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Uriah Heep - Into the Wild CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.37 | 161 ratings

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4 stars Having been blown away by Uriah Heep's last studio album Wake The Sleeper (if we don't include Celebration which was largely new versions of older material) I was more than looking forward to Into The Wild. I enthused in my review of Wake The Sleeper that it was an album that often matched their classic seventies output, a statement that I still stand by three years later. If you liked that album then you're going to enjoy Into The Wild too as it's an album that pretty much treads the same ground and if not it's equal then it's not far short.

Uriah Heep have far less progressive elements to their music these days than they did in their seventies heyday and on the strength of recent albums probably wouldn't even get considered for inclusion on PA. However that's of little importance when they can produce such albums of excellent and consistent quality. Into The Wild is stuffed with classic heavy rock; not particularly complex but played with great skill and passion by a band who certainly know their craft. They produce an incredibly powerful sound with an engine room driven by Russell Gilbrook's rock solid drumming and Trevor Boulder's throbbing bass which is really pushed up in the mix working wonders when turned up to 10 through my Tannoy floor standing speakers. Mick Box never seems to get the credit he deserves and is once again on fire churning out one great riff after another backed by Phil Lanzon's wonderful Hammond playing. To many David Byron is still regarded as the classic Uriah Heep singer even after all these years and there's no denying his contribution to the bands classic seventies sound. However Bernie Shaw has been in place far longer than I care to remember and much longer than Byron was and is his equal in every sense with a superb voice that is up there with the best rock singers today.

All this band pedigree would count for nothing though without the songs to back it up and Into The Wild has them in spades. Powerful and memorable riffs are backed by strong vocal melodies making picking favourites a difficult task such is the overall consistency. If pushed I'll go for the pacey powerhouse of I Can See You and the title track and the infectious Lost with a sort of Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple) feel. But to be honest Into The Wild is an album I'm thoroughly enjoying from start to finish with no real weak moment in sight. Highly recommended.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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