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Oh yeah, this kicks ass. - 93%

hells_unicorn, November 30th, 2008

One of the better of all those “First 10 Years” EPs that were all put out on 1990 and the last thing before Adrian Smith went along with Maiden’s glory years, “The Clairvoyant” is a collection of live songs that all were off the “Maiden England” concert, which as far as I’m concerned the best live performance this band ever pulled off. The magic that put together Maiden’s 2 greatest albums with Bruce at the helm is fully on display throughout this concert, free of all the needless ad lib nonsense and really sloppy shouting that Bruce would indulge in during his remaining time with the band after this, and loaded with great songs that the band doesn’t seem to play much nowadays.

Compared to the lackluster “Live After Death”, which for some strange reason gets to be re-released on DVD while the material on here is still stuck in out of print status, this is a sizable improvement in both the vocal department and in terms of instrumental performance. Although I’m personally partial to Adrian Smith’s playing, Dave Murray clearly steals the show here, particularly during the lead sections of “The Clairvoyant” and “Still Life”, the latter of which sounds even better than the studio version with the added keyboard part. Steve Harris gets a little bit over zealous on the bass during some of the faster sections, Bruce shies away a little bit from some of the high notes on “The Prisoner”, but this is basically as close to a flawless performance as this band has ever pulled off collectively.

The absolute climax of the EP occurs during “Infinite Dreams”, which is where everything just comes together for everyone. Bruce hits all of the high notes at full power, Adrian and Dave basically recreate the exact atmosphere that was on the studio version, and Nicko makes a great ruckus without missing a single beat. It’s an all out spellbinding performance, especially considering that this is one of the most complex songs these guys had put together at this time, save maybe “Alexander The Great”.

If you’re a real Iron Maiden fanatic then there’s also a nice little 11 minute rant by Nicko, mostly dealing with how the tour was, in a fairly casual and slapstick fashion. If not, well there is always the option of dusting off that old, obsolete VCR of yours and trying to track down a second hand copy of the still out of print “Maiden England” video. But if you really want to do something constructive, get together with some friends and send letters demanding that this amazing concert be released in DVD format, preferably with some bonus features. Up the irons!!!