IRON MAIDEN — Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City (review)

IRON MAIDEN — Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City album cover Live album · 2020 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
UMUR
"Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City" is a live double album release by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released through Parlophone Records in November 2020. The material featured on the album was recorded on 27th, 29th and 30th of September 2019 in Mexico City, during the Legacy of the Beast World Tour. The tour wasn´t in support of a particular album, as the band had wrapped up The Book of Souls World Tour in 2017, but rather in support of, or maybe more correctly accompanying the "Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast" mobile game. This meant that the band played quite a few legacy tracks on the tour and even revived a couple of older tracks they hadn´t played in years.

So while it´s no surprise to see that the tracklist includes tracks like "Aces High", "2 Minutes to Midnight", and "Hallowed Be Thy Name", it´s a bit more surprising to see tracks like "Where Eagles Dare" and "Flight of Icarus" included. The latter hadn´t been played by Iron Maiden since the tour supporting "Somewhere in Time (1986)". What´s even more suprising to me is the inclusion of the two Blaze Bayley-era tracks "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman". The last surprise on the tracklist is "For the Greater Good of God" from "A Matter of Life and Death (2006)". It´s not as such a surprise that the track is included, but it´s just the first recorded live version to be released of the song. So it´s a well balanced tracklist with both great legacy tracks, and a few more deep cuts to spice things up, and the combination works great on "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City".

The sound production is not surprisingly of a high quality featuring a powerful and organic sound, and audience responses/noises when that is called for. While this is certainly a hi-fi quality live production, you´re never in doubt that it´s a live release, and that´s how the best live productions usually work. The band are in fine form too and deliver the music with great skill and conviction. I think Bruce Dickinson struggles slightly on the faster-paced tracks, but other than that slight issue his performance here is as commanding as ever. It´s quite frankly amazing how he is able to control his voice and sing the high notes without sounding strained.

Some of the highlights of the album (other than the legacy tracks, which we´ve all heard a thousand times before on preceding live albums), are "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman". I realise Iron Maiden have released live versions of the two songs featuring Dickinson on some of the preceding live albums, but every time I hear those songs with him on vocals, I´m in awe of how great those tracks actually are, with a more unique vocalist performing them. Upon conclusion "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City" is yet another high quality live album release by Iron Maiden to help make the waiting time before the band release a new studio album more bearable for the fans. It´s not the most necessary release in their discography, but it´s greatly entertaining and high quality release through and through. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
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