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IRON MAIDEN
IRON MAIDEN
The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter
(Parlophone)
100:59min

Well, I'm not the biggest fan of live recordings and in my humble opinion "The Book Of Souls" was a pretty lame and boring album. So I wasn't too enthusiastic about listening to "The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter". But hey, IRON MAIDEN is one of the greatest and most influential bands ever and as a long time IRON MAIDEN fan I was also quite curious to listen to it. So here we go... First thing to say is that the live versions of the songs from "The Book Of Souls" are way better than the studio versions. They are still not good but much, much better and that really surprised me. Surely, no one needs new versions of the "Live After Death" era classics but do we really need a “The Book Of Souls” live album? I definitely do not, that's for sure. All songs were recorded at different locations which might be interesting for one or another, but I prefer live recordings of a single performance and not that kind of “best of” live compilations. By the way, a "scream for me Sydney", "scream for me Canada", "scream for me bla, bla, bla" in almost every song is quite annoying, isn't it? I don’t want to sound too negative, if you are more open minded concerning the later IRON MAIDEN albums and especially “The Book Of Souls” than “Live Chapter” might be an enjoyable album for you. It definitely has an excellent sound, powerful, dynamic and very authentic. Also the performances of the band are flawless. Nonetheless, I would say that “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter” is only a must have for collectors and diehard fans. All others should listen to “Live After Death” again, just like I will do. www.ironmaiden.com, www.facebook.com/ironmaiden, www.parlophone.co.uk

Hacker

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IRON MAIDEN
IRON MAIDEN
The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter
(Parlophone)
100:59min

In this millennium, it has become custom for IRON MAIDEN to release a live album along with a live DVD after each new studio album. And this politics of release was chosen with the intention to stop bootleggers. So it was just a question of time until IRON MAIDEN put out a documentation of their “The Book Of Souls World Tour”. Released as a double-CD, both in a usual case and a hard cover book shelf, and as triple vinyl, the album was a little unimaginatively titled “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter”. And in my eyes, this is the only flaw of the album. Recorded at 14 shows all over the world, “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter” follows the tracklist of the second leg of the tour. Which means it's exactly those 15 songs IRON MAIDEN played at the show in Hamburg I attended. And despite having been recorded in different places, this album sounds homogeneous, just as if it was a complete show put onto tape. I think it is due to the fine work of sound engineer and mixer Tony Newton. This guy, together with Steve Harris, is also responsible for the great sound of the recordings, which are raw and powerful, yet very clear and balanced, just as a live album should sound. So this one is a perfect kind of souvenir for anyone who saw IRON MAIDEN on that tour and, in my humble opinion, on a par with “Rock In Rio” as the best live album of MAIDEN besides “Life After Death”. The tracklist itself is, of course, imperfect, since nearly anybody will miss some of their favourite MAIDEN tunes. But for a die hard fan like me a perfect show would imply MAIDEN playing at least five hours... Thus “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter” still features only brilliant songs, because no less than six songs on the album are taken from the fantastic latest studio album “The Book Of Souls”. Among them is the great opener 'If Eternity Should Fail' that gets an extra kick on stage and a brilliant version of 'The Red And The Black' with fantastic help from an enthusiastic Japanese audience. It is apparent that the new songs really benefit from the rawer live versions, giving them a more Metal appearance. The other nine tracks are, of course, band classics from nearly all eras of the history of IRON MAIDEN, from the early days to the return of Bruce Dickinson at the turn of the millennium. There are little surprises like 'Children Of The Damned' or 'Wasted Years' and songs that IRON MAIDEN have to play live if they don't want to be lynched by the crowd, like 'The Trooper' or 'Iron Maiden'. And there are songs who really stand out here. For example 'Powerslave' that sounds not only brilliant but also a little more Egyptian in the ending part. Or 'Fear Of The Dark', for this one always is a guarantee for goosebumps. On “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter”, it's a frantic Brazilian audience in Fortaleza that nearly drowns the band here. And the encore part completely makes my flesh creep. First there's a fantastic version of 'The Number Of The Beast', recorded at the Wacken Open Air, than it's 'Blood Brothers' that always gets my heckles up before 'Wasted Years', one of my personal all-time favourite songs, finishes a hell of a live show. If you're a MAIDEN fan, there's no excuse if you don't get “The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter”. And any other Metalhead should get the album as well, just because it's a great live album! If you still need more information, visit www.ironmaiden.com or www.facebook.com/ironmaiden, label contact: www.parlophone.co.uk

