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Bayley, Blaze: The Redemption Of William Black (Infinite Entanglement Part III)

The man with the Marmite voice returns, Blaze Bayley serving up his third and final helping of Infinite Entanglement. Part III is titled The Redemption Of William Black and if you like fantasy tales with a sci-fi element thrown in, then this story of immortality, space travel and the threat of the end of the human race, will be right up your street. And if you've encountered Blaze before, then that it all comes encased in fantastic rip roaring British metal that harks back to his Iron Maiden past without ever seeking to relive former glories, will be no surprise.

Since his departure from Maiden, things have been a hell of a rollercoaster ride for Blaze Bayley, some genuine genre classics, such as Silicon Messiah and The Man Who Would Not Die often undone by crumbling band line-ups, unwise touring choices and the inability to shake of the 'he used to be in Maiden, didn't he?' tag (honestly, read the At The End Of the Day book by ex-drummer Larry Paterson and shake your head). However, teaming up with the brothers Appleton really seems to have been a turning point for Blaze and that it's coincided with possibly the most stable and productive period of his career outside Wolfsbane and Maiden speaks volumes. The trio are involved again here, Chris (of Absolva) playing guitars and co-writing the album with Blaze, Luke (of Iced Earth and Absolva) adding some guest vocals, while the silent partner Mark, is involved behind the scenes. With the Absolva rhythm section of drummer Martin McNee and bassist Karl Schramm also in evidence, the singer takes full advantage of having a tight, accomplished band round him that operate together on a permanent basis.

There are also some notable guest appearances, Jericho singer Fozzy adding narration in places, while Liz Owen duets beautifully with Blaze on "18 Days". Jo Robinson and Mel Adams add more backing vocals, with voice actor contributions coming from Aine Brewer, Rob Toogood, Michelle Sciarrotta and Harry Webster Appleton II(!). However, even with all that preamble, this album's real strength lies in its unabashed celebration of British metal and the proud anthems it has long been built on. The aforementioned "18 Days" marches with a real regal authority, "The Dark Side Of Black" pummels along with pace, power, precision and a guitar solo that simply shreds. "Redeemer" sits somewhere in between those two, double kick drums rattling with intent, a niggling guitar melody burrowing deep in the mind, Blaze barking with authority, just as he does on the slightly more intricate, but no less stomping "Are You Here". In truth he's in fine form and if you fall on the 'love it' side of his voice, then you'll find one of his best vocal performances from any point in his career on this album. If however you fall into the 'hate it' camp, then (well done for getting this far!) there's going to be nothing here to change your mind.

Classy, assured British metal really can still be a thing of majestic beauty, but only if it's handled with the love and respect it deserves. That is exactly what you'll find here, Blaze Bayley, one of the genres' most loyal proponents delivering yet another excellent album brimming with killer riffs, authentic atmospheres and crafted, controlled aggression. He deserves your support and his albums deserve a wider audience.

Track Listing
1. Redeemer
2. Are You Here
3. Immortal One
4. The First True Sign
5. Human Eyes
6. Prayers Of Light
7. 18 Days
8. Already Won
9. Life Goes On
10. The Dark Side Of Black
11. Eagle Spirit

Added: March 10th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Blaze Bayley online
Hits: 1326
Language: english

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