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Metal/Prog Metal DVD/Video Reviews

Paul Di'Anno

The Beast In The East DVD

Review by Greg Olma

Poor Paul Di’Anno.  He will forever be remembered for his time in Iron Maiden.  For those of you who don’t know, Di’Anno was the first vocalist for Maiden and he was a big part of the NWOBHM.  He gave those first two records a punky edge that were absent from future releases.  I, for one, think that his Battlezone material was really good and I was sorry to see that part of career come to an end before its time.  I guess “the people” have spoken and they only want Iron Maiden from him.  Well, if that’s the case, then Di’Anno delivers just what “the people” asked for.  This DVD delivers on a number of levels.  Visually, it is expertly shot with many camera angles and each shot is given time to view before it goes onto the next one.  A lot of videos are starting to go back to this type of filming and I couldn’t be happier.  The quick cut-aways will hopefully be a thing of the past and we will get more videos like this.  The show was filmed in Poland and almost every video shot there has been top-notch.  More bands should use the resources there and put out DVDs filmed in Poland.  Musically, Di’Anno has no trouble assembling a group of musicians to copy the Maiden songs so that was never going to be a problem.  The one question mark was always going to be whether Di’Anno could still cut it live.  Although his voice has gotten a little rougher, he still manages to put in a great performance.  I was surprised at how good he sounded and enjoyed his performance throughout the set.

 

If you could not guess by the cover or more precisely, the font used for his name, the songs selection was going to rely heavily on his Iron Maiden days.  We do get a few tracks from his solo albums like “Marshall Lockjaw”, “Faith Healer” (which is an Alex Harvey cover), and “Impaler”.  Unfortunately, there was nothing performed from the criminally overlooked Battlezone period.  As far as the Iron Maiden material, it is basically the “best of” from the first two records.  I guess it would not be a Paul Di’Anno show if he didn’t do signature songs like “Wrathchild” and “Running Free”.  Like I mentioned earlier, Di’Anno has had a much longer career than the few years in Maiden and I guess I can forgive him for relying on those songs but if he wants to get out from under the Maiden shadow, he will need to rely more on his tunes. 

 

As far as bonus material, this DVD is chock full of worthwhile extras.  You get a couple of mini-sets that are basically bootleg video from Poland and Norway.  The quality on both is surprisingly good; both the video and audio.  I certainly would watch these clips more than once.  The three bonus audio tracks are a mystery.  It does not sound like Paul Di’Anno singing and the music is light weight melodic rock.  I have no idea who it is and I can’t find any info on who/what it is.  There is also a little interview added in the extras portion along with the usual discography, bio, photo gallery, etc.  All in all, aside from the audio bonus tracks, the extras are worthwhile additions.  I really like this DVD a lot and any Maiden fan out there should own a copy. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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