BLAZE: The Rankings (Completed... At Last)


My sins are many
Blaze Bayley - Infinite Entanglement
  • Infinite Entanglement - Nice build-up of drums and guitar as the stage is set. Blaze comes in and for some reason he's about twice as loud in the mix as the guitars? Bad phrasing, and Blaze's tone is especially froggy, but he's hitting the notes. Hey, this pre-chorus is pretty good! The chorus is also decently catchy, and has a Blaze-era Maiden feel on some level. I like the bridge, and the solo is good. Nice choral interlude. A bridge reprise closes things out. There are some noticeable weaknesses here, but the fundamentals are strong, and I genuinely like the song. 7/10.
  • A Thousand Years - A straightforward guitar lead breaks into an appealing verse. Blaze sounds mostly controlled here. Nice build-up through the pre-chorus. The chorus is decently catchy, but also pretty rote and cheesy. Not a fan of these on-the-nose lyrics. Nice uptempo interlude, followed by an odd slower one. The guitar solo is pointlessly busy and kind of directionless. Blaze's intonation is also pretty weird on the low notes. A final chorus reprise finishes things off. Not totally sold on this one, but it's a solid 6/10.
  • Human - A nice ascending riff kicks into a so-so verse. Blaze is off-key here, and his phrasing stinks. The chorus tries to be catchy, but doesn't quite get there. Blaze is thankfully back on key for the next verse. Very nice guitar interlude followed by a good but pointlessly busy solo. This one has issues, but probably does enough to hold onto a 6/10.
  • What Will Come - Very nice acoustic guitar and violin. Blaze sounds really good on this softer bit. He sounds cheesier on the louder part, especially on the lower notes. The chorus is sort of catchy. The "whoah-oh" part is pretty good. I'm not sure the acoustic arrangement fits the lyrics later in the song. This faster chorus later in the song is pretty cringey. Hmm, if it weren't for the cheese and weirdness factors I would have gone higher, but I'd say this lands at 6/10 in its current form.
  • Stars Are Burning - A melodic, midtempo riff leads into a pretty good verse that's plagued by bad phrasing. The chorus is OK. I like the vocal harmonies on it. A boring interlude leads into a nice solo with harmonized parts. Christ, the phrasing on this verse is horrible, and Blaze sounds much less controlled this time through. Nice outro based around the title lyric. My EARS are still BURNing from THAT terriBLE phrasing SO i canNOT give this SONG a betTER rating THAN 5 out OF 10.
  • Solar Wind - A straightforward riff gets some over-the-top lead support. An OK verse leads into a pretty good pre-chorus. Hey, this chorus is nice! The extended solo is pretty good too. A chorus reprise morphs into a nice outro. Solid, catchy stuff. 7/10.
  • The Dreams Of William Black - Not a song, but a story interlude with musical accompaniment. The "where are you?" repetition gets a bit old, but this track accomplishes what it sets out to do. 7/10.
  • Calling You Home - A nice melodic riff on top of a very busy bass line leads into a serviceable verse. Blaze is pretty uncontrolled here. The pre-chorus has some nice guitar fills but is otherwise unfocused. The chorus didn't grab me at first, but worked better on the reprises. Pretty good bridge, though Blaze sounds a bit odd there. Nice choral bit. Strong solo. Nice harmonized section with choral vocals. Sweet neoclassical solo. Big choral version of the chorus and a nice soft denouement. The first half of the song had some issues, but the second half of the song made up a lot of ground. I think I can round this up to a 7/10.
  • Dark Energy 256 - A Maidenesque riff breaks into an uptempo verse. Hmm, this pre-chorus isn't working for me at all, and Blaze is really uncontrolled in that part. The chorus is repetitive, but pretty strong. Great solo! Spoken word on top of an interlude based on the opening riff. A less interesting interlude follows. Another round of pre-chorus and chorus breaks into a soft, spacey finish. A mixed bag, but I think it merits a 6/10.
  • Independence - A nice clean intro with acoustic flourishes leads into an acoustic verse. Blaze sounds pretty good here. The heaviness returns and the new verse is OK. The chorus is super repetitive and not very good. The verse reprise is stronger. Ooh, the bridge is pretty good! Nice interlude and solos! Nice soft bit, bit Blaze sounds overly loud and uncontrolled there. The heavier second bridge is alright. Nice slowdown to an intro reprise. Hmm, I can probably round this up to a 7/10.
  • A Work Of Anger - Another nice clean intro. That bass line is total X Factor Steve Harris. The renaissance feel underlying this is interesting. The heaviness kicks in and we get an OK verse and pre-chorus. The chorus isn't particularly catchy, but it has some interesting melodic choices in it. The extended solo is kind of boring. The choral section is nice. An intro reprise ends things nicely. Some weaknesses and some nice bits. 6/10.
  • Shall We Begin - Another story interlude with musical accompaniment. Not much here, but what's here is interesting. 6/10.
Well, that was a nice palate cleanser after the dreck that was The King Of Metal.

