When you stick the word heavy beside the word metal, two words immediately follow by association: Iron and Maiden.
The veteran British rock band has long both ruled and defined heavy metal music for almost three decades, belting out dark, punishing bombast with operatic flair.
And, as the new SXSW award winning concert film/documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666 — screening across Canada and the world next Tuesday — proves, the band’s global popularity is stronger today than it’s ever been.
The movie is written and directed by Toronto-based metalheads Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen (the same longhaired pair who previously spat out the cult favorite documentaries Metal: A Headbangers Journey and Global Metal) and follows the events surrounding the band’s massive (and massively ambitious) 2008 Somewhere Back in Time world tour.
Devised by vocalist Bruce Dickinson as a way to replicate the look and sound of Iron Maiden’s legendary shows of the 1980s, the band climbed into a private Boeing 757 jet dubbed “Ed Force One” (after their omnipresent rotting zombie mascot, whose name is Eddie) and, with Dickinson himself serving as pilot, played 23 concerts in five continents over the span of just 45 days.
With the band granting the filmmakers all access to their world both behind and in front of the scenes, Flight 666 functions as a fascinating — and often, quite funny — document of these aging but still agile monsters of rock in action.
And for those younger Maiden fans who’ve never had the chance to experience the thundering assault of their live show, Flight 666 — with its ear-bending surround sound and multiple camera angles — makes you feel like you’re actually there, pumping your fist to Run to the Hills in the heated crush of a Brazilian mosh pit.
• For more information on the film and local screening times visit www.ironmaiden.com.
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