Genre: Blaze Bayley rearranged for classical guitar and violin
Metal Traveller Rating: (4/5 - Very good)
Blaze Bayley is a busy man. After he split with his previous band, he started a new solo career, reunited with Wolfsbane and has toured all over the world.
Now, Blaze Bayley, “The Man That Would Not Die”, released an E.P. that will surprise more than one! Blaze partnered with guitar player Thomas Zwijsen to create this acoustic E.P. called Russian Holiday. If you don’t know Thomas Zwijsen yet, it’s time to take a look to his YouTube channel and to buy his record Nylon Maiden. Thomas is a classical guitar player and an Iron Maiden fan, who decided to rearrange the songs of his favourite band on classical guitar.
The result of this meeting between these two musical universes is unexpected and incredibly good!
Doing acoustic versions of Rock and Metal songs is nothing new. But rearranging Metal songs for classical guitar is not something really common.
Well, Blaze and Thomas took the risk, and we’ve got an album full of surprises!
The CD starts with Stealing Time, a song from the album Tenth Dimension. It starts with a guitar / violin duo between Thomas and Anna Bakker, which lasts until the verse starts. Then it goes crescendo until the climax is reached with the chorus and its powerful and dramatic melody.
During the Maiden years it was common to hear Baze Bayley’s voice with acoustic guitars, but this is something different. It’s exciting, and it makes me want to discover the rest!
Russian Holiday is a new song, with good lyrics and a beautiful melody during the chorus. I also loved the break! I hope they'll do an electric version, this one coud become a classic!
Then there’s The Soundtrack Of My Life, which was originally recorded on the album Blood and Belief.
This version is the proof that you don’t need drums to get a heavy and powerful sound.
One More Step, from the album The King Of Metal is next. When I first heard it I asked myself what was going on. It’s the darkest song of the E.P., but probably the deepest most honest one too.
Finally, it was logical for this duet, formed by a former Iron Maiden singer and an Iron Maiden fan, to cover a song from this band. Well, they choose Sign Of The Cross, which is not the easiest one!
With the help of Anna Bakker on violin, this version is simply amazing on every level: intro, verses, harmonies and violin solo.
Playing acoustic versions of rock songs is not something easy. There’s no distortion and no drums to cover any possible mistakes. On this E.P. everyone is shown as he really is: Blaze’s voice sounds great and Thomas adapts the lines written for electric guitar without making them too complicated. It sounds true and faithful, almost like a live performance.
This is not a typical E.P., but the kind of record that opens the way to new musical experiences. Someone had to think about it, Blaze, Thomas and Anna did it!
Blaze Bayley Line-up:
Blaze Bayley – Vocals
Thomas Zwijsen – Guitars
Anne Bakker – Violin