While Infinite Entanglement doesn't have any particularly great tracks, it also doesn't have any bad ones; and that consistency carries it to a 6.3/10 rating, just barely edging out Tenth Dimension for the best album so far. The title track and "Solar Wind" are the highlights, and "Stars Are Burning" is the weakest track here.

The album has some production issues, mostly with Blaze being too high in the mix. His voice is so booming that he really needs strong guitars to balance it out. He also seems to have taken on some weird intonations here, especially on the lower notes. Very hammy and overly theatrical.

The new band didn't blow me away at all, and the guitarist sometimes sounds like he's trying too hard; but this foundation of classic metal with some hints of neoclassical and power metal seems to work well enough. But I still think the Man Who Promised Not To Die Of Terror lineup was the one with the most, er, promise.

Can't say I'm super invested in the storyline here, but I'm not uninterested either. At least I can have a reasonable expectation now that the final 2 albums won't suck...


Game time started.
In my opinion Infinite Entanglement has the worst production of the trilogy, but probably the strongest set of songs (I'm not quite sure if I would rank the second album higher, I'll have to see when I go through them again).
Make of that what you will :)

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I don’t mind the production myself, as it’s one of the few Blaze albums that doesn’t like to distort on my head phone and kill my ears. :p

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Well, it's not like it's bad exactly, but I think the guitars sound a bit too thin, and Blaze's vocals are too high in the mix, as Jer also noted :)
That I understand and can tell that too. The only one where the production is outright offensive is “Human”, IMO, but otherwise I don’t mind it much. :)


