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Uriah Heep - Innocent Victim CD (album) cover

INNOCENT VICTIM

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

2.76 | 130 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SeventhBridgeofSighs
3 stars Uriah Heep i don't know why i choosed this album as my first Uriah Heep album reviewed here ... as i own all their 70s albums for years... ant that's not my favourite of course...

Now the cover...It's one of the most ridiculous creepy hard rock badtasty cover released around that time (November 1977) ... i'm nearly sure that...if you put this picture in front of a 1year old baby... he will hesitate for a second...then ultimately say... "gaga" and smile and want to catch the cover and play with it !

Fellow popular 70s hard rockers Nazareth released "Expect No Mercy" at the same time, that same month...November 1977... and that cover is much more serious, convincin' and muscular... If the Uriah Heep album is slightly more prog-oriented , the Nazareth effort is slightly superior... i've not a doubt about it... (plenty of good to great records are not in progarchives...but that's another chapter)

But hopefully this album ain't as ridiculous as the cover... and the opening song is really one of the very best here... The bassplayer on "Keep On Riding" is more than alive and funky here... the song is not prog and not revolutionary but we can feel their true motivation to rock & groove ... their stone roll on this one... the bridge in the middle of the song is welcomed and gives some air and space to the song...

"Flyin' High" is just traditional rock ...it's not always a problem for me... i m not a die-hard progger ...i like many other musical styles as much... but here it's just beyond my possibilities... it brings nothing new to the table ...not even some extra spice ... it even irritates me ...that's possibly the real low of the record

On "Roller" they're back on decent form... it's slightly more prog and the intro guitar could have been interested some NewWaveofBritishHeavyMetal musicians at the right end of the 70s...

On "Free'n Easy" it's a rather weird mixture...like to drink chocolate milk with a cucumber&pumpkin soup.... bad idea... they play it at an unconvincin' speed at first (but not as good as early Motorhead of course) ...then the refrein comes and it's just borin' boogie...

On the + side, I should admit that the end of the song is more convincin' + Iron Maiden could have take notice of the speed guitar section... who knows ?

"Illusion" is the real pearl of the album, the only song deserving Five Stars... it had it all... psychedelic, so prog, delightful guitars, good backing vocals/ vocals... Box at his atmospheric guitar, one of his best solo ever , and Hensley is inventive here...

Some will say that it sound too dated... but i don't care about that...people should watch beyond their nose... what is new is not better just because it's fresh & new... people who thinks that way lacks perspective and are living in a 2 dimensional world... they are not running after Art ... they're running after what is Hype now... as if the present can be catched in a cage... that is a lost cause of course.

Now Side B

"Free Me" ... it's such a sweet song... with some kind of blues hidden in the so soulful heart of the song ... but well honestly i'm not a massive fan of this one... because it's just too "middle of the road" for my taste... it's really what was on the radio in the mid 70s... and it's that kind of tunes that drives crazy the (future) punks... this is what they hated the most i guess... Still this song and the band deserve their success in Northern and Central Europe , it's well played and very professionnal...

"Cheat'n Lie" the guitar sound is interesting...i'm not sure if it's a dear 12 strings guitar.... but once again the refrein is not essential stuff, a refrein that could be in a Rolling Stone mid 70s b-side at best... the guitar solo is a good one here... and with at the right end the Castred Hippie Queens at the backing vocals...that's rather funny

I'm sure many proggers here dig the intro of "The Dance"... it's really good... but of course things won't really last ...the rest of the song take a slightly funkier direction and with a subtile pink floydian atmosphere ...it still acceptable... Hensley is inspired all thru the song... and it's rather an old school hensley... It's good to hear (xpt the "eardamaging" bridge around 3min.) ...the outro is like the intro ....so it's alright even if John Lawton vocal performance could have been better at the end...

The last song "Choices" start good with a burnin' guitar... but i'm not really into the rest of the song... a respectable burnin' performance but not much more... it lacks a memorable refrein among other things

By the way some songs here reminds me David Coverdale vocals style ... he was one of the 4 singers to pass an audition after Byron was fired... Coverdale & Uriah Heep it was potentially interesting...to say the least...

Ok this album imo really deserve a 2.5/5 mark...it's really average but as we cannot put half point so... i put a 3 stars ... maybe that if Hensley was less dictatorial the result could have been slightly better ... hehehe... but we will never know.

SeventhBridgeofSighs | 3/5 |

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