Iron Maiden – En Vivo! (2012)

Iron Maiden have released a new live album.

Yes, another one! Iron Maiden must have the most live albums ever (well except for Pearl Jam, but arguably that doesn’t count) and En Vivo! is a document of their most recent The Final Frontier Tour. Musicscramble were lucky enough to catch Maiden on this tour three times, at Sonisphere 2010, Glasgow and Birmingham 2011. Each time they were as stunning as ever.

With such a strong back catalogue, it would be easy for Maiden to rest on their history and play the ‘hits’, but as En Vivo! proves they don’t need to rely on previous great songs; the recent material is just as strong as anything which has gone before. The album (and accompanying DVD which we have not yet seen) starts with three songs from The Final Frontier album; the first half of ‘Satellite 15’ is a long intro tape whipping up excitement in the crowd – just listen the rising wave of chants – before the band hit the stage to play the later-part of the song. ‘The Final Frontier’, and ‘El Dorado’ are next proving without question just how good the new material Maiden have written is.

It is isn’t long before an older song makes an appearance, and when ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’ starts the 50,000-strong Chilean crowd are just loving it. Maiden are as professional and exacting sounding as they ever are. They keep this up throughout the CD, and as a life-long Maiden fan it’s interesting to listen to a new live album just to hear a band I’ve seen so many times. Nothing is different, there are no surprises and yet I get goosebumps listening to the show as if it were my first time, and is if I was actually there. The sound quality is immaculate.

From Bruce shouting “Scream for me Santiago”, to the classic ‘Blood Brothers’ speech, or even signing off from “Iron Maiden, Eddie and the Boys….” it is nothing which you haven’t heard before. What you have heard though is absolutely worth hearing again, and coming up for 25 years after the classic Live….After Death album, although the songs played have changed and you will probably already own most of them in another live album, the quality and level of performance absolutely makes this another must buy!

In short, this is as good a live album as Iron Maiden have ever released. Worth it alone for the live versions of ‘Satellite 15’, ‘The Final Frontier’, ‘El Dorado’, ‘The Talisman’, ‘Coming Home’, and ‘When The Wind Blows’ if even just to reaffirm how great an album The Final Frontier is.

Before long a blistering version of ‘The Evil That Men Do’, followed by goosebump-inducing mass-singalong intro to ‘Fear of the Dark’ lead us to ‘Iron Maiden’ and the main set close: how I wished I was there as I was listening!! Returning to the stage we are treated to ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ‘Hallowed By Thy Name’ before a super-fast ‘Running Free’ ends proceedings.

Unfortunately at an Iron Maiden gig you can’t just press play immediately after for them to do it all again. Fortunately with En Vivo! not only will that be what you want to do, you’ll be able to!!

You can watch the trailer for the DVD and CD below.

Gareth Fraser
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