My sins are many
Blaze Bayley - Endure And Survive
  • Endure And Survive - A simple riff with some boring lead fills cuts into an OK verse with terrible phrasing. The chorus is much better, and Blaze sounds pretty good there. Nice spoken word interlude followed by a good harmonized bit and an OK choral section. A decent melodic lead returns to the chorus. Nice variations on the chorus at the end. If the verse and pre-chorus had been better I would have gone higher, but as it stands it's a 6/10.
  • Escape Velocity - A nice uptempo lead breaks into a pretty good verse. Blaze is a little uneven here and the lyrics are kind of corny. Ooh, really good chorus! Nice bridge! The solo's pretty lame. Weird vocal outro. There are some weaknesses here, but the verse is solid and the chorus is great. 8/10.
  • Blood - A replay of Black's murders leads into an off-kilter musical intro and a bizarre bird call guitar lead. An awkward a capella verse with guitar accents leads into an equally awkward chorus. Vocal phrasing is bad throughout. The story interlude has nice backing music. The final chorus reprise seems to work a little better, and it ends on a high note. This one improved in the second half, but not quite enough to escape a 5/10.
  • Eating Lies - A nice acoustic intro builds into a nice electric lead. Back to acoustic for the verse. Blaze's voice sounds really good here, but the phrasing is atrocious. Very nice mini-chorus, then we're back to a heavier version of the verse. God-awful phrasing here again, then we're saved by the chorus. Nice Maidenesque interlude followed by a so-so melodic lead. Another chorus and we're back to the acoustic verse (still with horrible phrasing) to close things out. I might have gone as high as an 8 if it weren't for that suicide-inducing phrasing during the verse, but I CANnot give A rating HIGHer THAN a relAtively WEAKer 6 OUT of 10.
  • Destroyer - A nice ascending harmonized lead breaks into a cool verse. Blaze is a little uncontrolled here. Not a fan of the chorus at all. I like the "oh-oh" bridge a lot. Pretty good aggressive melodic interlude. The final chorus reprise is a little better. The chorus is the only really weak link here, so I think a 6/10 is fair.
  • Dawn Of The Dead Son - A choral story intro breaks into a sweet melodic lead. The verse is pretty strong, though Blaze is a little uncontrolled there. The chorus isn't very good, but the lead guitar accompaniment toward the end helps. Nice interlude, but it's cut and pasted directly from "The Clansman". Backing vocals help the final chorus a little, but not enough. Blaze sounds really good on the high notes toward the end, though. Nice denouement. Another strong song brought down by a weak chorus. 6/10.
  • Remember - An uptempo acoustic bit with a renaissance feel leads into a horribly cheesy and horrifically phrased verse. Blaze's performance is all over the place. The chorus is better, but still has some issues. Accordion, huh? OK. The female backing vocals are nice. Seriously, these phrasing violations are so bad that they should carry a prison sentence. Unbelievable. The ending is alright. There are some nice ideas here, but the execution kinda sucks. 4/10.
  • Fight Back - A generic melodic riff takes us into a pretty good but poorly phrased verse. Ew, this chorus sucks. Great solos, though! Decent ending. Very mixed bag overall. 5/10.
  • The World Is Turning The Wrong Way - A simple Priest-like riff underpins a pretty good verse with some cheesy lyrics. I hear some of Dickinson's "Machine Men" in here. The chorus is OK. Pretty good guitar interlude. Nice softer bridge! Blaze sounds really good here. The chorus grows on you over the course of the song. Nice spacey outro. I think I should round this one up to 7/10.
  • Together We Can Move The Sun - Another acoustic intro carries into a pleasant verse. Blaze sounds nice here. The phrasing has some problems, but isn't horrible. The heaviness kicks up a notch for the chorus, which is a little weird sounding. A new heavier verse and bridge have worse phrasing, though Blaze sounds good on the higher notes. Great solo! Yeah, I still don't like the chorus, but the later variation on it with higher notes is better. Nice harmonized guitars underpin the chorus climax before falling into a very nice extended acoustic section. Blaze gets a little loud and hammy toward the end. Nice choral story outro. This one has some issues, but I think the strengths outweigh the weaknesses enough to round it up to a 7/10.
This one's more uneven than Infinite Entanglement, with higher highs and lower lows, landing at a 6.0/10 average rating overall. "Escape Velocity" is the clear highlight here, with "The World Is Turning The Wrong Way" and "Together We Can Move The Sun" also having good showings. "Remember" is the only real stinker.

The production seems slightly better on this album, but it still isn't going to win any awards. I'm also only halfway getting the story (why did they need to brainwash a murderer and make him near-immortal to be on the ship during its journey, only to try to kill him before the ship arrives?).

WTF is up with Blaze and shitty phrasing on these albums? There are places where it almost sounds like he's intentionally trying to pick the worst possible phrasing for a lyric, and it's like nails on a chalkboard to me. I keep thinking about how Blaze said Steve Harris taught him so much about songwriting, and I wonder if Steve's tendency toward shitty phrasing is what actually rubbed off on Blaze instead...

One album left!

Lampwick 43

Covid Warrior
Silicon Messiah
  1. Ghost in the Machine - Great way to start the album, and Blaze's solo career as a whole. The great production is immediately noticeable. Pretty awesome song all the way around. 9/10.
  2. Evolution - Kinda cool. Nothing too special, but diggable. 7/10.
  3. Silicon Messiah - The first Blaze song I ever heard. While I don't quite love it as much as I did at one point, and it's probably a little bit overrated overall, it's still strong enough to get a 9/10.
  4. Born as a Stranger - I'm not a fan of the verses, or really the vocals as a whole on this one. The music is good though, and the solos are solid, so I'll give it an 8/10.
  5. The Hunger - Really cool atmosphere and some more strong music. 8/10.
  6. The Brave - Very solid rocker. 8/10
  7. Identity - Another "pretty good, but not great" song, another 8/10.
  8. Reach for the Horizon - Not terrible, but it's the weakest one of the album up to this point. 7/10.
  9. The Launch - Yeah, I can definitely hear the "Man on the Edge" similarities in this one. The song really doesn't do much for me overall, though. 6/10.
  10. Stare at the Sun - Phenomenal. Strong contender for the #1 greatest Blaze song overall. 10/10.
The Day I Fell to Earth - Surprisingly not bad. 8/10.
Motherfuckers R Us - Unsurprisingly, not good. 5/10.


