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What we have here is Maiden at their live finest...huge stage show in Dortmund, Germany, great set list, great performance, the whole shebang. However, Steve Harris needs to be kept away from the editing room...lifetime ban. I almost had a seizure from the editing, forget the light show. Granted, the editing gets progressively better, but the performance of "Wildest Dreams" is all but ruined by the jarring camera changes.
With this said, this is an amazing show. The band proves that they still have it, and the set list encompasses all of their live favorites as well as some gems from the "Dance of Death" album. "Paschendale" and "Dance of Death" are particularly magnificent with Bruce really getting into the character of the songs by dressing up. The stage set-up is as grand as Iron Maiden themselves, and during the performance of their title track, Janick proceeds to prove to us that guitar acrobatics can be utilized by talented guitarists as well and are not just for use by As I Lay Dying and their ilk.
However, the one downside to this gig, is that the only real stand-outs are really the newer songs from "Dance of Death" because anyone who's seen "Rock in Rio" or heard "Live After Death" or "A Real Live One" has heard these Maiden classics performed before. But it's still very well done. "The Trooper" is boosted by its triple guitar harmony (thank you Janick!) and their performance of "Iron Maiden" here is truly spectacular as I may have previously mentioned. Another Maiden standard is brought back from the dead in the form of "Lord of the Flies". I have to admit, as bland as this song is in-studio with Blaze Bayley on vocals...Bruce breathes new life into an otherwise dead song that sounds very good in this medium...even if the studio version puts you to sleep.
The bonus disc is also a doozy, packed with documentaries, music videos, interviews, the "Dance of Death" EPK...overall, this is a great DVD release for Maiden fans, although "Rock in Rio" also intrigues me, but this suffices and gets the job done very satisfactorily. The main flaw is, as I have said, the editing. But if you can get used to it, you will be rewarded by an excellent gig.
Stand-outs from the gig: "Wildest Dreams", "The Trooper", "Dance of Death", "Paschendale", "Iron Maiden"
Ah, there’s nothing like Iron Maiden live. You can be sure, Iron Maiden will always put on a good show. And in Death on the Road is no exception, for the most part.
The set list greatly resembles that of their previous DVD, Rock in Rio: new songs mixed in with their classics. So basically this is a show that switches from their early straightforward gallop-ers, to their new progressive epics. This provides the set with a good balance and chemistry. The highlight of the set, of course, is Paschendale; mainly because of the guitar work, but also because of the theatrics. Lord of the Flies should NOT have been on this DVD, nor be in any Maiden set for the rest of time. Throw in Powerslave or Aces High instead, and leave that garbage out. An interesting note is that for the encore, Maiden opens with Journeyman, and slows things right down before the monster that is The Number of the Beast. This adds some nice flavor to the set.
The audio quality is great. It captures live Maiden perfectly, especially the 5.1 Dolby Digital version.
The special features DVD is interesting, and definitely a bonus. Although, I wouldn’t watch it more than once, as it does drag on. It’s fun to see the creation of the new album.
Visually this DVD sucks. The quality is great, and crystal clear. But the editing is terrible. When I first watched this DVD, I had no clue what I was looking at for the first half hour. The camera jumps around so often, I almost had a seizure. The longest the shot stays on a single camera is probably 1 second, the average being 0.25 seconds of course. Literally.
Death on the Road would get a significant point boost if it wasn’t for the editing. Overall a good DVD, with some bad editing.
Iron Maiden definitely know how to make your entertainment dollar go further. A three-disc set for only $20? Hell yes! Of course, two of the discs are just different audio configurations of the same exact concert, but hey, it feels like you're getting more for your dollar.
Now we get to the actual concert. The setlist is about as much as you can ask for from a recent Maiden setlist, as they still play most of the classics they dropped for their recent A Matter of Life and Death tour. The performances are all stellar, especially Bruce's vocals (which have seemingly deteriorated in the last three years) and the acoustic parts played on Dance of Death and Journeyman. Paschendale is a highlight for the utter theatrics of it: shells flying, barbed wire, dead bodies, Bruce in a military uniform. That's what I'm talking about. Everything about the show is amazing, and every band member is firing on all cylinders. No complaints there.
