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For the fans and the fans only - 80%

enemy_of_the_public, June 17th, 2004

This is a collector's item aimed at a niche part of the iron maiden fan world. For the casual listener there is really nothing new in this box. You get tracks from the new album, a thin booklet and little else.

For the fans this is an essential rarity, you get the Iron Maiden wristband but you also get some great stuff.

'Paschendale (orchestral)' - is pretty good, nowhere near the blinding remix of 'dance of death' on the 'rainmaker' single but still a good listen, spoiled a bit as the orchestral parts drown out some of the guitars, but it is great to hear things such as the choir and horns which weren't as audible in the mastering of Dance of Death

Journeyman (electric) - Now this is astonishing, the guitars work amazing well with some brilliant leads courtesy of Adrian Smith. Still no real solo (although Adrian did an awesome spanish/blues one live!) of such but alot here and the feel is captured exceptionally well. Fans are divided over whether this version is actually better than the album version. I prefer to abstain and instead revel in the bliss of two excellent versions of one very good song.

Age of innocence (how old?) - Now this is well funny, Nicko must be the most randomly insane guy to feature in line-up anywhere. Some of the stuff he comes out with while singing just makes me crack up. To quote, 'Go on davey old son!' and 'There's no innocence in that solo is there!' This is a listen once and laugh hysterically scenario.

As I said in the title this is not for the casual listener, die-hards need only apply for this. The video for 'No more lies' is also nice, a shame that it isn't 100% live but the fusion of studio over live footage is done much better than on any other attempt (most notable being 'Stranger in a strange land' and 'Fear of the dark'). I think this is worth owning if you can find it, it is strictly limited edition and there are no more commerically being pressed, if you want to collect a modern day rarity this will serve you well.