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Uriah Heep - Look At Yourself CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.12 | 654 ratings

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Prog Reviewer

Heep has surprised quite a lot of people in releasing two very different albums so far. Their debut album showed clearly a tendancy in releasing hard-rock songs, with a strong keys influence. With "Salisbury", they delivered an almost all progressive piece of work. So, which direction for this one ?

When you listen to the opener, there are little doubt.

As usual we get a superb opener. "Look at Yourself" is an incredible piece of hard-rock music with gorgeous and violent keybords from Hensley and great backing vocals. This is with no doubt one of the highlight of the band, ever.

Hensley's keyboards attacks are one of the most aggressive I have heard (similar or even harder than Jon Lord's ones). It is a great rock song, all times, all genres. This track is absolutely devastating. Drumming is tremendous as well. I can compare the violence of this song with "Speed King" wild intro. The difference being that with LAY, the rythm is frenetic all the way through. After those five minutes and eight seconds, one will have the need to breathe a little bit to recover from such a shock, really. This track is a piece of anthology. This is the classic Heep that I prefer (by far).

Although rocking alright, the next track sounds like a sweet rock ballad in comparison. It is a nice transition track in expectation of "July Morning".

Hensley's work in the intro is truely remarkable here. Very heavy again. The song switches to a wonderful vocal part : subtle, quiet and very emotional (ah, how much I love emotion...). This long track (over ten minutes) leads us to a fantastic keyboard solo combined with the so typical high voice from Byron. It has even some (very short) prog moments but the general mood is close to heavy rock. The very repetitive and hypnotic musical riff might be a bit too long at the end, but what a wonderful track ! Another all-time high.

What a first side has delivered the Heep ! Can they go on like this on the second one ? I guess it is almost impossible.

It opens with "Tears In My Eyes" : another great hard-rock song with fabulous vocal moments but this is the Heep's trademark. It is more guitar oriented than the two masterpieces of side one. The instrumental middle section features a crazy beat : Box delivering a great guitar work.

"Shadows of Grief" is also a great, solid hard-rock tune with fantastic keyboarding as usual. This long track (almost nine minutes) includes some quiet psychedelic moments here and there (almost proggy for a minute). But they are combined again with the greatest musical furry : hard- rock at its best. The filiation with DP is of course obvious. The mood is a bit scary (it reminds me of the musical "Fantom Of The Opera", namely its title track). The last three minutes are less convincing and a bit hectic. But that's not an issue !

"What Should Be Done" is a mellow ballad that would better have fit on "Salisbury". Somewhat out of tone here ...Or maybe, the Heep did it on purpose to avoid a complete knock- out of the listener ? It's the weakest number of the album, but still not too bad.

The closing number "Love Machine" is precursory of "Easy Livin" (the track, not the collaborator). Hesitant intro and then, we are submerged again by Hensley's sublime keyboard sound. The rythmic section is rather remarkable. But this apply to the whole of this fantastic album. No compromise with this song : the mould is 100% hard-rock. Of the best one.

After such an album, one needs a few minutes to understand what has going on since the start of it some forty-one minutes ago. The Heep even released an expanded version of this masterpiece to prolonged the extasy a bit longer. I can only rate this great album with five stars.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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