IRON MAIDEN – Death On The Road

IRON MAIDEN - Death On The Road


Release date: August 29, 2005

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It hasn’t exactly been peaceful in the Maiden-camp since Bruce Dickinson’s return in 1999. First, Maiden issued the Ed Hunter computer play and “best of” album. Then, of course, Brave New World, with it’s live follow-up, Rock In Rio, on both CD and DVD.

A few months after, the collection Edward The Great surfaced. Then the year after that, Dance Of Death was released, and it’s only a month’s time since Sony Music’s The Essential series featured Iron Maiden. Now, Death On The Road is in the stores, with a DVD to follow. On top of it all, one also cannot forget the astonishing The Early Days DVD.

Are you still following? Good. Come 2005, and the last few years have been a field trip for Maiden collectors. The band are just finishing their Eddie Rips Up The World tour, probably most famous for an unfortunate egg incident. End of that story.

This release, on the other hand, completely eggless for that matter, were recorded on the German leg of the Dance Of Death tour in Dortmund in November 2003. A couple of weeks before that, Metal Express witnessed the show in Gothenburg, and it was the biggest production Iron Maiden had offered since the Seventh Tour Of A Seventh Tour.

The Dance Of Death album of that year earned many diverse reviews, but it is fair to say that the album did have the songs to make a good live show. The 10-minute theatrical piece of “Paschendale” was brilliant, and the album’s title track, “Dance Of Death,” was also one of the highlights on that tour. It was also something else to see Iron Maiden opening the encores with acoustic guitars on “Journeyman.” The moments are well captured here, and add great dimension to this release.

6 of this album’s 16 tracks are from Dance Of Death, and with all the other Greatest Hits tours they are doing nowadays, Maiden does have their right to throw something new at the fans.

Still, there is plenty of history here; but as always, they’re not experimenting too much on their back catalogue, because there are just a few surprises. “Can I Play With Madness?” is one of these few, and it’s sounding way better than on 1993’s A Real Live One. Other than that, it is the usual “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” “The Number Of The Beast,” “The Trooper,” and, as always, a triumphant finale of “Run To The Hills.”

As usual for the last few years, there is also a Blaze Bayley-era number, and this time it is The X-Factor‘s “Lord Of The Flies.” Bruce Dickinson has done great versions of “The Clansman,” “Sign Of The Cross,” and “Man On The Edge” before, but “Lord Of The Flies” particularly shows how the man has resurrected himself as a singer. Tuning the song down from F sharp minor to E minor, and lifting the chorus up one octave, the song is completely reborn. Impressive stuff.

Not to confuse the truth… Death On The Road is a completely useless release unless you are a die hard fan. Releasing a “best of” album and a live album in-between every studio release is way over the top. Nonetheless, Death On The Road is in bed with Live After Death and Rock In Rio, yet more proof that Iron Maiden is one of the best live bands on the planet. Now gear up for the DVD to experience this stage production one more time…


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