The MAIDEN Years: 2018/19/20/21/22/ad infinitum (Rock in Rio and Nights of the Dead)

Rosscopolis

Trooper
Ah, that explains.
Only partly. It's as much the song being a bit too much of the Harris slow intro/outro and folksy elements formula.

Having said that, and getting back on topic, I rather like Dance of Death (song) for those very reasons! It took a while to click, though.
 
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Rosscopolis

Trooper
Rainmaker and Montsegur are two of Maiden's best, of any era. Imagine the impact Rainmaker could have had as the album opener! But with Age of Innocence (Justice of the Peace pt 2), New Frontier (interesting enough but more of a b-side), Wildest Dreams (rendered obsolete by Rainmaker), etc., I sometimes feel that DoD is the real Fillerslave.

I'm rather fond of the Death on the Road album; Lord of the Flies is fantastic. The video, however, is unwatchable.
 
It's always seemed like a second-tier live album, but I stuck on the Death on the Road DVD yesterday and watched with a big smile on my face (quick editing aside). I'd almost forgotten how much that tour meant to me, being the first time I saw the band live.

Despite seeing them numerous times in the time that's passed since, I do think there was something unique about the presentation of that tour. I know that it's not everybody's favourite track, but the inclusion of Journeyman as first encore conjured an intimate atmosphere that I've never experienced at another Maiden show. Coupled with Bruce's brief chat before the song, the crowd participation, and the sense of calm following the numerous theatrical elements of the gig, it felt like a real spine-tingling moment that they've never really tried to repeat since.

I also remember Bruce making a short introduction to the Grim Reaper Eddie after the instrumental break midway through Iron Maiden (something along the lines of 'Life is cheap, ladies and gentlemen, and we sell death- please allow me to introduce you to our associate, Mr Edward'). Again, this may be something that Bruce does quite regularly, but I've never seen this again- little wrinkles like this make each gig extra special!
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Tyranny of Souls
Bruce’s last solo album and so far the only one he has made during his second stint with Maiden. The biggest thing that jumps out to me when listening to Tyranny of Souls is that it kinda shows that this album was made during time off from Maiden. For that reason, I am ok with Bruce waiting until Maiden retires to make another album. It’s not like this album is bad, it’s very good, but it definitely feels like a side project. This is a different band than AOB and Chemical Wedding. No Adrian Smith, but also no David Ingraham or Eddie Casillas. They don’t get talked about as often, but the rhythm section absolutely made a difference on that album. It sounds less like a band effort and more like something Bruce and Roy Z concocted with session musicians. There’s less personality in the rhythm tracks and the production has more of a generic modern Metal vibe than the pure character of the previous two albums. I also miss the chemistry between Roy Z and H. Guitars sound a little too digital. As far as the material goes. It’s all very good, but very little of it reaches the heights of the previous two albums.

OK, those are my complaints. There’s a lot of good stuff happening on this album as well. First of all, Bruce sounds awesome. This is the tail end of what I consider to be his best period as a vocalist (somewhere between 1997 and 2006). He has full control of his voice and range, he is singing with a ton of character, he’s still hitting those high notes like it’s effortless. Honestly a lot of this is entertaining to listen to just because Bruce sounds so great. And coming off of the somewhat raw Dance of Death, it’s nice to hear him in a more produced context and with songs where he can stretch a bit more.

One of the biggest positives of this album, and what has been a positive for Bruce’s solo career as a whole, is that he gets to try a lot of things you don’t hear in Maiden. The space-y ballad Navigate the Seas of the Sun is totally un-Maidenish, even counting the acoustic Journeyman. Abduction and Soul Intruders are relentlessly heavy and filled with modern Metal drums. Even River of No Return, with the effects drenched guitars and pianos feel very different. He did a particularly good job distancing himself from Maiden on this album. Perhaps that’s a benefit of making this album while also in Maiden. Why save a song for the solo album if it could be heard by many more people on a Maiden album? Well, a lot of stuff doesn’t work in Maiden.

