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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Bayley, Blaze - 2012 The King Of Metal
Bayley, Blaze - 2012 The King Of Metal

ARTIST: Bayley, Blaze
ALBUM: The King Of Metal
LABEL: Blaze Bayley Records
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Blaze Bayley - vocals * Thomas Zwijsen - guitar * Andy Neri - guitar * Lehmann - bass * Claudio Trincanti - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The King Of Metal * 02 Dimebag * 03 The Black Country * 04 The Rainbow Fades To Black * 05 Fate * 06 One More Step * 07 Fighter * 08 Judge Me * 09 Difficult * 10 Beginning



When I read about this album last week or so I assumed it was a new release from dogged veteran Bayley. Therefore I was mildly surprised to learn it's been on the shelves since March of 2012, marking another obscure entry in the career of the enduring vocalist. Considering the last Wolfsbane album came out two months prior to this, it shows Bayley's prolific pattern of pumping out new product. It's been a rocky road for Bayley since leaving Iron Maiden back in 1999, with several albums under the 'Blaze' moniker, before going solo and enduring the death of his wife in 2008. He's still battling however and this album with its bold title isn't exactly what it appears. He has come under heavy criticism for sacking the members of the Blaze Bayley Band and this seems to have lost him a number of supporters. Here he seems to be attempting to reconcile his pained existence as a result.

The Songs
I can honestly say I haven't heard a single album of Bayley's post Iron Maiden, so comparing this to the early Blaze albums or later Blaze Bayley Band efforts is pointless. With Blaze you can always expect working man's type metal and this is no exception. At less than three minutes the title track is nothing less than thrash, recalling Wolfsbane at their heaviest and showing Maiden how it's done. The riffs shred like nobody's business and Blaze is in fine voice, quite the statement indeed. Blaze pays tribute to Dimebag Darrell on 'Dimebag', recounting the tragic shooting of the guitarist, although why he chose to do this almost a decade later is open to question. Stylistically this is similar to songs off Maiden's 'The X Factor' with chugging riffs and an obligatory fast section. There's a crude aura to 'The Rainbow Fades To Black' and its Dio inclinations, surging along nicely. 'Fate' moves at speed also, with Blaze delivering optimistic lyrics about seizing control of your life, which is preferable to hearing about war, religion or madness I suppose. There's nothing metal about ballad 'One More Step' which is simply accompanied by piano and sees Blaze again trying to overcome his demons and beating the odds through his passionate delivery. Ramming this point down is 'Fighter' and more of the same about 'never giving in'. Maybe this is a concept album and I've misinterpreted the album title because there aren't many 'metal' themes happening here. More self-inflicted misery ensues with 'Judge Me' and Blaze feeling personal angst with his personal woes, which overshadows the routine music, again based on previous Maiden exploits. The dodgy production of 'Difficult' is demo like in sound, especially the overpowering drum sound. Honestly it sounds like a different band and album from the rest of the material and not in a good way. There's time for another ode to Blaze's endless self-pity, this time the acoustic 'Beginning' which is simply 'One More Step' except with guitar and not piano.

In Summary
This does contain some inspired metal outings, but I can't look past the tortured lyrics and themes Bayley inflicts on the listener on almost every song. This makes Pete Townshend circa 1975 seem happy with life, which is hard to do if you've ever heard 'The Who By Numbers'. Obviously Blaze is trying to reason with the woes life has given him as of late and it's laid bare in no uncertain circumstances. It's an average album overall and clearly heavy metal still accounts for Blaze's purpose in life. It sounds nothing like the Blaze on the Wolfsbane albums though, a far better vehicle for Bayley in my opinion.

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#1 | gdazegod on July 08 2013 13:24:03
Cool cover. Reminds me of the Silver Surfer.. lol!
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