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Metal/Prog Metal DVD/Video Reviews

Blaze Bayley

Alive In Poland DVD

Review by Greg Olma

Blaze Bayley has had his name dragged through the mud for no good reason other than the fact he replaced Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden. I think many fans just weren’t ready for the new Maiden sound and of course they blamed Blaze. Well, looking back at it, Bayley did sing on a few classics and even Dickinson had to concede and sing “Sign Of The Cross” and “Clansman” live. I heard a couple of solo albums from Bayley and they were what I expected; great metal releases. He has quite a catalog of really good metal tunes and this DVD is proof of that. He picks songs from his time with Iron Maiden along with a healthy dose from his solo career. The latter is what really makes this DVD a winner. Not only is the material strong but he doesn’t rely on the Maiden tunes to carry the whole concert. Only about a third of the show contains songs from Harris and company. Here is a man who is forging ahead and, although he acknowledges his past, he does not rely on it. Bayley has surrounded himself with a solid band and what better way to show off that there is still plenty of life in him than to put out a ripping live DVD. Sure, the Maiden tunes like “Man On The Edge” and “Sign Of The Cross” get the best responses, but the crowd digs a lot of his newer material also. “Speed Of Light” and “ Silicon Messiah” show that, as a solo artist, Bayley is still a metal force to be reckoned with.

The DVD was shot in Poland (hence the name) on March 24th, 2007. The camera work is top notch except that (on occasion) the angular positioning is annoying. It seems that holding the camera straight is “old fashioned” or something but after a while, it does grate on me. Overall, there are enough cameras and edits to keep that to a minimum. As far as extras, the interviews are the most fun to watch; the Bayley interview being quite informative. There is also a video of “Hollow Head” along with the usual photo gallery type of stuff. Since the concert on this DVD gives a pretty well rounded look a Bayley’s solo career, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see what he has been up to since leaving Maiden. I think you will look at him in a positive light and realize that he didn’t ruin Iron Maiden for those few years.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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