It can never be overstated how important, influential and glorious the first two Iron Maiden albums are.
As a result, Paul Di’Anno deserves a huge amount of credit for his contribution to that slice of metal history.
But then there’s The Beast Arises. This was filmed in Poland last spring and features Paul and his makeshift backing band rattling through 13 Maiden songs and a handful of lesser tunes in front of a crowd that sound three parts raucously supportive to two parts openly hostile. There are glimpses of that voice, of course, most notably on a heartfelt Remember Tomorrow, but for much of the performance Di’Anno veers from atonal bellowing to a strong but wayward falsetto, occasionally abandoning consonants altogether and sounding like Vic Reeves’ Pub Singer. He also hurls unsavoury insults at a nameless support act, launches into a bizarre tirade against Russia and Israel, disappears for a fag break while the band play Genghis Khan and returns looking worryingly out of breath. It’s all very odd and yet weirdly compelling.
Via Metal Mind