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Uriah Heep - Firefly CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.55 | 290 ratings

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Heavy Prog Team
4 stars The magic is still present in the second era!

Firefly is one of the records that I am emotionally bonded with, as it was my first full Heep album... With this record begins the second era of Heep, after the departure of David Byron and the arrival of John Lawton on the vocals. Yes, the sound is a bit 'softer' than before, the vocals are bluesier (a bit towards Coverdale) and Ken Hensley's hammond sound is not as evident as it used to be. Don't expect to hear a new Demons and Wizards or Look at Yourself. The production is cleaner and is mainly based on the rhythm section, often giving the impression of an 'empty tone' feeling.

However, the typical Heep melodies and heavy powerful chords are plentiful, with Lawton adjusting perfectly to the new sound. This record has a unique nostalgic rock atmosphere, noticeable at each track, from the ballad Wise Man to the pure rock'n'roll Who Needs me and Do You Know. These three tracks represent the middle-part and are probably the less interesting, in a record that does not really contain weak songs. Sophisticated bluesy mid-tempos (Rollin' On) and heavy prog tunes (The Hanging Tree and Been Away Too Long) mix in a diverse and interesting output, where Lawton's vocals are a very strong asset, giving a different 'vibe' and a remarkable character to the album (a response to the uncertainty after Byron's departure).

Sympathy, with its distinct beautiful guitar passage, can be easily compared to the band's 'all-time' hit masterpieces, such as 'Easy Livin' and 'Look at Yourself', though a bit more melodic this time and less raw. The album concludes with the enchanting title track, prompting the listener to early Heep tunes. These latter two, along with the opening track form, in my humble opinion, the highlights of this album. It is also worth mentioning that the cover fits very well with the music. I don't know what exactly it represents, but it gives you this nostalgic, 'purple' feeling.

Different singer, different sound, still excellent.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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