NWoBHM

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The NWOBHM was a movement which gained media recognition in the late 1970s, achieved international attention by the early 1980s, and gave way to a snowball effect which has led to the development of many different styles, and the hugely increased popularity and diversity of heavy metal music.

Heavy metal music, unlike many other music genres, has evolved and matured over many decades, proving itself to be more than a simple fashion statement. The NWOBHM represented a sudden explosion of interest in the music and experimentation within the field, which was echoed across the Atlantic a few years later in the development of Thrash Metal and its various offspring.

The way in which it arose echoes the garage band and underground music phenomenon of the 1960s, with a striking feature being that bands were usually derived from fans of the music. This created a very protective culture, in which bands strove to develop their own sounds and styles to make them stand out from the rapidly expanding pack.

This in turn bred a tendency towards a technical proficiency of a rather flamboyant nature, echoing and sometimes imitating Progressive Rock bands, who had been somewhat stifled by the explosion of punk rock earlier in the 1970s.

It has been often cited that The NWOBHM drew its energy from the preceding wave of punk rock and, due to the open nature of the music, in some cases this is true. But Heavy Metal had always had a level of driving energy, right from the early hard rock pioneers such as Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult and the Scorpions through to the heavier Glam Rock acts such as Slade and The Sweet. This energy seemed to culminate in the music of Judas Priest, who were undoubtedly the most important musical influence on the NWoBHM.

What did arise from punk was the whole DIY aspect - the fact that anyone with any level of musical ability could form a band, record a demo and distribute it themselves among friends and fans, and this aspect was core to the way in which the NWoBHM grew and disseminated around the world. Metallica famously would listen to these demo tapes and decide to create their own, despite the fact that Lars Ulrich was yet to set up his drum kit, let alone play it.

Some bands, such as Diamond Head and Def Leppard even went as far as to set up their own record label in order to release their material (Happy Face and Bludgeon Riffola respectively). Many bands signed to small independent labels, and labels such as Neat records sprang up specifically to promote Heavy Metal music. A number of compilations appeared, such as "Lead Weight", "New Electric Warriors" and "Metal for Muthas".

Spearleaders for the movement, Iron Maiden, recorded a live set at the Sound House before signing to major label EMI, and were thus in the fortunate position of being able to have the EMI promotion machine available to promote their innovative and highly influential brand of metal at just the right time (Maiden had actually been in existence for at least 3 years before the NWoBHM). Def Leppard quickly got signed by Vertigo, Diamond Head were disastrously signed by MCA, and Sheffield-based Saxon signed to French disco label Carrere!

Despite often scathing critical backlash, the music was heavily promoted by the likes of Sounds journalist Gary Barton, who is credited with coining the term New Wave of Heavy Metal, Rock DJ Neal Kay, who played recordings of new acts extensively at London's Sound House, and Radio 1 DJ Tommy Vance. Magazines dedicated to the music, such as Metal Forces and Kerrang! sprang up, and later, Vance began to include a section called Rock Wars, dedicated to unsigned acts in his Friday night Rock Show.

But while the major label acts were crucial in the musics continued development and dissemination, it was the smaller acts, often acts with only one or two demos under their belts, that made the music what it was, and ensured that, while the signed acts either went on to international stardom or disintegrated completely, the music itself continued to evolve at an ever-increasing pace.

As for the musical style itsef, contrary to popular opinion, many early NWoBHM bands would incorporate 12-bar blues in their rhythm parts, and the minor pentatonic scale in lead guitar solos. This can make it hard to distinguish the music from Hard Rock, which is essentially blues rock played through high-gain amplifiers.

The bands that really stand out from this time are the bands that broke away from the hard rock traditions, modelling their compositions on structures with extended intros, outros and instrumental breaks, usually featuring extensive guitar solos.

But it was not just about how complex the music could be; Beacuse of it's origins, there was a strong emphasis on crowd involvement, and many bands wrote anthemic songs with strong, straightforward melodies with that in mind. There was also the question of band identity and originality, and bands such as Samson and Holocaust seemed to re-invent themselves and their style with each successive song.

The music covered an extraordinarily wide range of styles, almost always centered around an aggressive, high gain guitar sound, typified by the Marshall JCM 800 amplifier and Gibson humbucker equipped guitars. Vocals were pushed hard, to sound either high-pitched and scream-like, following the lead of the likes of Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple, or, less commonly, growly like Motorhead or menacing like Ozzy Osbourne.

