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As Live as It Gets

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(8 Reviews)

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  • To start, Blaze Bayley is probably best known for his work in Iron Maiden – which did not come off well with fans. Individually, Blaze is a fantastic singer and his major obstacle with Maiden was that his voice is much lower than Bruce Dickinson’s. Then when you factor in the concept of Maiden’s music taking a different direction and a different route in production, our sideburned front man had a lot stacked against him. To many a person’s suprise, he did a rather damn good job live as testified to many a bootleg and review. That ability to stay spot-on in a concert is seen here with this album. After leaving Maiden, Blaze created his own band and created two rather good albums which then culminated into this live version one. Some highlights follow.When Two Worlds Collide: A holdover of Blaze’s from his Maiden days, this piece was just okay when it was first recorded. Here on the other hand Blaze plays with it a little and the tone the guitarists use really thicken it up making it a great addition to the set.Steel: A song from Wolfsbane, Blaze’s original band, the energy here is great and lends nicely to the transition throughout the song selection.Dazed and Confused: Actually, a Led Zepplin cover, Blaze really shows some flexibility here. Slow, heavy and churning, Blaze’s voice turns into a more blues player style which is fun to listen too and a good way to end the first disc.The Brave: This song is fast and the “galloping” guitars lend nicely to the atmosphere it creates. Once again, the energy stays high and keeps the listener interested.Sign of the Cross: Another Maiden song – see a pattern here? I’m a big Maiden fan – this one was actually preformed by Iron Maiden in their Rock in Rio set with Bruce but I like this version better. They take it up tempo to the recording on The X Factor and once again the sound is huge as they utilize their guitarists as much as they can to make a fatter sound. This one is a little under ten and a half minutes and does not get boring in the least. A fun one to listen to and also I would like to think of it as a slap in the face of all those people who think that Metal is just devil worship.Futureal: Great song progression here and yet again, another Maiden song – the last I promise. Anyways, they fiddle with the arangement here and after the first 16-bar phrase, they actually extend one guitar part up a thrid or fifth and by doing that alone increase the energy of the piece. The solos fit great and it shows their maturity that they did such a taxing piece as Sign of the Cross, followed it up with Futureal a burner, or as a jazz muscian would say “a hot one”, and were still able to keep that energy up like this. Incredibly fun to listen too and catchy like you would not believe.Born as a Stranger: This was the first Blaze song I heard and became a favorite of mine from their catalog and still is. A catchy chorus and some audience interaction that is fun to listen too. Hopefully, it will be a favorite of yours as well.Now, granted I mentioned a lot of Maiden pieces, but the rest of the songs are fantastic as well and rather enjoyable to listen to. Blaze gives his own little introduction to many pieces and the speech before Kill and Destroy and Dazed and Confused will give you a nice laugh.Two things I should mention though:1. This was recorded at two different concerts, a disc to each respectively.2. My only grievence with this is that the production is done so well that the audience is almost not there at times. You might even forget that it is a live recording.All in all a great Metal CD that is a good buy and fun to listen to. Do not skip this one and the price for a two disc set is rather nice.

    Posted on December 8, 2009