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Sanctuary From Above - 72%

DawnoftheShred, August 26th, 2008

The crown jewel in this EP is track numero uno, “Sanctuary.” One of Maiden’s earlier tracks and a staple in their live shows, it’s become a bit of a rarity having never appeared on a studio album (I think some versions of the Iron Maiden LP have it, but I’ve never seen ‘em). A short, punchy rocker like this would have fit nicely on their first album, but it fits pretty nice here too. Second up on the studio side is “Prowler,” which is of course the lead cut off their debut LP. A bit darker in nature than “Sanctuary,” its opening riff is the single coolest use of the wah-pedal in heavy metal. The chorus is classic, while the pick-up during the bridge is just as climactic. It’s not nearly as rare of a track, but it’s a hell of a lot cooler.

On to side two, we find a pair of live tracks. Once again, things kick off with my personal favorite Di’anno-era Maiden tune, “Drifter.” In fact, I’m fairly positive that this is the same live recording of the song as the one featured as the B-side of the “Women in Uniform” single. Still, it warms my heart to see that the band were as fond of this song as I am. More exclusively for this EP is its fourth and final track, “I’ve Got The Fire.” A Montrose cover from what I understand, it’s a pretty energetic tune as performed here.

Featuring a pair of exclusive tracks and a nasty cover rendition of Eddie knifing an older woman (Margaret Thatcher?) in a hybrid style of their first two album covers, this is a must-have.