2002

Retro-Review: Blaze – Tenth Dimension

Retro-Review: Blaze – Tenth Dimension

Tenth Dimension got name-dropped in my “Top 15(ish) of the 2000s” from 2010 and I have mentioned it from time to time on the blog. Every time a few readers show up and say stuff like “Oh man, yeah! Such a sadly overlooked record!” And while it is sad that it’s been overlooked, Tenth Dimension was released in a pretty difficult context. Blaze Bayley was basically a musical leper who got signed to SPV because of his name and connections to Iron Maiden. The story of his first post-Maiden band is one where everything was stacked against them, including signing with a label that obviously didn’t expect the band to amount to anything. BLAZE‘s debut album, Silicon Messiah, got released on the same day as Brave New World, and (shock) no one heard it. Yet it was hard hitting, modern and conveniently in a key that worked for Bayley’s voice. It was also produced by Andy Sneap and was thick and heavy. Two years later, the band turned around and dropped a concept album called Tenth Dimension, which not only features some of my favorite artwork ever, but ranks among my favorite heavy metal records of all time. With a review of Blaze Bayley‘s Infinite Entanglement in the pipeline, it got me thinking about this amazing album again.” And rather than wax 800 words about it as an ‘intro’ to my review of the new record, I thought I’d give it its own post.

Opeth – Deliverance [Bruce Soord Vinyl Remix] – Review

Opeth – Deliverance [Bruce Soord Vinyl Remix] – Review

Deliverance has the honor of being my least favorite Opeth album prior to the release of Watershed. At the time, I was still seeing the band frequently on the road and enjoyed the records well enough, but I have to admit that I was much more a fan of Damnation than Deliverance. Early on I suggested that this may be due to the fact that the majority of the band’s best acoustic material was saved for the acoustic record. But as the years went on, I think realized that I always felt like the songwriting was choppier on Deliverance, a critique I later made of both Watershed and Heritage. After buying the remixes of Damnation and Deliverance released at the end of 2015 and reading Mikael Åkerfeldt’s liner notes, I have to say that I feel mollified.