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BLAZE BAYLEY Promise And Terror Blaze Bayley Recordings (2010)

Blaze Bayley

It's now over ten years since Blaze Bayley departed the ranks of Iron Maiden to make way for the return of Bruce Dickinson. Since then he has released five studio albums. The first three of these - Silicon Messiah, Tenth Dimension and Blood & Belief - were released under the name of Blaze between 2000 and 2004. Promise and Terror is the second album from the band known as Blaze Bayley, and is the follow up to 2008's well received The Man Who Would Not Die.

Promise And Terror marks a slight departure in direction from that previous album, with the band heading in a darker , more epic direction both musically and lyrically. Blaze has recently stated that as the album was being put together it became apparent that two distinct parts to the album naturally developed.

The first part of the album kicks off in fine fashion with Watching the Night Sky, a stomper which has a strong chorus and a slightly Maiden-esque flavour to it - something that is notable throughout the album. Both Madness and Sorrow and Faceless go back to the more straight forward faster, harder sound of the band's previous album.1633 illustrates the epic, historical nature to a lot of the albums lyrical themes, with some chugging rhythm guitar work reminiscent of Metallica - another notable element to the album.

City Of Bones is the highlight of the first part of the album - a six and a half minute dramatic mini-epic complete with some very fine twin guitar work and military drum interludes. Bayley excels himself in the vocal department on this track.

The second part of the album consists of four tracks segueing into one another and it is here that things really take a turn to the darker side. Surrounded By Sadness, another album highlight, starts off with some very tasteful acoustic guitar work accompanied by a strong vocal melody, before the rest of the band kick in to build the track to a powerful finale. The centrepiece of the second part of the album is Letting Go Of The World, another six and a half minute epic, full of dramatic twists and turns and tempo changes - another outstanding track that brings to mind Maiden's Hollowed Be Thy Name. The appropriately titled Comfortable In Darkness closes the album in suitably sinister fashion.

With Promise and Terror, the band have set out to push their own musical boundaries further than they have previously done, and this they have achieved. The album is full of grandiose musical and lyrical themes, and it has quite an epic feel to it.

The influence of Iron Maiden looms large on the album, but it would be unfair to claim that they are attempting to copy Bayley's former band. It remains just that - an influence. It is quite possible that Maiden's last album, A Matter Of Life and Death, itself an album of epic proportions, may just have spurred Bayley on to push the envelope just that little bit further.

Promise and Terror is a strong, accomplished heavy metal album that will certainly appeal to all fans of metal heavyweights such as Maiden, Priest and Metallica. The performances from each individual in the band are very strong and Bayley himself shows that, vocally and lyrically, he is still at the top of his game.


Review by Jim Rowland


GRTR! Recommended


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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