The scene setting “Gothic Power” introduces Blaze Bayley as he launches into a gig at the Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland during December of 2008. This concert has now been released on a double CD set, The Night That Will Not Die.
Last year I reviewed his studio album The Man Who Would Not Die and his world tour in support of it has seen him take in Brazil, zig-zag across Europe, travel up into Scandinavia, and go into Russia.
In May this year he arrived in the UK. and this summer sees him playing several dates in Italy, then Slovenia, Romania, and Paris, before going back to the Z7 again. That night will round off something of a whirlwind time for the former Wolfsbane and Iron Maiden frontman.
Tragically amongst these triumphant nights, the year has also been a traumatic one and Blaze has dedicated this release to the memory of his wife and manager, Debbie, who sadly passed away last September. Somehow, he has managed to pick himself up and keep his show on the road and in the process has delighted fans of metal the world over. This set is a fitting tribute indeed.
This same concert will also be released as a separate DVD, filmed and directed by Kris McManus. Not content with that we also have a book covering the life and career of Blaze which is due to be released towards the end of the year.
His high octane band consists of the twin guitars of Jay Walsh and Nico Bermudez, drummer Lawrence Paterson, and bass player David Bermudez.
They kick off with the first three from the album in a triple blast of metal power. “The Man Who Would Not Die,” “Blackmailer,” and “Smile Back At Death” all get the blood pumping nicely.
Above all of this, Blaze’s voice still manages to dominate and proves that he has lost nothing of that deep, raw, yet dramatic force that earned him a slot fronting Maiden a few years back. There is little doubt, however, that he sounds far more comfortable working through his own material than he did when he bravely took on that role. It's that now familiar low octave power that really grabs the attention.
It is the ability to control that Blaze has by the arena load. He dominates the charged up audience, projecting his undeniable stage presence not only to the back of the venue but out into the street, down through the town, and up over the hills.
More tracks from last years album also appear. These include, “Crack In The System” and “Voices From The Past.” In fact the entire encore of “While You Were Gone,” “Samurai,” and “Robot” is drawn from The Man Who Would Not Die.
There is plenty from the past too with a large wedge of it coming from 2000’s Silicon Messiah album. “The Ghost In The Machine,” “Identity,” “The Launch,” a stunning “Stare At The Sun,” and “Born As A Stranger” are all from that first Blaze offering.
2002’s concept album Tenth Dimension supplies both “Kill & Destroy” and “Leap Of Faith.” Blood And Belief makes an appearance with “Alive” and an excellent version of the Maiden-esque “Ten Seconds.” In fact, his time with Maiden is further marked by the inclusion of “Lord Of The Flies” which appeared on his first album with them, 1995’s The X Factor.
The triumphant encore underlines the fact that even if you have that last album you really to need to add this highlight-heavy double to your metal collection. Complete with excellent sound and a set list that will surely satisfy most fans it captures him at the very height of his powers.
Blaze Bayley can be found on his official website (You can purchase the album while you're there) or by dropping in on his MySpace page. I'm off to book my Paris ticket. If this is anything to go by it will be some night.