There are only very few bands that can be given the status of "Metal Gods". One band that definitely should be given this status is IRON MAIDEN. Though there are discussions about the quality of some of the records (especially the era with Blaze on vocals), the early MAIDEN-albums are all classics, that are still in Metalheads' CD-players on a regular basis. And with a great band come live records. IRON MAIDEN is not new to this, having released 3 live albums during the course of their 20+ year career. "Life After Death" is still hailed by many as being one of the greatest live albums ever, while "A Real Life One/Dead One" and "Live At Donington" were not able to step from that album's shade. But now, at the point of the 20-year anniversary of IRON MAIDEN, they come with their newest, and grandest live recording.
So what's different on this album. First of all, this is the first live album with songs from the last studio effort, "Brave New World". This album is absolutely great, and it's good to hear the band translate the songs to the stage in a perfect manner. Then, secondly, is the return of Bruce Dickinson (though there never was a live album with the other singers, just 1 track on "Best Of The Beast" featuring Blaze) and the presence of the now 3 guitar players, Dave Murray, Janick Gers and Adrian Smith. For me there is no doubt that Bruce is the best vocalist IRON MAIDEN has ever had, and the band sounds wicked with 3 guitar players! Another thing that is very interesting about this CD is the crowd, an astonishing 250.000 people witnessed this show in Rio De Janeiro in January 2001. And what a noise they make.
Just listen to the tracks, the overwhelming noise the crowd produces is absolutely breathtaking. I've always liked the live version of "Fear Of The Dark" from the "A Real Live One/Dead One"-album, but the singing of the crowd on this "Rock In Rio"-album totally blows away the older version. And the live performance also makes clear that we're dealing with one of the all-time greatest Metal-acts here, so professional, a very smooth performance and total satisfaction during the whole 2 hrs that this live recording is long. A lot of songs from "Brave New World" pass by, but of course the classic songs like "Number Of The Beast", "The Evil That Men Do" and "Wrathchild", were not left out. So in a way, this album is not only a great collectors item for the MAIDEN-aholics, but also a great introduction into the material of the band, for the Metalhead that has committed the crime of not checking this band out.
So what kind of record do we have here? The most impressing live-album done by the greatest Metal-act around!! I can only give this the best possible rating.