Blaze – Silicon Messiah (Review)

Blaze - Silicon Messiah (2000)
Blaze – Silicon Messiah (2000)

I loved Blaze Bayley in Wolfsbane but because I didn’t enjoy his stint in Maiden I never really thought of him as a “metal” guy. To me, he was at this best when he was painting the town red and lighting up the night with a little kiss. That was the Blaze I liked. So when his first post-Maiden outing Silicon Messiah proved to be a dark, very-metal affair I just passed on it. Not his forte.

I was wrong. Sixteen years later, spurred on by reading positive reviews and the return of Wolfsbane, I have added Silicon Messiah to my collection. It’s remarkably good. A proper underdog album if ever there was one. It’s downbeat, dystopian drop-D riffing is definitely of its time (think Brutal Planet, Magica etc…) and the opening tracks raise a worry that it’s all going to be a bit samey. But the album soon lightens up. Born as a Stranger, the galloping The Brave and Man on the Edge-esque The Launch are all extremely enjoyable, anthemic power metal tracks. The album just gets better and better as it rolls on and culminates wonderfully in Stare at the Sun: a gripping, goosebump-inducing epic. And, although tracks like The Hunger are chuggier and samier, their slower pace gives Blaze room to emote. He’s massively likeable throughout, delivering a vocal performance full of character and commitment.

So double dumb-ass on me for writing the man off. Turns out he is very-metal after all. He even manages to show Iron Maiden a thing or two with this anthemic and addictive album. It’s thoughtful and well-executed, topped off with a great vocal performance of considerable charm and charisma. That’s the Blaze I like.

15th Ann. Edition (w/ 3 bonus tracks) from
15th Anniversary Edition (w/ 3 bonus tracks) from Blaze’s site

60 thoughts on “Blaze – Silicon Messiah (Review)”

  1. I really didn’t mind the First Maiden BLAZE album really. I was glad Maiden kept going . The second Blaze Maiden album the songs just weren’t there….He took a ton of heat though but than again anyone would replacing the Air Raid Siren!
    Also by 96 no one cared about these bands except us diehards as here in North America the music scene had shifted into Junk Bands….
    Good to see u supporting ….Awesome

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree Deke. X-Factor had some good stuff but there was a few boring and crap songs too. I never thought Blaze was the problem either. Like you said, the songs just weren’t there. Reckon Harris needs someone like Dickinson to keep him in check. All those bass intros!

      Mind you, I was losing interest in Maiden anyway at this point… No Prayer was a bit ropey and FOTD was mostly shite! I think Blaze walked into a band that was already having problems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your right No Prayer was a bit dicey but for me Fear Of The Dark at the time I thought was a step back in the right direction and of course Bruce quits…
        Over time like 24 years FOTD has grown on me and I think It’s pretty decent…
        Speaking of Maiden…tomorrow there is a Maiden review of a pretty decent album they made. Of course I have a story to go with it! hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I still prefer No Prayer. There are some good tracks on FOTD but a lot of guff filler. The first song is good, title track is killer and I like Judas My Guide but… er… that might be it! I think X-Factor is better than FOTD actually. But I just wasn’t very impressed by Maiden at that point. I thought they were toast.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I was going to 3/4’s Filler NPFTD but I actually liked more than half the album. Thought Holy Smoke/ Public Enema Number 1 along with Tailgunner/Ttile track and Hooks n You were decent….still though haven’t listened to it in a while….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the way you came to this one, and it’s cool that you actually liked it! I wasn’t a fan of his work with Maiden either, but I haven’t heard any of his solo stuff, so I’m glad you’re exploring this. It means I get to learn as you go!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent! I don’t know this one, but I have / had Tenth Dimension and King of Metal. A pal of mine is a big fan and he got me into some Blaze and Wolfsbane a while back.

    I know for a fact I still have the Wolfsbane, but I need to double check the Blaze stuff (I didn’t reckon it was the best, in fairness). I’ll check this out though, I reckon you’ve sold this to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool, the Wolfsbane stuff is definitely THE BEST. I’ve got Tenth Dimension here but haven’t got to it yet so can’t comment! I’m going to work through his stuff. I reckon this one is well worth a go. Takes a couple of listens but there’s just something really likeable about it!


      1. I don’t think any of the Blaze stuff is bad, but I just didn’t think it was consistent. Some of it very good and some of it sounded like sketches of really good ideas. But, I’ll look forward to reading your take on them and seeing whether or not I should revisit them.

        The Wolfsbane stuff is definitely most excellent.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sure he has a Google alert set up so he’s notified of such chat. Probably crying into his coffee as we type.

        I feel bad now.

        Sorry, Rick. It was all that HMO guy. I don’t even really know him.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He’s a right state this morning. Couldn’t get a wink of sleep with all the worry. Phoning his muso pals… “why do they say these things about me?”


      4. Double checked the ol’ information superhighway and it looks like he done two. 12 Songs (the one I’ve heard) and Home Before Dark.

        But aye, if you reviewed Neil Diamond I might believe you 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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