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Uriah Heep - Outsider CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.24 | 101 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3,5 stars out of 5

Uriah Heep have been keeping on playing gigs and releasing albums since 1970. Just like the good wine they've been able to produce in the recent years three strong records in a row: 'Wake the Sleeper' (2008), 'Into the Wild' (2011) and the latest 'Outsider', issued in june 2014 (their 24th studio album). The sound is clearly updated but all the three records share the common heep sound (after all they're alive and kicking): killer riffs by the legendary Mick Box (on guitar) and powerful hammond organ by Phil Lanzon (who's in charge since 1986). After the sad passing of Trevor Bolder the last year, new entry Davey Rimmer got recruited and took on the bass duties. Canadian singer Bernie Shaw (in since 1986) and drummer Russel Gilbrook (since 2007, after the retirement of Lee Kerslake due to ill health) complete the line-up. I now have to say that the fast-paced opener 'Speed Of Sound' is the prototype upon which the most part of the record is well crafted. They seem to have it made to figure out what the whole album is all about. And that's the only negative remark to a work I do think is very good: ok, during the first listenings it may get a bit too repetitive, with only one distinctive moment being the soft piano climax introduction to the excellent 'One Minute'. But if you're patient enough you will realize there are other excellent non-predictable numbers, at times tinged with prog as with 'Is Anybody Gonna Help Me'. This track takes off like a typical (heavy)ballad from the seventies but at some point it gets laden by a thumping wall of sound and a substantial changing mood. Other excellent number is for sure 'The Law', a hard tour de force with typical dymanic choruses. After many spins I still think that the previous 'Into the Wild' is slightly superior for its more varied atmosphere (the fantastic closer 'Kiss of Freedom' is one of the best moments in the Shaw's era). However, at this point of their career the band don't seem to want to expand too much their sound to other territories. They rather concentrate on their heep sound which is something they're great at and for that we couldn't thank them enough.

Andrea Cortese | 3/5 |


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