Enjoy the first part of this futuristic trilogy created by the iconic Blaze Bayley, a thrilling journey inspired by science fiction and artificial intelligence that transpires first-class Heavy Metal.
Silicon Messiah, Tenth Dimension, The Man Who Would Not Die, Promise And Terror, and now Infinite Entanglement. If you consider yourself a true admirer and connoisseur of traditional Heavy Metal who’s at the same time always looking to the future with an open mind and a passionate heart, you must listen to these five amazing releases by the iconic British metaller Blaze Bayley. What this metal warrior from Birmingham, UK is capable of offering his fans with absolutely no support from any major record label is outstanding. In Infinite Entanglement, a concept album highly influenced by science fiction, artificial intelligence and quantum physics that follows on the ideas found in Silicon Messiah and Tenth Dimension (not to mention Blaze is writing a book on those themes), we’re treated to more of his first-rate metal music embellished by his flammable performance and a more-than-exciting storyline. In other words, it might not be the album of the year for many, but it’s indeed an amazing contribution from Blaze to the world of heavy music. And have I mentioned this is the first part of a trilogy?
When asked about the story told in this new trilogy, Blaze commented that “It’s about a man who does not know if he is human. It’s his personal journey, and he is on a mission to discover one of the new Kepler planets. You know, Kepler discovered all these new planets. It’s set a hundred years in the future, and he’s on a spaceship and it’s how he deals with the fact that he will be one of the first people ever to live for a thousand years because of advances in technology, and how he deals with that. And the question is: is he human or not? And that’s it in a nutshell. And the story expands from there.” The whole concept already becomes evident when you stare at the classic but modern artwork by Swedish artist Andreas Sandberg, which in my opinion seems inspired by most Sci-Fi movies from the 80’s, but it’s when you actually start listening to the album and absorbing its music that you’ll finally understand what Infinite Entanglement is all about.
Let the futuristic journey begin (or continue from where it stopped in Silicon Messiah and Tenth Dimension) with the track that carries the name of the album, Infinite Entanglement, a straightforward Heavy Metal tune with a strong epic vibe, following the musicality from his latest album King Of Metal but a thousand times more polished and vibrant. Before the song is over, a woman’s voice that seems to be from a scientist explains who our main character is and why he was chosen for this mission, introducing us to the high-speed anthem A Thousand Years, my favorite of all tracks. This is where Blaze always thrives, firing pure metallic music with thoughtful lyrics, and I dare you not to sing its catchy chorus along with him while guitarist Chris Appleton showcases a solid performance with his riffs and especially with his solos.
Does he know the truth? No one can cope with the truth, but everyone can bang their heads nonstop to Human, the first single of the album that keeps the electricity flowing (and the perfect soundtrack for the TV series Humans, by the way), with drummer drummer Martin McNee and bassist Karl Schramm providing exactly what the music demands with their respective instruments. In addition, the song’s chorus poses the main question of the entire album (“Human / Am I human? / I am man / I am machine / You just don’t know what it means / To be human”), inviting you to once again sing it together with Blaze. In the pleasant acoustic voyage What Will Come, Blaze’s vocals are perfectly complemented by the exceptional work done by his longtime partners, Belgian guitarist Thomas Zwijsen and Dutch violinist Anne Bakker, proving Heavy Metal doesn’t need to be electric all the time to be stunning; whereas Stars Are Burning, with its hints of modern and alternative music, is yet another contemplative song where it’s mandatory to follow the powerful lyrics declaimed by Blaze to better understand the whole concept. By the time you reach this part of the album, the whole storyline starts to make a lot more sense and you can actually feel the roller-coaster of emotions the main character has been going through.
If you’re a fan of pure metal music with no shenanigans, Solar Wind is for you. However, despite being a good song (in special due to its chorus), it’s below the rest of the album in terms of quality and freshness. In the sinister bridge The Dreams of William Black, where the question “where are you?” is asked to our main character numerous times (and even in different languages), I believe what is actually in question is if William is just dreaming or if this is the new reality he must face. Even if you cannot find an answer to that, you’ll enjoy Calling You Home, yet another dense and exciting metal chant with a traditional “Oh! Oh-oh-oh-oh!” added to the chorus where its backing vocals have a strong impact on the final result; followed by the action-packed tune Dark Energy 256 (or maybe I should call it “Futureal 2.0”?). The unstoppable Blaze has an absolutely amazing performance in which is one of the best songs of the album in my opinion, allowing us all to feel the so-called “dark energy 256” penetrating our skin. Besides, Martin provides Blaze the necessary vibe for his potent voice through his precise drumming, with the last seconds of the song being a beautiful massacre.
In Independence, a smooth intro turns into an energetic chant about freedom and independence (and we know how good Blaze is at singing about those topics), with Chris and Martin once again offering Blaze an awesome support. One thing I love about Blaze is how he always puts his heart and soul into his singing, which is the case in A Work of Anger, a melancholic and meaningful composition full of effective narrations. And do you think the outro Shall We Begin is the end of the story, or is it just the beginning? Well, parts II and III will obviously answer that question, and according to Blaze himself he already has half of album two and some of the music and one of the songs for album three basically finished, which means we won’t have to wait for too long for the conclusion of this awesome saga.
While we wait for more of Blaze’s powerful music, you can also enjoy the making of Infinite Entanglement on YouTube, follow the “Messiah” on Facebook, and purchase your copy of the album at his official webshop, on iTunes, or on Amazon. Is Blaze man or is he machine? We’ll never know, and in fact it doesn’t really matter as long as he keeps feeding our metallic souls with his unique and extremely sharp Heavy Metal for many years to come. Who knows, maybe even for a thousand years.
Best moments of the album: A Thousand Years, What Will Come, Dark Energy 256 and Independence.
Worst moments of the album: Solar Wind.
Released in 2016 Blaze Bayley Recordings
1. Infinite Entanglement 4:26
2. A Thousand Years 3:26
3. Human 3:31
4. What Will Come 4:48
5. Stars Are Burning 3:48
6. Solar Wind 4:01
7. The Dreams of William Black 2:20
8. Calling You Home 5:21
9. Dark Energy 256 4:01
10. Independence 5:11
11. A Work of Anger 5:33
12. Shall We Begin 0:56
Blaze Bayley – vocals
Chris Appleton – guitars, backing vocals
Karl Schramm – bass, backing vocals
Martin McNee – drums
Thomas Zwijsen – acoustic guitars on “What Will Come”
Anne Bakker – violin on “What Will Come”
Michelle Sciarrotta – acoustic guitars, backing vocals, narration
Emily Pembridge – keyboards, piano
Liz Owen, Joanne Robinson & Mel Adams – backing vocals
Aine Brewer, Rob Toogood & James Dunn – narration