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Album Review: Blaze Bayley – The Redemption of William Black (Infinite Entanglement Part III)

In true trilogy fashion, the third chapter of Blaze Bayley’s Infinite Entanglement saga is easily the most epic. The tempos are more mixed, the melodies sound bright and triumphant, and a greater emphasis on dialogue and sound effects results in an even more cinematic feel overall. The style isn’t too drastic a departure from the previous two installments’ power-tinged heavy metal, but there’s a clear sense of the album building up to some sort of climactic resolution.

But it’s hard to tell what the climactic resolution even is when the story has somehow gotten even more convoluted. Endure and Survive raised the stakes by throwing curveballs about our protagonist’s backstory, but The Redemption of William Black goes even further with the reveal of a eugenic masterplan complete with Revelations-style prophecies. Such elements don’t derail the music, but it’s hard to follow when the actual lyrics are almost entirely written in the first person. I’m sure the story is fleshed out in the tie-in media Blaze has planned for the trilogy, but I would settle for a song by song commentary.

Fortunately, the more conclusive outlook doesn’t get in the way of the preestablished songwriting method, as filler interludes and lengthy monologues remain elusive. While “Prayers of Light” can be pandering at times, its catchy hooks did make it a wise choice for the album’s lead single. From there, “The First True Sign” and “18 Days” make the most of the album’s narrative intensity and “Human Eyes” makes for another one of Blaze’s stirring ballads, particularly in its beginning. I also find “Already Won” to be the type of strong mid-tempo rocker that hasn’t been seen in the Blaze catalogue for quite some time.

Overall, The Redemption of William Black is a solid end to a solid trilogy. A much clearer narrative would’ve resulted in a more satisfactory conclusion but people who’ve just been listening to these albums for the music won’t find anything too drastically different on here than its predecessors. The first installment remains the strongest, but fans shouldn’t be disappointed by this album or Endure and Survive either. It’ll be interesting to see where Blaze Bayley goes from here. With all the work he’s put into this trilogy, I wouldn’t judge too harshly if he decided to rest on his laurels for a while.

Highlights:
“The First True Sign”
“Human Eyes”
“Prayers of Light”
“18 Days”
“Already Won”

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