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Uriah Heep - Outsider CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.24 | 97 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars It's been a while since I've actually given any of the post '70s Uriah Heep releases more than one spin and I blame the band for that. Most of the albums released by this ever-changing lineup of a collective have been decent but they never get enough attention from the audiences. I have no problem with Bernie Shaw as a vocalist but David Byron he is not. The never-ending tours where Shaw tries to fit in as a Byron imitator hasn't exactly been too flattering for him but still he does a decent job. Unlike the live shows, that mostly features the old classics, the later Uriah Heep releases have actually managed to sound relatively interesting but generally fail at gaining attention from anyone who is not already a fan. Having said that, it was quite surprising to hear that Outsider actually sounded like one of their better albums since their golden era records from the early '70s!

The album sounds like a record that could have been released by Uriah Heep back in their early days. The songwriting is generally based in the heavy rock genre that the band have been known for with a few minor nods at progressive rock. The opening track Speed Of Sound is easily my favorite track out of the bunch, featuring up-tempo heavy rock sound while maintaining a strong melodic hook to it. The album's single One Minute is actually a really solid rock tune even though I enjoy the opening piano section much more that the rest of the track.

There are a few bumps along the way like the corny chorus of Rock The Foundation and the pretty average track Is Anybody Gonna Help Me?. Uriah Heep sounds best whenever they return to the up-tempo numbers like the album's title track, Looking At You, Can't Take That Away and Kiss The Rainbow. The concluding track Say Goodbye is another performance that starts off like a classic Led Zeppelin track until Shaw comes in on vocals. Just like most of the other tracks, this final number has a strong up-tempo rock sound with a solid chorus line and a lovely organ sound from Phil Lanzon.

For me it's clear that Uriah Heep are a better band than what they give themselves credit for on tour. Why fill your repertoire with old tunes from the '70s when you've actually got a decent new album? I guess they're just a victim of their own image and I doubt that Mick Box and the rest of the lineup have any plans on changing that.

***** star songs: Speed Of Sound (4:55)

**** star songs: One Minute (4:54) The Outsider (3:22) Looking At You (3:35) Can't Take That Away (4:54) Kiss The Rainbow (5:12) Say Goodbye (3:34)

*** star songs: The Law (5:24) Rock The Foundation (4:07) Is Anybody Gonna Help Me? (5:07) Jessie (3:59)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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