Blaze Bayley

Promise and Terror

Written by: GR on 30/05/2010 20:25:11

Respect, as they say, has to be earned. Blaze Bayley has certainly done this in my eyes, especially over the past few years since renaming his band to "Blaze Bayley" (before it was simply "Blaze") and overcoming personal problems to return to the metal world fully focussed once again. Those that write him off in their minds as simply that bloke who sang for Iron Maiden when Bruce left are truly missing out on one of the most impassioned and engaging, not to mention hard working, performers I have had the pleasure of seeing live.

The important question here, though, is whether or not the power, dedication and emotion of Blaze Bayley's live shows translates to a quality record on "Promise and Terror", Bayley's 5th album since leaving the British metal behemoths and the 2nd under the current band moniker. 2008's "The Man Who Would Not Die" was a solid and enjoyable album, marking something of a re-birth for Bayley and proving the new band meant business and could hold their own in a constantly expanding scene. Two years on and they have produced an album that follows the same basic blueprint but, crucially, is more consistent and ultimately rewarding.

Built, unsurprisingly, around the instantly recognisable vocals of Bayley, the album features 11 tracks of essentially melodic heavy metal that often have a dark, epic and brooding edge to them thanks to the chosen guitar tone/style and bass-baritone voice of the main man. The riffs and solos are of a high quality throughout, packing a punch and successfully sticking in the mind with catchy runs and crushing turns. Worthy of mention - and something I'm not usually too bothered about - are the lyrics, in particular those of "Faceless". A song about someone living a life of conformity, I found myself hanging on Bayley's every word and before long was singing to the whole thing on the bus to work, having to control the urge to raise a fist in the air and bellow along. In fact, his phrasing and delivery throughout the album - from reflection to all out power - is excellent and convey a real sense of passion and conviction that can be lacking in much of the over-produced Euro-metal around today. As is typical for the style, the choruses are where the songs really leave their mark, with memorable lines that I can personally attest to being great in a live environment. Overall the combination of accomplished song-writing and spirited performance makes for a very enjoyable listen and an album that shouldn't be overlooked by fans of the genre.

Download: Faceless, 1633, God of Speed
For the fans of: Blaze, Iron Maiden, Wolfsbane
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.02.2010
Blaze Bayley Recordings

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