Iron Maiden – Live After Death
1985 – EMI Records
They say don’t buy a book for the cover, but in the case of vinyl, I think it’s alright. This cover has amazing artwork, featuring the band’s mascot, Eddie, in chains, on fire, with lightning coming out of his head in a graveyard with a tombstone engraved with an H.P. Lovecraft quote. Although it was the artwork that brought the vinyl into my collection, the music pressed into it holds its own. Steve Harris, the bassist, is such a joy to listen to. His playing is crisp, imaginative, and super technical. His lines make the music at times heavy, at times light and moving, and at times both. He is rock solid and transitions between feels, time signatures, and tempos effortlessly. The rest of the band is spectacular as well. Great musicianship, interesting songs, and explosive energy flow from this album. Being in the crowd for this tour (which was massive) must have been amazing. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a highlight for me. This track is epic and moves in so many directions. The band is so tight on all the hits and stops. I love bands that have substance to them. I think a lot of people dismiss metal music because they believe the flash and showmanship are there to hide a lack of musicianship. Bands like Iron Maiden prove that you can have it all! They are still releasing music and touring, so do yourself a favor and check them out. I’ll definitely be at the next show they have locally.