[Album Review] Iron Maiden | Nights of the Dead, Legacy of The Beast

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. 

iron maiden book back

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 NameRun 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.

iron maiden inside
The CDs in this set are secured well while being easy enough to remove. Publishers: More like this, please!

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. 

4/5

iron maiden back

38 comments

  1. Aces High gave me the same scare. As it happens, that’s the tune that iTunes gave me to Deke when he pre-ordered. So that’s all I had to judge by and I was concerned. However the rest of the album shows little to no vocal problems!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Damn it. I wrote my review up a month ago and was waiting around to post it so now I’m going to.
    lol.
    Sign of the Cross is a great track. I get what you mean by 11 minutes but this song was the centrepiece of the show. To hear it is one thing but to see Bruce do it up with the live presentation is a mind blower. The chorus as you said is brilliant and I wished Harris incorporated it in this song a few more times.
    Great write up pal!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, we released our posts in tandem on purpose! … yeah, that’s it…

      I didn’t like Sign of the Cross as much as you, but I can see the appeal for long time fans. I don’t think many were expecting tunes from the Blaze era on this set!

      Thanks, Deke! Off to read what you wrote!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Now that you mention it, Bruce’s voice did sound a bit shaky on Ace’s High and idk why, but I don’t like how The Trooper sounds live. Either he sings the lyrics too fast or he’s running out of breath, idk, but I still like that song!

    The video doesn’t play (it says it’s unavailable darn it)! But that doesn’t affect the review.

    You think 11 minutes is too long for a song? Isn’t Rime of the Ancient Mariner almost 14 minutes and Empire of the Clouds is 18 minutes?!?!

    Great review Kevin, I might have to do a few more listens to see if I like it before buying that one!

    By the way, this is really random, but how do you get that Pinterest save button on your photos? I’ve seen other bloggers do it and I don’t know how they do it. I always end up posting the photos separately on Pinterest after I publish my blog post and it’s a lot of work lol!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 11 minutes is too long for a song that is just OK. If it is a great song, you can play it forever as far as I’m concerned!

      I liked the Trooper! I though they really ripped through that one but to each their own.

      I’m sorry but I’m completely lost with Pinterest. I never use it. I’m not sure who would be able to help you too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh ok, I see your point now! A long song that is good is different from a long song that is ok.

        Yeah well, maybe I need to listen to the live version more and it’ll grow on me.

        Shucks, it’s ok. I just saw that your pics had a save Pinterest button, so I thought you’d know. It’s fine!

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha oh man, I’m a Reader! I just don’t want any spoilers… of course, what could be spoiled? It’s Maiden, with a great setlist, it’s gonna rock! And I’ll be well into January if/when Ontario lifts the lockdown and we can go home for second Christmas…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about Where Eagles Dare. I almost mentioned it but I thought I would be repeating myself. It definitely sounds like he is trying to find his pitch when he extends the last syllable of every verse. That usually happens when they can’t hear the return properly. But, like I said, live show. So I would rather have those moments than him going into the studio and over dub it later.

      Liked by 1 person

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