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Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog...

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  • Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog...

    All right, I've finally gotten some of the Maiden albums missing from my collection, The X Factor included.

    To be fair, I expected something far worse vocal-wise, but the new Maiden vocalist didn't convince me.
    At times I thought that he was singing completely regardless of the music. This of course happens when a singer is brought to record a pre-written material so he can't fit it to his style but AFAIK this is not the case with Bayley and TXF.
    Another thing that's bothering me about Bayley's performance on TXF was, surprisingly, pronunciation. That's something of a sore question for myself, since I can't get the words right at times myself, but for an Englishman, having a pronunciation of a Russian singer trying to sing a song in English for the first time is impardonable.

    The material itself on TXF is passable although not memorable for the most part. The only songs I memorized quickly were the first 3 and then The Aftermath (these song, of course, fucking rock). The rest had a trouble gripping with my brain, being midtempo, rather monotone and having similar styled intros on EVERY FUCKING song. On the other hand, Sign of the Cross (almost wrote <span style="font-style: italic">Southern</span> Cross ), Lord of the Flies and Man on the Edge sounded good with Bruce. So the trouble wasn't with the songs.

    When comparing the same songs sung by the two vocalists, the winner is clearly Dickinson. He made Sign of the Cross, an already great song, something out of this world on Rock in Rio. On the other hand, my new favourite Maiden song, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, sounded rather flat with Blaze (although thankfully, this song is all about the instrumental, vocals are superficial in it).

    So, today I've broken the rule of always supporting the underdogs. I know Rodrigo is probably going to hack me to pieces for that but... I have sinned.
    "There's only one Black Sabbath... I like to call him Tony Iommi" - racer

  • #2
    Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog...

    We Talking About Blaze as Volcist for Maiden?

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    • #3
      Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog...

      Yeah, Blaze had a few nice songs but that's about it... read something about vocal problems, dunno if it's true though. X Factor is quite monotone, I find Virtual XI to be more listenable than the former (Futureal FTW). And of course the winner is Bruce, absolutlely no contest.
      The dog's name is Pete. If he tries to mount you in the middle of the night, say "no" sternly. But don't look him in the eye.

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      • #4
        Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog...

        I lov blaze as a Maiden singer i Love most of his songs i like him as much as i like Bruce. for me Bruce and Blaze are Tied as Maiden singers

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        • #5
          Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog...

          Originally Posted By: LordOfMetal We Talking About Blaze as Volcist for Maiden?
          Yep, I haven't checked out any of his solo stuff. To be honest, not sure I will.

          BTW, Blaze sounds like Ozzy at times... and for me, that's a BIG drawback.
          "There's only one Black Sabbath... I like to call him Tony Iommi" - racer

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          • #6
            Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

            I kind of wish the best of X Factor and Virtual XI to be re-recorded with Bruce. Blaze ruins otherwise good songs.

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            • #7
              Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

              I have mixed feelings about this era. I am a great fan of all eras and I really love everything they have done.

              X factor was in my opinion a great album. Yes, a little bit monotone but it shows the state of mind of Steve in that period of time. Steve was in the middle of a great depression due to the death of his father, being in the middle of a divorce, Bruce leaving the band etc.

              I think this album reflects this atmosphere of decadence greatly. My favorite theme on this album is 2 AM. A non- typical very dark for maiden son. This album is Steve from the beginning to the end. If other maiden albums were a mix of input from Bruce, Adrian, Dave, Nicko, Steve...this is Steve solo album. And a very depressive dark one. Blaze's dark voice fits here perfectly.

              Virtual XI was a brighter album but IMO inferior to X, but a very good one anyway. Como estais amigos?, Lightning Strikes Twice, Futureal... Great tunes there as well.

              The problem with Blaze was live. Hes dark voice didn't fit well Bruce material live. The infamous Trooper on youtube where a fan spits on Blaze face is really the worse version of The Trooper ever made. Some other video that if floating the web is Blaze version of "The evil that men do.." , which is just horrible. That said, he did some very decent versions of "fear of the dark" and even a half-decent "Hallowed...". OTOH he could sing DiAnnos songs pretty well. His style was pretty static, which was a big miss. He had not the energy Bruce had. Very few people can command the audience like Bruce can. Very few leaders of a band can run, jump, scream, sing, like Bruce, who only by raising his hand can cause a whole arena to scream and burn.

