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Uriah Heep

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Uriah Heep Into the Wild album cover
3.37 | 176 ratings | 10 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nail on the Head (4:16)
2. I Can See You (4:14)
3. Into the Wild (4:21)
4. Money Talk (4:44)
5. I'm Ready (4:15)
6. Trail of Diamonds (6:28)
7. Southern Star (4:26)
8. Believe (5:09)
9. Lost (4:51)
10. T-Bird Angel (4:01)
11. Kiss of Freedom (6:13)

Total Time 52:58

Bonus video track on 2011 Enhanced CD:
CD-ROM 1 - Nail on the Head

Bonus track on 2011 Japanese CD:
12. Hard Way to Learn (5:25)

Line-up / Musicians

- Bernie Shaw / lead vocals
- Mick Box / guitars, vocals
- Phil Lanzon / keyboards, vocals
- Trevor Boulder / bass, lead (9) & backing vocals
- Russell Gilbrook / drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Ioannis

LP Frontiers - FRLP 512 (2011, Italy)

CD Frontiers - FRCD 512 (2011, Europe) Enhanced CD w/ Bonus Multimedia Videoclip
CD Frontiers - UICO-1207 (2011, Japan) With 1 bonus track

Thanks to petersen88 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy URIAH HEEP Into the Wild Music

URIAH HEEP Into the Wild ratings distribution

(176 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

URIAH HEEP Into the Wild reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ozzy_tom
4 stars Uriah Heep comes back with another studio album after extremely enjoyable "Wake The Sleeper". While "Into The Wild" isn't as great as I wished it to be, it's still a very solid release which should satisfy all band's fans. Just like preceding album it's clearly rooted in Uriah Heep's glorious past, so you can expect tons of Hammond organ riffs (no other keyboard here!), dazzling guitar solos and usual mix of energetic hard songs and more complex quasi-epic tracks. I'm glad that these heavy prog dinosaurs are still able to pull off such entertaining material, without selling off to modern trends.

"Into The Wild" consists of 11 new compositions:

1. "Nail on the Head" - unfortunately album begins with definitely the worst UH's song I've heard from ages. Main guitar riff sounds like it was looped to playback again and again so Mick Box could go for lunch earlier! Also Bernie Shaw keeps repeating the refrain until you feel exhausted, so in general "Nail on the Head" is a very boring, repetitive experience. What a shame that they decided to promote this good album with such a turkey. Even their 80s new wave heavy metal was much better than this crap. The only redeeming factor is guitar solo in the middle which is classy as usual.

2. "I Can See You" - next track is so much better! It's still a bit too mainstream for me, but at least it's a memorable tune with neck-breaking tempo, heavy guitar licks and roaring organ backing. I can add that somehow it reminds me of "Devil's Daughter" song. Anyway it's a real start of the album for me. Let's just forget about opening flop...

3. "Into The Wild" - my favorite track from this release. Essence of 70s style heavy prog with thundering organ/guitar delivery and dark, thrilling vocal. I love Lanzon's Hammond B-3 solo, very energetic and very "hensleyish". I hope it will become new UH's concert favorite, it deserves to be placed on band's live track-list for sure.

4. "Money Talk" - another ground-shaking number with even meaner organ riffs reminding me of Jon Lord's work in Deep Purple. Especially last minute of the song is drenched in heavy organ spectacular madness. Only quasi-refrain "Down for the money" sounds too goofy and irrelevant here for me. The rest is splendid.

5. "I'm Ready" - Uriah Heep keep rockin' like there's no tomorrow in another song. Up-beat, frenetic rock'n'roller with flashy organ & fiery electric guitar tones. Brief B-3 solo part in the middle, preceded by guitar one is especially worth to be mentioned.

6. "Trail of Diamonds" - first mini-epic of this album is called "Trail of Diamonds". First half of the song is very mellow and ballad style with Shaw's melancholic vocal, melodic Hammond melodies and acoustic guitar licks. But at 2:20 minute Box suddenly kicks off with guitar riff...taken directly from "The Magician's Birthday" epic! But it's only couple of seconds and after that Uriah Heep proceeds to most energetic part of the song, which is equally good as the slow paced one. In the end musicians come back to melancholic mood with typical for them "AAAAA" chorus-like singing. In general it's equally well-written song as "What Kind of God" from "Wake The Sleeper", but of course it can't be matched with such magnificent lengthy compositions from 70' like "July Morning", "Pilgrim" or "Paradise/The Spell".

7. "Southern Star" - more radio-friendly mid-tempo rocker but not memorable for me at all. Standard track without anything distinguishable.

