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Paul Dianno – The Beast Arises

Paul Dianno
The Beast Arises
by Lior “Steinmetal” Stein at 13 December 2014, 12:56 PM

It is not that I have been trailing Mr. Paul Di’Anno around throughout his career, but if there was ever something that I really liked was to listen to this guy put on his voice on songs that weren’t connected to IRON MAIDEN. It has never been due to the change that IRON MAIDEN were going through since Dickinson started handling the vocals, but maybe for Di’Anno it wasn’t made to be. On the other hand, to be frank while looking back, that giant British band more or less made him the icon that he is till today. When it comes to the guy’s voice and music, I have been a fan of the first two KILLERS albums, the live and first studio release along with the BATTLEZONE discography, which on my bill is emphatic.

It has been a decade since that last time that I saw Di’Anno go live in person. Back then it was in Israel. Today I had the chance on exploring his brand new DVD called “The Beast Arises”, possibly named after the opener song from the debut album of KILLERS, “Murder One”. The DVD, released by the Polish label Metal Mind Productions, displays a full set of Di’Anno’s show in one of the Polish clubs, one called Lizard King, earlier this year. The set appeared to be quite old school with enough audience to call it a packed venue.

Having said by Di’Anno, it was four years since the last time he performed in Poland and apparently he seems to be much admired over there. For the capacity crowd, Di’Anno offered the best out of the first two IRON MAIDEN albums, “Iron Maiden” and “Killers”, along with fractions of this other ventures, like two songs from KILLERS, a single tune of BATTLEZONE and a cover for RAMONES. From what I noticed, that same setlist, a rather good one, has been accompanying the vocalist throughout his recent ventures, as it was rather similar a decade ago.

Following Di’Anno’s Polish trip, several fine musicians were picked to be the vocalist’s band. I have no idea if all four are in the same band or not, yet during the show, these guys stood up as a united outfit to perform Di’Anno’s classics numbers. In terms of finesse, they had what it takes to provide the best, especially for the IRON MAIDEN songs that are a bit more constructed and complex in comparison to KILLERS and BATTLEZONE songs, leaving out RAMONES of course as the easiest flick. When it comes to their stage performance, there was a bit lack of enthusiasm as the musicians were overly focused on their own roles, probably on not making any mistake, thus leaving them out most of the time at their spots without too much making gestures to the audience in havoc.

And what about the mighty vocalist himself? Frankly, Di’Anno hasn’t been in his prime for years, you might call it age, which is a factor because no one remains young forever, or you might recognize other elements. On the other hand, it is evident that Di’Anno is trying to give his whole while performing because he seems to be in love with the ceremony called live performance consequently enabling him to achieve the best of what he can give away to the fans.

I believe that within the performance, the audience should have been applied with more volume in the mix as Di’Anno rather fancied on finding that extra backing voice hence making him to lose lines from the songs. Furthermore, Di’Anno at times sounded a bit off, even rather raw, tugging the lyrics as if those were a sack to be dragged behind or thrown away, somewhat extinguishing the legacy behind them. On several occasions it was quite hard for me to distinguish anything from his supposed mumblings, gladly that I know the lyrics by heart. And what the hell was that growling in “Murders in the Rue Morgue”? Or attempting for a King Diamond run at “Children Of Madness”? Well, I guess that he has more than a right to choose whatever pattern to sing these classics, whether it sounds weird or not.

However, as the setlist progressed, Di’Anno appeared much more warmed up, vocally at least, smearing his energies at crispier tunes like “The Beast Arises”, “Killers”, “Running Free” and “Remember Tomorrow”. Right before starting “Remember Tomorrow”, Di’Anno gave a short spoken word memorial for ex-IRON MAIDEN drummer Clive Burr, which died recently, it was very heart warming, Di’Anno truly showed a human novelty. Nonetheless, he also did something that I wouldn’t have done.
Specific political or semi political comment shouldn’t take part in a musical concert, especially not directly to countries. In appearance of politics in songs has been known but there is no need to influence an audience against others. It would call it bad marketing, yet I guess that it was in the heat of the moment. But who knows really?

Reaching to the show’s first encore, it was a bit in a low tune, not too much frenzy of the audience over the band’s leaving the stage and Di’Anno’s departure. After “Iron Maiden”, the audience really wanted more and Di’Anno awarded them with the short stop RAMONES cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop”.

Back in 2004, I remembered a much more energized Paul Di’Anno, but time has its mysterious ways as a major partner in this game of life. Considering, Di’Anno gave a good show, and this wonderful DVD production documented every bit of it from various angles at the highest of qualities. The cameras explored the entire stage and showed every outline of the musicians and of course Di’Anno himself. The sound was extremely good, though I believe that the left guitar was a bit low in volume, particularly in solos.

Within the DVD, you would also find nice extras like a show of the entire discography of Di’Anno throughout his projects and bands, an interview prior to the show and of course manual selection of the tracks of the live show.

Die hard fans of Paul Di’Anno would want to cling to this one, other Metalheads should check it out because it is a Heavy Metal show of a legacy, and good legacies are hard to come by.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Sanctuary
2. Purgatory
3. Wrathchild
4. Prowler
5. Marshall Lockjaw
6. Murders in the Rue Morgue
7. The Beast Arises
8. Children of Madness
9. Genghis Kahn
10. Remember Tomorrow
11. Charlotte the Harlot
12. Killers
13. Phantom of the Opera
14. Running Free
15. Transylvania
16. Iron Maiden
17. Blitzkrieg Bop
Lineup:
Paul Di’Anno – Vocals
Robert Kazanowski – Guitar
Michal Wrona – Guitar
Artur Pochwala – Bass
Dominik Wojcik - Drums
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions
     


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