Blaze Bayley - 'Endure And Survive'

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Blaze Bayley - 'Endure And Survive'

There's really no excuse for not checking this one out.

Blaze Bayley is back and he's brought with him 'Part Two' of the 'Infinite Entanglement' trilogy of Sci-Fi Metal albums. The story goes something like this – William Black, future, robots, violence, Kepler planets and betrayal – all that sort of thing. I'm not going to go over it all with you, but trust me when I say it's very well done and up there with some of the better Rock Operas; for me, it's lyrically stronger than his former band's 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' effort.

As is to be expected, 'Endure & Survive' has lots in common with its predecessor. Bayley once more works with members of the British Metal band Absolva, and again it seems he's really found a bunch of lads who fit around him perfectly. Guitarist Chris Appleton (who also co-produces and co-writes) is a real find, weaving solos and intricate fills around the moods and lyrics, giving a real boost to every song. Bayley himself sounds great, his unique voice really tearing meaning and emotion from the story, notably on the album closer 'Together We Can Move The Sun', as the anguished Black cries, "All those lies were true, when I whispered them to you". It closes with a short dramatic interlude as we are informed that "William Black must die". So that's 'Part Three' ordered then!

As Iron Maiden seem to have rediscovered their mojo, so Blaze Bayley has finally emerged as the Metal God we all knew he was destined to be. I've enjoyed most of his work, but this current project stands above anything else in its maturity and depth. Of course, catchy songs always help and 'Endure And Survive' has them in spades. It's all pretty heavy but tempered with some fine melodies all wrapped in a real Classic Rock feel. Lyrically it's dark, but those willing to delve deeper will find a compelling story that's well told.

Those who have the first in the trilogy are going to flip over this as it's both a solid continuation and even an improvement as the band seem more comfortable together. Smart, aggressive, melodic and one of those that gets better with each play. There's really no excuse for not checking this one out. A Blaze of glory? Most definitely.

Alan Holloway

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