“The Beast Arises” by Paul DiAnno

Artist: Paul DiAnno
Title: “The Beast Arises
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 10/21/2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 2/5

Unless you have been living under a rock or are a Metalhead that is far too young to remember this sort of thing, Paul DiAnno was the original voice of the mighty Iron Maiden and he recorded both their debut self-titled album, its follow up “Killers” and the “Maiden Japan” live effort during his tenure. It was legendary stuff back in its time and began the process of Iron Maiden eventually becoming one of history’s greatest Heavy Metal bands. That was then, this is now and since that time Paul has toured as a solo artist doing “Best Of” shows that feature his Iron Maiden works along with tunes from his solo band Battlezone. “The Beast Arises” is a live set that was recorded in April 2014 at the Lizard King Club in Cracow, Poland and joining Paul for his band are Robert Kasanowski (guitar), Michael Wrona (guitar), Dominik Wojcik (drums) and Artur Pochwala (bass). I’m going to assume that Paul assembled these musicians from the local area circuit for a group of shows based on how he had done his appearances in the USA. During the gigs that I attended he had the guys from a band called Icarus Witch doing all the material behind him and while the band sounded fine for the task that had been assigned them, Paul appeared to be having some difficulty during the show. This experience that I speak of is now several years ago, now let’s discuss the more recent recordings.

For this performance the best part of the whole show is the musician’s technical skill set and the execution of the now legendary tunes so they are to be commended for their delivery. This is a comprehensive set from the first two Iron Maiden records and they totally pull it off. Some of it is faster and maybe a little more crunchy at parts as well. Sadly, I must now add to this that Paul’s voice has obviously seen better days. The whole performance is a mix of singing, unintelligible I forgot the words parts or high pitched screaming that makes no sense in where it is added into a tune. Now the audience that is in attendance all seem to be enjoying themselves but for me it was leaving me a little for want. Did I expect Paul to sound like he did more than 20 years ago well of course not as that would be ridiculous. When I saw him at those NYC shows he was not the best of singing voices but he held his own throughout the gig. The biggest complaints my fellow fans and I had was the inclusion of too many non Maiden songs for a show that was billed as Iron Maiden presentations only. This shows recording has a wonderful collection of the classic numbers but Paul is really falling short in almost all of them. I hate to be disparaging but there are parts that were painful to the ears and clearly the years of his documented abuses and not being in the mix perfecting the craft for many years appears to have taken its toll. Paul and the guys close out with their version of The Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop” which not only doesn’t make sense as a closing tune for an Iron Maiden presentation but is in a word awful. Listening to this recording from top to bottom was on the difficult side and that is all I can really say about it.

There is an eight page booklet inside the digipak release that shows off plenty of photos from the gig. One can see that there is a healthy crowd in attendance but it’s really difficult to gauge just how many are there from this. Perhaps when I sit down and overview the DVD that was also released I will have a better idea and if so I will be sure to tell you. For the casual fan I can say you should bypass this release at all costs because it’s not worth spending the money on. You would be better served by owning the original two albums by Maiden and if you don’t own them already why are you even calling yourself a Metal fan. If you are a fan that is a Dianno devotee and MUST own everything that the singer does then this is a wise move for you to have it in your collection. Who knows, you might even love it. I know that I didn’t so let the buyer be aware.

Track Listing:
1. Sanctuary
2. Purgatory
3. Wrathchild
4. Prowler
5. Murders In The Rue Morgue
6. Children Of Madness
7. Genghis Khan
8. Remember Tomorrow
9. Charlotte The Harlot
10. Killers
11. Phantom Of The Opera
12. Running Free
13. Translyvania
14. Iron Maiden
15. Blitzkrieg Bop

Official Website: http://www.pauldianno.com/

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