REVIEW/GUEST SHOT: Iron Maiden – A Matter of Life and Death (by Meat)

Photo0637This one arrived too late to slide into the schedule when I posted my own review of A Matter of Life and Death.  Better late than never!  Here’s the infamous Meat with his take on the album.  A more seasoned take, perhaps.  Enjoy!

That’s the Meat Man on the left, in case you didn’t know.

He’s a pretty big Iron Maiden fan…

SAM_1665

IRON MAIDEN – A Matter of Life and Death (2006)

The Reincarnation of Iron Maiden

To semi-quote a good friend of mine,  “I have seen Iron Maiden live…I have seen Iron Maiden live…a lot”

  • November 30, 1984 –Maple Leaf Gardens- World Slavery Tour (Twisted Sister opening)
  • July 20, 1999 – Massey Hall – Ed Hunter Tour
  • May 5, 2003 – Molson Amphitheater –  Give Em’ ‘Ed Til I’m Dead Tour (Motorhead and Dio opening)
  • August 3, 2005 – Air Canada Center – Eddie Rips Up the World Tour
  • October 16, 2006 – Air Canada Center – A Matter of Life and Death Tour
  • March 16, 2008 – Air Canada Center – Somewhere Back in Time World Tour
  • July 13, 2012 – Molson Amphitheater – Maiden England World Tour

I was 15 when I first saw Iron Maiden live.  I remember standing outside Sam the Record Man downtown Kitchener to get the tickets. Took one of those party busses up to Toronto for the show. When I saw Maiden this last July, it was hard to believe that the first time I saw them was 28 years earlier.  While there are specific memories from each and every one of those shows, the aforementioned A Matter of Life and Death Tour holds a special place in my concert-loving heart.

Having seen Maiden four times previous, I was obviously excited for another great show, but was also expecting another “greatest hits” tour with a dabble of new material.  What I and the other 15,799 concertgoers got was something else. I have seen a shit load of concerts.  But never have I seen a band come on stage and literally play their new album to a sold out crowd… from track 1 to the end.  I didn’t really even know the album that well going into the show.   But it was one of my favorite concert experiences ever.  I can imagine that rehearsals for this tour were quite extensive.  It’s one thing for them to get together and polish up “The Prisoner” or “Clairvoyant”. It’s another thing to rehearse all your new material and get it  ready for touring.  And this album especially…for these reasons…

  • The shortest track on the album is 5:08  (“The Pilgrim”)
  • This may be the band’s most progressive album, song-structure wise.

With all due respect to Dance of Death and Brave New World, I believe Iron Maiden had not released something this relevant since 1988’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. A Matter of Life and Death sees Maiden finding a seamless way to connect hooks within unpredictable progressive grooves. This band has always been linked with Thin Lizzy in several ways, but never more than this album.  There are moments where you start to actually appreciate Thin Lizzy more by listening to it, which I suspect may have been a conscious or sub-conscious goal in the creation of this album.

There is not a weak track on this album. There are several A++ songs. The opening track, “Different World” is as such and is and was a great song to start off a show.  “For the Greater Good of God”, the longest track on the album, sees Maiden showing heavy chops while somehow staying bluesy. “The Longest Day” might be the most progressive Iron Maiden track of all time. Also my favorite track on the album, “Brighter Than a Thousand Suns”, hypnotically kicks  ass with melody. Hey, that pretty much defines the band itself doesn’t it?

A Matter of Life and Death is indeed “Brighter Than a Thousand Suns”; one of the most important albums in the Maiden canon.

5/5 stars

Meat.

Thanks to regular reader Deke for showing me this video!

 

10 comments

    1. Thanks Deke, I’ll make sure Meat knows what you thought. I want him to write more stuff because he’s seen a lot of great concerts going back to the 80’s. He’s seen Rush a lot of times. I really want him to write a Tenacious D review for me, because he’s so passionate about their live show. He told me that Jack’s as good a singer as Dio — no lie.

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  1. Well … that is a bit of a lie …… |I said… Jack Black is the best live singer that i have seen “SINCE” Dio ….. just to clarify. Merry Christmas to all

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  2. You will hear more from me … You havent lived until you have read my cut for cut album review of Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded Me With Science.

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