“ENDURE AND SURVIVE”
Album Review By Iron Mathew
Blaze Bayley is a heavy metal singer and song writer from the UK, beginning his career as the lead singer for Wolfsbane (1984 to 1994 and 2010 to present), leaving that band to front Iron Maiden (1994 to 1999), then leaving that band too, he began his solo career. ‘Endure And Survive’ is his ninth solo effort, and is the second album in a trilogy of releases following a sci-fi concept, the first instalment was last years ‘Infinite Entanglement’.
The title song ‘Endure And Survive’ opens the album and sees Blaze Bayley singing better than ever. ‘Endure And Survive’ (the song) does bear a striking resemblance to his days in Iron Maiden in terms of rhythm and vocal delivery, and is the only song on the album that does so. ‘Escape Velocity’ picks up the tempo and energy levels and is a furious flurry of rampant rhythms. The catchy chorus break is infectious and as far as heavy metal goes, this is the classic sound of the traditional style of British heavy metal. With a scary, effects laden, spoken word intro, ‘Blood’ takes on a menacing vibe with heavy guitars and an aggressive, almost frightening feel as it abrasively rumbles on. The vocals are sinister, the guitar solos shriek and ‘Blood’ is a bustling and broody journey. Atmospherics and acoustics weigh heavy as ‘Eating Lies’ strides in and with a superb singing performance by Blaze, ‘Eating Lies’ borders on ballad territory, but there is too much of a melodic hard rock influence for it to cross that border.
The new album is diverse and has a wide range of influences, and sees the likes of ‘Destroyer’ as a dark and moody song that is threatening…and very heavy. There are many guest musicians on this album: Chris Appleton & Martin McNee (Absolva and Fury UK), Luke Appleton (Iced Earth, Absolva and Fury UK), Jo Robinson & Mel Adams (Aonia), to name just a few. The lyrical theme throughout the album is a journey of discovery, exploring the history of the main characters and the reasons for their current place in the story; a story involving pain, tragedy, violence and betrayal. One of the hardest hitting, sharpest edged songs on the album is the hard rocker ‘Dawn Of The Dead Son’. Brilliant guitar work, and as I mentioned earlier Blaze is singing so much better than he has ever done. Not afraid of hard graft, Blaze has a superb attitude towards touring and loves to play live. ‘Remember’ is a departure from his hard rocking roots and introduces the violin and accordion…instruments that don’t deserve a place on a heavy metal album, but somehow Blaze has managed to incorporate these with ease.
Heavy metal returns in blistering style with the rollicking and rampaging ‘Fight Back’. Hard hitting, ‘Fight Back’ packs a huge punch and is a rampant rage of savage riffs and galloping rhythms, with one of the best guitar solos on the album. Heavy hitting, ‘The World Is Turning The Wrong Way’ is a mid tempo foot stomp of sheer heaviness. Touches of the melodic keep it from turning into a doom metal style song, but again I have to mention the vocal performance, a top notch delivery from Blaze, proving just how great a vocalist he really is. The final song on the album is the eight minute plus epic ‘Together We Can Move The Sun’. Now, I did say the opening song was the only song that sounded like Iron Maiden, and I still believe that to be true, however the Iron Maiden trait for ending albums with an epically long song is one that Blaze has used here. ‘Together We Can Move The Sun’ is melodic hard rock with an infectious groove and a catchy foot stomping rhythm that will have the listeners attention from start to finish. The third instalment of the trilogy is set for a 2018 release and I for one cannot wait…
Overall, hard hitting heavy metal and hard rock, topped off with a sparkling vocal performance by one of the UK’s most enduring vocalists.
Endure And Survive
Dawn Of The Dead Son
The World Is Turning The Wrong Way
Together We Can Move The Sun
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