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Album Reviews : Blaze Bayley – Promise and Terror

By on October 20, 2010

There are few more polarizing characters in metal than poor old Blaze Bayley. Given the impossible task of filling the almighty wailing shoes of Bruce Dickinson with neither the stature nor vocal tools in his arsenal to do so was always a disaster waiting to happen. Only Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens would truly be able to appreciate the sheer weight of pressure and expectation that comes with replacing a metal legend at such a high profile and feverishly revered band. And so it was after two badly received albums and the inevitable return of the Bruce, Blaze was cut off and left to salvage a carrier that was probably more hindered than helped by his time in Maiden.

Since then Blaze’s solo output has been surprisingly strong, solid and dogged with his first three releases under the moniker Blaze displaying a heavier, edgier sound than anything he did with the Irons. More recently he has returned under his own name and 2008’s The Man Who Would Not Die restored him to the spotlight and showcased again his tenacious personality and ability to meld modern, power and traditional metal values into a accessible entertaining cohesive whole.

Ironically since Blaze has morphed into Blaze Bayley there has been more of a group mentality than on previous releases, and Promise and Terror pretty much picks up where their previous album left off with the whole band returning for this sophomore release. The first half of the album continues on in the TMWWND vein with the dizzying fret work of “Watching the Night Sky” (Blackmailer-esque) coupled with a simplistic yet powerful title sung chorus launching proceedings. Other standouts include “1633” with a nice bass intro and build up, “God of Speed” a biker song Quothorn and Manowar would be proud of and the military march of “City of Bones”. Full credit must go to axe twins Bermudez and Walsh who provide an array of majestic leads and crunching rhythms throughout.

The final four songs of the album mostly deal with the recent loss of Bayley’s wife who passed away prior to the album being written. Each song covers one of the four steps of dealing with personal tragedy: loss, pain, grief, and acceptance. “Of these Surrounded by Sadness” and “The Trace Of Things That Have No Words” are the strongest yet they are all moving in their own way.

Overall if you’re an established fan and thought The Man Who Would Not Die was a career highlight then you’ll be more than pleased with this stirring effort. For those who haven’t got around to checking out Blaze post Maiden or got a little lost or indifferent around Blood and Belief then get on board cause the man has definitely still got it and aimed with this current crop of bandmates as support he’s only gonna get better next time round. A must for fans of straight up from the heart Heavy Metal. 8/10

Artist: Blaze Bayley
Album: Promise and Terror
Year: 2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Blaze Bayley Records
Origin: UK
http://www.myspace.com/blazebayley

Tracklisting

  1. Watching The Night Sky
  2. Madness And Sorrow
  3. 1633
  4. God Of Speed
  5. City Of Bones << Reviewers Choice
  6. Faceless
  7. Time To Dare
  8. Surrounded By Sadness
  9. The Trace Of Things That Have No Words
  10. Letting Go Of The World
  11. Comfortable In Darkness

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.