on 10 June 2000
Considering lead singer Blaze Bayley was forced out from the job he loved in IRON MAIDEN, this debut album for his new band, BLAZE, is a staggering achievement.
Brimming with well written songs, the strong dark voice of Bayley himself, the talented yong musicians, and some brilliant production from Andy Sneap, SILICON MESSIAH is every bit as good if not better than MAIDEN's new album BRAVE NEW WORLD.
10 tracks of pure heavy metal heaven, played with the kind of enthusiasm that makes you sit up and smile as you realise just what you're listening to is really something quite special.
Stand out tracks would have to be, the creative opener GHOST IN THE MACHINE (which warns us about how computers and technology will eventually overpower us all, a theme that is running through the album), the title track SILICON MESSIAH, the Maiden-esque BORN AS A STRANGER (one of the best songs I've ever heard), THE BRAVE, THE LAUNCH and the closing epic STARE AT THE SUN.
So, despite the undeserved stick that Bayley received when with IRON MAIDEN, his debut album as BLAZE proves beyond all doubt what a talent he is. One of the few genuine MUST HAVE albums, SILICON MESSIAH is essential listening and not to be missed. A classic.
on 10 March 2004
From the start, Blaze Bayley was never going to have an easy time of it. Brought into Iron Maiden to replace the most impressive vocalist in the genre, his vocals were great, but by that time Dickinson's air-raid siren voice had become as much a part of the band's style as the Steve Harris 12-minute Classic. So, when Dickinson returned, a nice little payoff for Bayley saw the original Maiden line-up reform into the band that their fans had always loved.
Blaze may have loved working with Iron Maiden, but being freed from the band is probably the best thing that could have happened for both Maiden and him. Maiden's reformed line-up returned to their impressive, distinctive form, while Blaze followed up by forming his own band and releasing Silicon Messiah. And it's a good thing - because finally, we're treated to a band whose style is built around Blaze's voice, rather than stuck in the absence of Dickinson's.
His voice, which was always good, is allowed to come into its own here, ringing out over the top of thumping power-chords and beats. The work bears some of the hallmarks of his time with Maiden - and it's doubtless that he gained something from the time he spent working with them - but it's often more aggressive than much of Maiden's work, if anything, sounding more like a pumped-up Powerslave than a Seventh Son.
To the school of Maiden fans, the album may seem a little unadventurous - Maiden fans are, after all, treated to probably the most adventurous music in the Metal genre - but it's still an excellent album, and superior even in that regard to almost all of its peers. And what it lacks in adventure, it more than makes up in raw energy and passion, and will appeal to those who like the aggressive sounds of modern metal guitar, but still moss those old guitar solos, and who'd like to hear a TUNE being sung over that driving beat, rather than some guy who sounds like he's caught his leg in a bear trap. Where Maiden still echo the styles of early 80's metal, and modern bands have abandoned singing for shouting, Blaze has merged 80's vocals with late 90's style to create a unique - and outstanding - metal album.
To me, this album is more impressive and more complete than any Maiden album of the last decade, and any metal collection would be well advised to have it. Ignore Brave New World and Dance of Death - seek this out instead, and be impressed.
on 29 February 2004
For those of you who don't know, Blaze Bayley is the former frontman of British metal bands Wolfsbane and Iron Maiden. After parting ways with the Maiden lads in 1999 (allowing for former vocalist Bruce Dickinson to rejoin), Blaze has since formed his own metal band, B L A Z E. This is their debut album, and certainly one of the best metal albums of all time. There is a general, sci-fi concept theme running through the album (The first 3 tracks are part of a story, and the last 3 tracks are part of a seperate story)which works well with Blaze's dark vocals. The opening track, Ghost in the Machine, starts the album perfectly: Loud, not too fast, and with a terrific yet simple chorus. Evolution and the title track continue this perfectly. The fourth track (the excellent Born as a Stranger) is incredible, with possibly the best chorus on the album. The Hunger shows the diversity and range of Blaze's voice, bringing a different mood to the album. Up next is The Brave, a hard and fast rocker with yet another excellent chorus.Identity continues the album with a moody theme, which contrasts with the next song, the anthemic Reach for the Horizon.The Launch is a short up-tempo song with great riffs and vocals. The album closer, the emotional Stare at the Sun, ends the album perfectly with rousing vocals and brilliant lyrics. All in all, a top class album, just like other BLAZE releases: Tenth Dimension and As Live As It Gets. I cannot wait until their fourth studio album, Blood and Belief.
on 2 September 2003
I bought Silicon messiah only 4 days ago after Blaze's blistering set at Bloodstock and I can quite easily say that this album is an absolute masterpiece. Anyone interested in Heavy Metal MUST own this, if you disliked Blaze era Maiden (shame on you it wasn't that bad!!!) you will find this a testament to Blaze's vocal skills and power that didn't always come across during some of his Maiden songs.
