Blaze是来自英国的重金属乐队，现成员有Blaze Bayley - Vocals, Luca Princiotta - Guitars, Oliver Palotai -Guitars, Christian Ammann - Bass, Daniel Schild - Drums。值得一提的是Blaze，Iron Maiden的乐迷应该注意到了，他就是IM94-99年顶替Bruce的主唱。虽然很多老IM迷对95、98这两专辑很不屑，不过我个人还挺喜欢Virtual XI的，特别是Blaze稍带迷幻的嗓音。这支乐队是Blaze离开IM后组建的，希望大家喜欢。
Wayne Banks and Jason Bowld amply hold down the bass end. Special propos must go to Jason for his excellent drumming- worthy of that of a much more experienced performer.
As for the actual songs, I'll split them up into 3 categories:
Regret. Quite simply the best song on the album, the interaction between Blaze and the guitarists is simply outstanding. This is a heavy, building song and yet the personal nature of the lyrics gives it a tinge of melancholy (especially during the chorus).
Life and Death. The lyrics are once again very personal and this only adds to the depth of musicianship shown on this track. This goes to further indicate the level of musical depth that Blaze have as a band.
Blood & Belief. A very heavy track in the true classic metal mould. The song has a break in it to allow the riff to build up again; this also is beneficial to stop the song getting boring. Slightly confusing lyrics detract from the song slightly, but it's good nonetheless.
Soundtrack of my life. The interaction and the way the vocals meld with the music is reminiscent of Regret. Though this is slightly inferior, it has a nice haunting opening and an exceptional chorus.
Alive. A solid opener to either album or set, this song is a huge [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明] you to all of Blaze's critics. Once again, this song contains the very personal lyrics that typify the songs on this album.
Ten Seconds. Contains some excellent guitar work, but the lyrics are too inane and repetitive to be counted amongst the best songs on this album. This is one of the tracks upon which Blaze Bayley's Iron Maiden influences show through (especially with the VXI- like repetition of the chorus).
Tearing Yourself to Pieces. A dirty, almost 慸rugged-up?track that has an early Sabbath feel to it. Once again, while this is good, it's not in the same league and Regret etc. The lyrics are again incredibly personal.
Hollow Head. One of the heaviest tracks on the album, the guitar work is once again very good. The lyrics are lacking on this one, especially when compared to the much more meaningful songs on the album.
The Path and the Way. Once again, Blaze's Maiden influences show through- in the way that the music ( after a punishing opening) mellows before getting heavier again. A song about religion, or to be more precise Blaze's distaste for it. Not one of the outstanding tracks on the album, yet it's solid enough.
Will to Win. A song similar to those played during Blaze's tenure as Wolfsbane frontman. Not bad, but a very cheesy chorus and a lack of real direction mar this one. Solid drumming and the best line of the album manage to rescue this one though.
So, all in all a very solid album. Nothing amazingly innovative and yet nothing sub-standard either. On the whole, this is a very good album and when all the parts are put together a very pleasing product is made. This is a similar album to?And Justice in that it's so intense as to force the listener to actively listen to it. It's just not an album that you can put on in the background while you do something else.
Fortunately, Blaze aren抰 just a Maiden clone. They have discovered their own musical identity and it seems that they are going from strength to strength with each album they put out.
2. Ten Seconds
3. Blood and Belief
4. Life and Death
5. Tearing Yourself to Pieces
6. Hollow Head
7. Will to Win
9. The Path and the Way
10. Soundtrack of My Life