More was expected of bass players, who needed not only to provide a solid, rhythmic root note foundation, but to join in with ever more elaborate passages between extended musical sections, and drummers were required to be versatile enough to cope with both very slow, atmospheric music and ever-increasing speed.

The very challenging nature of the music they were writing and lack of funding for professional studio costs meant that quite often bands found it difficult to play and record their own material, so demos often sound extremely rough in these days of inexpensive computer recording environments.

But the music is frequently inspired and inspiring, contains many surprises for those who think they've heard it all, and, of course, still rocks hard!

Written by Certif1ed (May 2010)

Sub-genre collaborators:

Same as Traditional Heavy Metal.

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IRON MAIDEN Live After Death

Live album · 1985 · NWoBHM
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martindavey87
Iron Maiden were on a roll. 1982’s ‘The Number of the Beast’ and 1983’s ‘Piece of Mind’ had shot the band to the top of the metal world, and if there was finally any doubters left that didn’t think the band belonged, then 1984’s ‘Powerslave’, the Brits’ fifth studio release, really established them as one of the top metal acts around. What followed was the “World Slavery Tour”, which saw Maiden embark on a trek around the globe with an elaborate stage show that encapsulated the energy and imagery of their music.

So what’s next? How about a live album to commemorate the tour? Which brings us to the first of many live albums the band would put out; ‘Live After Death’.

Split over two discs, the first recorded in California, USA while the second in London, England, ‘Live After Death’ highlights the energy and enthusiasm of the band in their early days. Featuring all the major hits from their first five albums, including ‘Aces High’, ‘Run to the Hills’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’, the performances and production are all of a high standard, however, the audience can be a little hard to hear at times, which kind of ruins the experience, but as a whole, this is a good live release.

Though, with that said, I’ve always preferred studio albums to live ones, and as it is, ‘Live After Death’ does seem a little outdated today, considering the wealth of live albums the band would go on to produce. Still, it has its moments and isn’t bad by any means, there just isn’t really anything to entice me to choose this over any of Iron Maiden’s studio efforts instead.

DEMON The Unexpected Guest

Album · 1982 · NWoBHM
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RuneWalsh2112
"The Unexpected Guest" was the album that took Demon from one of the many bands of their time and transformed them to masters of their craft. This album is easily one of the best Heavy Metal albums that, to me, ranks among great masterpieces from heavyweights like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon.

The album is a loose concept album about a seance that goes horribly wrong. "Don't Break the Circle" kicks things off on a fabulous note, featuring some of the best performances by both Dave Hill and Mal Spooner. Things continue on a strong note with "The Spell" and "Total Possession" both in terms of music and concept. "Sign of a Madman" is another great tune that has been a live favorite that the band features in their repertoire even to this day. It also has the first prominent underlying sounds of keyboards, which foreshadows the things to come for Demon.

"Victim of Fortune" and "Have We Been Here Before?" are the two more straightforward tracks that remind me more of the style from the band's debut album but with a lot more maturity, especially in the guitar work from Mal Spooner. The latter is easily the most commercial track off this album and it did made me cringe when I heard it for the first time. Many spins later and I actually enjoy it a whole lot more. The song does continue the story line but with a slightly cheerier sound.

"Strange Institution" returns the album to a serious note and sounds to me like an improved version of "Father of Time" from their debut album. "The Grand Illusion" and "Beyond the Gates" are two strong Heavy Metal compositions that would have easily been highlights on any other NWoBHM record of the time, but they kind of get lost among all the other gems here.

"Deliver Us From Evil" closes the album on another highlight and features a reprise of "Don't Break the Circle" theme. This is a perfect ending to the concept and thus completes the circle. I highly recommend "The Unexpected Guest" to all fans of Heavy Metal as this is as good as it will get. Note that this was just a beginning for Demon as the band went from one career highlight to the next.

***** star songs: Don't Break the Circle (4:43) The Spell (3:41) Sign of a Madman (4:31) Strange Institution (4:47) Deliver Us From Evil (4:41)

**** star songs: Total Possession (3:51) Victim of Fortune (4:41) Have We Been Here Before? (4:42) The Grand Illusion (3:44) Beyond the Gates (4:19)

*** star songs: Intro: An Observation (1:24) Outro (0:41)

DEMON Night of the Demon

Album · 1981 · NWoBHM
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RuneWalsh2112
I'm relatively new to Demon even though I've heard of them for a few years. I gave their third album, The Plague, a spin a few months ago and was completely blown away by the experience. Since then, I've gone through all of their 80's and 90's output and have to say that they are easily my favorite Heavy Metal band! I don't take these words lightly and it did take some to convince myself that it was time to dethrone Judas Priest.

