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Uriah Heep will be 40 years old next year.... and this is one 40 year old where the old "life begins at" cliche holds true. They've just released this, their first studio album in 10 years (after a run of live albums). Was it worth the wait? You better believe it! This album holds up very very well in comparison to the classic Heep of the early 70's, and the then rejuvenated early 80's line up. This is possibly the best album they've made since 1982's Abominog, and maybe even the best since that early 70's heyday.
Soundwise, all the hallmarks of a great Heep album are there, the huge hammond organ sound, Mick Box's fantastic mastery of the guitar and wah-wah pedal (how many bands use one of those nowadays?), the multi-layered harmony vocals, and of course the main vocal performance itself. Singer Bernie Shaw has now been with the band since 1985, and I'd say this is his best set of vocals yet... his voice has deepened a tad with age so it sounds more resonant, more powerful, just, well, better than it has in the past.
The tracks start with the manic rocking opening title track which pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album! From then on it's a mixture of out and out classic style Heep rockers interspersed with the usual lighter moments that Heep have always done so well. Final track War Child is possibly the best song they've done since 1971's epic July Morning!
Make no bones about it, this is one of the best rock releases of the year, if not the decade! If you're an old Heep fan and are dithering about whether or not to buy this... get moving - it's a beauty of an album, incredibly well written, performed and produced. I've listened to it a dozen times in thelast week and can't wipe the grin off my face - it's that good! Roll on the tour!
1. Wake The Sleeper 2. Overload 3. Tears Of The World 4. Light Of A Thousand Stars 5. Heaven's Rain 6. Book Of Lies 7. What Kind Of God 8. Ghost Of The Ocean 9. Angels Walk With You 10. Shadow 11. War Child
'Sea Of Light' has to be in there in the years between 'Sleeper' and 'Abominog' though.
n13roy 09.07.2008 10:43
Good Grief......Uriah Heep, now THATS a blast from the past, I can tell you. Didn't know they were still going. I actually bought their VERY first album, on actual VINYL ( remember them ) a LONG time ago, called " Very Eavy, Very Umble " Saw them live a few times too !!!!..........Roy.....
manlybeach 06.07.2008 19:11
I haven't heard July Morning for years! It was one of my favourites. Good review