February 26, 2018 Blaze Bayley – The Redemption of William Black – Infinite Entanglement Part III (Album Review)
Heavy Metal vocalists who find success in a commercially recognized band often use that safety net to branch out into their solo career, and create the art they always dreamed with enough backing support from various high places to get there. A great example of this driven fortitude comes from England-born Blaze Bayley, who originated his success with his band Wolfsbane in the early eighties, and then landed his most commonly-known role where he took on a five-year vocal lead in Iron Maiden – which brought 1995’s The X Factor and 1998’s Virtual XI into the universe.
For anyone who understands Blaze’s wild-eyed, fantastically visual vision, these were viewed in high success. Although some Bruce Dickinson fans may view these albums as a wash in Iron Maiden’s career, they were actually very exciting and quite a bit before their time. Regardless of your stance on that topic, Blaze Bayley has risen to true form within his career with his March 2, 2018 release, The Redemption of William Black – Infinite Entanglement Part III, arriving via his own Blaze Bayley Records. This album holds its rank as the final installment in the trilogy of albums he has released in the last three years dubbed the Infinite Entanglement. As he tends to dabble in Sci-Fi and other-worldly themes, this latest work is no exception and finalizes an epic space adventure in all its chaos and glory with his stylized NWOBHM in a progressive manner.
Prepare for lift-off, The Redemption Of William Black starts off with the obvious track “Redeemer” and the female futuristic vocal warning that similarly appears on previous albums. It is followed by Rob Toogood giving a prelude of his own and then it blasts off into some catchy, fast riffs and a detour right into the next track “Are You Here?” After this short and sweet tune, the album rushes into more swift, classical, heavy-driven guitar solos and another solid tale with “Immortal One” and “The First True Sign,” the latter which incorporates much more NWOBHM antics into the mix.
As the mood turns into a more somber tone and softer ballad style, the listener drifts into an abyss of solitude and reflection realizing that the path ahead will not be an easy course. The lyrically blissful yet deeply penetrable subject on “Prayers Of Light,” narrated by Chris Jericho of Fozzy, chimes in with great decadence and promise, and it happens to climax at this point and enters into the heeded female speech that begins “Already Won,” which turns a happier note on the voyage at hand. Then the challenge seems to be contained as the more acoustic beginnings of “Life Goes On” interrupt the peace and trudge through the rocky airwaves ahead. In fact, there is a slightly somber reminiscence of the Iron Maiden song “2AM” as is appropriate for Blaze Bayley’s style.
Next, on the final frontier of this album comes the ironically-titled tune “The Dark Side Of Black,” which dives further into the Iron Maiden-esque conclusion and pushes out more creative riffs and vocals. Finalizing the trilogy, the epic tale “Eagle Spirit” reigns in with its over eight-minutes long, adventurous Progressive Heavy Metal. Other band members featured are Absolva guitarist and frontman Chris Appleton, along with Absolva’s Martin McNee on drums and Karl Schramm on bass duties.
A bulk of credit is due in the lyrical creativity here that bridges the gap between fantasy and real-life issues as told through the metaphor of an outer-space adventure. The fact that the listener could dive deep into a listen of all three Infinite Entanglement albums from start to finish, and gain a comprehensive viewpoint while keeping up the excitement to follow through to the ending battle of space and time proves the outreach success. On a purely technical music standpoint, The Redemption Of William Black holds its own.
In short, Blaze Bayley has won again with a very predictable yet stable and creatively-driven album that may be one of his most complete works to date. Therefore, CrypticRock holds this latest album installment from the Infinite Entanglement series at a ranking of 4 out of 5 stars, and highly encourages fans to catch the upcoming tour which will surely feature excerpts from all three albums in the trilogy as its highlight.