Let’s not beat around the bush; Monument are an Iron Maiden cover band. They’re not playing songs the Maiden released yet, but they probably traveled to the future to steal their fellow Brits’ upcoming hymns. While Monument aren’t sporting an iconic three-guitars line-up, the harmonic twin guitar leads, the prevalent bass licks and singer Peter Ellis’ vocals all pay homage to the greatest metal band in history (there, I said it). There aren’t as many Maiden mimics out there as one would expect considering the band’s huge influence – maybe musicians don’t dare to challenge the Maiden at their own game. After all, Iron Maiden‘s musical style is quite singular as opposed to the more or less rather typical heavy metal compositions of Judas Priest or Metallica, of which there are a million clones, simply because as soon as you play some kick ass riffs, you’ll be subjected to the comparison. Continue reading “Monument – Hellhound Review”
The throwback week continues with Blaze Bayley‘s new, trilogy-concluding The Redemption Of William Black (Infinite Entanglement Part III) after Evil Hunter‘s Maiden-esque self-titled debut. As proven with his recent endeavors, Mr. Bayley is still deeply infatuated with Iron Maiden and NWOBHM in general. The good news is that in comparison to other, sadder musicians he is not delving into the sinkhole of succumbing to being a mere shadow of the past but instead brings a new spin to his influences of old with both excellent songwriting and a modern sound partly due to his brilliant backing band Absolva.
His new album, challenger to the trophy for Longest Album Title 2018, concludes his Infinite Entanglement series, a trilogy of science fiction concept albums started in 2016 with Infinite Entanglement and continued with second part Endure And Survive in 2017. Yes, that makes three albums in three years which is an admirable feat and testament to Blaze’s creativity.
Sure, there hasn’t been any true creative development between the three albums, they pretty much all sound the same in the style of the music. But is that such a bad thing when the music is good? Blaze Bayley merely adheres to his talents, similar to bands like Maiden and Priest. Furthermore this steadiness gives rise to a consistency throughout all three albums which thusly are not only connected by story, but also by sound.
Part III‘s sound is even a bit clearer and more vivid as compared to the first part for example which was still slightly lacking in the production department. Like with Iron Maiden, the bass lines are mixed to have priority and deliver a good punch. The same is true for the lightning fast guitar riffs and solos of Chris Appleton. It is a delight being subjected to the extreme force of power metal edging tracks like “The Dark Side Of Black” which challenge Blaze to push the limits of his baritone. I personally always enjoyed his slightly nasal yet vigorous deliverance of the vocals. He may not be the most technical or most talented singer on earth, but his singing is genuine and vibrant.
Just like with Parts 1 and 2, Blaze Bayley and his band deliver an experience enjoyable throughout the album. The first two parts of the trilogy were a tad better, but that on a scale so small that it doesn’t really matter. As always, both musically and lyrically Blaze proves that he will not stand down and that he will keep fighting. Just like the main character in the science fiction concept of his albums, Blaze had some lows in his life, but never gave up. That gives the album a positive feel to it and generates excitement for what is still to come in his career after finishing this ambitious trilogy.