01. The Man Who Would Not Die
03. Smile Back At Death
04. While You Were Gone
06. A Crack In The System
08. At The End Of The Day
09. Waiting For My Life To Begin
10. Voices From The Past
11. The Truth Is One
12. Serpent Hearted Man
Well it's been four years since Blaze's last solo effort " Blood & Belief " and I was anxiously waiting for this album since the announcement. " Blood & Belief " is my least favorite of his three solo albums, so I was hoping this album would go more back to the sound and style of the first two albums. However, this album pretty much follows the natural progression of the B&B sound; getting heavier and with a more "modernized" sound. One thing you'll notice is the new guitar players ditched the dropped D/standard tuning of previous Blaze albums in favor of seven string guitars tuned to B. It doesn't make a huge diffrerence to the sound, but it's definitely noticable. That said, the guitar work is solid; but not as good as the work on his previous efforts. There are some pretty good harmonies and maybe a few noteworthy leads throughout the album, but overall nothing to write home about. The rhythm section is pretty comparable to the other Blaze albums, being solid but not a whole lot going on. The bass intro to " Samurai " however, is pretty cool and a big nod to Steve Harris.
Okay now on to the actual songs. One thing that particularly sticks out to me is that the albums sounds like it COULD have been great, but for whatever reason comes up short. The song for the most part are just umemorable, and really lack the magic of Blaze's previous work. The title track however, starts things off with a bang and shows that Blaze is as good as ever vocally. This is actually one of the only tracks on the album I really enjoy, but sadly it's a diamond in the dirt here. " Blackmailer " is up next, and has a pretty great harmony/lead section but other than that is pretty average. " Smile Back At Death " is also okay, but is way too long for it's own good. It would've benifited from being cut in half; it really seems to just sort of plod on. " While You Were Gone " is a semi-ballad song and is actually pretty good. Some pretty emotional singing by Blaze on this one, and I like how it speeds up in the middle and slows back down for the ending. " Samurai " is actually the one song that sounds like it could've easily been on Tenth Dimension or Silicon Messiah. Another one I really enjoy, and as I mentioned before; some good bass work on this one. " A Crack In The System " is one of the heaviest tracks, but also one of the most boring...next! " Robot " is the first single off the album, and probably my favorite song. Fast, heavy, and catchy with some good guitar work. " At The End Of The Day " is another ballad-esque song, and is ok but like so many songs on this album, just isn't that memorable. Pretty much same story for " Waiting For My Life To Begin " except the latter is a little bit better. " Voices From The Past " is another one I really enjoy and has some really great vocal melodies. " The Truth Is One " is pretty forgettable, not really much to say here. And finally the album closes " Serpent Hearted Man " which I like, but still isn't really anything fantasic. Overall, I was really dissapointed with the album; but I'm interested to hear what you guys think of it.
BTW, I never write reviews, so take it easy if it's not the best.