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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Uriah Heep

Raging Through the Silence: 20th Anniversary

Review by Gary Hill

Uriah Heep are on a quest to get their back catalog all out in official releases. This was available only on VHS before. Now, it's released in this cool two CD and one DVD set. The audio of this isn't up to modern standards, but given that the concert was in 1989, it's typical of the time period. The performance is pretty fierce. This was more along the lines of their hard rocking, less proggy material. They did quite a few Heep classics, too. The set includes an audio interview as a bonus on the second CD. The DVD looks pretty good, but I'm not overly crazy about some of the camera work. All in all, though, it's great to have this classy set. The lineup here is Trevor Bolder, Mick Box, Lee Kerslake Phil Lanzon, and Bernie Shaw.

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Track by Track Review
CD Disc One
Bad Bad Man

After an intro with a lot of keyboard textures, they launch out into a hard rocking jam. This is a cool tune. I love some of the shifts and changes on this cut.

Cry Freedom
The chorus on this has a great anthemic vibe. This is a cool Heep rocker with a lot of energy and drive.
A full-on classic from the Heep, I like this live rendition quite a bit. It rocks pretty well.
Too Scared to Run

A scorching hot tune, this has a lot of classic Heep sounds to it. It's also got a bit of a metal edge to it. This one of my favorites here. It's a strong tune and a great performance.

The Other Side of Midnight
I dig this rocker quite a bit, too. It's another with a lot of metal edge to it.
More Fool You
This an anthemic rocker. It's a solid tune for sure.
Blood Red Roses
An AOR rocker, this is solid, but not the best thing this band ever did. It is an energetic live performance of the piece. There is a real 80s vibe to this, though.
Mr. Majestic
Phil Lanzon does the lead vocals on this cut. I'm not a big fan of that aspect of this song. I am also not crazy about the mellower opening section here. It gets better when it rocks out more, though.
The Wizard
Another classic Heep song, this is one of my favorites of theirs. They put in a killer live performance here. I think Shaw's vocals really work so well on this tune.
July Morning
Here we have another old school Heep tune. I like this one a lot, but not as much as I like "The Wizard." Still, you can't argue with this one. They deliver a great live telling of the cut. This cut is decidedly proggy and has always seemed a little similar to Deep Purple's "Child in Time" to me. The classically based hard rocking jam later is on fire here.
CD Disc Two

There is an extensive guitar solo section at the beginning of this cut. At times the whole band joins, but it's all about the guitar. Around the three minute mark they bring it out into the familiar melodies of "Gypsy." This is another cut that's always been a favorite of mine. This rendition is powerful and faithful to the sound you expect on this. They really deliver the power and the contrast between softer and bolder shades of sound on this very well.

Easy Livin'
Here's another Uriah Heep classic. This comes right out of the previous number, and they deliver a screaming hot live rendition of the tune here.
That's the Way That It Is
I like this one quite a bit. It's more of an AOR rocker. It has a real accessible side to it. It is very effective.
Look at Yourself
They open this with a bit of drum solo with audience participation. I'm not a big fan of that kind of thing, but as it gets steadily sped up, it's kind of cool. That whole bit takes up more than the first three minutes here. Honestly, it would have probably been cool if you were actually at the show. For a live disc, though, it seems to go on a bit long. They power out from there into a killer jam with some great guitar soloing. Then they drop back to just the rhythm section. Shaw's vocal comes into the mix in short bursts over this stripped down arrangement. Then by about the five and a half minute mark it powers out into the song proper. They get pretty crazed on this thing before they end, turning it into a real powerhouse encore. There is a healthy helping of crowd response at the end of this cut.
Bonus Track
The Uriah Heep Story

This is a 25 and a half minute interview conducted by Chris Tetley. The interview includes Mick Box, Trevor Bolder and Bernie Shaw - starting with Box. There is also a snippet with David Byron. They really do go over the history of the band on this interview. The interview is on the CD only, not the DVD.

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You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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