Album Review: Iron Maiden – Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast

Album Review: Iron Maiden - Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live in Mexico City
Reviewed by Tim Finch

There comes a point in a bands career when you have to think how many live albums is too many live albums? For heavy metal giants Iron Maiden, apparently twelve is just not enough and this week they release their thirteenth live album.

So is there really a need for a thirteenth live album from the band? My first introduction to Iron Maiden was via a live album, ‘A Real Live One’, which I found in my local library in 1994 and took it home to copy it (as you did in those days). Iron Maiden excel in the live arena, it’s the live performance that draws the fans in, so I can see why they release these recordings. But whilst ‘Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast: Live in Mexico City’ is a good memento of their latest tour, does it live up to the great live albums that have gone before it, the aforementioned ‘A Real Live One’ and the classic ‘Live After Death’?

Album Review: Iron Maiden - Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The BeastRecorded at their dates in Mexico City at the end of 2019, the double live album kicks off with Chruchill’s speech leading into ‘Aces High’. The famous guitar intro ringing out as the Mexican crowd roars. But the first striking thing is when Bruce’s voice kicks in, and sadly it’s not positive. Recorded at the end of a long tour you can hear the strain on his vocal chords, singing for two plus hours a night endlessly will have an effect, which makes me wonder why they chose a date so late in a long tour cycle to use for the live album?

Leaving Bruce’s vocals aside, ‘Aces High’ sounds as magnificent as ever, the crowd feeding off every note. ‘Where Eagles Dare’ has the crowd in their element, fist pumping, chanting and total Iron Maiden fan interaction at its peak. The recording overall is a modern day take on Iron Maiden’s greatest hits, recorded live, with the inclusion of Blaze era song ‘The Clansman’ and the even more recent ‘For The Greater Good of God’.

It’s the latter part of the release that really pulls at the heart strings of the long standing Maiden fans. ‘Fear of the Dark’ leading us through ‘Number of the Beast’, ‘Iron Maiden’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’. All building up the crescendo of closing number ‘Run To The Hills’, which, again sadly, is let down by some really awful backing vocals on the chorus.

So is this thirteenth live album really warranted? The answer simply is no. If you want a live fix of Iron Maiden on record, go  buy and listen to ‘A Real Live One’ and the ‘Live After Death’ both of which will give you a far better listening experience. However, for those record collectors and Iron Maiden fanatics, fill your boots… it’s not a bad live album, they’ve just done better.

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