"Ghost In the Machine" is the best song, with Blazes voice powering the chorus and it allows for some SERIOUS heabangin'. Silicon Messiah, Born as a stranger and Stare at the Sun are almost as good and the rest of the album is very solid, the only dodgy track being The Hunger. So all in all BUY THIS ALBUM and if you can see Blaze live then even better!!! He's a top bloke too....!
on 1 August 2000
Blaze Bayley has entered a new realm with this master piece. I loved him with Iron Maiden, and now he truly enlightened me with Silicon Messiah. The album is reminiscent of The 1st two Dio CD's ( Holy Diver & The last in line) and of "Chemical Wedding" by Bruce Dickinson. Silicon Messiah is heavier than the new Iron Maiden album, which I have recently ignored because of boredom, to focus my attention on Blaze's exhilarating performance which I just can't get enough of, although he still is not at the same level as Bruce Dickinson vocally, his writing, research, and literary talents are just as good if not better. I give this CD 5 Stars and think it is one of the best CD's in the last 3 years that I have purchased. Metallica should learn from this CD, it is a group hungry young musicians who have great talents and want to prove there worth. Most artists can't even fill one side of an album any more with good songs, this one rocks from the opening of Ghost in the Machine to the very end, Stare at the sun. I give it a "Strong Buy" rating, an album you can't do without if you are a true heavy metal fan. My favorite song is "The Brave", it is very similar to "Futureal" the song Blaze helped write with Steve Harris when he was with Iron Maiden. So if you are a fan of Blaze buy this CD Now! It is very much worth it. "Learn to be silent. Let your mind listen and absorb" (Pythagoras) Up The Irons!
on 9 December 2001
Blaze Bayley doesn't need Iron Maiden, i bought this album of the day it was realesed. Blaze Bayley was the best thing that ever happened to Iron Maiden, he brought out a new side to them, but if they had kept him in the band insted of wanting to go back to the old sound of the aging Bruce Dickinson, if they had given Bayley a chance, they would have ended up with what we now know as Silicon Messiah. From the opening of Ghost In The Machine, to the final track "Stare At The Sun", this is an essential piece of music history. A unique blend of traditional stlye metal riffs, with a modern day , chunky sound, this is a must have for any fan of Mr Bayley. BLAZE.......long may you rule
on 23 April 2001
Great stuff, Blaze was a great singer at Maiden and is just as good here. And the rest of the band are extremely talented, the drummer being almost level with Nicko from Maiden. Yes, the concept is old, and the first two tracks experience a few shaky moments, but after this it is almost perfect. Blaze is probably a better singer than Bruce Dickinson, although the latter's superb perfomance on Brave New World casts doubt on this statement. Despite the talent of the members and the skill of the singer, this album is not better than any of the three most recent Maiden releases. Its almost there but doesnt have the finishing touch of a band with long experience, but doubtless this will come in time. Saying this, there are a few tracks on this album that are much better than almost anything done by heavy metal competitors. 'The Launch' and 'Born as a Stranger' are very good indeed, and 'Stare at the Sun' is amazing. Unfortunately, nothing to parallel Blaze's perfect perfomance of the Iron Maiden song (best song ever by anyone i think) Como Estais Amigos. Anyone who liked Blaze should buy this album. Anyone who likes heavy metal shoul be this album. Anyone who likes good music should buy this album. Give me more!
on 2 January 2002
Blaze was under-rated in Iron Maiden, and here he has the chance to let loose. What can I say? I thought Brave New World was an awesome CD, but this blows it out of the water! I am a BIG Maiden fan, but Blaze is way ahead of them right now, and this is Blaze Bayley' best performance to date. If The Tenth Dimesnion is as good as this, we are in for a treat, and there might actually be something worth listening to out there, rahter than having to be torrtured with Nu-Metal and UK Garage every day! May you sit on this throne for a long time Blaze!
on 8 August 2000
In my humble opinion, Blaze (Bayley)'s album "Silicon Messiah" is a masterpiece, one of the best metal albums of all time. Exaggeration? Some of you may think so. I don't. His voice is amazing (which could lead to conspiracy theories: was Harris doing something "bad" to it when producing Bayley's albums with Maiden?), the band plays brilliantly, the lyrics are great too, and it's one of those albums which will be hard to take out of your CD player.
Totally refreshing... sounds both 'old' (in the classical sense, meaning it doesn't sound like 90s metal at all :) ) and new.
It really has a style of its own, so it's hard to compare to other bands... let me think... it doesn't sound like Maiden (both old and new) at all. Bruce Dickinson's "Chemical Wedding" is a bit closer to this one. Maybe also a little bit of Dio's "Strange Highways". Or... yes, that's it, Rage's "Ghosts".
I'm almost "afraid" to say this, but as much as I love Maiden, Bruce and "Brave New World", I think "Silicon Messiah" completely and absolutely outclasses it.
on 6 October 2001
Its easy to compare Blaze's Debut and Iron Maiden's Brave new World, but its better to just take this album as it is: A great Metal Album by a Good, Solid singer and a band of talented musicians.
The album has quite a heavier feel than I would've thought, which surprised me at first but it feels right after a while.
Lyrically the album is sound, with a strong concept and voice putting forth the ideas. Very interesting material, especially in Ghost in The Machine and Silicon Messiah. Indeed, the title track is in my opinion the strongest song on the album; it's got a powerful riff and a memorable chorus.
The drumming on the album is first class, as is the singing, and it really pays off.
There are no really weak songs on the album, and the only criticism is that after a while the songs DO sound quite similar. This could be combated by more diverse riffs and will (hopefully) be corrected on the next album.
I recommend this album to any Traditional Metal fan that likes their music the Maiden way (without copying their style).