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URIAH HEEP Waking The Sleeper Universal (2008)

Uriah Heep

You can't imagine the excitement when this CD arrived. Uriah Heep are back, first album in 10 years and best album in nearly 20. Record company probs aside (those who would only fund a series of annual acoustic live sets), it's good to see the band signed to a major label.

And given the revolving door line-ups of days gone by, Uriah Heep had a lengthy stable period, the only change here is the departure of longtime drummer Lee Kerslake (lovely chap), and coming in is Russell Gilbrook, who I last saw playing with Bedlam.

Joining him are singer Bernie Shaw, bassist Trevor Bolder (one of the best bassists around), pianist Phil Lanzon and the ever grinning Mick Box on guitar.

The title track opens and really smacks you square in the face, heavy and operatic in true Heep fashion. "Overload" continues with guitar and keyboard riffs aplenty.

"Tears Of The World" is reminiscent of "Time Of Revelation" with a much heavier feel.

"Light Of A Thousand Stars" is more melodic, with Shaw's clean vocals coming through.

"Heavens Rain" features some big chords from the keyboards, while "Book Of Lies" features more riffs.

I could go on, but you get the idea, it's a great album, a solid feel throughout. Not so progressive, but thoroughly enjoyable.

A clear statement of intent, and while there's a distinct nod at the 80s and 90s, it's a solid step forward. Yes they've hit the 21st century late, but they've hit it running.


Review by Joe Geesin

Best of 2008


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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