8. "Believe" - similar to previous song, typical Uriah Heep's rocker with evident pop flavor. In general not bad but also not particularly good.

9. "Lost" - amazing heavy progressive rock track with thrilling vocal harmonies and slightly middle-east flavor melody lines. I don't know who is the main singer on this composition but it's definitely not Bernie (maybe it's Lanzon?). Anyway "Lost" is a truly mean & dark-sounding song filled with gritty organ riffs. Last few seconds include spectacular, gloomy Hammond solo in the vain of Ken Hensley's well-known performance on "Gypsy".

10. "T-Bird Angel" - cock-rock rock'n'roller similar to band's output from 80s period. Not my cup of tea, but not very offensive either. Some fine heavy metal guitar solos here anyway.

11. "Kiss of Freedom" - the second semi-epic of "Into The Wild" is another highlight. Atmosphere is closer to power-ballad than real prog-rock but it's still beautiful composition. Passionate vocals, organ floods and heavenly guitar solos make it a worth-hearing experience. However the best is last 2 minutes filled with extended Hammond B-3 solo where Lanzon shows his phenomenal skills once again.

+ Bonus:

12. "Hard Way to Learn" - some editions of this CD also includes additional, 12th song called "Hard Way to Learn". In fact I'm surprised that it wasn't included on the main album because it's better than "Believe", "T-Bird Angel" and especially dreadful "Nail on the Head". Overall very nice mid-tempo rocker with stomping rhythm, catchy vocals and smokin' organ solo.

Summarize: "Into The Wild" has bigger amount of fillers than spectacular "Wake The Sleeper" (released 3 years earlier) but it still manages to remain as a must-have album for Uriah Heep fans and general lovers of heavy prog & classic hard rock in the vain of Deep Purple, Birth Control, Jackal, Frumpy, Tyburn Tall, Amish etc. But I have to warn you that Uriah Heep is one of my very favorite prog-rock bands (along with ELP and early Eloy) so I may slightly overrate this release.

Best tracks: "Into The Wild", "Lost", "Kiss of Freedom" & "Trail of Diamonds"

4 stars from ozzy_tom

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Phil's on fire!

"Into the wild" is effectively the follow up to the 2008 album "Wake the sleeper", notwithstanding the fact that the band did release a selection of new recordings of old songs on "Celebration-40 years of rock" in the interim. The line up is the same as that which recorded those albums, the current quintet having remained intact for well over 20 years now (apart from the enforced retirement of drummer Lee Kerslake a few years ago).

While very much a band effort, it is Mick Box who appears to lead the band's strategic direction these days. This means that the epic numbers which were largely responsible for the band's listing on this site are confined to the past, the main emphasis now being on songs which rock. That said, Phil Lanzon appears to have had more influence on the arrangement of the songs this time, leading to his keyboards enjoying greater prominence. To his credit, he uses the opportunity to instil a classic Uriah Heep sound (I hesitate to say a Hensley like sound, Lanzon is well established in his own right) in many of the tracks here.

The album opens with the band's obligatory but invariably futile attempt to write a hit single, "Nail on the head" being a mid-paced slice of anthemic rock with a catchy and slightly funky hook. Bernie Shaw's voice sounds a bit harsher than usual, perhaps indicating his willingness to push it more now that his problems with his vocal chords are behind him. "I can see you" reminds me at times of a song from the Byron era called "So tired". In its own right though this is a meaty number with some fine harmonies and a mighty sound.

Lanzon's opening Hammond organ on the title track take us way back and while the song is a bit by the numbers with rather prosaic "little sister" lyrics, it does have an instant appeal. "Money talk" is not unlike the opener, a strong quasi-funky basis supporting a toe tapping sing-a-long-anthem. Lanzon closes the track with a fine organ solo.

Five tracks in to the album already (each runs to just over 4 minutes) and "I'm ready" sees no letting up of the pace. Without wishing to labour the point, Phil Lanzon really is in his element this time, his keyboards contribution here being wonderfully over the top. To be fair, his efforts do transform tracks such as this from basic rock numbers to retro (Heep) classics.

The 6 1/2 minute "Trail of diamonds" is the first of the tracks where the band move into more adventurous areas. Opening as a semi-acoustic soft song where Bernie Shaw displays his strong vocal talents, the song later develops into a louder epic number. Structurally, there are similarities with the classic "Stealin'". As with that song, "Trail of diamonds" boasts a strong melody and some classic Heep ah-ah harmonies. Towards then end of the track Mick Box adds some great chiming guitar, something I would have liked to have seen developed further (Perhaps this will be done in the live environment, along the lines of "Circle of hands"?).

