Blaze - As Live as it Gets
Heavy Metal
Disc 1: 9 songs (50'00) Disc 2: 9 songs (51'28)
Release year: 2003
Blaze, Steamhammer
Reviewed by Ben

I was definitely surprised by Blaze's new live album As Live as it Gets. Usually I am very skeptical about live albums that get put out after a band has only released two studio albums but one must remember Blaze also has two Iron Maiden and three Wolfsbane releases under his belt as well. The song selection is pretty good, one third of the material are "covers" of the aforementioned bands and the rest are the best tracks culled from Blaze's solo releases. The production is crystal clear with a full sound to it and the crowds are amazing with their massive amounts of cheering. One thing I must remark on before I go on to the music is that the cover to As Live as it Gets is horrible. I don't think a more unflattering picture of Blaze can be found anywhere. I really have no idea what the record label was thinking releasing such a bad cover to an otherwise great live album.

The band starts the show with a perfect opening song, Speed of Light, I mean this has an intro riff and solo that just screams metal and is ideal for a live setting. A short to the point track that serves to get the crowd riled up and then surprisingly, two covers are next. The first cover is When Two Worlds Collide and Steel. I say I was surprised because I wasn't expecting covers to be played this early in the set but hey it's not my band. Two more tracks from Tenth Dimension are next, the asskicking Kill and Destroy and the somewhat lackluster End Dream, I just could never get into the latter with its slow plodding tempo. The lengthy Stare at the Sun is an excellent choice for a live show and it doesn't hurt that its one of the best tracks off of Silicon Messiah. The intro has very Maidensish melodies and harmonics and some really crunchy parts during the verses. Unfortunately after Stare at the Sun disc one kinda peters out quietly with some not so great solo songs and a cover of Led Zeppelins Dazed and Confused. Like I said in my Masterplan review, Zeppelin isnt for me and never will be so as you can probably surmise I wasn't too thrilled with their choice to cover this particular song.

After only about half of disc one blowing my skirt up with power, disc two comes along and kills with power. Starting things off with Virus was very unexpected but when the song kicks in around the 1.45 mark you cant help yourself and not at least tap your foot if you arent already headbanging. Also including this track in the setlist is a good gesture to new fans who might not be able to get the original studio version found on Maiden's Best of the Beast compilation now OOP. The Brave, a fast track through and through follows and is then proceeded by two midtempo tracks, Stranger to the Light and Identity. With these latter two tracks being the only lowlights on disc two, the last half is made up of Sign of the Cross, Futureal, Ghost in the Machine, Born as a Stranger, and Tenth Dimension. I much prefer disc two over disc one, simply because some of Blaze's best songs are on there and contains much less filler than disc one. Like I said earlier, the production is crystal and the crowds are amazing. The band itself sounds tight and confident onstage and even during the lackluster songs they are playing with a strong sense of conviction and urgency. If you liked Blaze's tenure with Iron Maiden and enjoyed his solo albums you will most denitely like As Live as it Gets. If you hated Blaze however and didn't give his solo releases the time of day then you better pass this one by.

Killing Songs :
Kill and Destroy, Stare at the Sun, The Brave, and Born as a STranger
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Blaze that we have reviewed:
Blaze - Blood & Belief reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
Blaze - Tenth Dimension reviewed by Danny and quoted 70 / 100
Blaze - Silicon Messiah reviewed by Danny and quoted 92 / 100
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