Boy, that is a big title. Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast. I’m going to shorten that to ND,LB.
Well, there is really nothing short about this live set as it is 17 tracks clocking in at 100 minutes. I think I’m going to shorten that too. A couple of tracks here can easily go.
ND,LB was recorded during the Legacy of the Beast Tour which began in 2018. And due to the delay set on by Covid-19, it is technically still going on. I wonder if that has ever happened before? An official live set released before the tour was over. Anyway, this is put together from three shows in Mexico City in 2018.
When I first heard the opening track, Aces High I thought Bruce’s voice might be in trouble as he over sings through it. But his voice is in top form for the rest of the album. Sometimes a singer needs to get his bearings at the start of a show, so I think that is what was happening. It sits well with me as the rocky start gave the recording some authenticity. I’d rather get an accurate representation of how the band sounds than a collection of doctored tracks.
Many of the hits from the classic ’80s era are here and played brilliantly. As they should. They’ve been playing these songs for 35-40 years. Number of the Beast, Flight of Icarus, Where Eagles Dare, and, of course, Iron Maiden among others.
I’m not sure if any of these versions will replace the classic studio tracks, but I really did enjoy how clear the drums are overall in the mix. Especially on Hallowed Be Thy Name. Run to the Hills is the stand out track to me as it features some killer raw back up vocals. It sounds like me singing along, lol. Great stuff!
“Reunion” Maiden earns a few spots on the setlist too. It was so awesome is hear For The Greater Good of God from A Matter of Life and Death make it onto an official live release, and I believe The Wickerman from Brave New World has been a constant since 2000. I’m sure I’ll be corrected in the comments if I am wrong.
Really, the setlist is pretty solid save for the two tunes from the the Blaze Baily era.
The Clansman from Virtual XI is 9 minutes and 16 seconds of boring. The bass plods along with something that I suppose is a hook while Bruce tries to do something with its weak melody. Nothing drives that point home harder than sandwiching it between two great tunes, 2 Minutes to Midnight and The Trooper. Sign of the Cross from The X Factor is a bit better but it has too many words jammed into its verses. The chorus holds it together though, and I like the instrumental sections and guitar solos. But 11 minutes is just too dang long for a song that is OK.
I get how they wanted to throw in a couple of deep cuts in there for the fans but I think they could have chosen better. I know people like to pick on Blaze’s vocals during his time with the band, but I never had a problem with his style. My issue with the two albums he is featured on are the songs themselves. Switching the vocals from Blaze to Bruce was not going to save them. Maybe this makes me a bad Iron Maiden fan, but I would have much preferred to hear Die With Your Boots On or Can I Play With Madness? in 2018.
Well, those are the two tunes you can skip on ND,LB. Even without Churchill’s Speech which is used as a 30 second warmup, you still have 14 songs that add up to 80 minutes pure goodness. There are no extended drum or guitar solos. At no point to they “bring it down” with an acoustic number. They just play solid heavy metal.