"Southern star" seeks to find the sort of hook which made "Lady in black" so popular, the chorus lines being appended with "oh-oh-oh" tags. "Believe" opens with another burst of Hammond leading to a song which feels like "Between two worlds part 2". Once again, a strong melody underlying a song which I expect to become a live favourite. "Lost" is perhaps a bit "Rainbow demon" like, the driving organ sound underpinning a strong mid- paced number. Given that this is the only track on the album not written by Box and Lanzon or Lanzon alone (it is written by Trevor Boulder) it would appear to be Mr. Boulder who takes on lead vocal duties here. He does a good job of it too.

"T-bird angel" may not be the most appealing title, but once again we have a fine melodic rock number. The album closes with its second 6+ minute track. "Kiss of freedom" is reminiscent of "Sweet freedom" Phil Lanzon, who wrote the song, emulating Ken Hensley with a wonderful anthem which positively swims in organ.

Overall, while "Into the wild" finds the band continuing to work well within their capabilities, there is an obvious effort here to embrace the band's proud heritage. Phil Lanzon especially displays an admirable propensity for recognising the sound the band made their own in the early 1970's, while writing songs for the twenty tens. Mick Box is perhaps a bit less overt on this album in terms of lead guitar solos, but his trademark guitar sound is still very much in evidence. While I would dearly love to see Uriah Heep once again creating the odd epic track, "Into the wild" is a highly enjoyable album of songs which will please the band's loyal following.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Into the wild is the latest Uriah Heep album from 2011 after a gap of 3 years from previous one Wake the sleeper and to tell the truth was a very nice surprise for me, I didn't expected to be so good, even excellent in some parts. While previous album was ok, this one tops it for sure, the sound , the manner of composing, the arrangements are much better, sounding like in the glory days. We have everything here to please every true UH fan , from the intresting guitar parts from the master Box, some great hammond organ solo from Lanzon, really great voice with plenty of memorable parts, good druming, all is more then excellent, at least for me. Highlights Into the Wild , Lost or Trail of diamonds, still showing that thay are capable to compose good music after more then 40 years in bussines. I can add that this Into the wild is among their best works for sure, and really stand among their top 3 in last 20 years. Very nice work and for that 4 stars, nice cover art.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Of the three recent excellent releases (Wake the Sleeper in 2008, Into the Wild in 2011 and Outsider in 2014) this is the better one. Not only it is the last contribution of Trevor Bolder (then my fondness for the record) but also the most varied record. And that is probably the most important thing for a prog lover. The album opens with "Nail on the Head", a catchy radio- friendly tune, planned for a single. Track number 2 ("I Can See You"), as Bob has yet pointed out, is slightly reminiscent of "So Tired" (from the Wonderworld 1974 album) but in the matter of harmony they're beyond comparison: "I Can See You" beats "So Tired" 2-0.

As many reviewers have stated, the peaks of the record are "Trail of Diamonds" and "Kiss of Freedom", two extended tracks (both over 6 minutes) featuring brilliant contrasts between melancholic ballad structure (wonderful "aaaaa" chorus) and powerful crescendos. Very strong compositions and melodies and a very good work from Bernie Shaw on vocals. Memorable numbers., in the purest heep' style. Thumbs up. The atmosphere is literally charged by hammond organ cloud-burst and thundering drumming. Ok, other songs are less epic? but put it this way: here we've got strong material, generally from mid to fast paced classic heavy rock, hammond-based rock; and that's really saying something! My other personal fave are the friendly "Southern Star" (I like so much the aah aah choruses) and the darker "Lost", penned by bassist Trevor Bolder (who also provided lead vocals).

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For the most part, this recent Uriah Heep release is a hard rock album first and a prog album second. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. "Nail On The Head" opens the album with some AC/DC-esque riffing. The song is actually very similar to "Back In Black" now that I think about it. The album then carries on to more hard rock songs in the vein of Deep Purple or Rainbow. Some highlights included the drumming in "Money Talks" and the song "Into The Wild", which is one of the album's finest tracks. In fact, "Into The Wild", an uptempo rocker about a desperado on the lam, is probably one of the best rock tracks I've heard released this decade. There are two more progressive songs on the album, "Trail of Diamonds" and "Kiss of Freedom", which are both excellent, featuring fantasy vocals and incredible vocal performances from Bernie Shaw.

"Into The Wild" isn't a masterpiece by any means but it's certainly a strong album and the best Uriah Heep material I've heard since the 70's. 3 stars.