So what is it about Demon that makes them stand out among so many other great Heavy Metal bands that came out of the NWoBHM movement? To me it's the great versatility that has made their career as engaging as it is. No two albums are the same but all feature a piece of the puzzle that is Demon.

Their 1981 debut record "Night of the Demon" is a pretty straightforward Heavy Metal record and the sound of the band is not completely developed. Luckily there is enough great material here to make it worth a while. Starting with their classic tune "Night of the Demon" and following it with my personal favorite "Into the Nightmare". After the strong intro, the album goes into artsy territory with "Father of Time" which starts with the lyric 'In the beginning he gave us the word'. That opening can sometimes make me chuckle as it sounds like something straight from the Spinal Tap movie. The rest of the track is actually a lot more enjoyable once you get into the whole concept.

The rest of the album is a bit too simplistic to my ears even though I do enjoy tracks like "Decisions", "Liar" and "Fool to Play the Hard Way". The closing number "One Helluva Night" isn't as impressive as the version that's featured on their 1990 live recording with the same name but it does give you the urge to give the record another spin as soon as it has ended.

The only weak track here is "Big Love" with it's very basic structure and bluesy sound. Just skip it and move straight to "Ride the Wind" for a track that could have easily come from one of the early Saxon releases.

As a whole, "Night of the Demon" is a competent debut album but it very rarely gives you the glimpses of the things to come for Demon. I'd say that it's not as strong as "The Unexpected Guest" or "Taking the World by Storm" in the songwriting but does offer enough great tracks to make it enjoyable to fans of Heavy Metal music.

***** star songs: Night of the Demon (3:17) Into the Nightmare (3:57)

**** star songs: Father of Time (4:20) Decisions (3:40) Liar (3:14) Ride the Wind (2:48) Fool to Play the Hard Way (4:01) One Helluva Night (4:00)

*** star songs: Full Moon (1:35) Big Love (4:15)

GIRLSCHOOL Demolition

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
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UMUR
"Demolition" is the debut full-length studio album by UK hard/heavy rock act Girlschool. The album was released through Bronze Records in June 1980. Girlschool was formed in 1975 as an all girl rock covers band under the Painted Lady monicker, but after some lineup changes, they changed their name to Girlschool in 1978. They released the "Take it all away" single in 1979, which came to the attention of Lemmy from Motörhead, who helped them get the support slot on Motörhead´s 1979 "Overkill" tour. After the tour Girlschool signed with Bronze Records (at the time also home of Motörhead).

Stylistically the music on "Demolition" is sweaty and raw, badass rock´n´roll played by girls. Especially the instrumental part of the music takes no prisoners, and sounds like a combination of AC/DC, The Runaways, and Motörhead. So basically über amplified blues based hard rock. To my ears the female vocals lack a bit of grit and rawness, and takes away from the otherwise raw power of the music, but they are skillfully delivered, and it´s overall obvious that these girls can play/sing.

The material on the 10 track, 34:35 minutes long album is consistent in both quality and style. Vers/chorus structured and quite catchy rock´n´roll songs with few surprises, carried by a strong playing band and a well sounding and organic production. All tracks feature a great energy level which is one of the great assets of the album. I´d mention the Joan Jett influenced "Breakdown" as one of the highlights. "Demolition Boys" which opens the album and "Baby Doll", which is a live recording also stand out. Overall "Demolition" is a pretty great listen if you enjoy female fronted hard rock and had the vocals been a bit more raw I would probably have given a 4 star (80%) rating, but as it is the vocals drag my rating down to a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Metal for Muthas

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
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Vim Fuego
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Thanks a lot Geoff Barton, for one of the most awkward labels for a genre of music ever. NWOBHM. If you try to pronounce the acronym, it sounds like somewhere in North Africa where Montgomery and Rommel scrapped it out during World Ward 2, at the Battle of NWOBHM. Writing for Sounds magazine, Barton first coined New Wave of British Heavy Metal in May 1979. Is the term descriptive? Yes. An underground swelling of heavy metal bands popped up in Great Britain the late 1970s and early 1980s. They supposedly had a new sound, distinct from that of the old guard of heavy metal. Is the term accurate? Not really. Define the sound exactly. Was it Iron Maiden’s galloping riffs? Was it Diamond Head’s hard edged take on prog rock? Was it Angel Witch’s occult inspired freakouts? Was it Saxon’s working class denim and leather? All NWOBHM bands, but all that’s really similar in them is their British origin, and they all played metal.

