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Uriah Heep - Look At Yourself CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.12 | 654 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars "Look at Yourself" features incredible heavy Hammond and guitar riffing excellence on one of Uriah Heep's most consistent albums. The front cover is a mirror that many who owned the vinyl would have spent hours watching the reflective surface shine patterns on the roof. The music on the album also reflects the band, the power of progressive symphonic meets heavy rock.

The title track, 'Look at Yourself' is a definitive rocker with trademark driving guitar and organ with a pounding bassline. Mick Box's lead break crunches with incredible staccato Hammond of Ken Hensley and phased guitar. The vocals of David Byron are excellent with a straight clean performance and vibrato. There are so many brilliant tracks on the album that many found their way to best of compilations and concerts. The first 3 are Uriah Heep at their best.

On 'I Wanna Be Free' the harmonies are terrific and the riff is patented crunching guitar blasts similar to 'Gypsy' and 'Lady In Black'. Another great track on the album.

'July Morning' is captivating with quiet passages of serenity and loud majestic music crescendos. The verses are a lighters-in-the-air sway-along melodic ballad, and this is balanced with an outbreak of Hensley's Hammond smashes and Box's vibrant lead guitar. Crunching staccato Hammond blasts and a memorable guitar motif make this a progressive classic.

The descending riff is awesome on the proggy 'Shadows of Grief'. Some excellent Hammond answers and trade offs leading to a vibrant lead break. The organ shimmers on this and the musicianship overall is some of the best from the band. The quiet ending sounds like Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' as it is very psychedelic, building gradually with powerful high harmonies, very much like Deep Purple in some ways. The weird ending is the shimmering Hammond sound heard in the middle of 'Gypsy'.

'What Should Be Done' is next and we have a grand piano intro and Byron's very gentle vocals. This is the Heep ballad that is added to every album. It's okay but I prefer when they are in full flight and hammering hard. The wah-wah guitar break of Box is quite beautiful.

'Love Machine' ends the vinyl album on a powerful note. Tons of Hammond and a riff that motors along with a quick tempo are the dominant sounds. Byron's vocals are fantastic on this. It sounds a bit like Rainbow's 'Starstruck' in melody. The lead break is terrific and caps this album off on a high note.

The bonus tracks are great, a single edited hard rocking version of the title track, and 'What's Within My Heart'. This second track features some banter prior to the song by the band as they count in the sparse twin acoustic guitars. It is a forgettable soft ballad, with minimalist acoustics, and feels like a demo track. It is lovely the way the bass comes in though, and the vocals are well performed.

In conclusion, "Look at Yourself" is one of the best Heep albums without a doubt. It features some fabulous Hammond and is a real proto-metal rocker. The tracks are all excellent with a few patchy sections, and not as proggy as some others, but this album is still very consistent quality rock.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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