My sins are many
Blaze Bayley - The Redemption Of William Black
  • Redeemer - A choral story intro breaks into an OK verse with some iffy phrasing. The pre-chorus is better, but the chorus is barely there. The more driving guitar under the second verse makes it come alive a little more. The first solo is overly busy and directionless, and the second is kind of boring and directionless. Maiden-by-the-numbers interlude. Sudden ending. Blaze's tone was uneven through most of the song, and aside from a couple of guitar bits this is pretty uninspired. I guess it's serviceable enough to round up to a 6/10.
  • Are You Here - A simple but appealing guitar lead gives way to a pretty good a capella verse that picks up backing guitar before a chorus tease. The full chorus on the next round starts off promisingly, but doesn't go anywhere. Pretty good solo section. Bad phrasing around the Higgs boson lyrics. "Meh" variations on the final chorus. I'd say a solid 6/10.
  • Immortal One - A spoken word story intro breaks into a decent verse with more questionable phrasing. The extended pre-chorus is OK. The dissonant chorus is interesting. Sweet solo. Abrupt ending. This probably gets enough done to round it up to a 7/10.
  • The First True Sign - Chanting underpins a strong higher-register verse. The chorus is pretty good. Nice solo. Strong bridge. Good Maidenesque interlude. A chanting reprise closes things out. A solid 7/10.
  • Human Eyes - A nice acoustic intro leads into a nice verse, again with phrasing problems. Blaze sounds good here, if a little loud for the music. The second chorus with electric backing works pretty well. The solo's kind of boring. Nice driving version of the verse. The continuing build-up works great through the third chorus. Nice soft reprise to wrap things up. Almost everything here works well, and the structure is nice, so I think this deserves an 8/10.
  • Prayers Of Light - A spoken word intro breaks into an appealing uptempo riff. Decent verse. OK chorus with more bad phrasing. Decent bridge. Bridge reprise for the outro. Not boring, but not particularly good either. 6/10.
  • 18 Days - A clean riff supports an overstuffed verse with bad phrasing. The duet pre-chorus is interesting, but not very strong. Pretty good solo section. Ooh, this duet chorus is pretty neat! Now we get a duet version of the verse, but the phrasing still sucks. Nice wind-down ending. I would have gone higher if it weren't for all the phrasing problems, but as-is it's a 6/10.
  • Already Won - A spoken word intro breaks into some wah-laden jamming and a nice percussive verse riff. Blaze carves out a nice vocal line here. Nice build-up through the pre-chorus. The chorus is pretty good. Nice melodic lead callback to the pre-chorus. Ooh, a cool loud a capella bit in the next chorus! Sweet long note! The chorus is improved by some nice melodic lead accompaniment. Nice lower note ending. Well, that was actually pretty great in the end! 8/10.
  • Life Goes On - Nice acoustic opening. Blaze is too loud and uncontrolled on the verse, missing lots of notes. The music steps it up a notch, but Blaze still has performance issues. The chorus started off OK, but gets worse as it goes on. Decent but repetitive extended interlude that's somewhere between Gamma Ray and Iron Maiden. The final chorus works better, but still fades off in quality as it goes. The outro is pretty good. The tail end of the song almost pulled it out of mediocrity. Almost. 5/10.
  • The Dark Side Of Black - Goddamn it Blaze, you're doing "Man On The Edge" again! The pre-chorus charts its own course and is better. The chorus doesn't quite work for me. An aimless, overly busy solo turns into a nicer harmonized bit. The "whoah-oh" part is anemic. Nothing particularly bad here, but nothing particularly good, either. 5/10.
  • Eagle Spirit - A spoken word story intro is delivered on top of a clean arpeggiated part. Nice soft verse vocal! The heaviness kicks in with a nice descending lead. Strong verse, though Blaze is a little uncontrolled in places. The chorus is merely OK. The slower guitar interludes are "meh", but the more aggressive one is pretty good. This harmonized one that follows is repetitive. Going soft to build the heaviness back up again. Another boring harmonized interlude. More so-so chorus, though the variant toward the end is nice. Nice soft ending. This one probably does enough to round it up to a 7/10.
Well, this is surprising. My impression after listening to the album was that it was OK with some high points, but the average rating actually came out to 6.5/10, which is the highest of all of his solo albums. And looking back on the ratings there are a couple of 8/10's and three 7/10's, and nothing below a 5/10, so I suppose that makes sense. Huh.

