What's everyone's opinion on Blaze Bayley's solo work?

I know the forum is more for Bruce and Adrian’s solo stuff but I figured there might be some good opinions here. I’ve known about Bayley’s solo work for a while now, and listened to Silicon Messiah for the first time a few months ago. It was quite good, but not on the same level as what I felt listening to Accident of Birth the first time. Today tho I had some downtime and decided to try out his album trio Infinite Entanglement and I was blown away. The Blaze on there is a world apart from his work on Iron Maiden, and while I like him there I must say it is a significant improvement imo. I know he is somewhat controversial in Maiden circles so I thought it would be neat to hear your opinions, esp how he stacks up to Bruce.

I really like Blaze’s two records with Maiden, I find them underrated and he fits the sound of the band at the time. I really liked his solo career when I listened to it a few years ago, but I need to properly come back to those albums again to see how they stack up today. I haven’t even listened to War Within Me yet.

I did spin Silicon Messiah earlier this year, and that’s still a banger album. I agree that it’s not up to the level of Bruce’s best — a couple tracks are a bit filler-y, like “Reach for the Horizon” and “The Launch” — but the rest are awesome, especially “Identity” (often overlooked) and “Stare at the Sun”, basically Blaze’s “Hallowed”. I would take this album over Tattooed Millionaire and Balls to Picasso no doubt, and it’s probably better than anything Adrian did outside of Maiden.

(I moved this topic into the Other Music category because that seemed like the best place for it.)

I’m not personally a fan of Blaze’s two albums with Iron Maiden — he struggled to stay on key, and the songwriting wasn’t very good in general. I did really like “Blood On The World’s Hands”, though, and “Futureal”, “Sign Of The Cross”, and even “2 A.M.” were pretty good, but that was about it for me.

As far as his solo work goes, it’s a very mixed bag. I’m not really a fan of Silicon Messiah, unlike most people, though I do think Tenth Dimension and Blood & Belief are pretty good. I love the music on The Man Who Would Not Die and Promise And Terror, but Blaze’s performances on those two albums are really uneven, with lots of whiffed notes and timbre problems. The King Of Metal is a steaming pile of shit, full stop. The Infinite Entanglement trilogy was much better, since it sounded like Blaze finally got some vocal coaching and his backing band sounds like a B-league Gamma Ray, which is a good thing in my book. I haven’t really listened to War Within Me yet.

In short, I think there’s some good stuff to be found on his solo records, but not a lot of great stuff, and there are lots of clunkers in there too.

To be a devil’s advocate for a moment, I feel like Related Bands is a better category, since Blaze is related to Bruce and Adrian through Iron Maiden. Could also springboard some British Lion discussion in there, too.

I see what you’re saying, but Bruce and Adrian never overlapped with Blaze in Maiden, and Blaze doesn’t have any connection at all to their solo work (and neither does British Lion).

I was viewing Related Bands as only having one degree of separation from Bruce & Adrian’s solo work, if that makes sense. A place where people could talk about and discover other projects by people involved in their solo efforts, like Roy Z.'s Tribe Of Gypsies, Andy Makin’s Nine Miles Down, Sack Trick, Skin, etc. Janick’s other projects would be fair game there too. And it seemed like the right place to put Bruce & Adrian’s side project, Iron Maiden. :grinning:

Let’s see how it shakes out over time, and if people feel like that’s not a useful distinction and would rather lump all the Maiden-related side projects in there too, we can make that decision down the road.


An interesting note about this – I’m pretty sure Blaze got the idea to do an album trilogy because he was asked to sing on a track for Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime project, which was doing a (you guessed it) three-album story concept at the time.

Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime albums were all recorded around the same time in late 2014 (including Blaze’s guest appearance), but were released yearly afterward:

  • The Key (2015)
  • Resurrection (2016)
  • The New Reality (2017)

The song Blaze appeared on (along with Tim “Ripper” Owens) was “Taking On The World”, from the second album Resurrection:

Blaze, Tate, and Owens even went on a tour together in 2016 called “Trinity” (which was especially sad because that was originally going to be the name of a project including Bruce, Rob Halford, and Tate that would have included songs like “A Tyranny Of Souls” and “The One You Love To Hate”, with vocal parts for all three of them; but instead it turned into a tour with the ex-singers of those three bands instead!)

Anyway, given Blaze’s participation in Tate’s project in late 2014, I’m pretty sure that’s what inspired him to do Infinite Entanglement as a trilogy, and then he toured the first album on the Trinity tour to bring it full circle.

By the way, those Operation: Mindcrime albums are actually pretty interesting. Kind of uneven, but generally good, and the story’s interesting too. The music is definitely not metal, though – it’s occasionally heavy prog-rock that gets more synthy as the albums progress.

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