Thomas Meyer

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IRON MAIDEN
IRON MAIDEN
The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter
(Parlophone)
100:59min

IRON MAIDEN, the elder statesmen of the Heavy Metal world have been around since the 70s, producing some memorable music that helped define and continue to define generations. Through the line-up changes and changes in music they have stood their ground showing just how to withstand the storm. The band has issued another live album (I think this would make it number 11), a double live album to be exact, that covers their 2016 / 2017 world tour through the UK label Parlophone. Right off the bat the production is well done as you can clearly hear the instruments and the vocals. The first disc has a 50/50 set of the the newer material with a few of the classics attached such as 'The Trooper', 'Wraithchild' and 'Powerslave'. The album kicks off with the track 'If Eternity Should Fail' from “The Book Of Souls” album and has a very crisp sound where the crowd's presence is heard but it does not overshadow the band or the vocals. Dickinson's vocals sound good but I can tell they have lost a step or two through the years. The triple guitar attack is there and the drums sound perfect where every cymbal is heard nicely. The guitar solos are on point and the bass guitar is audible. Disc 2 is where we get a more 80/20 split setlist, having more of the older hits with a few songs from “Brave New World” / “The Book Of Souls” albums. You have 'Iron Maiden', 'Fear Of The Dark', 'The Number Of The Beast' and 'Wasted Years' here, which to me should be the first disc you should check out from the set. The crowd is more vested on this disc in my opinion as you can clearly hear it on 'Fear Of The Dark' and on 'The Number Of The Beast'. The vocals on some of these songs sounded a bit louder than the rest of the music but not to the point of drowning out everyone else. In summary this is a solid double live album that doesn't include all the classics like “Live After Death” (still my favorite MAIDEN live album) but it does include some of the newer material (post 1999 era) and the classics included are the usual hits the fans love to hear. I haven't seen the actual version of this album but from what I read the digibook has an extensive color booklet inside. Worth checking out if you are a MAIDEN fan or if you are just getting into the band this would not be a bad start, however, I would highly recommend you check out their older live albums as well. For more info: www.ironmaiden.com, www.facebook.com/ironmaiden, www.parlophone.co.uk

Jaime Pérez

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IRON MAIDEN
IRON MAIDEN
The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter
(Parlophone)
100:59min

IRON MAIDEN are known for their powerful, captivating and energetic live performances and this latest live album recorded on their worldwide jaunt touring in support of the widely acclaimed "Book Of Souls" album showcases a band who although might have a combined age of over 300 years are clearly still firing on all cylinders and giving bands half their age a good run for their money in the live arena. Recorded in various locations across the globe this live album over 2 CDs pits new songs such as 'If Eternity Should Fail', 'Speed Of Light', 'Death Or Glory', the title track, 'The Red And The Black' and 'The Great Unknown' right next to firm fan favourites and MAIDEN classics such as 'Wrathchild', 'Children Of The Damned', 'The Trooper', 'Iron Maiden', 'Powerslave', 'The Number Of The Beast', 'Wasted Years' and 'Fear Of The Dark'. But the new album material holds its ground and stands up impressively strong alongside the towering might of the iconic 80s material which is not an easy feat when you have a back catalogue as imposing and highly revered as that of IRON MAIDEN. The recording quality is as you'd expect top notch and of the highest quality with each instrument slicing through the mix as cleanly cut as a freshly sharpened scythe. The guitars and harmonies sound bright and vibrant and the rumbling commanding bassline-runs of Steve Harris anchor down the higher end of the lead and rhythm guitars perfectly with everything being propelled along by the tight and precise percussion of Nicko McBrain and the soaring air raid siren vocals of the ever charming and resilient frontman Bruce Dickinson who are all in fine collective form. It is especially magical to hear how good the vocals sound post surgery with Dickinson sounding controlled and confident. "The Book Of Souls - Live Chapter" is IRON MAIDEN captured in all their charismatic and spirited live glory. A must for any die hard MAIDEN fan! www.ironmaiden.com, www.facebook.com/ironmaiden, www.parlophone.co.uk