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars The nearly forty year old Uriah Heep continues their golden-year come back with this steady rockin' release. It features the band keeping the volume cranked, the bottom heavy, and delivery direct. It's nice to hear a band as venerable as Uriah Heep keep the energy level high, but in general Into the Wild comes and goes without much to grab hold of.

Dedicated fans of the band will doubtless find a lot to like. In general the group sounds great. Shaw's vocals are as strong as they group's heyday, and the band plays with a warm and energetic feel that rocks with a classic sound. In general the tone of this album is optimistic, with plenty of sing-along material and '70's fuzz.

That being said, the songwriting is essentially a collection of filler. Songs like "Money Talk," "Lost," and "T-Bird Angel" plod along blandly and don't leave much of an impact. The two extended pieces "Kiss of Freedom" and "Trail of Diamonds" give us more varied dynamics, but don't strive for anything more ambitious than just being rock songs with extended solo and chorus sections. In thinking about this album several days after listening, I couldn't remember a single melody except for the bland opener "Nail On the Head."

There isn't a sliver of 'prog' here, but Into the Wild doesn't try to be anything other than what it really is: an old rock band having fun jamming to new material. At this point Uriah Heep isn't going to be collecting new fans or be expected to sound like anything other than themselves, which makes Into the Wild a by the books affair that will appeal to those already fans of the band.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars It says a lot that Uriah Heep, had finally got away from the revolving door of members coming and going in 1987. Except for the departure of long-time drummer Lee Kerslake in 2007 for health reasons, the line-up has remained the same with Bernie Shaw on vocals (you could pretty much say that he is the voice for UH now), forever UH member Mick Box, the only original member that has been with the band through everything, Phil Lanzon on keys, Trevor Bolder on bass and finally, Kerslake's replacement Russell Gilbrook on drums.

So, this line-up has had a lot of time to get familiar with each other, and quite honestly, they play as quite a tight union. The main problem is they have pretty much settled into a rather typical hard rock sound that has very little to do with progressive rock anymore. It's all quite straightforward, and the band has seen some success in a few countries with this formula.

To me, the music just doesn't stand out anymore as anything other than another good hard rock band. It is good that the band has found a foothold in their style, and they still get to show off the talents of their main players, Box on some really great guitar solos and Lanzon on the organ, they have that Deep Purple vibe, but with a rather formulaic and unoriginal sound. But, they do it well, don't get me wrong, it's just not music that stands out for me now. Deep Purple, the band that they are always compared to, at least has managed to incorporate their unique style into a current style of heavy rock, where Uriah Heep just pretty much sounds like any hard rock band and don't have enough uniqueness to keep them interesting, even in the non-progressive universe.

It always seems, however, that the band can still pull off a few really great tracks on each of their later albums. One of these is the real standout "Trail of Diamonds" which begins as a nice ballad-style and later evolves into an interesting heavy track with some excellent guitar and organ work, and even some great vocals from Shaw. This singing on this track tends to bring back some of the emotion we felt from the band in their early years, and that is always a big plus on a UH album. More emotion like this would help to raise the overall rating, but, unfortunately, this gets lost in following the formula and staying safe. At this point, UH is pretty much just maintaining the fans they have and not really winning over new fans or bringing back old fans that have lost faith in the band. More variety would have helped out too, but at least they still find time to allow Bolder to sing lead on one track, "Lost". There is a great organ solo at the end, but it fades too quickly. This track has some merit in that it is the last time we would hear his vocals and this album is the last time he plays for the band as he passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013 and was replaced by Dave Rimmer who remains with the band today. There is one more standout moment with the ending track "Kiss of Freedom". Is it a coincidence that the two best tracks here are the longer ones (over 6 minutes)? Even then, there's nothing surprising here, it's just that these longer tracks seem to be better composed.

What you get here is mostly typical and predictable hard rock. There is plenty of this and the music will appeal to those fans. For me, it's not enough, even to satisfy the hard rocker in myself, as even in my mind, nothing much really stands out. It's just another album with a bunch of songs that could have easily fit on any of their albums released in 1990 to present. It's good, but I can't really recommend anything about it that you can't find on any other hard rock album. For the most part, the soul and fire of the early years is missing and you get a bunch of songs that could have easily come from the assembly line of hard rock songs.

Latest members reviews

3 stars First a conceptual thing: Is this really heavy prog? Is nowadays UH doing prog rock? I really do not think so. Can we compare U Heep music with the heavy prog rock of Rush, Porcupine Tree or Anekdoten(for example) .Completely different music. Maybe classic Uriah Heep was heavy prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#439740) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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