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Ken Hensley

My Book Of Answers

Review by Gary Hill
Ken Hensley is probably best known for his work with Uriah Heep. With that band he played several instruments, wrote a lot of the music during his tenure and leant his voice to a lot of the music. Surprisingly, this new album only really sounds like Uriah Heep on one song. I've landed this under prog, but not every song fits, and the ones that do are of the AOR variety. However you label this music, though, it's quite effective. 

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Track by Track Review
Lost (My Guardian)
This thing screams in hard rocking. It's almost heavy metal in nature. This has some old school rock and roll in the mix, too - particularly later.
Right Here, Right Now
Keyboards start this, and we're brought into a driving, AOR prog zone as the cut works out from there. It drops to a more stripped back arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. This is a hook-laden, hard rocking tune that has a lot of prog in the mix. I'm reminded quite a bit of Blue Öyster Cult on this song.
The Cold Sacrifice
This is another that makes me think of BÖC, but also Deep Purple. The cut has a lot of energy, meaty hard rocking textures and some catchy things. It's also got enough proggy textures to land it in the AOR prog pool. There are some metallic moments, too.
The Silent Scream
I can hear some hints of The Strawbs. Yet, I can still make out more of that BOC thing. The tune has great energy and some killer songwriting. It's more of a powered up ballad in a lot of ways. I really dig some of the guitar fills on this thing.
Cover Girl
A powerhouse AOR prog concept opens this and holds the introduction. The track drops to a piano melody for the entrance of the vocals. As it builds outward it starts to become more rocking, but of the hard-edged prog variety. There is some particularly expressive guitar work built into this piece.
Light The Fire (In My Heart)
This resembles the previous song because a powered up proggy arrangement opens the number, but it quickly drops to an arrangement dominated by piano and voice. This has some AOR prog in the mix and is essentially a prog power-ballad.
Stand (Chase The Beast Away)
The AOR prog stylings are all over this. I love the female backing vocals on the tune. It has more of that power-ballad kind of approach. This is another classy tune on a disc full of classy music.
The Darkest Hour
This is a soaring and evocative number. It again qualifies both as power ballad and AOR prog. This has some of the most powerful peaks of the whole album, but also gets into some mellower sections.

There is an extended introduction to this cut that has a lot of prog rock in the mix. The tune fires out eventually into more of a straight rocking concept for the entrance of the vocals. I love the group vocals on the chorus. I can make out more of those BOC hints on this piece, but also some Beatles and a lot more.

The Darkest Hour (Alternative Version)
This piano based version has a great balladic vibe to it. Symphonic strings and other keyboards create a lot of the augmentation on this number. This is the one song here that makes me think of Uriah Heep at all.
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