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Uriah Heep - Different World CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

2.07 | 120 ratings

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2 stars Different World was the 18th album in Uriah Heep's ever growing discography. It was released in 1991. It was also the 2nd UH album in a row to feature the exact same line-up. Of course, Mick Box is on guitar as usual. Bernie Shaw does the lead vocals again, his 2nd album for the band, but his stint as lead vocalist continues without any break until the present day, making him the longest lead vocalist for the band ever. Phil Lanzon is on keyboards and vocals, and it is also his 2nd album, and like Shaw, he would also remain with the band. Trevor Bolder returns on bass and vocals, but his time with the band started back in 1983 and would continue until mid-2013. Lee Kerslake comes back as the drummer, and was the most senior (other than Mick Box) of the members, however, he would also be the first of this line-up to leave in 2007 with his final album being "Sonic Origami" (released in 1998). So, this was the beginning of a line-up that would persist through 4 studio albums total.

This album would only be released in UK, Europe and Japan originally, and would be the first album from the band that would have no singles released in the UK. The album would not be released in North America until 1994, when it was released in Canada and in the US in 2000. Even though the album seen a more limited release, it was still the first album since 1985 that had a supporting tour. Bassist Boulder also acted as producer for this album and found it a bit tough wearing both the producer and band member hats.

The music is a pop metal affair, the music being upbeat, yet very accessible with very little progressive music found throughout the album. There really isn't a whole lot that stands out on this album, the music being mostly quite generic and sounding like the commercial hair metal that was so popular during this time. The music is pretty average, and there is the usual arena-rock sound that was also popular in the 80s. There isn't much here that would be considered challenging.

The first two tracks, "Blood on Stone" and "Which Way Will the Wind Blow" are pretty standard hard rockers. "All God's Children" features a choir of children singing on the choruses, and seems happy and uplifting, not really something you wanted to hear from the band. "All for One" is totally MOR and radio friendly sounding like a soft rock "Journey" track. It sounds like Jonathan Cain was in on their songwriting sessions. The title track carries on that pop sound. "Step By Step" takes on the "Survivor" sound of the "get in their and fight" positive mentality, more pop-metal. This same pop-rock formula continues through the rest of the album as the band tries to cash in on the tacky sound that worked so well for all of the power pop bands of the 80s and 90s.

Any Uriah Heep fans looking for any kind of semblance to the heavier psychedelic and more inspired music of the bands first years in the 70s will only be disappointed. The band sounds nothing like it did in the beginning, it just as well be another band that could have been called something simple like "Europe" or "Starship" or "Foreigner" or, well you get the idea. This is far from the band's glory days and even far from the more progressive metal sound that would come later. There are some reissues of the album available with bonus tracks, but I don't know who would want an extended version of this album, because you hear everything you need to hear in the first 3 minutes. This one should be avoided unless you are a raving fan, and even then you might be disappointed.

TCat | 2/5 |


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