The band's had the same issues for a long time: repetition, way too many long songs, and weak production. But for some reason this is much less of a hindrance on certain records than others. Book of Souls, for example, is actually pretty good (maybe my 2nd fav post-80s after BNW) despite these problems... and it's soooo long.
Hah, yeah, sorry, I can't support the Blaze Bayley records, but what's sad is that it's not Blaze's fault whatsoever; it's just the band sounds absolutely lifeless. Everything is that much slower, and very flat production. I could barely get through Virtual XI.