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Iron Maiden - 'En Vivo!' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d9/00/f8/2193_ironmaideenvivo_1337098779.jpg Hot

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A blast from start to finish with top-class musicianship and a great vocal performance.

Another Iron Maiden live album? Seriously? It seems like not a year goes by without Maiden unleashing a new live opus of some kind. There must be an obvious thirst for their live music given that they’ve released a total of five live albums since Bruce Dickinson rejoined the band. Maiden are a bloody good band onstage; one of the best, there’s no question about it but are they overdoing it now? Anyway, ‘En Vivo!’ was recorded on the massive ‘The Final Frontier World Tour’ at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile on 10 April 2011 and the band’s performance is nothing less than exhilarating. At a time when Judas Priest look tired and worn out, Maiden are full of energy and charisma and you can hear their enthusiasm in every chord. It’s awe-inspiring stuff.

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Maiden have caused controversy amongst fans in recent years with their setlists which can sometimes be a bit leftfield; opting to play a lot of new material over the classics from their extensive back catalogue. Thankfully this time round there’s a good mix of the old and the new. They open with three songs from the new album before they launch into ‘2 Minutes To Minute’. Sure, the first disc leans heavily towards material from ‘The Final Frontier’, ‘Dance Of Death’ from the album of said name and ‘The Wicker Man’ from ‘Brave New World’, but disc two airs six songs from pre 1992’s ‘Fear Of The Dark’, including ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ although there’s no ‘Run To The Hills’ but do we really need to hear that one again?

Maiden are at the top of their game right now; easily the biggest metal band in the world. The proof is in the pudding. They continue to churn out top class studio albums and fantastic live releases. ‘En Vivo!’ is not an essential purchase but if you want to find out just how well some of their new stuff stands up against the classics than you can’t do any better than this double album. It really is a blast from start to finish with top-class musicianship and a great vocal performance. (There’s also a DVD out of the same name and by all accounts, it’s one of the best live performances they’ve ever released and includes a documentary. There’s no doubt many fans will opt for both releases.)

Neil Daniels

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