However, the editing for the show, done by none other than Steve Harris, is an abomination. It "cuts to the heart of the action", as advertised, but in doing so it makes your eyeballs rattle around in your skull trying to keep up with the constant changes in camera view. The light show probably wouldn't be distracting if you were actually at the venue, but the editing makes it look like it's goal is to induce seizures. And believe you me, it does. The disc begins with a warning for people suffering from certain forms of epilepsy, and I suggest that you heed this warning. It isn't enough to make the sheer power of a Maiden show weakened, because this is still a fantastic DVD, but goddamn. Keep 'Arry away from the controls.
As for the bonus features, they're entertaining, but they're standard run-of-the-mill Maiden bonus features. An hour of Maiden discussing the making of Dance of Death and the tour in which Nicko has some great punchlines, forty minutes of fans talking about how they got into Maiden and whatnot, which may evoke some nostalgia, and a Life on the Road documentary which is pretty basic but also has funny parts. You also get the atrocious "Wildest Dreams" music video and the pretty-damn-good-for-Maiden "Rainmaker" video.
This is definitely worth the $20, but don't come crying to me when you're forced to check into intensive care for your seizures.
Death On The Road comes spanned over 3 DVDs, 2 of them having the same content with the exception of the sound mix and a DVD with studio and backstage footage, including interviews with the members on the making of Dance Of Death and interview with the crew during the tour.
DVD no. 1/2. I don`t know how the 2.0 mix is, I used the 5.1 DVD to watch the concert. The sound mix is absolute bilss, if you have the corect setup for your speakers you will feel in the middle of the stage. and this is one reason alone why this DVD rules. the angles used, all picked by hand by Mr. Maiden himself, Steve Harris, are a little bit of a downfall at times, as they change pretty darn fast, and if you like to look at what one guitar player does during the song, well...bad luck, you only get about one, maybe two seconds of one angle, so you can`t really get what he`s doing. otherwise, the setlist was OK, typical maiden, not very different from the Rock In Rio DVD, only this time they included more songs from DoD and only one from Brave New World. which is a pitty, I might add... and because the DoD songs are longer, they had less space for other songs, thus Maiden anthems like 2 Minutes, Sanctuary, The Evil That Men Do and others that are usually in their list are not found here. not a very big deal, as they have played them so many times until now, that everybody knows pretty darn well how they sound live. But to see Bruce dressed up like an army soldier on Paschendale, or a medieval storyteller/grim reaper in DoD makes up for the missing songs. yes, Bruce has costume changes. 3 of them to make it clear. the songs are played allmost to perfection, allthough Hallowed Be Thy Name has had better days. All in all a nice Maiden show, with the classical setlist (they could have thrown out Paschendale and thew in Seventh Son, or Alexander the Great, or whatever else to make it be more diverse...)
DVD 3 includes, as stated before, an insight into how the DoD album was made and what implies being on the road with maiden. interviews with the band, producer, technicians, basicaly all the important people involved in Iron Maiden in the studio and on the road. It gives you a nice and clear idea of how the band writes songs and how preparations are made every day for a successful live concert, and what risks they include (the part with german beer on the mixing table was not very nice...). you also get the two videos from DoD (Wildest Dreams and Rainmaker) and some sketches of both.
Well here's the good and bad about maiden's new dvd death on the road:
The overall audio quality is very good, sometimes the individual guitars and the bass are a bit hard to hear but otherwise very good.
The best songs on this dvd seem to be songs from the album dance of death, namely: No More Lies, Journeyman, Dance of Death, and Paschendale. Maiden also put up a great version of their classic tracks Hallowed Be Thy Name and Fear of The Dark. Their self titled song Iron Maiden is always a good live number and showed up in fine form as well.
My big problem with this is the editing, done mostly (if not all) by Steve Harris. Its very flashy (but seems to get better) and especially angeres me during the guitar solos, although i actually thought he did a great job on Paschendale and No More Lies.
Other than that the song Brave New World was not nearly as good as on Rock in Rio as it seemed to lack its prior energy.
All in all this is an excellent DVD that seems to improve as it goes on, and is well worth the buy if your into Maiden or just Metal in general.