Blaze Bayley - Endure And Survive (Infinite Entanglement Part II)

Blaze Bayley - Endure And Survive (Infinite Entanglement Part II)

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(CD, Blaze Bayley Recordings, 2017)

Blaze Bayley has been on an impressive album release streak under the two monikers / bands (BLAZE and BLAZE BAYLEY). On top of this, one has to consider the countless lineup changes that led to the decision to become a solo artist and use hired guns according to his needs (in studio and on tour). The only album that failed to fully capture my attention was “Infinite Entanglement” which spent the least amount of time in my player. Most probably it was the mix of that album (or even the production too) that made me move on without spinning it back-to-back, like I had with all of his releases. So, I was reluctant to start listening to “Endure And Survive” because I was thinking that being the second part of “Infinite Entanglement” it would have the same sound...

...and I am in the happy position to acknowledge how wrong I was and then state right off the bat that “Endure And Survive” is a brilliant album. Yeah, Blaze has done it again with the album’s title track stating this as loud as possible kicking with a BLAZE BAYLEY trademark guitar groove. You see, Blaze has managed to create this particular sound which, of course, shines over his excellent vocals. This may come as a cliché but it is absolutely true; Blaze’s voice has gotten better with time and is in its best condition hitting the highs and lows with impressive power (you have to watch him perform live, his passion is contagious) without losing anything from the melodic aspect of his singing. This song is mid-tempo with groovy rhythm guitars and perfect to chant along riffs (I am talking about the ooooohs that are so fun to join during live shows) that may easily wake some good ol’ MAIDEN memories. The faster “Escape Velocity” was the first song that got stuck with me in the same way “Watching The Night Sky” did from the amazing “Promise And Terror” LP. Sure, the vocals are still high on the mix, but so are the lead guitars, something that I think was the missing ingredient on the previous record. Just listen how balanced “Blood” sounds with the fast drum-driven rhythm section, the guitars with the modern twist and, on top of everything, Blaze’s passionate singing. The spoken part, somewhere in the middle of this one, serves the concept aspect of the album and at the same preps the way for the double-bass driven faster break that climaxes with Blaze’s wailing vocals. Still, it was “Eating Lies” that sends shivers down my spine even though it can be branded as a power ballad. Here the vocals are on the spotlight which combined with the lyrics boast with passion as it is showcased during the chorus lines where I am sure you’ll want to sing along with a clenched fist in the air: “They will try to take my life, I will make them eat their lies”. It is amazing when a couple of lyric lines speak straight to your heart and make you feel indestructible no matter what. After all, Blaze himself is a fine example of resilience and I strongly advise you to check his biography, if you have no idea what I am talking about. If I am not mistaken, there is some Thomas Zwijsen’s clean guitar magic behind the arpeggios which builds the perfect setting for Blaze’s performance. The icing on this cake/song is the absolutely fantastic guitar solo which is another reason to chant along.

“Dawn Of The Dead Son” is another immediate favorite starting off with some keyboard-generated choirs before setting a heavy foot on the gas pedal with another hard-hitting riff and some more nice double bass drum. The staccato rhythm guitars are one the trademarks in Blaze’s studio doings and work each and every time. Thomas Zwijsen steps in for the ballad “Remember” (I’d be shocked if he is not behind the guitars for this one) where the accordion melodies and the female guest co-singing paint this song with beautiful melodies. And yes, the violin solo is a huge plus.

Based only on the fact that I had so much to write about each song but had to leave out (otherwise this review would have become a book chapter), it speaks volumes of how much this album appealed to me. Blaze continues to amaze me with every album and I hope he will receive the recognition deserved, something that is a hard task considering all the unjustified hatred he received after accepting the challenge to fill those big shoes... Anyway, this is ancient history and the fresh news read that “Endure And Survive” is a fantastic album with has already secured a position in my end-of-the-year list.

9/10


Links:

www.BlazeBayley.Net
www.MySpace.Com/BlazeBayley
www.FaceBook.Com/OfficialBlazeBayley
www.Twitter.Com/BlazeBayley


Tracklist:

01. Endure And Survive
02. Escape Velocity
03. Blood
04. Eating Lies
05. Destroyer
06. Dawn Of The Dead Son
07. Remember
08. Fight Back
09. The World Is Turning The Wrong Way
10. Together We Can Move The Sun


Lineup:

Blaze Bayley - Vocals

Guests:
Corvin Bahn - Accordion
Anne Bakker - Violin, Vocals (backing)
Thomas Zwijsen - Acoustic Guitar
Liz Owen - Backing Vocals
Melissa Adams - Backing Vocals
Joanne Kay Robinson - Backing Vocals
Luke Appleton - Backing Vocals
Michelle Sciarrotta - Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Narration
Rob Toogood - Backing Vocals, Narration
Aine Brewer - Narration
Karl Schramm - Bass
Martin McNee - Drums
Chris Appleton - Guitar