Artist: Uriah Heep
Genre: Hard Rock
Here’s a band that gave me a very pleasant surprise with their last. I caught one of their Official Bootleg albums back then too and loved their assured mastery, rounding it all off with a very enjoyable interview with Mick Box.
But what of this? It kicks off strong with “Speed Of Sound
" that has it all, rolling rhythms, cool Hammond keys and the Mick Box guitar, before solid hard rock vocals float over it all. They do melodic heavy rock very well and keep it going.
They mix in some piano led mellowness on a slower “One Minute
”, and there are some diversions like that, but this is at its roots a solid rocker. Mellow parts of songs soon yield and the bulk just roll up the sleeves and get on with it.
There is a little bit of over familiarity after a while and I think that may be difficult to avoid with this their twenty fourth studio piece. A few choruses slip into rock cliché for example but I can forgive them that - the solid hard rock does bring a smile and I imagine many of these will come alive on stage.
My favourite is the blues infused “Is Anybody Gonna Help Me
" and that might just be because it is a real diversion. I like the main approach but we have heard it before. We’ve also heard the blues style too I suppose!
Solid and reliable, this is Heep hitting the mark but probably not dragging in many new fans as they do so. But it is infectiously fun.15/20