Iron Maiden - The X Factor
Aug 15, 2019
Poor Blaze Bayley. Unlike most people, I don't really blame him for how the record turned out. Can you imagine being given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of working with a band as big as Iron Maiden, replacing a man who is regarded as one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Bruce Dickinson? With the rest of the band members so clearly being unmotivated to actually work that it shows in their music?

With that said, I really don't think that it was Blaze's fault that this album is on the weaker side of Maiden's discography. For what he does here, he actually does a pretty good job. He's nowhere near the quality of Bruce Dickinson's vocals (obviously), and I wouldn't even say he's as good as Paul Di'Anno, vocalist for the first two records, but he's still a pretty decent singer. Not the best in metal, but a good one. But even then, I think his performance is brought down from the weak instrumental performances. How can you expect the vocalist to do anything unbelievably good when all of the instrumentalists sound like they couldn't give a damn even if they got someone like Dio working with them? This guitar and drum work is so uninspiring that I wouldn't even be surprised if they contemplated breaking up the band, but decided at the last minute to pick up a fairly unknown vocalist and continue where they left off. The guitar riffs sound like they've lost all ideas at this point and are just rehashing what made previous albums so good, while the drumming sounds like the same beat over and over again played through all eleven tracks. Aside from a few really high points scattered throughout, there really isn't too much instrumentally that is good at all.

In terms of the tracks, there really aren't any that are good at all. I mean, Sign Of The Cross is the only one that comes close to being a genuinely good song, but even that is pretty poor by Iron Maiden standards. Most of them are dull, forgettable, and feel as if they forced themselves through the record.

It's a shame that this ended up the way it is. Bayley really could have been a good addition to the band, albeit nowhere near as good as their previous frontman. I did enjoy listening to this album for the time it was on, but the likelihood of me ever coming back to it is very, very little, and even listening to it, it just doesn't feel like Iron Maiden. It feels like a mess.

Favourite Tracks: Sign Of The Cross; Look For The Truth; Fortunes Of War; The Edge Of Darkness

Least Favourite Tracks: Judgement Of Heaven; The Aftermath; The Unbeliever; 2 AM
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