              OTOH Bruce could do a real good version of all Blaze's songs (not so dark, but technically correct).

              Being so different, a lot of fans abandoned maiden's boat when Blaze came aboard. I still enjoy Blazes albums a lot. Sure, he is not Bruce. On the other hand nobody can compare to Bruce, who is not the most technical singer out there, but who is surely one of the most magical and most adored ones.

              I am glad that Maiden had this dark period. Under the mean time Bruce created 2 of the greatest metal albums ever recorded: "Accident of birth" and especially "Chemical wedding", so we, who enjoyed Blaze could have double fun.

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              • #8
                Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                Originally Posted By: Rover At times I thought that he was singing completely regardless of the music. This of course happens when a singer is brought to record a pre-written material so he can't fit it to his style but AFAIK this is not the case with Bayley and TXF.
                Blaze's vocal range isn't that broad. He's got a bit of a flat voice at times, in the same way Ozzy has. Blaze has a lot of power and energy, but range is his weak point. Which is of course, Bruce Dickinson's greatest strength.

                Quote: The material itself on TXF is passable although not memorable for the most part. The only songs I memorized quickly were the first 3 and then The Aftermath (these song, of course, fucking rock). The rest had a trouble gripping with my brain, being midtempo, rather monotone and having similar styled intros on EVERY FUCKING song. On the other hand, Sign of the Cross (almost wrote <span style="font-style: italic">Southern</span> Cross ), Lord of the Flies and Man on the Edge sounded good with Bruce. So the trouble wasn't with the songs.
                I think tracks 8-11 are the only truly weak ones. Maybe "Look for the Truth" too. I liked them but there's too many similar chord sequences, the introductions don't vary in style quite enough (a problem on the new album too), but I think it's a very good, very solid record. It outsold No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark until Bruce's comeback pushed Blaze into obscurity, however. And Virtual XI outsold that album.

                Quote: When comparing the same songs sung by the two vocalists, the winner is clearly Dickinson. He made Sign of the Cross, an already great song, something out of this world on Rock in Rio. On the other hand, my new favourite Maiden song, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, sounded rather flat with Blaze (although thankfully, this song is all about the instrumental, vocals are superficial in it).
                You're comparing studio to live. Compare live versions of Blaze doing it to Bruce, it's the only fair way. I thought Afraid to shoot Strangers sounded awesome with Blaze myself, and Bruce damages Lord of the Flies quite badly.

                Originally Posted By: David86 Yeah, Blaze had a few nice songs but that's about it... read something about vocal problems, dunno if it's true though. X Factor is quite monotone, I find Virtual XI to be more listenable than the former (Futureal FTW). And of course the winner is Bruce, absolutlely no contest.
                There were reports of him having some vocal problems which he claims to have solved. His voice has improved dramatically since he left Maiden though. Which is really odd. When he met Bruce Dickinson on radio recently Bruce said to him how much he preferred what he did after Maiden and never figured out why he couldn't do that when he was in the band.

                Originally Posted By: Rover I haven't checked out any of his solo stuff. To be honest, not sure I will.
                It was a band called B.L.A.Z.E. or just Blaze/BLAZE at various times, originally. Blaze's first album is reminiscent of Brave New World (3 Blaze-era tunes were used on that album and it shows in songwriting similarities) and the second was a concept album. Blaze did three records and a live release, Silicon Messiah, Tenth Dimension, Blood & Belief and As Live As It Gets. Management stupidly released Silicon in the same week as Brave New World, which was commercially devastating, and also would not let Blaze tour it.

                As I said...it was a band and songwriting credits showed it - Blaze wrote lyrics, they did the rest. All their work was produced by Andy Sneap (Sabbat) by the way.

                The "Blaze" name was since it's a band run by Blaze and since his name would boost sales, but it's not a total solo act. Somewhat like Dio's first incarnation (it became totally Ronnie's band when they reformed in the 90s). It was a fairly stable lineup mostly too, Steve Wray/John Slater on guitar, Rob Naylor on bass and Jeff Singer on drums for the first two albums and the live album. They were together mid 1999 through to January 2003.

                Blaze's third and final album had Wayne Banks (Sabbat) on bass and Jason Bowld (Pitchshifter) on drums, as session musicians.

