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Uriah Heep - Into the Wild CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.37 | 161 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Another failed attempt to wake the sleeper

After a long sleep (at least in terms of new studio recordings) Uriah Heep returned in 2008 - a full decade after their previous studio album, Sonic Origami - with Wake The Sleeper. Wake The Sleeper was a disappointment for me after the very strong Sonic Origami and the almost equally good Sea Of Light before that (both four star albums in my book, and among the band's best studio albums ever!). They now give us Into The Wild, which to my ears is nothing but Wake The Sleeper part two. They once again fail to recapture the spirit of the best of the Bernie Shaw-era of the band and they follow in their own well-trodden foot steppes without any noticeable deviations from the expected.

The present album opens with a handful of generic and straightforward Uriah Heep rockers, all of them with a running time between four and five minutes. This is simply Uriah Heep by the numbers. Indeed, the band have not sounded as uninspired and predicable as this since 1991's Different World album - one of the weakest albums ever in the band's vast discography. As on Wake The Sleeper, there are however a few redeeming features to be found here. After five insipid, Deep Purple-like rockers, we finally get a good song in the six and a half minute Trail Of Diamonds. Calling it a Prog song would perhaps be to stretch things beyond what is reasonable, but it is the closest they ever get here to anything progressive. It is a fine song in its own right even if not quite approaching the high quality of the best songs on Sea Of Light and Sonic Origami.

In general, the second half of this album is much stronger than its rambling first half. If you manage to endure the first five songs, you are in for a modest treat. Some melodies here even sound as if they would have been written for some mid-70's Uriah Heep album, similar in both quality and style. While, there is nothing really great here, it is a mostly enjoyable listen. The exception is T-Bird Angel, again a straightforward and utterly predictable rocker. Kiss Of Freedom closes the album on a relatively high note, but it is hardly notable in any sense.

Into The Wild is an album that makes me feel as if I have heard it all before, it offers absolutely no surprises at all. And with such a long and prolific history, this is perhaps not too surprising. The one or two good songs here are hardly enough to make this a more than half-decent effort overall. The Bernie Shaw-fronted line-up of Uriah Heep seem to be far past their prime at this point.

For hard core fans and collectors only

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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