Iron Maiden - Live After Death
Capitol Records Inc.
Heavy Metal
12 songs (70'35)
Release year: 1985
Iron Maiden, Capitol Records Inc.
Reviewed by Ben

Where do I even begin with this one? Besides being one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time, Iron Maiden’s Live After Death is also one of the greatest live albums ever. The energy, the passion, and the godliness of the mighty Maiden live machine is presented here in its complete and awesome glory. I’m not gonna berate you with details about the recording of this album and all that as anyone can look it up in the sleeve but I will take this space for a little bit of story time.

Live After Death is an album that to me brings back so many memories and so much emotion that it is almost overwhelming. I have every single note, every single word, and every little melody permanently engraved into my head for life, even the “MOTHERFUCKER!!!” part after Revelations. If you look at the reviews that I have done you’ll see that a whole lot of them are live albums and I owe that to my love of Live After Death. To me, this personifies what every live album should be, with the exception of being only one disc. The performances by the band are jaw dropping and I would give ten years of my life to have seen Iron Maiden back then in their glory days. Coming back to my story time and I promise I’ll try to keep it brief, Live After Death is also the album that opened my eyes and my heart to the world of heavy metal. When I returned home from my visit to the music store I had no idea what was in store for me with this little plastic package. I had never heard one single note of Iron Maiden’s music as I was browsing through the I’s one day, I just had my friends words going through my head, “Hey let’s check out Iron Maiden. I heard they’re supposed to be pretty cool.” Pretty cool, if there ever was an understatement in my life then that would be it. Anyways, as I was looking through the I’s I kept thinking to myself, “Man that is some killer fucking artwork!” and then I happened across Live After Death. It called to me. “Ben… Ben… Within me lies all that you ever desire and want. Inside my hallowed digital grooves you will find your true cause and purpose in life. I have been waiting here for YOU and you know that to be true.” Well, that’s a little melodramatic but I feel that isn’t too far from the truth. So I picked up this crazy looking cd and felt a wild exhilaration as I walked to the register and purchased my first real, true heavy metal cd. I was in the seventh grade. God it feels like yesterday. When I got home I popped open the shrinkwrap and placed the cd into my cd tray and pressed play. I can’t even begin to describe the feelings that raced through me as the opening strains of Aces High hit my ears and by the time The Trooper rolled by I was lost, I was dead to the world, I had become entrapped in the glory of heavy metal and Live After Death was my ferry to the other side of life, to the side of metal. That is how this album has impacted my life and I don’t give a shit that there are maybe five hundred thousand other opinions and reviews of this album out there, to me reviewing Live After Death is an honor and a privilege. If you’ve noticed, I have been with this team for over a year and this is my first classic review and it could not be a more perfect or fitting one. The fact that still to this day that Live After Death is spoken of in revered tones and that people like Tobias Sammet use even the packaging of this album as their guide to their own bands live cds showcases that not only me, but millions of people around the world were affected deeply by this album.

So much for keeping that story time brief huh? My personal tale of metal and might aside, Live After Death is unanimously agreed upon by Iron Maiden fans around the world as the quintessential live album of the band and to many out there it is the quintessential live metal album as well. The energy of the band is so high that I don’t think that any one member stood in place for more than five seconds before bounding about in a metal frenzy. The aggression of songs such as The Trooper is brought up several notches as well. It is a true testament to a band’s strength if they can make their songs sound better live than on the studio and here Iron Maiden manage to do just that on almost every single song. Revelations and Flight of Icarus are the best examples, the acoustic slow moments in Revelations are just some of the most beautiful moments of music to ever be captured on tape. They way Bruce is singing with his vocal inflection and the reverberation and tone of the guitars makes you stop whatever it is that you are doing and just stare over and go, “Damn. That was brilliant.” Flight of Icarus sounds like the fast powerful number it should have been on Piece of Mind. Other than the tempo being speed up the chorus sounds so much cleaner and borders perfection with Bruce’s voice being in the foreground and the background vocals actually support him like they’re supposed to instead of drowning him out in a sea of layered tracks like on the studio rendition. Adrian and Dave also show off their skills and are so tight as a team you’d think that they had been playing together since conception, not since the Killers album. (well if you wanna get technical they had been gigging around in bands together since they were kids but it was never anything too serious.) The thirteen minute long crusher of a song, Rime of the Ancient Mariner sounds better live as well, it sounds more frantic, more urgent. If Iron Maiden ever plays this live today they would have ten thousand fans tearing down the barricade’s this song is that powerful. A long narrative about the Mariner you can close your eyes and envision simultaneously Iron Maiden tearing it up onstage and the tale of the young Mariner as he faces his trials and tribulations upon the sea. One more dramatic improvement would have to be Powerslave. This just sounds so much leaner and meaner live than on the studio album of the same name. Really, it comes across so much more effectively and is another example of what a great live band Iron Maiden is, they never disappoint their fans when they put on a show. Another fine example of the classic standing of this album is the fact that the last five songs in the setlist are also pretty much exactly what the encores of today’s shows are. How could you have an Iron Maiden show without The Number of the Beast, Hallowed be thy Name, Iron Maiden, or Run to the Hills? It’s impossible and I couldn’t even begin to fathom of such a blasphemy. I must also point out that each and every song that I have not mentioned, Aces High, Two Minutes to Midnight, etc., each song on here is played with a fierce fiery passion that has never been quite the same since. Live After Death is not only a godly album, it is a snapshot in time an artifact of days long gone, never to return again and for that we must be grateful.

There’s a reason why Iron Maiden is still around today and still vitally important. They constantly release above par to stunning material and Live After Death is as perfect as an album as you can get. You cannot do any better than what is captured on here it is impossible. No matter who you are, Iced Earth, Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Overkill, Opeth, Nevermore, or Lost Horizon, you cannot and will not ever beat the pure majesty that is Iron Maiden or ever surpass the pure perfection that is Live After Death. Ever.

Killing Songs :
Every single note being played or sung
Ben quoted CLASSIC
Shane quoted BEST CD EVER
Other albums by Iron Maiden that we have reviewed:
Iron Maiden - Senjutsu reviewed by Goat and quoted 60 / 100
Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Iron Maiden - Killers reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 30 reviews click here
21 readers voted
Your quote was: 0.
Change your vote

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:55 pm
View and Post comments