Some of the songs on here are really solid. Abduction is a great opener, great energy. Soul Intruders has a really nice chorus. My favorite part of the album is the stretch from Kill Devil Hill to River of No Return. That’s where the album gets closest to the heights of AOB/CW. Kill Devil Hill is awesome with its triumphant chorus and the really atmospheric ending section. Really left field part that totally took me by surprise when I first heard it. Pure ear candy. Navigate the Seas of the Sun is a really nice ballad and puts Bruce in a context that we don’t really get often. It’s a lot different than Tears of the Dragon, Journeyman, The Man of Sorrows, or any other ballad he’s sung on. River of No Return just rocks really hard. Love that heavy dark groove.

The rest of the album ranges from OK to pretty good. A lot of this album gets dragged down by what feels like generic 00’s Metal sound, the kind of thing that makes me uninterested in a lot of Metal artists during this period. The guitars and drums are heavier yes, but where’s the soul? It feels so polished and artificial. Where are the riffs? You could give this material to Halford or any other Metal vocalist and it wouldn’t really make that much of a difference. But Bruce sings it incredibly well and writes great lyrics, so he ends up taking a lot of the more generic material and making it more memorable. With that being said, I can’t say I go out of my way to listen to anything on Tyranny of Souls with the exception of Kill Devil Hill and Navigate. It’s a good album, competently produced, without anything exceptionally horrible, but it also feels undefined and somewhat unmemorable. I would rather listen to any other Bruce solo album just to hear something with more personality. I also vastly prefer everything Bruce has done with Maiden since rejoining to this album.

I actually think there was a lot more potential in the two songs he produced for the greatest hits album: Broken and Silver Wings. Those two songs on Tyranny of Souls would’ve brought the quality up quite a bit.

Ullevi

There are few bootlegs that are as essential as this one. Great video, great sound, amazing performance, it’s like watching an officially released DVD. Like Rock In Rio, every song sounds great. Even the “overplayed” classics.

The Early Days tour was a fantastic setlist. A setlist made up exclusively of songs from the first four albums was a really cool idea. Even though these albums are represented at every live Maiden show, it’s almost always the usual suspects of Hallowed Be Thy Name, Iron Maiden, Sanctuary, etc etc. Doing a setlist composed only of those albums made a lot of room for rarities, and this setlist has them in spades. It’s cool to hear these old club era songs adapted to a stadium level band and with the current lineup. It’s a much different vibe from the original versions of the songs.

My only nitpick is that I wish they would’ve dug a little deeper from NOTB and Piece of Mind. The deep cut selection from the first two albums is perfect. Another Life, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Prowler, Remember Tomorrow. They picked all the right songs from those first two albums. From Piece of Mind, Flight of Icarus is the big omission that comes to mind but of course we finally got it in 2018 and it was well worth the wait. Otherwise, I would still really like to see them pull out Still Life again someday. To Tame a Land would’ve also been an interesting choice. From Number of the Beast, we don’t really get anything outside the usual staples. But, like Flight of Icarus, a lot of those NOTB rarities have been pulled out since then. Strange they didn’t even do 22 Acacia Ave on this tour, especially considering it was part of the stage imagery.

Still, it’s hard to complain too much because there isn’t really much room to make adjustments. I’m glad they leaned heavily into the Di’Anno era, as they rarely go deep from those first two albums. In this particular video, Bruce says that this may be the last time they ever play some of these songs. In the case of the Di’Anno material, I imagine he’s probably right. We haven’t heard a lot of those songs since. Besides Phantom of the Opera and maybe Remember Tomorrow, we probably won’t hear them again. A lot of it is also just that they don’t really fit their setlists. I can’t imagine going to Legacy of the Beast tour, hearing The Clansman, For the Greater Good of God, Sign of the Cross, and then Prowler. Just seems like a weird flow. But on this tour, where the early material is the sole focus, those songs fit in great.

