Released: 2012, Frontiers Records
This is the third live kick at the can by this long-running metal institution from Denmark. The other two were single disc affairs, while IT COMES ALIVE is the band’s first double live album, covering just about every facet of the band’s career. A quick glance at the track lists for the other two albums shows that there is a fair amount of overlap here, but with a full 21 tracks (the complete concert), there’s plenty of room for the band to stretch their wings.
I’m a relative newcomer to the Maids. I’d heard their bigger songs of course, like “Back to Back”, “Future World” and “Red Hot and Heavy”, but never a full album by them until 2010’s ass-kicking PANDEMONIUM. That album was fantastic and four of its best songs are well-represented here. Of course, the aforementioned classics are played, and get the biggest reactions from the well-mixed crowd (the sound on the album is excellent). Almost every album in the band’s 12-release career is included, with highlights being the classic ‘80s metal of “Queen of Dreams”, the speedy hooks of “Destination Paradise”, and great sing-along fun of “Hell on High Heels”. All in all, it’s a great set list full of peaks and valleys, perfectly suited for the stage, although I’m sure more dedicated fans of the band would have liked a few more hidden gems to be included.
Performance-wise, the band is flawless, as you’d expect from a band that’s been around this long. Atkins has one of the great unsung voices in heavy metal and he proves it again here. His interactions with the crowd are a bit perfunctory, but that just means a greater focus on the music, which is never a bad thing.
There’s not much else to say really – IT COMES ALIVE is simply a superb live album that both new comers and devoted fans should enjoy.