Blaze Bayley
The Man Who Would Not Die


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
July 11th, 2008 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Forget all you know about Blaze Bayley.

Considering Blaze Bayley's past, most notably with Iron Maiden, titling an album The Man Who Would Not Die seems a bit self-indulgent and over-the-top. You know, kind of like something Al Atkins or Paul Di'Anno would do. But as pretentious as it may sound, there is some truth to it. Bayley's first band, Wolfsbane, barely made a blip on the 80s metal scene, and we all know how his stint with Iron Maiden turned out. Since forming Blaze Bayley (formerly B L A Z E) and releasing Silicon Messiah in 2000, Bayley's musical output has been highly praised by critics, yet for all the acclaim it has gotten, the band has hardly left a mark on modern metal.

Let's get one thing straight. The Man Who Would Not Die is not a rehash of Bayley's Maiden years. There are (vague) similarities, of course, but the majority of the album is rooted in a heavy variant of power metal, not unlike Iron Savior, Tad Morose, or even Bruce Dickinson's solo work. New guitarists Nick Bermudez and Jay Walsh's riffs are not only meatier than any featured on The X Factor or Virtual XI, but are also more varied throughout the seventy-two minute album. Bermudez and Walsh, each of whom joined the band in 2007, trade off galloping riffs, driving harmonies, chunky power chords, and on occasion thrashy chugging riffs. While this isn't particularly unique or original, the album is written tastefully enough that the guitar work remains a force during the album.

Equally as important are Bayley's vocal efforts. While the frontman hasn't changed his mid-to-low range singing style, The Man Who Would Not Die fits his technique better than Iron Maiden did, and as result, Blaze sounds stronger and more confident. In "Samurai" and "Blackmailer" feature Bayley's voice is remarkably similar to ex-Tad Morose vocalist Urban Breed, and he hits the deeper, low-ranged notes flawlessly. Bayley does have some iffy moments in which he spits out some tacky lines (similar to the chorus in "Futureal"), but this is limited to a few obscure moments on the album, most notably in the six minute album closer, "Serpent Hearted Man".

As well as The Man Who Would Not Die is written and performed, its greatest flaw (and closest similarity to The X Factor, ironically enough) is its accessibility. The riff driven title track and "Blackmailer" open the record with unrelenting aggression, a sound that the seven minute "Smile Back At Death" attempts to bridge with a mid-paced ballad-esque piece. It's an obvious attempt at an epic track by Bayley, and while he seems to succeed after repeated listens, there's too much going on, and track is a bit difficult to digest. "Crack in the System" and "Robot" are also over reliant on the band's guitarists, and the riff work often overpowers the rest of the track, creating a tedious mood.

For those not familiar with Blaze Bayley's most recent works, The Man Who Would Not Die will likely come across as a bit of a surprise. Over the past ten years, the vocalist has made a marked improvement in both his singing and song writing ability that even fans of The X Factor or Virtual XI (such as myself) will recognize. Though Blaze Bayley's fourth studio album isn't nearly as atypical as The X Factor, nor does it differ too drastically from Silicon Messiah or Tenth Dimension, the majority of the record makes for a rather enjoyable listen that fans of power and traditional metal should enjoy. It's just too bad it won't ever get the attention it deserves.



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user ratings (46)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2008


17945 Comments


di'anno > all those other jackoff iron maiden singers

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2008


17231 Comments


^^^ 'dem d'er be fightin' werds!

I thought the concept of Silicon Messiah was pretty cool. I'll probably buy this.This Message Edited On 07.11.08

rasputin
July 11th 2008


14555 Comments


I thought about checkign this out a while ago but decided not to after how crap he was with maiden, but I might do so now

Altmer
July 11th 2008


5652 Comments


chan u have bad opinions on meyden

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2008


17945 Comments


phantom of the opera man!

Altmer
July 11th 2008


5652 Comments


I like the Di'Anno stuff, it's ok, but I will always prefer Dickinson Maiden.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2008


17945 Comments


i am just such a rebel

Altmer
July 11th 2008


5652 Comments


yes chan u are

spoon_of_grimbo
July 11th 2008


2241 Comments


sounds interesting... i saw this guy back in december when he reformed wolfsbane to tour with the wildhearts, and he rly looked like he'd let himself go a bit. they were awesome live though, and fucking hilarious.

username345
July 11th 2008


594 Comments


Di'anno > the others

Wizard
July 11th 2008


19646 Comments


Sounds interesting Mikesn. Even though I'm not the biggest power metal fan, the rest of your descriptions make this sound promising. Good review as always.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

yas666eer
July 13th 2008


271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dickinson > di`anno live.... flat out... i have seen them both...

Belenor
July 14th 2008


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks for writing the review, Mike, maybe this will atract some listeners to Blaze Bayley :-) which would be good because Blaze deserves attention :-)

chdahi
January 10th 2009


22 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. This album is definitely awesome. It's too bad that Blaze doesn't get the credit he deserves. All of his post-Maiden albums have been great and I would say that they are strong enough to be considered right up there with some of metal's best albums.

ConorMichaelJoseph
January 14th 2009


1870 Comments


Blaze was so under-appreciated.

Nagrarok
January 14th 2009


8323 Comments


Still is. He is the worst of Maiden's 3 vocalists, that's for sure, but he isn't that bad at all. Dickinson could never do Sign of the Cross or The Clansman like Bayley does.

And it also sucks that Di'Anno was fired. He is awesome on their first two. Yeah, that's when you get when you're unreliable.

ConorMichaelJoseph
January 14th 2009


1870 Comments


I like all three of Maiden's main vocalists, but Blaze was the worst I suppose. But the music on the albums during his tenure with them wasn't quite up to scratch either, never mind his singing, which I still think is great.

Bfhurricane
January 14th 2009


6197 Comments


I never thought Blaze's work with Maiden was anything special. Well written review, but I'm not sure if I can believe Blaze's redemption is all that swell with this, I've kind of forgotten about him.

SylentEcho
May 3rd 2009


1576 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome CD! Fast, heavy and totally brings the metal! On a side note, does anyone else here think that Blaze sounds a lot like Paul Heyman? :P

quaazi
October 4th 2009


200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damndy damn damn, this one is a real gem. Blaze should have always been solo.



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