Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Blaze Bayley - Infinite Entanglement (2016)

The former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley is going sci-fi with his new installment "Infinite Entanglement", which is actually not the first time he has done just that in his solo career. In fact, Blaze himself has stated that this album indirectly follows on his earlier works, such as "Silicon Messiah" and "Tenth Dimension". Still, "Infinite Entanglement" is a concept album on its own, about a man in the future who is a part of a grand experiment, in which he questions his own humanity. Is he human, or is he not? Well, if the protagonist is the same dude that fronts the cover art, then I would say he looks like Blaze, only sleeker.

But I digress (as usual), so lets focus on the artist himself. I have always liked Blaze, he seems cool and he has a unique and recognizable voice, but the song writing is not exactly his sharpest weapon. He can absolutely create some decent tunes, but it rarely holds up throughout a whole album. His last solo album, "The King of Metal", is a good example of that, it has a couple of good songs in the title track and "Dimebag", but the album in its whole is quite mediocre.

So I am glad that this album holds up pretty well. I would not say that "Infinite Entanglement" blows me away, but it is one of the more consistent Blaze records I have heard, with each song staying within the frames of the concept. It did surprise me though that this album has a lot of resemblance with Blaze's Iron Maiden material, especially "Virtual XI". The melodies, the guitar work, the choruses, yes, almost everything makes this album the follow up to "Virtual XI" that never saw the light of day. I really do not know if it is a good or a bad thing that Blaze still clings on to his glory days, but it sounds good, so I really do not mind too much.

Although I find the story and the lyrics to be fairly bland, it is nicely fitted into the album, without taking over in any way. It is the music that stands in the spot light, as it should be, and it does happen that it shines here and there. "Human" has some nice heaviness, "A Thousand Years" is a great sing along track, "Calling You Home" has a sweet solo, and "What Will Come" is a nice ballad. And then we have "Dark Energy 256", or as I like to call it, "Futureal 2.0". Do not think anything more needs to be said about that track.

While "Infinite Entanglement" does contain some neat tracks, the overall impression that I get from the album is... it could have been better. I definitely like this album, it is a neat experience through time and space, but it could have been a lot more dynamic and exciting. Some more power, a little more contrast, and a better concept would have made this record one of the best solo records in Blaze's career. Now it just sits there, flying through hyperspace, thinking of what it could have been. A nice effort Blaze, but I know you can do better.

Songs worthy of recognition: A Thousand Years, Human, Calling You Home

Rating: 6,5/10 Solar Winds

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