Blaze Bayley, good or bad?

Which was the better album; The X-Factor or Virtual XI

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If anything, Virus needs an extra guitar solo and a final chorus, the only thing wrong with it is that it ends abruptly.
Never got the love for Virus. It's a decent song but still B-Side quality to me. Not having it on any album was a good choice IMO.
I agree because it wasn't meant to be on an album. :)
That's true, but they could've easily thrown it on Virtual XI as filler.

Actually there are worse songs on Virtual, the main reason I wouldn't want Virus on there is that it wouldn't fit the tone of that album. It's kinda in its own world.
Virus is the worst piece of Maiden-by-numbers in a period that produced too much Maiden-by-numbers. It's an embarrassment.
I don't like Virus. It is flat, without imagination or creativity, and dull. I also find too much of '90s Maiden to be the same, to a lesser extent. The standout tracks of that period are excellent, but the lows are, imo, nowhere near as good as anything else the band did in the '80s or '00s.
flat without imagination or creativity
You're challenging me to accentuate its strong and (some of them for Maiden) unique sides:

Virus is Maiden's stand alone song with its own independent message in the whole discography.
I do not mind it's not on a regular studio album (and it wouldn't make sense either). It makes this gem (and Best of the Beast!) even more special.

The lyrics of our beloved band hardly got so emotional and angry. To quote someone else:
I consider Virus different from most other Maiden songs. The most emotional of the songs and I like the authentic anger and the surprising and contrasting musical parts.

I love the instrumental parts with the keyboards, later on. From this particular moment (4:08 in this clip) the song goes to an otherworldly dimension.

Blaze is really convincing and I especially love his lines "The rats in the cellar, you know who you are" (particularly the last line where he changes the tone in are).

This track has a long and slow intro but the melodies in the rest of the song are way more enthralling than most other Maiden songs with a comparable construction.
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I wouldn't say I find it uncreative, I simply find it bland and boring, and at some points even grating. Whilst I don't think it would sound any better with Bruce - because I think it suits a lower tone - I don't think Blazes voice suits it either, because it comes across flat at points.

The start is way too quiet compared to the rest of the song, if I turn it up to the point I can actually hear Blaze I get deafened by those (rather irritating imo) drums, there is some guitar work going on over those drum beats but again I can barely hear it because it is all masked by the drums. 2:20-2:40ish (cba with exact) is a decent melody, but that's kinda the highlight of the song for me. "All in your mind, All in your head...." irritates me, I literally think it sounds whiny, I can't think of another word for it. It's gets better after 4mins or so, it's not bad, but it's far from what I'd call great, if you removed the keyboards I'd find it pretty dull and repetitive, and I feel the vocals add very little.

The message of the song is the most interesting part about it to me, and only because it's unusual for Maiden to do something like that, whilst quite common within Metal/Rock itself.
We all have different interpretations of course. Nonetheless I have made a case about aspects in Virus that can be appreciated.
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Sometimes I am amazed at why people choose The X Factor as a better record (Bayley's best to some) over Virtual XI. To me the latter is better because (as he has stated in various places) he had learn about his voice so he doesn't butcher the lyrics or the complete song by not singing on tune or out of rhythm which does happen in The X Factor. I still remember listening to TXF and thinking "what the hell? How can this be the new album? Didn't Steve listen that the guy is out of synch or out of tune?" but well... Maybe I'm like Adrian... Listening things that no one seems to hear.

For me Virtual XI is better than TXF because it sounds like a band, not a band+some guy that "sings"