Review Summary: Expectations were way too high for this album. Good album nonetheless!
The ex-Iron Maiden singer has made quite a few records since he left Iron Maiden. Whether it is under the name Blaze or Blaze Bayley, he has always made a mix of Iron Maiden metal and his own. The King Of Metal is Bayley's first LP since he parted ways with the band that gave him the most success since he started his solo career. The Man Who Would Not Die (2008) and Promise And Terror (2010) had set the bar really high, maybe too much for this LP.
This album starts off really fast, with King Of Metal, a great intro into Bayley's metal world. His voice is still awesome and he hasn't changed the way he sings since his Wolfsbane's years. A lot of great riffs can be found here and there but nothing as fancy as the previous albums. As said in the intro the two guitarists from the previous band had really set the bar high, which makes it feel like there is something missing in this album. Solos aren't great, just the basic power metal “following the melody of the chorus” solos. Thank god Blaze is here to deliver awesome vocal come backs that usually end up on a great aggressive metal riff. The drum and the Bass are there, but they do not stand out like they did on the other LP.
Apart from the technicality of his new band, this album is very personal. Blaze talks about his personal problems, dealing with the metal music business and even a tribute to Dimebag. Songs like King of Metal, Judge Me are shout outs to those who continuously criticize him since he left Iron Maiden. The general atmosphere of this album is very dark, makes you feel like you've been pushed down and that you are ready to explode with anger, which is probably how Blaze felt after losing his wife and still being criticized by the metal industry. Blaze actually gives you hope on some of the songs like Difficult and One More Step:
“Just give me this song to say
I've found reason a way to want to live again
As arrogant as it sounds you know me and I have to say
If life changed for me then life might change for you
When you don't feel any closer to where you want to be
I know that it is difficult if you believe
this life is your life for you to live and make your own
It's time to let yourself believe this life is yours “ Difficult
“I tried to avoid falling down
A broken hearted man I fell down any way
That is when I learned it's not the falling down that counts
what counts is getting up again.
When you get up it might seem like a thousand steps to take
Just focus on this single step forget about the rest of them
all that you do is
Just take one more step
I'm screaming in my head
Just take one more step” One More Step
On the whole, this is a good album. Not as good as the two previous ones but not bad at all. This is from one of the most underrated metal guy/band who plays in bars when he could be playing huge festivals and stadiums. Songs to check out are : King of metal, Judge Me, Difficult.
Blaze Bayley were for this album:
Lehmann (Matteo Grazzini)–bass