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Various Artists

Iron Maiden and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Considered by many to be one of the most important periods in the history of metal, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) saw the rise of groups like Iron Maiden (hence the title), Def Leppard, Samson, Saxon and others. As the title suggests, this documentary both looks at that period in time and centers a lot of its focus squarely on Iron Maiden.

To its credit we get some great interviews with Maiden’s original members Paul Di'Anno and Dennis Stratton. They also do a good job in covering some of the more important bands of the period. I suppose from the point of view of a film giving a overview of the era with some more intense focus on some of the groups involved this is a roaring success.

Perhaps the issue, though, is not what is included, but what’s missed. For instance Diamond Head, while not the commercial success of Iron Maiden or Saxon, were without question one of the most influential and important bands of the movement. They get only a brief cursory glance. Even that, though, is better than the fate given to some of the other groups.

Such groups as Holocaust and Raven are passed over entirely.  I suppose the best way to look at this documentary would be as NWOBHM 101. It’s enough to give you the basics (assuming you are not familiar with this movement) and pique your interest for further explorations. For those who already are well versed in the subject, there will certainly be things here to make it worth your while, but don’t expect this to be the “end all/be all.” It’s not even close in that regard. In other words, this is a good documentary, but definitely doesn’t fall into the realms of great.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at

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