The Aftermath

How good is The Aftermath on a scale of 1-10?

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In addition to the great lyrics and Blaze's vocal performance, the build up to "I'm just a soldier" is just unforgettable. The way it explodes into Janick's amazing solo is the high point of the song.



Ancient Mariner
Cool to know these are some of his favourite lyrics, and how Blaze experiences to do this live. Read on:

What about the song "The Aftermath"?

Blaze: "The Aftermath," I was reading a lot of poetry from the first World War. And around the same time, my father gave me a picture of my great-grandfather. He died in the first World War. These two things seemed to connect, and when I was searching for lyrical ideas for The X Factor album, I had this photo of my grandfather in my notebook, and it just seemed to strike a chord. That was where "The Aftermath" came from, really.

"Silently to silence fall... toys of death are spitting lead."

"Once a ploughman hitched his team
Here he sowed his little dream
Now bodies arms and legs are strewn
Where mustard gas and barbwire bloom."

Some of my favorite lyrics, really. Just completely influenced by poets like Siegfried Sassoon from the first World War. That's something I worked on with Steve Harris and Janick Gers.

It's a song that I occasionally do in my setlist, but it's heavy in a very emotional way, so I find myself getting very bound up with that song and sometimes mentally it's a dark place to go. So I don't always do it in my set.


Really nice guitar intro, but the verse and the chorus aren't that interesting, and Blaze vocals on these aren't that good.
But then suddenly the song wakes up, and the bridge have lots of emotion. After that follows a much more inspired instrumental part, and another even more soulful bridge which explodes into the guitar solo! (gave me shivers listening to it now).

The third in a row where I think that several ideas are great but the songs as a whole isn't fenomenal. In this case I honestly think they could have skipped the first two and a half minutes and made the song entirely of the second part.



Ancient Mariner
For the most part, this song is a kind of definition of average. Not bad, but not particularly interesting. The exception is Janick's solo, which prepares the way for a potentially excellent ending that fails to materialise.


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
The riff is ripped from Uriah Heep, but they repurpose it to give it a brand new meeting and invoke different feelings. This song wouldn't be that far out of place on AMOLAD. The lyrics along with the pummeling riffs underneath makes it very easy to visualize the subject matter. I like the way this song continually builds. It doesn't feel repetitive and the intensity increases as it goes on. I have to admit I start losing interest during the guitar solos. The "after the war" bit is great though and brings me back in at the end.

Some parts I could do without, but I still feel like I've been on a journey by the end.



I like the simple power of the lyrics and to be fair Blaze does them justice.

The 'what does a soldier become' is powerful but loses it's repeated too often and loses effect after a few listens and seems to bog the song down.



Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Always enjoyed this song. Very early prog feel to it, extremely heavy, poignant lyrics. "After the war" is monstrous. 8/10.


clap hands
3/10 quietly Blazing fires that should be extinguished.

The Aftermath’s obvious quiet intro has more structure and movement than the rest, and it is rather brief, but the song is a plodding mess. For an album leaning far into prog territory, there sure are plenty of moments where the music simply sounds empty, and The Aftermath is the worst offender. The drums, bass, and guitar play the exact same notes at the exact same rhythm during all of the verses and choruses. It sounds clunky and sonically dead, with none of the background textures that Adrian Smith is so good at injecting into songs. The section meant to be dramatic sounds very similar to the verses and does nothing to enhance the mood. Right before the song picks up Blaze sings along with the guitar melody and he’s got more than a few bum notes in there.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Not big on the intro, but once this song gets going it really gets going. It's a great, slow tune, you can feel you're trudging through the mud yourself, as all around your compatriots are dying, and then of course there's the 'after the war' part, where you yourself start to wonder, is it all really worth it? That question is something one could ask about the Blaze years too. Were they worth it? Yes. Yes they fucking were. 10/10.

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Another song that took me a long time to like. While I haven't come to find it as good as "Fortunes of War", it has also grown a lot on me. This one is also pretty heavy, especially the chorus and the whole lyrics. Gets an 8 from me.


Love in anger
Very nice intro leading into an OK main riff. Blaze's delivery is inconsistent and out of key yet again. Verse 1 is OK, but verse 2 (the "in the mud and rain" part) is very rote and forgettable, and the "why did they make a war" lyric makes me cringe every time. The chorus is decent, if a bit plodding.

The bridge finally picks up some steam, leading into a memorable, if repetitive instrumental section, a final chorus (with compulsory out-of-key whoah-ohs), and a tasteful reprise of the intro.

This song was pretty weak for the first half, but bought back some good will later on. 5/10.


By the time this song starts the quiet intros are kind of predictable, but after that it does feel like a sincere *sad* song. Some parts of the lyrics are more memorable and clever than others. The second half is by far more interesting than the first. 7/10

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
A nice acoustic intro kicks off a heavy, plodding song that throws you right on the battlefield and keeps you there. "The Aftermath" has some of my favorite lyrics ever ("Once a ploughman hitched his team, here he sowed his little dream...") and they convey the POV brilliantly. It's a great song overall with a lot of dark, atmospheric stuff I love. 9


Out of the Silent Planet
Good verses and I like the chorus. The part with the melody and vocals before the solo is also good. Great solo from Janick. Decent song. 8/10