VETERAN rockers Uriah Heep are back with their 23rd studio album containing eleven brilliant new tracks full of organ heavy, guitar driven songs all containing the band’s trademark harmonies.
Produced by Mike Paxman (Status Quo, ELO Part 2), this album marks a new chapter in the history of this seminal band who, since their formation in 1969, have sold in excess of 30 million records.
The band, despite it’s early rapid turnover in members, has been stable of late with the newest member – drummer Russell Gilbrook – joining five years ago in place of original skinsbeater Lee Kerslake.
Keyboard player Phil Lanzon and vocalist Bernie Shaw have been in the band for 25 years and bassist Trevor Bolder was recruited ten years before that.
Holding the reins of the band – and the last remaining founder-member – is the guitarist and permanently grinning Mick Box.
The opening track – and first single off the album – is ‘Nail On The Head’, whose solid beat, aligned to organ and guitar riffs, is anthemic enough to be sure to get the crowd joining in.
The tempo picks up with ‘I Can See You’, which is a typical rock thrash, whilst the title track rocks along apace with a sound not dissimilar to Deep Purple.
‘Money Talks’ is another track with a pounding beat with some top notch guitar riffs behind multi-layered harmonies and an organ sound that comes from the depths of Hell itself.
The pace doesn’t slacken until the sixth track ‘Trail Of Diamonds’, which is a more thoughtful song with some exquisite arrangements. Starting with acoustic guitar, Hammond organ and searing vocals, we have two and a half minutes of this sublimity until the band kicks into action.
‘Believe’ has the best vocal harmonies this side of The Beach Boys, and the album closes with the slower ‘Kiss Of Freedom’.
The whole album cracks along at a blistering rate and even on the first playing it is obvious that Uriah Heep has unleashed one of the best albums they have ever recorded.
I couldn’t help thinking while listening to the album…. Does it sound like Deep Purple? Rainbow? …. No, it sounds like the legendary Uriah Heep.
Released on Frontiers Records on April 18th.