                If you want to look into Blaze, it's best to get his new best-of from his website. It's only 6, released on his new self-run record label (Blaze Records or something like that) or the live album. Either's dead cheap....the live album is a double and has 4 Maiden tunes, a Wolfsbane tune (Blaze's old band) and a cover of "Dazed and Confused".

                Blaze's new band, the Blaze Bayley Band, spent the last few years coming together. An entirely new lineup, very new sound.
                http://theramblingelf.tumblr.com/ - my Tumblog (music reviews galore!)
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                • #9
                  Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                  Originally Posted By: Monkey I kind of wish the best of X Factor and Virtual XI to be re-recorded with Bruce. Blaze ruins otherwise good songs.
                  Oh God, no! I don't want Iron Maiden to be like "Sharon Osbourne and The Lapdogs" and erase bandmembers from history by re-recording albums. It's enough that we have some of these songs on live albums sang by Bruce.

                  P.S. El Lobo, TheElfoid - thanks for the advice and good words!
                  "There's only one Black Sabbath... I like to call him Tony Iommi" - racer

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                  • #10
                    Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                    <span style="font-style: italic">X Factor</span> was a departure and an experiment with a new singer. Which means it is vilified and hated by a substantial portion of the band's "fans". For all the prattling on about the bum rap that metal gets from the mainstream, metal fans themselves can often seem sickeningly narrow-minded.

                    Same thing happened to Priest. <span style="font-style: italic">Demolition</span> is a good album - wouldn't know that though trawling the message boards. You'd think it was an off-key collection of Bulgarian folk tunes.

                    I prefer Bruce to Blaze, but I was tremendously impressed by what the band was attempting with <span style="font-style: italic">X Factor</span> when I first heard it and remain so to this day. It doesn't work completely, but at <span style="font-style: italic">worst</span>, it's an interesting and noble failure.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                      Originally Posted By: J Hillenburg <span style="font-style: italic">X Factor</span> was a departure and an experiment with a new singer. Which means it is vilified and hated by a substantial portion of the band's "fans". For all the prattling on about the bum rap that metal gets from the mainstream, metal fans themselves can often seem sickeningly narrow-minded.
                      I think narrow-minded is an easy angle to take on it, but it's not quite that. It's that heavy metal fans do not like change. Most seem to listen to a wide variety of music, of multiple genres and sub-genres but won't like it when a band's sound changes. The other thing they have is pride; they like a band that unrelentingly stays a path whatever other people say, and that means sounding the same album after album.

                      I think it stems from the fact that so many of us are naturally weak people who rely on metal to empower, comfort and encourage us. We like it to feel the same every time since we are looking for something that specifically works for us. But I'm not sure of course.

                      Quote: I prefer Bruce to Blaze, but I was tremendously impressed by what the band was attempting with <span style="font-style: italic">X Factor</span> when I first heard it and remain so to this day. It doesn't work completely, but at <span style="font-style: italic">worst</span>, it's an interesting and noble failure.
                      I agree. Perfectly phrased.
                      http://theramblingelf.tumblr.com/ - my Tumblog (music reviews galore!)
                      http://twitter.com/TheRamblingElf - my Twitter
                      http://www.facebook.com/rwarrell - my Facebook

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                      • #12
                        Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                        I don't think Blaze was given a fair chance. He had to fill in the shoes of Bruce who was very iconic at the that time. I thought his vocals were very fitting for the dark mood of The X Factor as well as Virtual XI. I do think that Bruce can sing the Blaze songs really well but I prefer the studio recoding with Blaze. Try listening to some of his solo stuff and you will find that he is actually a superb vocalist.
                        So live for today
                        Tomorrow never comes

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                        • #13
                          Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                          I stopped liking new Maiden releases when they put out Somewhere in Time....was a huge disappointment at the time.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                            Originally Posted By: SlvrSrpnt I stopped liking new Maiden releases when they put out Somewhere in Time....was a huge disappointment at the time.
                            I know it's generally less popular, but what did you think of the "back to basics" and "pure" approach of No Prayer for the Dying. To a lesser extent they kept that for Fear of the Dark too.
                            http://theramblingelf.tumblr.com/ - my Tumblog (music reviews galore!)
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                            • #15
                              Re: Maiden: this time I won't support the underdog

                              I thought <span style="font-style: italic">Fear of the Dark</span> was a good album... <span style="font-style: italic">No Prayer for the Dying</span>, less so. "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" is an abomination.

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