"Human Eyes" and "Already Won" are the highlights here, and "Life Goes On" and "The Dark Side Of Black" are the weak links, though nothing on here was bad overall. It does feel like Blaze and his band keep using the same bag of tricks on these three albums, though, so a lot of the songs start to sound similar.

I think the concept trilogy helped Blaze stay focused and deliver something more consistent than his past work, though I don't think he ever fully hit things out of the park. If he could have combined the focus of these albums with the Bermudez Brothers band and Andy Sneap producing, maybe he could have done something really special. As it stands, Blaze's solo work is generally mediocre to solidly OK overall (ignoring the abysmal The King Of Metal), which sounds about right to me.

I'm glad I took the time to listen to everything, and there are definitely a handful of great songs I will return to, but I don't know that any full album really grabbed me on the whole. It seems like most songs had some noticeable defects, either with performance, or phrasing, or songwriting, or production, and it was exceedingly rare for Blaze to get everything right. I'll be interested to see how the countdown turns out.


My sins are many
Following in @Diesel 11 's shoes, here are my lists:

1. The Redemption Of William Black - 6.5/10
2. Infinite Entanglement- 6.3/10
3. Tenth Dimension - 6.2/10
4. Blood & Belief - 6.1/10
5. Endure And Survive - 6.0/10
6. The Man Who Would Not Die - 5.7/10
7. Promise And Terror - 5.7/10
8. Silicon Messiah - 5.0/10
9. The King Of Metal - 3.9/10

I'm just going to bin these by rating, rather than trying to sort them.

While You Were Gone
The Truth Revealed
Meant To Be
Life And Death
Escape Velocity
Human Eyes
Already Won
The Tenth Dimension
Stranger To The Light
Ten Seconds
Tearing Yourself To Pieces
Soundtrack Of My Life
Smile Back At Death
City Of Bones
Infinite Entanglement
Solar Wind
The Dreams Of William Black
Calling You Home
The World Is Turning The Wrong Way
Together We Can Move The Sun
Immortal One
The First True Sign
Eagle Spirit
Born As A Stranger
The Brave
Stare At The Sun
The Day I Fell To Earth
Motherfuckers R Us
Kill And Destroy
Nothing Will Stop Me
Leap Of Faith
Stealing Time
Speed Of Light
Will To Win
The Man Who Would Not Die
At The End Of The Day
Watching The Night Sky
Madness And Sorrow
Time To Dare
Surrounded By Sadness
The Trace Of Things That Have No Words
Comfortable In Darkness
A Thousand Years
What Will Come
Dark Energy 256
A Work Of Anger
Shall We Begin
Endure And Survive
Eating Lies
Dawn Of The Dead Son
Are You Here
Prayers Of Light
18 Days
Ghost In The Machine
Silicon Messiah
The Hunger
Reach For The Horizon
Forgotten Future
Land Of The Blind
Living Someone Else's Life
Blood And Belief
The Path & The Way
Waiting For My Life To Begin
Voices From The Past
God Of Speed
Letting Go Of The World
Russian Holiday
Stars Are Burning
Fight Back
Life Goes On
The Dark Side Of Black
The Launch
End Dream
Crack In The System
The Truth Is One
Serpent Hearted Man
Judge Me
Eating Children
Hollow Head
The Black Country
The Rainbow Fades To Black
The King Of Metal
One More Step

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Thanks for joining us, Jer! With your zany votings we're gonna have the weirdest countdown ever. :nuts::p:ok:
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Ancient Mariner
Congrats Jer. You now have heard more Blaze albums than I have. I still didn't buy the last two CD's and I rather not hear the music via another source.
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Ancient Mariner
I keep thinking about how Blaze said Steve Harris taught him so much about songwriting, and I wonder if Steve's tendency toward shitty phrasing is what actually rubbed off on Blaze instead...

