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Bayley, Blaze: War Within Me

Three years since the launch of the third installment The Redemption of William Black from the Infinite Entanglement Trilogy was released, Blaze Bayley returns with an impressively consistent contemporary effort with a deeper meaning, consisting of fragmentations of the robust effort War Within Me; gracefully escorting nine ambitiously new tracks to the battling front line without any sign of holding back and to raise absolute hell in the eyes of the Metal world with the refined snappy Blaze signature sound.

Moreover, I have consistently followed Blaze's career over the past ten or so years and I proudly have to note that this is one of the strongest offerings to be delivered by the ex-Iron Maiden and Wolfsbane front man throughout the entire past two decades. The song writing is just simply magnificent throughout the bulk of this record and it really blazes right through with a line of blinding flames, churning up a reckoning fiery inferno that is accompanied by that “raise your fist in the air” agenda - that essentially all Heavy Metal fanatics love to hear and admire.

Dwelling in the packaging of this ferocious release, we have the stupendously catchy opener and demanding single 'War Within Me' that brilliantly hosts a hot melting pot of some elegantly gifted lead guitar parts from the tremendous skill of Blaze axeman Chris Appleton (Absolva); that is substantially paired alongside an awesomely profound and weighted bundle of a heavily immersive branch of Heavy Metal musicality and a chemistry of epic musicianship that is gloriously soars with a daring height.

Other standout episodes included inside this prodigious mixture, solidly drive forth in the alluring formations of the superiorly striking '18 Flights' and the grand splendour of the straight to the point empowered hell raiser '303, that easily push all the surrounding barricades down with the adjoining constructions of the coolly expressive serotonin booster 'Pull Yourself Up' and the splendidly reminiscently dark halloween stormer 'Witches Night'; cleverly adding to the barrels of fun on this Metal party boat with a commanding dominance and that unstoppable Blaze Bayley element of force.

Additionally, an honourable mention must significantly be awarded to the attracting rate of effectiveness spread during the initiation of the closing ballad and that is laid down sublimely at the peaking pinnacle of this brand new opus from the arms of this fanatical four, and foremost it must be purposely said that 'Every Storm Ends' is an emotively and a perfectly stunning piece of work that is a fantastically fine way to go out with a complete bang on the War Within Me; sophisticatedly marking this eighth studio effort from the Tamworth born vocaliser - a tremendously flawless one at that and it notably plunges this forward with a passionate flair to be arguably one of his best full-length works fabricated in the duration of his musical journey to this very date in time.

Track List:
1. War Within Me
2. 303
3. Warrior
4. Pull Yourself Up
5. Witches Night
6. 18 Flights
7. The Dream of Alan Turing
8. The Power of Nikola Tesla
9. The Unstoppable Stephen Hawking
10. Every Storm Ends

Added: April 16th 2021
Reviewer: James Mannion
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 781
Language: english

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Bayley, Blaze: War Within Me
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-04-16 20:57:40
My Score:

Although most people still talk about his time with metal titans Iron Maiden, I’d suggest that one of Blaze Bayley’s most important coming togethers has actually been with the members of the band Absolva. For it is they - Christopher Appleton (guitar, backing vocals), Martin McNee (drums), Karl Schramm (bass) - that have stood by Blaze’s side as he has released a slew of excellent recent albums. War Within Me finds that trio once more powering the traditional, but not derivative, metal that Blaze so specialises in to deliver what must surely be one of his best outings in what has been a remarkably consistent catalogue of work.

I mean, there are few surprises here as riffs roar, drums clatter and bass booms and yet, even with the decidedly Blaze era-Maiden meets Iced Earth attack, what War Within Me offers up feels fresh, honest and from the heart. As the title alludes, Blaze is looking inwards here, the recent reliance on science fiction concepts for his lyrics put aside to examine the internal fights we all have to win, although - and while not comparing himself to any of them - Blaze also examines the spirit and determination shown by inspirational figures such as Alan Turing, Nikola Tesla and Stephen Hawking, who all faced huge odds as they shaped the world we now live in.

From the uptempo slap of the album’s opening title track to the gallop of “303”, which takes us into WWII air battles, or from the proud riffage of “Warrior” (which truly stays in the mind) to the thundering, yet considered “The Power Of Nikola Tesla”, it’s nigh on impossible not to get caught up in what is a seriously scintillating metal assault. Yes, “The Unstoppable Stephen Hawking” and its slow building intro does lean maybe too close to Maiden territory for its own good, while “Flights” - seemingly a tale of touring and travel - actually reminds in a vague kind of way of Skid Row, albeit with a harder edge, but even these slight bumps in the road still prove hugely engaging and enjoyable. Interestingly, Blaze himself, while still bombastic and larger than life in vocal delivery, now seems to be employing a slightly more restrained style, which I have to say suits him to a tee - the lack of vocal histrionics actually resulting in a much more full force attack.

Being honest, Blaze Bayley has long had his detractors and doubtless he always will. However, for those like myself who have followed the singer from Wolfsbane through Maiden and then into Blaze and now simply as Blaze Bayley, he’s made the most of the good times and toughed it out through the harder days. War Within Me is the results of those travails and triumphs. It’s also a bloody fine heavy metal album and ultimately, that’s what matters.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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