One of the best and at the same time most underrated Heavy Metal albums of the past 10 years.
I still cannot believe how many Metal fans know absolutely nothing about Blaze Bayley’s career before and after his years with Iron Maiden, and even worse than that, they don’t even know The Man Who Would Not Die exists! This is by far one of the most amazing albums of the past 10 or 15 years, with over 60 minutes of PURE FUCKIN’ METAL! There isn’t a single song of the album that is not meaningful or powerful, and Blaze is singing better than never here.
The first three tracks are so heavy and so intense that I can never decide which one is my favorite: the title track with its perfect lyrics “On and on, I’m cursed to live…”; the kick to the face of some people that messed with Blaze in Blackmailer; and the epic song Smile Back at Death, based on the movie Gladiator. It’s impossible not to get addicted to these songs, all full of great riffs and solos. I’m a true Maidenmaniac, but I dare to say these songs are much better than most of the material Maiden has produced in the past few years.
The rest of the album is a sequence of so many awesome songs that I could write about each one of them for hours: the ballad While You Were Gone is just beautiful and a great tribute to his deceased wife Debbie Hartland, Samurai has a very nice bass line, there’s a lot of melancholy in At the End of the Day, and every time I listen to Robot or Voices from the Past I instantly start banging my head. And what can I say about the dark and heavy Serpent Hearted Man? I wish I can see Blaze playing it live someday, as heavy and fast as possible.
Moreover, what makes this album even better are Blaze’s band members, especially bass player David Bermudez and drummer Larry Paterson, who literally smashes his drums in almost every song. The same band also recorded another masterpiece, Promise and Terror (which I plan to write about one day), but unfortunately due to some internal issues they are not together with Blaze anymore.
And finally, I’m a big fan of everything Blaze has done so far: his Hard Rock-ish years with Wolsfbane, his controversial albums with Iron Maiden, and his brilliant solo career. This guy is a true metalhead that has never given up doing the music he loves even in the worst moments of his life. Very few artists can produce something as relevant as Silicon Messiah, Promise and Terror and especially The Man Who Would Not Die nowadays, so don’t waste your time with MTV and go listen carefully to this great masterpiece from Mr. Blaze Bayley now!
Best moments of the album: Everything, from the very first second of The Man Who Would Not Die until the end of Serpent Hearted Man, including its amazing front cover and all the deep and dark lyrics of each song. I guess I listen to this album almost every week since it was launched back in 2008.
Worst moments of the album: There’s absolutely nothing bad at all here, not even regular. It’s a perfect Heavy Metal album.
Released in 2008 Blaze Bayley Records
1. The Man Who Would Not Die 4:35
2. Blackmailer 4:43
3. Smile Back at Death 7:38
4. While You Were Gone 5:27
5. Samurai 5:39
6. Crack in the System 5:53
7. Robot 3:10
8. At the End of the Day 3:39
9. Waiting for My Life to Begin 5:10
10. Voices from the Past 5:55
11. The Truth Is One 4:22
12. Serpent Hearted Man 6:15
Blaze Bayley – vocals
Nico Bermudez – lead guitar
Jay Walsh – rhythm guitar
David Bermudez – bass
Lawrence Paterson – drums