Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls: Live Chapter

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The Book of Souls World Tour was one of Iron Maiden's biggest and longest treks for quite some time, spanning the most shows in a single tour since 1996. Their most significant tours tend to give rise to a live recording, or as has been the case more recently, a lot of live recordings pieced back together in the same order as the tour setlist, representing different stops on each track. The danger there is variance in quality from song to song, and that is something which has happened - to a relatively minor extent - here. They haven't repeated the criminal between-track fades of the past (A Real Live Dead One), but the resultant record is a very raw-sounding live album, which lacks the clarity and crispness of their better recordings (Rock In Rio, Death On The Road), and doesn't exhibit some below-par track quality, like the fuzzy recording of Speed of Light from Cape Town. It becomes more consistent in terms of sound quality later on, but there are some shows where vocalist Bruce Dickinson doesn't sound quite as good as on others. It therefore feels like some have been chosen because of the city/country the show represents (e.g. The Red And The Black from Tokyo), instead of based on being the best recording quality and performance standard, maybe to give the fans from those places a personal stake in the record, to increase sales. On that score though, the complete omission of any shows from both tour legs in the US seems very strange. Similarly odd is the decision to also make an accompanying concert film, but to not (yet) release it for purchase. Instead it was live-streamed online, just once, with no details at all of a proper release. Common sense dictates there must be a release at some stage, but to not put it out at the same time as the CD/LP is an unusual move. As a memento of the tour, for fans who saw a show (or several) over the course of its 17 months, The Book of Souls: Live Chapter does the job. It isn't going to go down in history as a classic Iron Maiden live album though.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2017, Heavy Metal, Live Albums, Quickplay Reviews,

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