In a new interview, former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley reflects on the divisive 1995 album The X Factor and reveals one big "problem" with the record.

Bayley guested on The Metal Command podcast, chatting about his new solo album Circle of Stone and, of course, revisited a noteworthy part of his past. Since his dismissal from Maiden in 1999, the singer has been rather prolific in the studio and as a touring solo artist.

Nevertheless, history always seems to resurface in interviews, this latest being no exception.

Blaze Bayley on The X Factor

Responding to the notion that Bayley's solo career has caused fans to warm up to his pair of albums with Iron Maiden — The X Factor and Virtual XI — the singer agrees.

"I'm hearing this a lot," Bayley says (transcription via Blabbermouth), "People look back and they go… Some fans go, 'Of course I've got every Iron Maiden album, but the ones I haven't listened to are The X Factor and Virtual XI. And now that's all I can listen to that I haven't listened to a hundred times. I have to listen to those.' And it's exactly what you say to me."

"I remember saying at the time that those albums that we did with Blaze, that people would in the future come to appreciate them a lot more later on," bassist Steve Harris told Chris Jericho in 2018, "And they are — they are starting to do that now."

Bayley goes on to state that The X Factor has "some incredible music," but its pitfall is that "the sound of it is so dark." He also pinned part of the "problem" with the record and its accessibility on "the way it was produced."

The album lacks a distinctive, vibrant punch of guitars Iron Maiden are otherwise renowned for. In tandem with the more brooding instrumentation, The X Factor feels largely disconnected with anything the band had done up until that point.

"You've got to live with that for quite a few spins until you're tuned into what things are doing. Then you can get to the music," Bayley assesses, noting The X Factor comes with a few hurdles before fans can truly start to enjoy it for what it is.

Listen to the full podcast below. Keep scrolling for more information on Bayley's new record.

Blaze Bayley on The Metal Command Podcast

READ MORE: How Did Iron Maiden Find Blaze Bayley to Replace Bruce Dickinson in the 1990s?

Blaze Bayley, Circle of Stone

Out Feb. 23 release, Circle of Stone can be pre-ordered at Bayley's website. It will be the eighth album released under the Blaze Bayley moniker, which succeeds a three-album run as Blaze.

See the album details below and watch the music video for the title track.

Blaze Bayley, Circle of Stone Album Art + Track Listing

Blaze Bayley, 'Circle of Stone' album cover. A man with a guitar stands amid a tower of stones laid out in a circle
Blaze Bayley Recordings

01. "Mind Reader"
02. "Tears In Rain"
03. "Rage"
04. "The Year Beyond This Year"
05. "Ghost In The Bottle"
06. "The Broken Man"
07. "The Call Of The Ancestors"
08. "Circle Of Stone"
09. "Absence"
10. "A Day Of Reckoning"
11. "The Path Of The Righteous Man"
12. "Until We Meet Again"

Blaze Bayley, "Circle of Stone" Music Video

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