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Blaze Bayley - The King Of Metal

Blaze Bayley
The King Of Metal
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 09 April 2012, 5:10 PM

Though I am one those of the strong devoted Bruce Dickinson fans, I think that Blaze Bayley gave IRON MAIDEN something that they didn’t have before, and probably Steve Harris won’t admit it, and that is the darkness elements. With what I perceived as a success by the name of “X Factor”, IRON MAIDEN discovered a new dimension that though he didn’t have much to do with its music, his voice pattern was the leading factor leading it. Over the years I have been hearing more than a few voices saying things regarding the fate of Blaze Bayley after his departure from IRON MAIDEN in 1999 and how it wasn’t that shiny. After IRON MAIDEN, Bayley already set the first line-up of his band BLAZE and along the on changing members coming and going he released three albums while only the debut really caught fire with a clear message of pure Heavy Metal rage. Unfortunately, the others weren’t that flourishing. After changing the name of the band to BLAZE BAYLEY and with a new line-up in check, three albums were released; the third is the new one on Bayley’s list by the name of “The King Of Metal”.

I don’t know what exactly Bayley was thinking when he named the album, and I hope he wasn’t referring to himself while he thought about. However, coming to think of Bayley doesn’t seem to be the sort of guy to head out and present people that he is the king of Heavy Metal like the one calling himself The Metal God (Yeah it is you Rob Halford). Maybe it is a sort of an angry and rough intro to the second track, “Dimebag”, which serves as the memorial praise for the late PANTERA guitarist Dimebag Darrel that was murdered in 2004 while in a concert with his band DAMAGEPLAN, who knows really? Other than the title issue, I generally wasn’t so stirred by the efforts made on this release. As a fan of Bayley’s debut album with the BLAZE line-up, “Silicon Messiah”, and the awesome power it holds within its striking heaviness, “The King Of Heavy Metal” didn’t strike me as an album that will assert the stature of Bayley as a solo vocalist. Though it seemed to me that Bayley tried to show a variety of faces like the angry Heavy Metal vocalist to the attempted softy imagery with a piano ballad, sometimes it was hard for me to interrelate with his typical vocal style, something there is not clicking as it used to. I don’t know if it is the age thing showing its signs, but I can’t really pinpoint why.

For one thing that I was pleased about the album was its music. Bayley has been clinging to a tough like style of Heavy Metal that can’t be identified as British or American. There is a melodic sense involved in the musical effort with a lot of chunky riffing, highly noticeable bass line that reminded me a bit of Steve Harris’s lead line in MAIDEN, harmonies and a number groove parts that showed some pretty good outcomes. “Fighter”, a well constructed track that made me think about both a boxer flailing in the ring before its opponent and an injured solider that is on the verge of giving up to his inner wounds. The song was created to be an epic and with the shifting of the music, between strong riffing and harmonies, assembled quite a journey. Some of its rhythms and melodies took me back to the “X Factor” album.  “Difficult” smacking with a thrashy like attitude, cracked with what would seem to be a different production. Those made me wonder if it should have been a part of the album in the first place. This is one of the album’s heaviest and dark tracks of them all where Bayley performs pretty well. What saddened me was that the production on it wasn’t too hot.

This is clearly not the best upshot of what Blaze Bayley has been working on throughout his solo career. I don’t know why there has been nothing that could top “Silicon Messiah”, and I can’t really answer that. “The King Of Metal” is a solid venture slightly beyond average and no more even with its good intentions.  

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.The King of Metal
2.Dimebag
3.The Black Country
4.The Rainbow Fades to Black
5.Fate
6.One More Step
7.Fighter
8.Judge Me
9.Difficult
10.Beginning
Lineup:
Blaze Bayley– Vocals
Lehmann– Bass
Claudio Tirinicanti– Drums
Andy Neri– Guitars
Thomas Zwijsen- Guitars
Record Label: Blaze Bayley Recordings
     


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