“Metal For Muthas” was an attempt to catalogue these disparate sounds, and in doing so created an album both definitive of and symptomatic of the scene. Released in February 1980, the ten tracks on this album featured some of the best and worst of metal for the time and place.

“Metal For Muthas” is probably most famous for being the place where many a metal fan first discovered Iron Maiden. Maiden had released the single “Running Free” a week before this compilation came out, and their debut album was still a couple of months off. What was on offer here was early versions of “Sanctuary” and “Wrathchild”. These are far and away the stand-out tracks on this album, and it’s easy to see why Iron Maiden became Iron Maiden. In an odd twist, neither was included on the original version of Iron Maiden’s debut.

“Sanctuary” was intended to be a non-album single. It was recorded as a four piece, with Doug Sampson on drums. The band were most unhappy with the way it sounded, so re-recorded it for the single, and the re-recorded version was later added to the US and subsequent versions of the “Iron Maiden” album. However, the rougher “Metal For Muthas” version has a gritty charm all it’s own.

“Wrathchild” also sounds rougher than the version which would eventually appear on “Killers”. The guitars have a bit more bite, the solos are demonstrably different, and it doesn’t quite have the Martin Birch punch of the later version.

There’s more to this album than Iron Maiden though. Sledgehammer’s “Sledgehammer” just perfectly sets itself up for any number of hammering, pounding, thumping, or bashing clichés, so just pick your own one while you listen to Mike Cooke’s excellent melodic vocals and his powerful rhythm section. Like many of the songs here, it has a bluesy swagger to it, owing great debts to the likes of early Deep Purple and Status Quo.

E.F. Band kept the blues flavour, but upped the tempo somewhat, and completely fucked the British part of NWOBHM by having the temerity to hail from Sweden. Never mind, “Fighting for Rock and Roll” does just that, and there are some incredible solos mid-song.

Toad The Wet Sprocket borrowed their name from a Monty Python sketch, and you might almost think someone was having a laugh by including “Blues In A” on the album. The song reeks of boozy, smoke-filled barrooms, complete with someone tinkling the ivories, and vocalist Mick Mostafa wailed all over it. A great hangover song, but a bit of a momentum killer, and there was a vital element missing from it, namely THE METAL!

Praying Mantis had all the ingredients to have made it bigger than they did. After all, guitarist Rob Angelo wrote “Sanctuary” when he was in Iron Maiden. Yes, the same “Sanctuary” that led off the album. Angelo was paid £300 for the song and was well satisfied with it. Interestingly, he didn’t have a writing credit for “Captured City”, the song featured here. While not as quick as Maiden, this still has a similar bass driven feel, with some great memorable vocal harmonies.

Ethel The Frog... Not a promising name. Another amphibian from another Monty Python sketch, but it’s a matter of not judging a book by it’s cover. “Fight Back” is one of the heaviest songs here, and featured some Judas Priest-like guitar work.

And then on to Angel Witch. While Samson is probably more famous, Angel Witch would have to be second behind Maiden from this album for their influence on future metal bands. “Baphomet” is firmly rooted in the occult lyrically and thematically, and from this song come the roots of speed and thrash metal, with the likes of Mercyful Fate being obvious descendants of Angel Witch. This was also a big influence on Dave Mustaine, Chuck Schuldiner, and Tom G. Warrior. It is easily the best song outside of the Maiden tracks.

And so to Samson. Probably best known for featuring a pre-Iron Maiden Bruce Bruce (fucking good thing he changed his name from THAT!), it’s actually Paul Samson singing on “Tomorrow Or Yesterday”. Once again, it’s a blues rock/ballad, with some hard driving mid passages, but ultimately, it’s a bit dull.

The whole thing is rounded out by Nutz with “Bootliggers”. Nutz also didn’t feature the NWOBHM tag by not being new, as in they were an established band, with three studio albums behind them already. “Bootliggers” has it’s boots firmly rooted in the early 70s hard rock/glam rock sound. Dave Lloyd even lets rip with a Daltrey-esque scream. While not a weak song, it’s an odd finish to the album, complete with fake finale.

