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Uriah Heep - Look At Yourself CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.12 | 687 ratings

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5 stars Uriah Heep is probably one of the most underrated bands in history and "Look at Yourself" is their most underrated album, it's true that the force of nature called Lee Kerslake and one of the best bass players in history (Gary Thain) hadn't still joined the band, but Uriah Heep was doing prog' rock with the pioneers of the genre, and incredibly they could be catalogued as prog' metal 18 years before Dream Theater was even formed. But still some prog' pages refuse to take them seriously, that's something I will never understand.

I had the chance to buy this album when I was a child and even though I had no Idea what prog' means always treasured this LP with a mirror made of aluminum foil instead of an artistic cover, maybe because I guessed they had something special, that I wouldn't completely understand until I became a prog' fan a few years later.

For the first time in Uriah Heep's career all the tracks have progressive rock influences, stronger in some songs as Tears in my Eyes but present in each and every one.

The first song is "Look at Yourself", a frenetic track leaded by strong guitar, choirs and organ but specially with a powerful drumming, enhanced with fantastic percussionists as Teddy Osei, Mack Tontoh & Loughty Amao from "Osibisa". The song has more drastic changes that I can count, but inclusion of the powerful organ plus Ken Hensley voice and great chorus leaded by David Byron are a constant. The song ends with a breathtaking percussion and keyboards section hardly ever heard before them.

"I Wanna be Free" begins with a hard keyboard and guitar intro, until David Byron's starts soft and goes in crescendo, Mick Box is particularly strong when his turn comes but as almost in every track David Byron's voice is a highlight, not as strong as the opener but still an excellent song.

"La piece de resistance" of "Look at Yourself" is the amazing "July Morning", one of the first epics in prog' history and the first rock song that became a major hit in the Soviet Union. A beautiful symphonic track that has almost everything, even Manfred Mann invited to play the keyboards. At this point the atmospheric sound created by the fusion of organ, Moog and guitar appear for the first time in Uriah Heep's catalogue, even though the lyrics are not brilliant, the music and David Byron's operatic voice is so spectacular that nobody really cares. A true masterpiece!!!

"Tears in my Eyes" is my all-time favorite track, starts as a relatively complex rockabilly song that without advice stops in the middle to let in an extremely complex vocal arrangement supported by Mick Box's wah-wah guitar, which is broken by an acoustic guitar just to introduce another radical change with all the band playing hard rock style. If this track is not considered progressive, I don't know what do people expect.

"Shadows of Grieve" maybe the hardest track of the album, somehow similar to Deep Purple, with Uriah Heep's characteristic style, but again the classic organ divides the track in two parts, the second one being closer to what we can understand as prog' oriented, with various changes and leading keyboards, that lead to a mysterious vocal section with haunting chorus and then a dark keyboard ending, what an outstanding track!

"What Should be Done" is a power ballad where David's voice and Ken playing piano are the higher points, again the vocal arrangements are very important as in most of this album as well as the keyboards and Mick's guitar. A good relief after so many strong tracks and before the breathtaking "finale".

Sometimes introductions lead to confusion, anybody who listens the moody organ passage at the beginning of "Love Machine" would expect something softer and even proggy, but after 27 seconds, everything is pure rock & Roll, a very good track with a terrible name. A good frenetic closer for a great album.

"Look at Yourself" may not have Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake or a Roger Dean Art cover, but IMHO is the best Uriah Heep album an one of the most influential prog/metal albums.

A five stars album that I really suggest it to any progressive and/or metal fan.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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