I have wondered this a few times myself too! :lol:


Ancient Mariner
I still have to give my ratings for the last 3 albums (things have been too hectic at work lately to give them a proper listen), so please bear with me.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I don't know, I think your giving "One More Step" a 10/10 is zanier than any vote I cast... o_O
I don’t get the hate it’s receiving on the forum at all, lol. I think it’s a heartfelt message to those feeling the things Blaze has felt in his life. I get not giving it a 10, but a 2? Come on! :p


Game time started.
Blaze Bayley - Infinite Entanglement

  • Infinite Entanglement - At first this track felt very iffy, but I've come to regard it as one of the best tracks on the album. It sets the tone and introduces the story/concept perfectly. As I've said before the production is a bit weak on this album, and this is one of the songs that really could've benefitted from beefier guitars especially. Still, we got decent verses, a great pre-chorus and a gorgeous chorus. 9/10.
  • A Thousand Years - Yes, I know, this is a pretty straightforward song, but it's so goddamn catchy. That chorus, for all its simplicity, may be one of Blaze's best in my opinion. Beautiful, and very Maiden! I can't help but give this 10/10.
  • Human - For me this is the weakest track here, and once again it's most of all let down by the production. The chorus is the highlight, but it's nothing special. 6/10.
  • What Will Come - A nice little acoustic piece, reminiscent of "Russian Holiday", especially with the tempo change later on. It's a pretty little tune, if nothing more, and serves its purpose in regards to advancing the story. 7/10.
  • Stars are Burning - I feel this track had a lot of promise, but doesn't ultimately deliver, without being a bad song. I think the chorus is good, as is the main riff - it's just that the rest of song doesn't really do much for me. 7/10.
  • Solar Wind - The imagery in this one gets me every time, beautiful stuff. Once again I wish for heavier guitars that could do the riffs justice, but yet again the chorus comes to the rescue. The "eagle"-part is also very memorable. 8/10.
  • The Dreams of William Black - I really like this, even if it's just an interlude. It's incredibly atmospheric, and the idea is executed very well. 7/10, on the grounds of it not being a "proper" song.
  • Calling You Home - For all the great choruses on this album, I think this one has the weakest - there's something about that I don't quite like. As a whole it's still a good song, with some especially nice melodies throughout and a great solo, but it doesn't do that much for me. I think another 7/10 is fair.
  • Dark Energy 256 - Man, did we get back to awesomeness with this track! The pre-chorus/chorus combination works absolutely brilliant here - I love the interplay between the busy and very heavy pre-chorus and the simpler, but still catchy chorus. This is 10/10 for me.
  • Independence - Another song that's enjoyable without being more than just good. To be honest it's not very memorable, but I can't find anything specific that I dislike about it. As I said, it's just good. 7/10.
  • A Work of Anger - A emotional and reflective piece with some nice melodies, and once again very Maiden-ish. As the last "real" song on the album, it's a fitting closer when it comes to the story itself, leaving the listener on a cliffhanger and hopefully eager to get involved with the second part. At least I feel that way. 8/10.
  • Shall We Begin - Once again an interlude piece that works as an outro, already setting the stage for the next album. It's alright. 6/10.

Alright! The beginning of the tale of William Black - good to hear it again indeed! As mentioned earlier, I'd name this one as the best of the trilogy off the top of my head, but since I've never really ranked the songs before, I'm curious to see if my opinion will change when I give the final two records a re-listen. I'm looking forward to it - hopefully I'll be done next week at the latest.
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Random question: when I countdown the list, should I include the full titles of the Infinite Entanglement trilogy or just the shorter one?


The Redemption of William Black (Infinite Entanglement Part III)
The Redemption of William Black


My sins are many
Random question: when I countdown the list, should I include the full titles of the Infinite Entanglement trilogy or just the shorter one?
Well, "The Redemption Of William Black (Infinite Entanglement Part III)" is probably in the running for the longest album title of all time, so you may want to drop the subtitle on frequent references.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Yeah, that’s what I’ve been thinking. I’ll decide for certain once I see the formula on the first post.