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Uriah Heep - Sonic Origami CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.18 | 126 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars This line-up of Uriah Heep - with Bernie Shaw on vocals, Mick Box on guitars, Phil Lanzon on keyboards, Trevor Bolder on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums - were together from 1986 until recently and the only change now is that Lee Kerslake left space for younger blood. This is by far the longest standing Uriah Heep line-up, but also, in my opinion, the best! Indeed, for me who was born in the 80´s it is easy to forget that there ever was any other. I have seen them live twice during this time and I own most of their (many!) live concert DVD's.

In the studio this line-up started out rather weakly, however. Raging Silence and Different World had been very weak, Sea Of Light was very good but a bit uneven. Not until we had Sonic Origami could we finally say that this line-up had made their triumph in the studio. And Sonic Origami is really great! All the songs are very good and very melodic, some are even excellent and quite progressive. Indeed, some of my all time favourite Uriah Heep songs are on this album. The album is very consistent yet very varied, with reflective acoustic ballads rubbing shoulders with heavy and rousing hard rockers. And the lyrics are mostly clever and almost never generic and clichéd as on most early Uriah Heep albums. The Question is even downright deep and philosophical - just the kind of lyrics I like the most!

The voice of Bernie Shaw is distinctive and emotional and gives this band an identity and self- confidence that they rarely had before in their long history. The band is in top form with guitars, keyboards, bass and drums all being played perfectly. And not to forget - the vocal harmonies!

Some songs like the aforementioned Question and Change flow into each other and the Question- theme is cleverly repeated at the end of Change. Between Two Worlds features a very strong melody and a great bridge. The organ sound is heavy here. The Golden Palace is the longest and most progressive song, but I cannot help to feel a little disappointed with this studio version after having heard the absolutely excellent live version on the Acoustically Driven DVD. Still, I would say it is a little masterpiece. Heartless Land is a nice acoustic number with a melody that will get stuck in your head for weeks to come. I am not going to mention all the good songs on this album because then I would end up listing most of them. The only song I don't like is Feels Like - a generic rocker without anything to help it stand out.

I would lie if I said that this is groundbreaking of very adventurous music. However, this is high quality melodic hard rock, varied, excellently performed, with many progressive touches and very good lyrics. I wouldn't hesitate to say that Sonic Origami is among Uriah Heep's very best efforts, if the not the best.

Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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