Released: 2003, Steamhammer Records/SPV
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
As everyone knows by now, Blaze Bayley started out as the singer in Wolfsbane and then he replaced Bruce Dickinson in the metal icons of Iron Maiden. When Blaze left Maiden early in 1999 he put together his own band, simply called Blaze. The debut SILICON MESSIAH came in 2000 and a lot of touring followed. The follow up TENTH DIMENSION was released in-‘02, that tour began in Malmö,Sweden, it was an extensive tour throughout the world. AS LIVE AS IT GETS is a double-live album recorded during the TENTH DIMENSION tour, the live material is taken from Switzerland and the U.K. It is produced by Andy Sneap (Machine Head, Napalm Death, Stuck Mojo etc) in Backstage Studio in Ripley, England.
When it comes to the music, Blaze is plays pure and hard heavy metal. It’s almost impossible to be more heavy metal than this. Bayley has a lot of material to choose from and he disappoints no one. He plays songs from both Wolfsbane and Maiden and of course from his albums. He has also put out a cover of Led Zeppelins “Dazed and Confused” on this live album with 18 tracks.
It all begins with “SPEED OF LIGHT”, then comes “TWO WORLDS COLLIDE” where Blaze does some talking and he begs the crowd for some help to sing with him. Then Blaze travels way back in time and does a song from Wolfsbane, “STEEL”. In this song the crowd helps out as well. Then comes some new material, “KILL & DESTROY” that goes straight into the next song, “END DREAM” and “LAND OF THE BLIND”. In “STARE AT THE SUN” Blaze tells everyone that this was the first song they wrote for the debut album. Here Blaze lets the crowd sing the first chorus on their own. This song it’s incredibly long, almost 8 minutes. Then comes the title track from the debut and Blaze lets the audience sing with him in the chorus. Last one out on disc 1 is the Led Zeppelin cover “DAZED & CONFUSED”. That one works not so good. Disc 1 concentrates more around TENTH DIMENSION than disc 2.
Steve/John on guitar impress a lot. Jeff is a rock behinds his drums. Mr. Bayley has an incredibly strong voice and he works really hard to get the audience going. The band seems to have as much fun on the stage as the crowd has on this live CD.
This opens with the bonus track “VIRUS” from the Maiden collection “Best of the Beast”. Disc 2 is more focused on what Blaze did with Maiden and the debut album from the band Blaze. The opening track goes straight into next song,“THE BRAVE”. The next track is more up to date “STRANGER TO THE LIGHT”. Then there comes two Maiden tracks, “SIGN OF THE CROSS” and “FUTUREAL”. It works amazingly good. Then we have some songs from the debut with the band Blaze, “IDENTITY”, “GHOST IN THE MACHINE” and “BORN AS A STRANGER”. In the middle song Blaze invites the crowd to sing the chorus alone only with help from Rob on bass. The last song is the title track from the second album that closes disc 2.
The band works really hard to get the crowd going, especially Mr.Bayley himself. Blaze has become really strong as a live act with all the touring they have done and you can hear it. I think this is an incredibly strong live album and they deserve all the success they can get. This is a great introduction to all the younger fans of heavy metal who havn’t have the opportunity to see Blaze live or to hear him do Maiden songs live.