Geoff Barton, he who coined the fuckawful acronym for this genre called the album “A good idea abysmally executed”. Well Mr Barton, you were proved wrong. “Metal For Muthas” hit number 16 in the album charts, and is still loved by metal fans the world over, as much for its historical significance as for the actual music. Yes, parts of the album aren’t new, British, or even heavy metal, but it exposed an underground scene to a wider audience, which gave metal a huge kick in the ass, and boosted it to greater things in the 1980s and beyond.

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IRON MAIDEN Live After Death

Movie · 1985 · NWoBHM
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siLLy puPPy
Universally cited as one of the absolute best live albums of all time, LIVE AFTER DEATH is the first live album / video release of IRON MAIDEN’s classic early Bruce Dickinson years and was recorded during their “World Slavery Tour.” Despite lasting a whopping 331 days, this double LP album only took two venues as their source for representing their electric live performances. The first 13 tracks were recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, USA and the remaining five tracks were taken from a night at Hammersmith Odeon in London. While LIVE AFTER DEATH was released both as audio LP and video VHS in 1985, the two aren’t exactly identical in content. The audio LP originally contained 18 tracks (one of which is “Intro: Churchill’s Speech”) but the VHS visual experience only had 14 tracks. Unfortunately when LIVE AFTER DEATH was originally released on CD it was too long for a single disc and instead of simply issuing a double disc, EMI unwisely decided to cut the last five tracks which included the Odeon performance, therefore it is highly advisable to obtain the Sanctuary remastered version which was released as a double disc and retains the entire run of one classic song after another.

LIVE AFTER DEATH is the absolute perfect live album. I very rarely put live albums high on my list of favorites because more often than not something or many things prevent them from capturing my attention and worthiness as essential. If it’s not the weak production values then it is the inability of the band to capture the magic that is manufactured in the studio. That is not the case here. IRON MAIDEN was at the pinnacle of their creative prowess at this point and after several outstanding and classic albums to mine for material, they perfectly execute these live performances and offer every little ounce of excitement heard on the studio releases. Bruce Dickinson nails the vocals and the thundering trio of Steve Harris’ bass and the guitar synergy of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith accompanied by Nikko McBrain’s stellar drumming style doesn’t get any better. While most of the tracks are performed rather faithfully to their studio versions, there is plenty of live improvisation taking places as well. Standout moments include Bruce’s attempt to get audience participation on “Running Free” and another great difference can be heard on “Revelations” where the tempo is upped and Bruce changes the vocal phrasing to make the track sound different and refreshed.

The video release offers all the theatrical visuals of the tour. The “Powerslave” album was based on ancient Egypt and likewise the stage was Egyptified to the max with sarcophagi, hieroglyphs and a mummified Eddie embellished with ridiculous amounts of pyrotechnics. The tour was a smashing success and this release whether it be audio or video is the perfect testimony to the genius that went into every single detail. The sound and mixing is perfect as well as Martin Birch found the perfect balance of every cast member and delivered one of the most satisfying production jobs for a live release that i have ever heard. In the visual department Jim Yukich perfectly captured two nights in Long Beach showing a great band doing great things at the peak of their game. Another piece of perfection with this one is the brilliant cover art of Derek Riggs surpassing previous album themes of Eddie as the mascot by incorporating those themes of previous albums covers and then putting it all on steroids. The spread of the album is breathtaking in content and color with the boldness of the yellows and blues. Every aspect of talent on board with this release guarantees to wake the dead. I cannot find one negative thing to say about it. It is true that Bruce doesn’t hit every note exactly as on the studio version every single time but when he doesn’t he offers interesting new ways of interpreting the classics. This is simply one of the most perfect live releases i have ever encountered and even MAIDEN themselves haven’t even come close to achieving similar results. Masterpiece.

IRON MAIDEN The History Of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days

Movie · 2004 · NWoBHM
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friso
Iron Maiden - The Early Days (2004), subject (1976-1983)

Such an amazing band!

I'm in love with Iron Maiden now for 10 years, it al started when I was eleven years old. I saw the band live once, during the tour to promote this dvd. This was the best show I've ever seen and might see in my live.

On this super-complete dvd we've got lot's of interesting Iron Maiden material, covering the first four albums and some footage of the band before the first album.

The Early Days documentary. This 90 minutes of documentary that shows the prehistoric times of Iron Maiden. All former band members are discussed, the reason line-up changed, the circumstances they were in, who the material came to be, etc. This way we learn that there was an Iron Maiden that only had Steve Harris playing in it of all the current members. Interviews with the now unknown former members (1976-1979) are done in nice settings and it's nice to hear their stories. Steve Harris reflects on a lot of subjects and early member Dave Murray is also to be seen in some interviews. The old footage and photo's are nice for Iron Maiden fans. This documentary also shows a short making of of the first four albums and the line-up changes that occurred during that period. This dvd is a real threat for fans and it's fun to watch for people who are new to the band. The process of the creation of such an important band is interesting and fun to watch.

