Death on the Road
Sanctuary (07464 51506 9)
A bit jarring soaking in all this intensity and minutae in and around a Maiden studio album that is now two back, but ? ask Steve, he?ll tell ya! ? it takes time to make these DVD things as good as Maiden makes them.
That?s the extrasm though, with the anchor of this three-DVD package being a bracing, thrilling Maiden rock ride live show, supremely lush of color and shot with the highest of standards, cameras all over, the views crisp and evocative of all the motion this band puts out on stage.
It?s cool, as well, that you get a set based on Dance Of Death, because you?ll never get anything close to this again.
Case in point, one record later, Bruce and ?Arry and the boys played ALL of A Matter Of Life And Death and a dribble of old hits, and that?s it.
So within the context of what is arguably the band?s greatest, or at least classiest, stage design, one gets the proggy (and a bit droopy) title track, the upbeat ?Wildest Dreams,? the hummable ?Rainmaker,? ?Paschendale,? in all its surging wartime glory, and then Blaze material and a dip into Brave New World, all marbled with hits from all eras: a very enjoyable, rich-sounding set, again bursting with color.
On to the extras, and we get some nice chat from manager Rod Smallwood and producer Kevin Shirley, plus all the guys, as they piece together Dance Of Death in the studio (of note, fans pretty much put this record in third place among the three Bruce reunion albums thus far).
There are fan and crew interviews as well, and perhaps most treasure-able, the seldom-seen videos for ?Rainmaker? and ?Wildest Dreams,? the latter being an amusing animated romp through the desert on dune buggies, added touch being a gallery of the sketches for the clip.
I take umbrage with calling the interviews ?candid? ? the Maiden guys usually are not known to say much of a controversial nature ? but there?s lots of commentary on this period of the band, that, had it not been captured, would likely never get examined this closely ever again.
So why three discs? Well, one is the 17-track concert in stereo, one is the show in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and the last has all the fun bits, 70 minutes worth of fly-on-the-wall stuff with the affable gents who, all of a sudden now, find themselves the new classic rock.