Blaze - As Live As It Gets


Year of Release: 2003
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 101:26:00

I propose that in future no band who has released two albums only will be allowed to release a live album, in particular a double live album. Actually, I just realised that would leave out bands like Dream Theater, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Halford, Royal Hunt, Threshold, and Transatlantic. Hmm, better re-think that. Ok, let's get on with it. Blaze, ex-Iron Maiden frontman, it is.

Recorded in Switzerland and in the UK, As Live As It Gets features a mixture of songs from the first two Blaze albums (Silicon Messiah, Tenth Dimension), a Wolfsbane song ("Steel," Blaze's old band), Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused," and some Blaze-led Iron Maiden ("Virus" and "Sign Of The Cross" from The X-Factor and "Futureal" and "When Two Worlds Collide" from Virtual XI).

As a live album, it sounds great. Blaze is definitely a charismatic vocalist and a compelling frontman and his strong vocal performance is one of the highlights of the album. It's not like he has a great range to begin with but Blaze songs in general are written with his range and style in mind and his performance easily matches the studio albums. [Reviewers Note: I've seen him live at Wacken before and his performance there was outstanding]

It's not the rawest sounding live album on the planet(blaze.com) although it can be a little static (doctored?). It's brought to life with the help of Andy Sneap (producer, engineer, mixing) who helps contain each individual element of the performance and recreates them on this disc. As a live album, it's a little devoid of personality or depth at times - yet I don't get these same feelings from listening to the studio albums (which were also produced by Andy Sneap). Of course, with the help of an enthusiastic audience with plenty of Maiden-like "Whoahs," some of these "problems" aren't recognisable at all. The performances by band members Rob Naylor (b), John Slater (g), Steve Wray (g), and Jeff Singer (d) is quality throughout but I keep thinking how much work actually went into putting this album together. Stand out songs include the rock-solid "Stare At The Sun," "Tenth Dimension," "Speed Of Light," and "Ghost In The Machine" - there are plenty more but these are top of the pile.

Just finally, a terrible cover photo which will not help "sell" the album at all. Either Blaze has a wicked sense of humour or his choice of photos is pants - I'm really not sure.

In conclusion, As Live As it Gets is a solid yet premature album for an artist who will go on to release some wonderful albums in the future. A heavy metal album with heavy metal songs delivered with first class honours.

Similar to: Iron Maiden

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Tracklisting:
Speed Of Light / When Two Worlds Collide / Steel / Kill And Destroy / End Dream / Stare At The Sun / Land Of The Blind / Silicon Messiah / Dazed & Confused / Virus / The Brave / Stranger To The Light / Identify / Sign Of The Cross / Futureal / Ghost In The Machine / Born As A Stranger / Tenth Dimension

Musicians:
Blaze Bayley - vocals
Rob Naylor - bass
John Slater - guitar
Steve Wray - guitar
Jeff Singer - drums

Discography:
Silicon Messiah (2000)
Tenth Dimension (2002)
As Live As It Gets (2003)
Blood And Belief (2004)

Genre: Traditional Metal

Origin UK

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Score:
Artist website: www.planetblaze.com
Hits: 741
Language: english

  

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