Blaze - Silicon Messiah (SPV) 2000
I've always maintained that Blaze isn't a bad singer, it's just that Iron Maiden was the wrong band for him. First of all he had to live up to the great and legendary Bruce Dickinson. Nobody could just walk in and take over Iron Maiden other than Bruce. Secondly the material that Maiden was writting while Blaze was in the band was second rate compared to the material they did with Bruce. It certainly wasn't Blaze's fault for the lackluster songwriting on the two albums he did with Maiden. This album proves my position was correct. After being let go from Maiden, Blaze ventured out on his own. "Silicon Messiah" is his first solo CD and it is FAR superiour to anything he did with Maiden. Much of the riffing on this disc is quite a bit heavier than Maiden. The guitar tones are heavier, if not downtuned a bit, and are slightly more modern, not unlike Halford was to Judas Priest. Some parts are definetly Maiden influenced, but it's never anything blatent. The lyrics are all of a sci-fi nature. Blaze has said in interviews that the first three songs tell the story of a man whose soul ends up in a machine and he becomes the "Silicon Messiah". The last three songs are also a trilogy dealing with a young man becoming an astronaut and venturing into space exploration. Overall, I wasn't expecting much from "Silicon Messiah," but I am glad I finally got around to checking it out. It was worth the time.
Blaze - Tenth Dimension (SPV) 2002
1. "Forgotten Future" (1:02)
Once again proving that he is a far stronger vocalist than Iron Maiden allowed him to be, BLAZE release their second strong album in a row. The music has a classic feel to it, but also has that modern, raw, power metal vibe as well. Everything from the guitar riffs, to the melodic soloing, to Blaze's vocals fit together offering a solid album from beginning to end. Among the standout tracks are "Kill And Destroy", "The Tenth Dimension" and "Leap Of Faith". However, there really wasn't anything on this album I would label as filler. The production on this album by Andy Sneap, who is a legend in current metal circles, is near perfect. The man has managed to capture the band's raw energy while still getting a mix that allows all the instruments to shine. Lyrically "Tenth Dimension" is a concept based on time travel and quantum physics. While this might be an interesting side note, it's not really all that important to me either. The lyrics take a backseat to the overall sound and vibe of the music. In other words, the concept doesn't really affect the music. "Tenth Dimension" manages to take what Blaze started on "Silicon Messiah" and build on it. This is definitely the finest record that the original line up of BLAZE would create before Naylor, Wray and Slater would later depart to form part of Rise to Addiction.
Blaze - Blood and Belief (SPV Records) 2004
"Blood and Belief" is easily one of the best released Blaze Bailey has put out, outshining even the mighty Maiden. The funny thing is, Blaze in Maiden seemed to be an atrocity. Everyone hated it, reviews slagged Blaze's voice, etc. Blaze in BLAZE seems to be a critics dream. Every review I have read is positive, and why not. Unfortunately this will be the last album for the Blaze line-up that features guitarists Steve Wray- and John Slate, so what the next CD will sound like is very much up in the air. In the meantime, "Blood and Belief" is yet another solid heavy metal platter and a return two form for Blaze after two years of silence. His return hasn't been without it's struggles, no thanks in part to Bailey's well publicized battle with alcoholism and depression. A big part of the success here is producer Andy Sneap, who is one of the finest heavy metal producers around. "Blood and Belief" sports a hefty guitar crunch, excellent guitar riffs, catchy choruses, and some of Bailey's finest vocals yet. Blaze has a unique voice and charisma that is very British. He may not be the most versitile vocalist in metal, but he knows the strengths and limitations of his voice and uses them well. Together with his strong songwriting, Blaze has released a solid metal platter.