"In the autumn of 2003, Iron Maiden performed their most theatrical and spellbinding shows to date on the spectacular Dance Of Death world tour". So says the back of Iron Maiden's excellent new DVD Death On the Road, and it pretty accurately sums up what you get inside. After more than thirty years of proudly flying the heavy metal flag, Iron Maiden are still one of the most electrifying metal bands in the world and are still dishing out some of the best new music of their career.
In my opinion, Dance Of Death was merely a good album sandwiched between two great albums, 2000's Brave New World, and last year's A Matter Of Life And Death. Although the album in its entirety isn't one of Maiden's best, there are definitely a few great songs to be found, and fortunately you get to hear them on this DVD. I only wish they had waited until the Matter Of Life And Death tour to record this video. At the pace they have been on lately, they probably did record that one too - just don't let Steve Harris anywhere near the damn editing board! We'll get to that point later.
Although Dance Of Death was my least favorite of the last few Maiden albums, most of the songs they selected to play absolutely rip in this concert. Six of the sixteen songs performed were taken from the new album, and they all sounded much more impressive live. As usual, the stage show was very modest and...ahhh who am I kidding?! The stage setup for this tour was pure Spinal Tap. Designed as a medieval castle, with huge ramps for Bruce Dickinson to run around like a maniac, rotating Eddie backdrops, and two giant Grim Reaper statues on each side, it all looked pretty damn incredible.
Death On The Road was filmed on 24 November 2003 at the Westfalenhalle Arena, Dortmund, Germany, during Iron Maiden's Dance of Death world tour. The official U.S. release of the DVD was delayed nearly a year due to various production glitches, but finally made it to store shelves early this year. So far, my copy has been glitch free.