Blaze Bayley – Infinite Entanglement (Album Review)

Blaze Bayley – Infinite Entanglement (Album Review)

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How does one speak about Singer-Songwriter Blaze Bayley without mentioning Iron Maiden? The answer is that it is a nearly impossible mission because, sadly, the casual listener would not even know of Bayley if it were not for his five year contribution to Iron Maiden. Leading the band on vocals for 1995’s The X Factor and 1998’s Virtual XI, for some of the more close-minded Iron Maiden fans, these were among their weakest albums. To others, they were well-perceived as Bayley stood out as another vocal hero of Iron Maiden. With lyrics and voice that always seemed to speak vulnerable truths and can not be denied, Bayley no doubt left his mark on the legacy of Iron Maiden. Another Bayley signature is his great talent in blending reality with fantasy, and his latest solo album, entitled Infinite Entanglement, demonstrates this ideology perfectly with a very realistic story that is also very fantastical with its futuristic Science Fiction storyline.

Keeping his other band Wolfsbane in and out of the spotlight, Baley still has created new solo works under various pseudonyms, before finally sticking with just Blaze Bayley. Releasing his first solo album in about four years, Infinite Entanglement hit the street on March 1, 2016 and it marks the first part of a trilogy of albums set 100 years in the future. Based on a Science Fiction story, written by Bailey himself, it features twelve tracks ranging between fifty-six seconds to about five and a half minutes in length with various dialogue moments by a variety of members and collaborators which are reminiscent of radio contact spaceship chatter.

The current members responsible for this Science Fiction piece are Bayley of course on lead vocals, with Chris Appleton on guitar/backing vocals, Martin McNee on percussion, and Karl Schramm on bass/backing vocals. Guest Artists include Michelle Sciarrotta on acoustic guitar/backing vocals, Thomas Zwijsen on acoustic guitar, Anne Bakker on the violin, Emily Pembridge on keyboards/piano, as well as Joanne Robinson, Mel Adams, Luke Appleton, and Liz Owen on backing vocals. Then there are the voice actors from the dialogue moments which consist of Bayley as William Black, Aine Brewer as Professor Alice Brewer, Rob Toogood playing Director Richard Pembridge, James Dunn acting as Doctor Alan Davis, and finally Michelle Sciarrotta portraying Laika Westford. With a cast of stars, Infinite Entanglement is a journey sure to intrigue many listeners.

In the beginning, listeners are told that seven members have been selected out of thousands for the longest and greatest space mission in the history of humanity. This title track is probably the most reminiscent of an Iron Maiden composition, although the depth beyond the stereotype is felt by the end as it poses as a strong introduction to the die hard mission of the album. From this opening moment, listeners are bombarded with a really outstanding guitar solo that is even child’s play for what comes thereafter. Next, the story transports into the life of someone who will live for “A Thousand Years” and then the question of am I “Human” comes into play and acts as the speedy segue into one of the greatest song on the album, “What Will Come.” The entrance here is somber and sweet, followed by an operatic style of vocals telling the tale of fate and how control sometimes leaves no choice but to slip through fingertips and fly straight into the abyss. Furthermore, the violin provides a beautiful melody midway through and the tone is reminiscent of The X Factor’s “2 A.M.,” a definite fan-favorite from Bayley’s Iron Maiden works.

After this pleasantry, the audience will be invited to soar off into a speedier pace with catchy riffs galore on “Solar Wind,” until the arrival of “The Dreams Of William Black” where the characters in the story are held back seemingly at the entrance of a black hole or portal to another dimension. Then the move into “Calling You Home” is the climax of the album where the characters make a strong confident decision to keep on going forward on their mission. Sure to be another favorite, it contains confident original guitar workings and epic spaceship travelling at light speed adventure feeling that the artists have created.

Carrying on with the dark guitar magic, the story is interrupted with “Dark Energy 256,” which is arguably the heaviest song on the album with the drumming style, guitar pace, and low-pitched vocals. It is precise and to the point in all its grandeur. Nearing the end the musical voyage, “Independence” serves up a really touching message in its over five minute entity to stand up and believe in oneself no matter what because it is all one has in the end. Then the very end is actually the “to be continued” part of the album that is set out for the purpose of preparing the listener for the next mission. With its all-out eerie and suspenseful tone, it acts to question what lies ahead and how fast the characters will travel towards it.

Infinite Entanglement may in fact be one of the greatest Blaze Bayley solo works out there. With that in mind, it will be interesting to hear how the final two albums will aid in the completion of this trilogy. While the constant mention of Iron Maiden is undeniable, Infinite Entanglement is quite the opposite of Iron Maiden, despite similarly stylized guitar, there is only one main player, instead of three, who absolutely portrays tremendous strength throughout. Overall, there is beauty found in all paths of Infinite Entanglement, from the honest, bold, and heartfelt vocals, to the intricate and melodically enticing guitar solos, to the perfectly blended percussion. Without further complications, CrypticRock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.

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Lisa Burke
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Lisa is a metalhead at heart with a variety of musical genre interests, and the determination to save the world, one Metal show at a time. Her professional passions range from Rock n Roll and Gothic Metal inspired fashion design to Heavy Metal and Rock n Roll journalism for live and album reviews. She currently contributes these reviews to Metal Assault and CrypticRock.

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