Since I am no fan of live albums as such and no fan of Iron Maiden in the Blaze Bayley era I was a little curious about this two disc live monster from said artist. On the plus side I was familiar with some of Mr. Bayley’s solo work and knew it to be quite good. Bayley’s last studio offering “The Man Who Would Not Die” from 2008 is in fact a really solid one, but a two disc live album? Had he material of a good enough quality to keep the listener happy for such a long time? Let us have a look!
Blaze Bayley’s force outside Iron Maiden is actually what made him a bad substitute for Bruce Dickinson, his voice. Never suited to Iron Maiden he puts it to very good use with his own material and ads an extra dimension to a lot of good tracks that are filled with a lot of power. Blaze also has a strong stage presence and a very good contact with the audience on this album even though some of his banter not too inspired. The singing alone does not a good album make and with him Blaze has some first class musicians. On top of it all this album is also graced by a very good sound and production.
The album starts out with three tracks from Blaze’s latest album and as I have stated before, that is a very solid one and so are the live versions of the tracks. During the duration of the two discs all of his four previous studio albums are represented, so if you are after a greatest hits album from Blaze Bayley, look no further.
Then what is in it for the fans of Bayley era Iron Maiden or for those who wishes to have a complete collection of everything related to this fine band? Well, they are not cheated either. Four Maiden tracks, three from “The X-Factor” and one from “Virtual XI”. On a personal level I was never a fan of the combo Maiden and Blaze and since his own material is so strong I would have preferred the album to have been made up entirely with his own material. But for those of you who are fans of that period in Iron Maiden’s history this is the chance to get some live tracks that is very rarely played by the Iron Maiden in these days.
To sum it up, if you liked the voice of Blaze Bayley in Iron Maiden or one his solo offerings there is nothing that should keep you from buying this album.