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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Uriah Heep

Sonic Origami

Review by Gary Hill

It seemed that for a time Uriah Heep was running away from what they did best. In the `70`s, Heep music was characterized by progish arrangements on hard rock numbers with incredible keyboard sounds and vocal arrangements to die for. In later periods, the band seemed to focus more on metal type music, and less on the things that separated them from the pack. Sonic Origami shows that the band have found a great middle ground for the two styles.

The current lineup of the Heep is Bernie Shaw, Mick Box, Lee Kerslake, Trevor Bolder and Phil Lanzon.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Between Two Worlds
This strong rocker deftly combines the Heep sound of old with a newer sound and freshness. It is a potent beginning that lets the listener know that he/she is in for a thrilling ride. With powerful keyboard sounds and vocal harmonies accompanied by a hard rock backdrop, this one also includes a wonderfully textured and haunting mellow segment that explodes out into power at points, in a display of Heep's trademark mastery over dynamic changes in volume level.

I Hear Voices
Feeling a bit like a Perfect Strangers era Deep Purple; this is a strong and rhythmic rocker that really delivers. "Don't talk to me of sanity, When I'm not quite here at all."
Perfect Little Heart
Although it starts as a very accessible pop rock cut, it gets quite quirky and complicated as it goes on.
Heartless Land
This is a solid pop-oriented number. "Come to the light, Everyday is getting closer to your sweet surrender."
Only The Young
Only the young is based firmly in `70`s arena rock modes. "Only the young stay young, I said, Speaks the kid inside my head."
In the Moment
This is a classic Heep cut, with all that that means (great chops, quirky arrangements, strong vocals and a potent organ sound).
Question
A hopeful number, this one starts with an acoustic guitar balladic intro. It is a very pretty song that is nicely arranged and has some awesome piano work. "If we try to find some deep communication, Bring an end to war and start a new creation, From the truth inside, it's waiting, it's waiting." This one is very progish both musically and lyrically.
Change
This solid rock and roll cut is a bit Zeppelinish and includes a few chord changes that call to mind Yes just a bit. It is a high-energy cut that really rocks.
Shelter From The Rain
A nice bluesy rocker, this one is based heavily in Heep tradition. "We would use the power of love, Free our souls in endless love, We would sacrifice our hopes and dreams, because without love, our world would surely die."
Everything In Life
A potent rock cut with classic Heep stylings, this one could come off of an older Heep album quite easily. It feels a bit short, but packs a major punch in its brief length.
Across The World
This rock ballad feels a lot like Journey. It is a competent cut, and pushed correctly, could prove a hit for the band.
Feels Like
A slow moving, dramatic introduction leads to a powerful rocker with classic Heep stylings. The instrumental break is very progish and quirky with strong jazz tendencies. It evolves into strictly percussive modes to end the piece.
The Golden Plaza
Beginning with some wonderful keyboard work with progish classically oriented stylings, this evolves into a potent moody and emotional rock ballad. It is complex and quite progish as it builds. This is quite probably the strongest cut on the album.
Bonus Track
This is a hard rocking number that really knock's em out. It is very classic Heep in texture with wonderful keyboard tones.
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