that he’s back, they need to exploit his abilities like the used to.

    Another problem (to me) is the crowd. Sometimes, as I stated above for the song “The Clansman,” they are helpful, but most of the time they are too loud and quite often they come across as annoying. I know IM’s biggest fan base is in Brazil, but sometimes they sing along with the guitar melody (“The Evil that Men Do” for instance) or sing over and on top of Bruce (most songs) at very high volume. I don’t blame the crowd per se, but perhaps I blame the sound mixing. Either way, it does get in the way of the music, so if you’re new to IM, you may want to pick up the studio releases to supplement this CD so that you can understand better what is being played/sung.

    My biggest hang-up, as a bassist myself, is Steve Harris’ (lack of) presence on this album. I have to strain in order to hear his bass-playing, which shouldn’t be the case with IM. He just sounds quiet to me, whereas even in the studio recording of “Brave New World,” (from which the majority of the songs on this CD were chosen) Steve’s presence is unmistakable.

    All in all, this is a pretty good set of songs (even the vintage “Sanctuary” makes a come-back!) and it is played well. I would pick it up, along with “Live After Death” as essential live recordings of IM.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Holy crap!! With the 2 last great studio albums, Maiden put out another excellent live album. This live album is the proof that the modern Maiden is just good as the 80’s Maiden and that even these days they can still crank metal that is actually metal. This live album is easily Maiden’s best, even better than ‘Live After Death’ (which kicked ass as well), and I’ll tell you why.

    Some reviewers here claim that LAD was better because that had the best tracklist, but c’mon, what do you wan’t them to do, to make 5 live albums with the same tracklist?
    Other complain that it has nothing from the late 80’s albums except for ‘The Evil Men That Do’, and even this sounds better here. I was surprised to not see ‘Wasted Years’ or ‘Heaven Can Wait’ here, but ‘Somewhere in Time’ is actually my least favorite IM album from the 80’s so it doesn’t really bother me.
    Here you have what the 90’s songs lacked, and this is Bruce vocals and Adrian’s killer solos. My favorite track here is ‘Fear of the Dark’, and it is the best version ever made to this song, with Adrian’s solo. ‘Sign of the Cross’ is also much better than the studio version, Blaze sang this well but Bruce did it better.
    Most of the early 80’s songs sound better on LAD with the exception of ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and ‘Run to the Hills’, because of Bruce vocals, but the still kick here.
    There is also 3 guitarists, and believe me, it helps here. And there is also double bass drumming, which wasn’t on LAD, and that really helps in tracks like ‘Hallowed be thy Name’, but this song still sounds at its best in the studio.
    There are some songs that sound even better live like those I listed above, but as well ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Ghost of the Navigator’, ‘Clansman’ and ‘Run to the Hills’.
    The production is also good, although on LAD it was better but slightly. It’s certainly better than the production crap on ‘Live at Donington’ and ‘Real Live Dead One’.
    If I have any complaints, it should be as people said, there are too much songs from ‘Brave New World’, there should be more songs from ‘Powerslave’ (the best metal album ever, period). The only 2 tracks I was dissapointed with are ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, and ‘Wrathchild’, they sound at their best in the studio and here the vocals don’t fit the instruments.

    If you like live concerts and Maiden and don’t have this, get it now. Don’t waste your money on Metallica’s or Linkin Park’s concerts (Metallica has good stuff, but today their concerts just blow), Maiden destroys them live (and LP in the studio, IM can get away without a DJ and millions of synthersizers to enhance their sound).

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Wow. Imagine being part of the crowd during Iron Maiden’s stop to Rio de Janerio for their Brave New World tour. Just think being part of 250,000 screaming brazilians who know every word to every song that Iron Maiden perform. Also imagine Iron Maiden’s best live album released since Live After Death. Finally, imagine Bruce Dickinson, the voice of Iron Maiden, back with the band to stay!

    Maiden get things going with a bang with the opener, The Wickerman. They continue on with Ghost of the Navigator and Brave New World. The song 2 Minutes to Midnight is breathtaking, along with the song, Blood Brothers. Two of my favorite tracks come from…yes…songs from the two Blaze albums he did with Iron Maiden – The Sign of the Cross and The Clansman. Even though Bruce did not write the material, he performs them with so much emotion and passion. The Evil that Men Do and Fear of the Dark sound equally good. The songs Number of the Beast, Hallowed be thy Name, and Run to the Hills caps off a brilliant live show.

    Iron Maiden are my favorite band of all time. This live album is just as good as Live After Death and a great compliment to anyone’s metal collection. Maiden continues to make incredible music with their Dance of Death release last year. I was able to see them perform in Los Angeles, CA for their American leg of that tour. It was a beautiful experience. Please buy this album, along with Live After Death!! These are ESSENTIAL to own for Maiden fans! This is NOT to be missed! Purchase the live DVD!!

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Well I must say that I am surprised! ‘Rock In Rio’ includes great set list, two live cds, extra audio samples from their twelve albums and footage from their up-and-coming ‘Rock In Rio’ DVD–???? What else can an Iron Maiden fan ask for? The actual live performance is fantanstic and is so much tighter than previous Maiden performances (i.e. ‘A Real Live One/A Real Dead One’, ‘Live At Donnington’ which lacked the energy and synchronisation that we expect from IM). I couldn’t tell you what a treat it is to hear Adrian back playing the guitar with Maiden again–with Dave and Janick still there, it is an amazing triple-guitar attack. I couldn’t have recieved much of a better birthday present than this; I am really looking foward to the DVD of ‘Rock In Rio’. Heck, I don’t even think that ‘Live After Death’ was as good as this. Dickinson’s voice is back in top-form, Harris is relentess playing bass, Nicko never misses a beat and everyone sounds great. All metal fans will love this album–buy it if you are a true fan of metal. There are 250,000 people in the audience and they sing-along and roar through it all the way. Listen to “The Clansman” and tell me that that is not an emotional experience. Enjoy. Peace, bros.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • 250,000 people. I would call that an astronomical lot of people at any place, at a given time. While all previous live efforts by Maiden suffered a lot in production (esp. the drums), this one excels. Infact, the songs from Brave New World sound so much better live than in studio. Bruce Dickinson wails and shrieks like he used to before. The crowd is more vociferous and full of energy. This is a thoroughly exemplifying performance that proves that rock is indeed not dead…and that heavy metal will always remain the cockroach of rock…omnipotent and eternal. People who hate this album, as I presume, must belong to the hordes of fans of nu-metal or rock-rap. Here’s a message to all you folks who think old-school is dead…FILL A STADIUM FULL OF 250,000 FANS, AND THEN WE’LL TALK!!Hail the Irons!!!

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now