To that end, the highlights of this concert have to be the Di’Anno era tracks. Phantom of the Opera sounds amazing. I don’t know what it is about that song, but every time it gets played live it is a highlight of the set, no matter what else is on the setlist. The three song opening run of Murders in the Rue Morgue, Another Life, and Prowler is one of my favorite openings to a Maiden concert. I love how they played Ides of March over the PA, setting up expectations for Wrathchild, and then hit you with Murders In the Rue Morgue. A huge surprise right from the start. Then, of course, you have Remember Tomorrow, a song that really shouldn’t be a rarity. Like Phantom, it fits in great with the band’s more recent material and is always a highlight on the rare occasions it’s played.

Also, similar to the Give Me Ed tour, I love how the typical end of show songs are spread evenly throughout the set. Usually for Maiden the encore is the least exciting part of the set, but here it’s kind of fun because you don’t really know what to expect. They’ve already played Hallowed, Number of the Beast, The Trooper, and Run to the Hills. They’re not going to play Fear of the Dark, The Evil That Men Do, or Two Minutes to Midnight. So what’s left? I know people are kinda sick of Running Free and Sanctuary around here, but these songs aren’t played that often really. Sanctuary in particular is always fun when they pull it out. Drifter is a huge rarity and an awesome surprise.

One thing I’m struck by is just how good these songs sound this far into the band’s career. Bruce is still hitting those notes in Where Eagles Dare, Nicko isn’t losing any beats, everyone is in top form. If this show feels like an older band going back to the old well, it’s only to the extent that they sound more matured and tighter. This show is a pretty strong argument for the band still being in their prime.
 

gazda

Educated Fool
Just like '99, I am crying for live release of '05 tour.

That was just great period of Maiden, a lot of releases, great tours. Perfect setlist for this tour, and ofc Give me Ed and DoD tour also had great setlist.
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
People mention 22AA being obviously missing from the Early Days set, but I think the reason was simply that they just played it on the previous non-album tour in 2003 and they added Charlotte the Harlot to the setlist instead to vary the songs they play a little, since otherwise there's a fair amount of crossover with Revelations and DWYBO and the staples. Unfortunately, that didn't really work out and presumably they hadn't rehearsed any extra songs so ultimately we got Wrathchild instead.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Nothing is stopping them from playing Hallowed Be Thy Name and The Number of the Beast on every tour. :p I get what you mean though.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Nobody is talking about Killers, I really dont understand why they ignored that song in all history tours.

I was only thinking that when listening to it yesterday.

Was 99 really the last time it was played?
 

FTB

Stranger in a Strange Board
2005 was peak maiden in terms of energy and sound. Would love an official DVD of Ullevi
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
Phantom of the Opera from that show is one of my alltime favourite Maiden performances. Gives me goosebumps.

We are Iron fucking Maiden, and we are gonna fucking get you wherever you are!
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
For all Shirley haters: Shirley live mixed the broadcast. Sounds awesome.
I wouldn't go that far. The drums are pretty eh and Adrian's guitar is way too muted for nearly the whole show. Listen to Prowler's intro for example.

Nobody is talking about Killers, I really dont understand why they ignored that song in all history tours.
This is the real missed opportunity I just don't understand. Killers was a bit of a staple in the early 80s and the current lineup already played it once and it was great back then. It was such an obvious pick as a high energy number and yet they didn't play it.
 

Ascendingthethrone

Educated Fool
My first Maiden show was Reading 05. That set list was as near to perfect as it could get. I didn’t mind some of the missing POM and NOTB songs. We still got Where Eagles Dare and DWYBO. those were very rare at the time. I know some people wanted To Tame a Land but I could never see them playing the most obscure epic from the 80’s.
 
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Spaldy

Ancient Mariner
I'm watching the Göteborg Ullevi show right now. What a great set. I was lucky enough to see them at the Hammersmith Apollo Clive Burr benefit show that year. Easily the most energetic set they've done in the reunion era.

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