LIVE AT THE RAINBOW, Filmed at The Rainbow, London, December 1980 This is pure gold! This set shows Iron Maiden playing seven songs from their first two albums, though Killers wasn't record yet. This particular part of dvd is mega-essential because of the wild performance of lead singer Paul di'Anno. There isn't any better footage of the band in this phase of the band! Iron Maiden plays very motivated, the songs are great and the people enthusiastic. They were so good in their early days! As I said, essential for both fans and people who like the metal/hard rock genre.

BEAST OVER HAMMERSMITH, Filmed at Hammersmith Odeon, London, March 1982 One of the early shows Iron Maiden performed during the time Bruce Dickinson had joined the band and The Number of the Beast came to be. Iron Maiden plays unbelievably motivated and this can be seen as the one of the highlights of Iron Maiden's and vocalist Bruce Dickinson's career! Most tracks are from The Number of the Beast and the material is fresh! It's also nice the band included the important b-side Total Eclipse in their set. Essential metal footage.

LIVE AT DORTMUND, Filmed at Rock and Pop Festival, Dortmunde, Westenfalle, Germany, 1983 This concert was recorded during the Piece of Mind tour. Most songs originate from this album. Though the footage is almost as good as the Beast over Hammersmith from 1982, it's lacks some of it's bombastic enthusiastic power of Hammersmith. Still this is a very interesting show and fans will appreciate this very much!

EXTRA'S The first five clips of Iron Maiden and some top of the pops performances are nice, but they are less hard to find then the gigs on dvd one. Still a great bonus to complete the release.

LIVE AT THE RUSKIN, Home Video filmed at The Ruskin Arms, 1980 This is home video footage of the band in an early stage. This might only appeal to hard-core Iron Maiden fans for it's historical value.

Conclusion. This is the meaning of completeness! This is everything I could ever ask for, concerning the theme of this dvd. Five stars without doubt. Every fan should own this and others might be surprised on how energetic and complete this release is.

IRON MAIDEN Live After Death

Movie · 1985 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
friso
Iron Maiden - Live After Death DVD (2008)

The ultimate metal-concert.

This live footage is simply amazing. The biggest energy-boost ever recorded! The good thing is I recently re-discovered this live concert. I've been fan or Iron Maiden since I was eleven years old and had discarded this live album because of the vocals. At that time I though they weren't good enough. And though I still thing the vocals on songs with high- pitched vocal lines aren't perfect, I totally missed out on the amazing sound of the band.

This dvd represents a very good piece of evidence of how much Iron Maiden was of a live- band, instead of a studio-band. Even simple tracks like Running Free and Sanctuary sound simply amazing live. The guitars-bass-drum-combination has so much power in it. Unbelievable... and all songs are classics.

And yeah the vocals of Bruce Dickinson are sometimes less good then on the albums, but on other moments he's even more powerful and dramatic. His performance is a total surrender to the what the public wants to see. A god-like metal-concert. The aim for all metal-bands, the promise of the NWOBHM, the promise of rock: a divine all-important rock show. Somehow the album-versions of the songs gain on a new dimension: The Iron Maiden live experience. I've never got this feeling on any other live dvd-set. I saw Iron Maiden live once, and it is still the best live concert I've ever seen (though Magma was pretty amazing too!).

Iron Maiden alway had the better songs, the masterful musicianship, the intelligent compositions and the wide range of emotional depth. The band allowed a controlled portion of sophistication into their energetic music, which makes is so interesting for fans of the progressive genre. This makes them a really unique band in the metal-genre. On top of that I really like the personalities of the band members.

This concert, as can be concluded from my fanboy-review, is a highlight of Iron Maiden career. It's is important however to be aware of the fact the band had more highlights in their long career. The early-days dvd shows some extremely good moments of the Paul Di'Anno era (with Clive Burr on drums!), the Seventh Sun album shows some very good progressive moments (another highlight!), the mature X-factor album has some great art-rock influences and the gathering of six band-members in the Brave New World period can also be seen as an artistic and energetic zenith.

Well this manifestation of the final expression of the promise of intelligent heavy metal can not be rewarded with a lower rating than the five star rating. Buy.

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