Tuesday, March 29, 2011

URIAH HEEP: "Into The WIld"

Rating: 7/10

Label: Record

Review by Alan Holloway

For over forty years, Uriah Heep have been peddling their quirky brand of high quality melodic pomp rock, veering in and out of the public eye but all the while doing a good job regardless of who thinks they are trendy or not.

The basic quarter of vocalist Bernie Shaw, guitar god Mick Box, keyboard player Phil Lanzon and bassist Trevor Bolder are still here, with long time drummer Lee Kerslake making way for Russell Gilbrook. Uriah Heep are very much still a band in every sense of the word, with everyone’s contribution being shunted right to the forefront, especially Lanzon’s Hammond organ warbling that are always a joy to hear. Bernie Shaw has a good, powerful voice, and Mick Box certainly knows how to write and play some top notch riffs.

For me, Uriah Heep are at their best when they put the pedal to the metal and just go for it, and on “Into The Wild” they do just that several times to great effect. “I Can See You”, “Into the Wild” and “T-Bird Angel” mix power, melody and big ass organ sounds like Deep Purple did at their best, and if you count “Highway Star” as one of your favourite tracks then you should really dig there. Elsewhere, there’s the usual big riff tracks that crunch along nicely, plus plenty of high end guitar playing from Box, who can still pull off a killer solo when he needs to.

Uriah Heep are a band who never fail to deliver plenty of impressive tunes, but there are usually a few that fall a little below par. Opener “Nail On The Head” has a catchy refrain that in the end is hammered home a bit too much, whilst closer “Kiss Of Freedom” is nice enough but doesn’t really go anywhere. Despite a few niggles, however, this is a great album that should not be missed by anyone who has enjoyed Heep live or on record in the past.


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