When I first heard the song "Russian Holiday", I wasn't too sure about this project... But now when I finally got the album, I must admit that the song and the whole EP are very well done and represent excellent musicianship by both Blaze and Thomas. The song selection is great since it covers songs from many periods of Blaze's career after joining Maiden. There's very interesting arrangement of Stealing Time from Tenth Dimension album, brand new song "Russian Holiday" which has some beautiful melodies and wistful atmosphere. Then there's Soundtrack of my life, which is one my favourites from Blaze's catalogue. When I first heard Blaze and Thomas doing acoustic version of this in YouTube, I loved it; it's great that they included this here! One More Step seemed to be a very personal and honest song in King of Metal album and on it's own way it was one of the record's strongest songs. And think that I like this arrangement even more. The fifth and final song of the EP is the majestic Iron Maiden song, Sign of the Cross; one of the best Maiden songs in my opinion, from the great The X-Factor album. That album has always been of my favourites from Maiden catalogue and it's great that Blaze and Thomas did this cover for the EP; once again the arrangement is great and the whole performance nails the atmosphere and concept of the song perfectly. And that is the thing with this EP: the arrangemets and artists' performances represent the mood and idea of the songs perfectly, even though the instruments are very different from the original versions. One could say "it doesn't work", but it does. It just does. I really like how Blaze's voice carries through the album with these wonderful acoustic arrangements. Bakker, Zwijsen and Bayley... what a trio. If someone had told me five years ago that such trio would do an album like this in 2013, perhaps I wouldn't have believed. It's the beautiful arrangements, it's the atmosphere and passion. And pure musical skill to make it work this well! There are moments when it's not time for these acoustic songs. Sometimes it's time for guitar riffs, loud and rock. But there are also moments when this acoustic EP is perfect. It gives you very interesting, enjoyable and beatiful new arrangements of five excellent songs. And when the time is right for Russian Holiday, you love it. Cheers, Blaze and Thomas. What a great EP, what a great addition to Blaze's amazing discography. Greetings from Finland! "Then is when learned it's not the falling down that counts What counts is getting up again" One More Step
Here it is, Blaze's first acoustic album. The opening song is Stealing Time from Blaze's Tenth Dimension and I was really happy to see that one on the tracklist, and even happier to hear it. The song starts with Anna Bakker's violin and kinda sets you to the mood for the album. Now, how can you capture the energy of a electric, heavy metal song and turn it in to an acoustic? I don't know but Blaze and fellas does that really smoothly and not only with this song. Second song is Russian Holiday, the brand new song of the album. This is amazing both lyrically and musically. It is about Blaze's tour in Russia and how he missed his family. The song is packed with true passion and feeling. The third track is Soundtrack of my Life, originally from Blood and Belief album by Blaze. The vocals are really powerful and has improved since the album version. Then comes the fourth track, One more Step from The King of Metal album. Now, as I have the King of Metal album too, I will say that I was inspired by "One More Step's" honesty and the way how it makes you want to get out of the bad situation, whatever it is. I personally don't like piano so much on the original track, but I always felt that it had the potential to be one of the Blaze classics. And now, on this EP, the track was turned into one. Fifth and last song of the album is Iron Maiden's Sign of the Cross. It is amazing how you can play an epic, progressive and complicated song with mainly just two instruments. First I thought that well, this one will surely lack some of its original elements. Only to be completely wrong. Overall this album has it all and proves that Blaze Bayley is not only a great heavy metal singer, he can be great in every genre of music. I like the album artwork really much too. Only thing that I didn't like was that it ended so fast. I am sure that another acoustic EP would have at least as warm welcome as this one. Long live Anna, Thomas and Blaze! The fans needs more CD's like this one.
Such a great disc, whole package is brilliant from start to finish. Waited for Blaze to do something of this nature for a while, after my 1st listen i wanted another 5 tracks. Would have payed double for this especially after seeing the songs played and sang live. Blaze and Thomas have totally out done themselves this time.
Ⓒ Blaze Bayley Recording 2013
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