He officially added a second guitarist in the band - Luke Appleton, the other guitarist's brother. He will be a full-time touring member of the band.Blaze Bayley played an online festival at KK Downing's Steel Mill. Silicon Messiah, 18 Flights and War Within Me. The link can be found on Blaze's Facebook Page (Blaze played last, so skip forward). Awesome to hear the songs without ultra heavy auto tune.
I agree with pretty much everything you wrote here. I do consider Blaze to be a bit underrated, but only amongst the Maiden circles who wrote him off when he got fired because many of them are missing out. Those who tried his solo stuff and didn't like it, eh, fair enough, but his voice, limited as it is, is much stronger and has more character than it was and had in Maiden. I do wish Maiden had offered him an opening slot on the BNW tour to give his solo career a running start, but I understand it could've been weird and they were under no obligation to do so. That said, I think a big chunk of Maiden fans seeing them in 2000 and heard Blaze's Silicon Messiah material might've given him a second look that, outside of Maiden, he really does work.A few words about Blaze's new album - not very deep thoughts, as I'm still processing it and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't terribly excited about it from the start. This has been the case, for me anyway, for almost ten years now when it comes to Blaze's new music.
Every time, and I'm not even exaggerating, it's basically every time he announces a new record that I'm rather skeptical. Maybe it's all due to King of Metal being... well, you know. While not entirely garbage, it sort of confirmed that Blaze needs a strong songwriting partner to get the best, and thoroughly great product out. And while Infinite Entanglement was indeed a positive surprise - and I really liked the acoustic EPs too - I was still a bit wary, as...
Well Blaze going "I'm gonna release three concept albums based on a sci-fi story I've written myself" doesn't necessarily sound like you could expect a heavy metal 2001SpaceOdysseyInterstellar. Retrospectively, I was probably a bit too wary indeed, as Blaze toyed with similar themes with Tenth Dimension - which is a great album - and usually his lyrics are actually quite good. I mean, despite a handful of "I will give everything now, and I will not wait!" moments, it's not like his lyrics pale in comparison to various other acts around - quite the contrary!
But yes, once again, I had my doubts whether this War Within Me album might actually work... It does!
I've been thinking that maybe my hesitation with his albums is some intentional urge to not let Blaze being... well, such a nice guy to affect my opinion on his music. Blaze treats his fans very well and of course the enthusiasm of the fanbase - especially in relation to it's size - is extremely cool, and definitely gives something to both parties involved. But then there's this factor: Blaze fans, basically Maiden fans who also love Blaze, declaring how great he is and how he should be up there with the big names, filling arenas and whatnot, and Blaze often beefing up this cult-ish nature of things by underlining how the third album with Iron Maiden might've changed everything and the infamous "it was a business decision" and whatever sometimes seem to put Blaze to a position where everything he does and touches is automatically (underrated) gold.
Obviously, his recent albums have been rather good and the Absolva/Blaze lineup seems to work very well on stage and in the studio, and the quality of his recent records has sure gained him some much-deserved appreciation everywhere. I'm not saying Blaze isn't good - he definitely is! I'm merely underlining how funny, on it's own way, this whole niche market around Blaze is and how it's surprisingly hard to evaluate the music without letting the mentioned factors affect it. Then again, ambitious thematics and concepts aside, Blaze operates on rather safe field and he's truly a pro in that.
It's just kinda funny how the whole "Underrated Blaze" sometimes makes him... slightly "overrated"? I often try to avoid the whole something being underrated/overrated discourse, but couldn't help this...
That all being said, I also think that there is some power in Blaze's determination to give his everything to the music he loves and in many ways, he does embody a lot of things that music fundamentally is about.
...damn, I was supposed to say something about the new album as well. Let's try!
- Like his previous efforts with the Absolva guys, there's a respectable amount of good riffs and melodies!
- It's interesting how Absolva, which is fairly close to traditional
MaidenBritish Heavy Metal and Blaze, a traditional heavy metal musician togehter result in... yes, just that, but there's this almost power metalish taste. Kinda cool, but somewhat unexpected, looking back to the days when Infinite Entanglement was announced
- Lots of Blazeisms, like woo-oohs and his FIGHT THE HARDSHIPS lyrics, but that's what you'd expect from a Blaze Bayley album; it's more of a neutral quality at this point, rather than a pro/con, as long as it doesn't get ridiculous
- Funny enough, this is exactly an album that might get a bit ridiculous, but it really doesn't; and to be fair, Blaze held his horses quite well in the Infinite Entanglement trilogy as well, so it's not that big of a surprise anymore... what I'm trying to say? Uhm, probably just that even with some flaws, such as the production and heavy use of autotune(?), I have to admit that on the sector he and the Absolva guys operate in, Blaze Bayley band really knows what they're doing. Maybe that's the lesson for me.
Once again, it's an album that does not go down in heavy metal and rock & roll history as some heavily underrated gem, but it's solid, even above average metal album that leaves a very good taste. The world might be filled with ok-good albums of more or less stylistically similar music and the devotion of Blaze's fanbase is, for sure, partly result of the generally very devoted nature of the Iron Maiden fanbase, where Blaze-market is like some niche, but very dedicated school club within a huge university.
All things considered, Blaze does know how to make very good album and while the BALZE!!! cult and glorification sometimes gets a bit funny, I'd never dare to disparage his relentless effort and dedication for his music, which, thankfully, still holds up very well!
Blaze is full of energy and creativity. He's happy writing and recording and get out on tour. He's hungry to bring his music to his fans and everybody who go to his gigs. I like his last album, I hope he sells a lot of them. He deserves it. He has released 4 studio albums and 1 Live album in 6 years. Maiden 1 studio album and an awful Live album. They're a f***ing lazy band.
But you can feel the passion that Blaze puts in each word in a interview discussing of the songs, the lyrics, the music. It's real passion. I hat know he has a young band behind him but when I see him singing in a gig he seems the youngest, He's alive. I'm talking about writing, recording, passion… when you look 6 years back, Maiden just reunites just for three months. I see blabbermouth and other news sites and everybody is writing and recording, or releasing new music although they can't play. Other example of stupidity is Anthrax, when Benante says that they won't release new music because they can't get out there to promote. The hungry for this band is over too. And Maiden has showed with their last album that they can release an album and get out touring 6 months after it. Many bands and artist are releasing phenomenal albums. Testament did a fantastic record, they can't tour but they will but meanwhile the fans are enjoying with their new music. Megadeth have worked in the new album last year remotely and they have recorded it later all together in the same place. Judas Priest have written the next studio album and even Rob Halford have writing songs for a album.Maiden are probably 40 years older than the school boys Blaze has backing him, cut them some slack. Nicko has his bus pass, they are under no obligation to do anything. They're in their final lap, and people need to come to terms with that, there's a reason they aren't busting out loads of new material, a sad reason, they are managing a slow wind down.
They're in their final lap, and people need to come to terms with that, there's a reason they aren't busting out loads of new material, a sad reason, they are managing a slow wind down.
They will be older the next year playing the same f***ing show. They made millions with the stadiums and festivals shows these years, They know it and they still want to do it. With the announcement of the 3rd leg. One word: Greed. Two words: Cabaret band. They were exposed to the world. The tour had been a success and they wanted to make more money playing the same 'shit'. Perhaps they feel obligated to play that show or pay the money back to the fans, promoters, etc…if they cancel, I don't know how that circus works. But the relationship of the band with the fans is not there.They are old guys. They want to live their lives after decades of hard work and heavy touring. I get it, but as a fan, it is a source of frustration.