Kat "Shevil" Gillham

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IRON MAIDEN
IRON MAIDEN
The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter
(Parlophone)
100:59min

Isn't it beautiful when history repeats itself, as it always does with IRON MAIDEN. The Brits are doing the same thing over and over again, decade after decade, releasing a new album, tour for a couple of years, release a live album of said tour, and then either a new album or a release of some old live shows and repeat. One should think all the MAIDEN fans would get tired of that carousel, but hell no, we love it! The lads seldomly do a bad album, and even if they do an album that doesn't reach the heights of their legacy, they for sure doesn't let us down, when they hit the stage. An IRON MAIDEN gig is a sure guarantee for a couple of hours of entertaintment, great stage sheenanigans and a sore neck the day after. The band ended their "The Book Of Souls" tour 2016/2017 in July and is now ready with a live album from said tour, compiled with tracks recorded in different venues around the world, as they've done some times before - a release that falls together with the announcement of their new "Legacy Of The Beast" tour 2018, am I looking forward to catch that show? Hell yeah! If one had to complain about something when seeing a MAIDEN gig, it is the setlist, as there are always 20 tracks you'd like to hear, on top of the ones they already are playing, as they've done so much good music during the 38 years they've been releasing music. The setlist on this double feature is close to what I caught in Herning, Denmark in 2016, besides we didn't get 'Wrathchild', one of my top ten MAIDEN bangers, though we got 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' instead, a track that isn't present here, and then we got 'Tears Of A Clown' instead of 'The Great Unknown'. Besides those two tracks, the setlists are the same, which isn't bad. The sound on the release is of course quite good, organic, lots of crowd noise, a big part of the MAIDEN live-legacy, as there are many sing along parts and atmospheric parts in which we all partake, and the band feeds of the crowd's energy, especially Bruce "Scream for me whereever I am in the world", who still can hit the whole register, while running and jumping around the stage as a madman. The three headed guitar monster of Murray, Smith and Gers still duel away and delivers one sweet lick after another, Harris pounds the fourstringer, as he was beating the wrong man, hitting on his daughter and McBrain punishes the drums as there were no tomorrow. And all parts have equal space in the sound picture, even though Harris and McBrain have been fiddling a tad with the level of their respective instruments, as both bass, as usual are very forward and the drums as well jump out of the speakers, with the guitars levelled a tad behind, which just makes the live experience of the album more real. I have been following MAIDEN since I was a tad younger than 10 and my older cousin handed me a tape with some obscure sounding music with some great melodies and a scream I couldn't get into, at first that was. I'm pretty sure it was "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" as that track is tattoed on the inside on my skull, though it could also have been "Powerslave" as the tracks on that album also have haunted me for a very long time, before I started to realize what kind of beast IRON MAIDEN was. And as a long time fan, a release as this satisifies me, even though it has been released a lot of times in the past, it is just a pleasure to hear how the new songs blend into the good old classics and how it all sounds like it should, it all sounds like MAIDEN, it is all beautiful. If you want to play with madness, go here: www.ironmaiden.com, www.facebook.com/ironmaiden, www.parlophone.co.uk

Anders Peter Jřrgensen

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