There could have been a lot of reasons for Blaze Bayley to pack it in and call it a career. Although no fault of his own, his stint with metal legends Iron Maiden didn’t exactly work out as he would have liked. His post-Maiden outfit Blaze released three very good metal albums that went relatively unnoticed or ignored. The band Blaze had several issues in its later years and eventually broke up; and his deal with SPV went south leaving him without a record deal. Luckily for us, Bayley had the perseverance and dedication to complete and release ‘The Man Who Would Not Die,’ easily his best work to date.
The formula on this disc isn’t much different than what Blaze has used in the past - traditional metal with a distinct British flavor, combined with clever lyrics and Bayley’s strong, commanding vocals. That being said, this is far from a simple reworking of previous material. The overall sound is meatier and the compositions a bit stronger. There is also more of a variety of songs for the listener to explore. For the Maiden fans that have supported him there is ‘Samurai,’ which opens with a Steve Harris-like bass line supplied by Dave Bermudez and has a Powerslave feel to some of Nick Bermudez and Jay Walsh’s guitarwork. ‘While You Were Gone’ has to be one of the heaviest sappy love songs of all time, while “A Crack In The System’ is a great anti-establishment anthem. ‘Robot’ might be his heaviest and fastest tune to date and the melancholy ‘At The End Of The Day’ is a nice change of pace. Songs like ‘Blackmailer’ and ‘Smile Back At Death’ really showcase Blaze’s vocal ability and lung power; and the title track might be the coolest of them all.
Every once in a great while all music lovers find an album that they just connect with. For me, the latest such release is ‘The Man Who Would Not Die.’ I could go on and on raving about this CD. But the bottom line is that Blaze Bayley’s latest is clearly one of the best classic metal releases of the year, if not of the decade. If you’re fan enough to be reading this review, you need to check out this disc. It is awesome.
Every once in a great while all music lovers find an album that they just connect with. For me, the latest such release is ‘The Man Who Would Not Die.’ The bottom line is that Blaze Bayley’s latest is clearly one of the best classic metal releases of the year, if not of the decade.