Released: 2009, Blaze Bayley Records
Blaze Bayley is a true survivor. Band changes, labels changes, membership changes and tragedy have all followed poor Mr. Bayley like a dark cloud and yet somehow he consistently creates high quality metal material wherever he goes. He never gives up and that seems to be a bit of recurring theme especially with his new Double Live album, THE NIGHT THAT WILL NOT DIE.
Some suggest there is a difference between the ‘band’ Blaze (formed in 1999) and the solo artist Blaze Bayley, (allegedly going ‘solo’ in 2007) but in my opinion, the isn’t enough of a distinction to make that claim. You can consider this his first ‘solo’ live album or the second since 2004. However, in this instance I lean towards the first option because eight songs on THE NIGHT THAT WOULD NOT DIE are from his debut ‘solo’ record from last year, namely most of the album. Another nine cuts are from his (again, so-called ‘band’) Blaze. The discs are rounded out with four Maiden songs he was best known for and Iron Maiden songs are likely to never leave his setlist no matter how he defines his career.
Let’s entertain the idea momentarily that Blaze Bayley (the solo artist) is a unique entity from the band Blaze. Blaze (the band) released a Double Live CD in 2004 called AS LIVE AS IT GETS. There isn’t much cross-over between song selection from this live spread and the 2004 live platter, only six songs in fact. The album might be a bit premature into his solo career but no matter how you define it (and I know we are splitting hairs here!) the new live album kicks ass and brings a wealth of new live material to the fans.
Although it is a do-it-yourself type project on his own label Blaze Bayley Recordings, it is totally professional, a nice 10 page booklet, lots of photos, credits, and a nice note from Blaze himself. The cover art is a bit weird but perhaps a bit more unique than a standard, sweaty live shot. The concert was captured in its entirety on December 8th, 2008 in Switzerland. There is some great banter with the crowd, which I always feel helps bring a nice dimension to a live recording. It is touching, with his comments about his wife’s passing and his down-to-earth sincerity with his fans, even inviting them back for an autograph and a drink after the show!
His companions handle the material with ease and Blaze’s voice holds out very well. The production and mix are good, making it an easy listen. The crowd sits nicely in the middle of the mix, not overbearing but audible enough to give it that good live feel. Like the title says, for fans (solo, band or otherwise) this is a great snap-shot of time and a night that will not die.