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Uriah Heep: Into The Wild

It took more than a decade for Uriah Heep to issue a follow up to 1998's Sonic Origami but 2009's Wake The Sleeper was a strong return that showed the band were more than capable of delivering new material that sat comfortably with their heritage. Now, just two years later, they are back again with Into The Wild and thankfully they have maintained the high standard set by its predecessor.

Whilst Heep will forever be linked with the voice with David Byron, Bernie Shaw has been fronting the band since 1986 and he is truly a remarkable vocalist who has been a key part in keeping Heep going as an active entity. More than 20 members have passed through the fold over the decades but remaining alongside Mick Box are the ever dependable stalwarts Trevor Bolder and Phil Lanzon with the line-up completed by drummer Russell Gilbrook, who was chosen to replace Lee Kerslake in 2007 when the latter hung up his sticks for the final time.

With classic harmonies, pulsating Hammond and soaring vocals there is a wealth of material here that will keep long-time fans happy, most notably "Southern Star", "Trail of Diamonds" and the title track. And as if to prove they still have a few tricks at their disposal they throw in a couple of curve balls with opener "Nail on the Head" and "T-Bird Angel". The former kicks off Into The Wild with a more contemporary feel and packs a modern groove whereas the feel good rocker "T-Bird Angel" bounces along in an 80's Hair Metal vibe. Shaw is particularly impressive on anthemic rockers "Believe" and "Kiss of Freedom" and can surely lay claim to being regarded as the definitive voice of Uriah Heep. He may have been absent from their commercial prime during the 70's but it is hard to envisage Heep continuing without him as they did in the past when previous frontmen departed. Add into the mix Mike Paxman's spot on production and you have another top notch release from a band that has rarely disappointed throughout the years.

With a lengthy tour already scheduled in support of Into The Wild many will have the opportunity to hear the new material live in the coming months. It is testimony to their enduring appeal that a band that formed back in 1969 continues to prosper in 2011 and long may they continue to do so!

Track Listing
"Nail on the Head"
"I Can See You"
"Into the Wild"
"Money Talk"
"Trail of Diamonds"
"Southern Star"
"I'm Ready"
"T-bird Angel"
"Kiss of Freedom"

Added: May 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 6575
Language: english

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Uriah Heep: Into The Wild
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-05-22 10:08:16
My Score:

The flurry of older acts putting out new material shows that the music we grew up with is still as vital today as it was back then. This is never more evident than with the fantastic release by long time rockers Uriah Heep. Into The Wild shows that good music is timeless and these veterans might be showing their age in some ways but not when it comes to rock and roll. This is a mighty statement by them and delivers on all aspects. Musically this one will take you back to the Heep heyday thanks in no small part to the keyboard work of Phil Lanzon and that magnificent Hammond organ! Also you get those terrific harmonies that led to their nickname of "The Beach Boys of Heavy Metal".

You could say that the Heepsters have hit the "Nail On The Head" with this release. Starting off with this little bit of dynamite which sets a tone of pure rock and roll. This is the rousing anthem to get the blood boiling and the neck muscles loose because you know that a heavy metal workout is forthcoming.

By today's standards this would not be considered heavy. It is more along the lines of good old hard rock and roll. At times very melodic such as the splendid "I Can See You" and especially my favorite cut "T-Bird Angel", Bernie Shaw flexes his vocal muscle and shows us he is a powerful singer once more and has a spectacular range and timbre for this kind of music. Just the tone he uses oozes pure optimism and it is impossible to listen to this album without smiling and thinking that things are not necessarily as bad as you might think. I cannot imagine anyone listening to the song "Believe" and not see blue sky even when it is cloudy out.

You also get the storytellers on this disc with the very proggy "Southern Star". This one takes me back to the days when they were spinning yarns such as the classic "Gypsy" but this time they take you across the waves and you can almost feel the salty spray and the rolling deck as you set sail with Heep. For anyone who wants to remember the days of the original line-up this is a song that will really make you think that you are somewhere between Very 'eavy, Very 'umble and Demon & Wizards. Likewise with the absolutely brilliant "Trail Of Diamonds" where that Hammond organ really wraps you up and Mick Box adds some of his heaviest guitar work to this very dramatic piece of metal.

Talk about an absolute rock and rollers dream, the band Uriah Heep was the first concert I ever attended and it is such a great pleasure to hear them so many years later give us one of the easy choices for my best of list this year. Rock on and on!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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