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Uriah Heep - Sweet Freedom CD (album) cover

SWEET FREEDOM

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.44 | 363 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Grimble Crumble
5 stars Fantasy is gone, at least for awhile, until Wetton's advent, but the band was incredibly able to manage to a new direction, and Hensley's songwriting machine put out a new wave of classics.

Sweet Freedom has returned to the melodic sound of D&W, moving from the heavy conceptual work in Magician's Birthday. The instrumentation too has made may changes, as Hensley not only dominates the songwriting (although with more contributions by the other members than in the last albuns), but his keyboard work has taken the drive of the sound.

Dreamer is a Thain/Box tune, basic rock n' roll with a catchy chorus, a loud guitar work from box and some well-fixed choir, ending with Byron's crazy falsetto.

in Stealin', things start to get serious, as it's the first Hensley's track on the album. The down-tuned introduction is broke by Byron's vigorous and powerful singing, fulfilled by one of the most classics of Heep's choir singing. The instrumentation before the chorus is fantastic, with the hammong organ playing the chorus melody, as Box powerful guitar provides the base, evolving to a very bluesy solo.

One Day starts with another choir singing, falling into some of the most catchy melodic lines ever made by heep, with Thain's agile and slight basslines swimming through the sound.

Sweet Freedom is the center piece of the album. It begins with Hensley playing an almost a military march on the hammond organ, until everything is tuned up and the music falls on Byron crying the highly melodic lyrics best way it was possible to. The song keeps alternating between the main melody and the chorus choir, in seven minutes. A masterpiece.

The B-side repeats the sucessful formula of the first one, in an alternate mood. If I Had the Time starts with a triumphant keyboard introduction, sang by gentle chorus, making best use of the minor key

Seven Stars has a less melodic orientation, being a driving rock, with many effects from Hensley's keys. The end section with Byron's variated singing is amazing.

Circus is the obrigatory acoustic track in the band's classic material, with exotic melodies anexcellent rhythm playing.

Pilgrim is the great progressive track of the work, as magician's birthday was in the homonymous album. The melodies are dark and intrincate, far from the catchy melodic direction of the first side. The haunting choir is sustained by some of the best basslines by Thain, evolving into a broken fuzz guitar, and then Byron starts singing the darkened lyrics, alternating with the choir, always filled by Thain's bass. Then, the song evolves, with a powerful and slow drived instrumental section. The chord progression alternating with the hammond organ is sublime. Byron come in again singing a different melodic line, still darkened, his falsetto being similar to a witch's laugh, closing the song in splendor.

Another suceed experience by the band, moving further ahead from their roots, but this direction would change again and again till the 80's.

Grimble Crumble | 5/5 |

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