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Uriah Heep - Sonic Origami CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.22 | 144 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars To take that walk again with someone you were close to, on stage in the other world tonight

Uriah Heep's previous album, "Sea of light" indicated that they were well on the way to regaining their form, and were once again establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. "Sonic Origami" continues that resurgence, and is worthy of a place at the top table of Uriah Heep albums alongside (and only marginally inferior to) "Demons and Wizards", "The Magician's Birthday" etc.

The opening track, "Between two worlds" is a wonderful tribute to the band's original lead singer, David Byron. Musically, it is more than a little reminiscent of the classic Ken Hensley compositions such as "Return to Fantasy", and "Look at yourself". It is a mark of the confidence of the current line up that when played live at "The Magician's Birthday party" in 2002, photos of the late Byron were projected onto the screen at the back of the stage. For those who loved the music of the Classic Heep, this track will roll back the years.

There are many other highlights. One of the band's rare cover versions is the reworking of an AOR track by SURVIVOR, "Across the miles". The Heep version is also pure AOR. While quite out of character it really works well as a beautiful piece of music, and even a potential hit single.

"Heartless land" is something of a grower, sounding at first a bit ordinary. It is on the face of it, rather pop like, but after hearing it a few times it becomes apparent that this is a wonderfully melodic tune which, in all probability, you will find yourself humming weeks later. Song writing credits on this track are split between Mick Box, and Phil Lanzon, with the verses being written by Matthew Lanzon, Phil's son. The album demonstrates how Lanzon's song writing ability had developed over the years, to the stage where he along with Box, and to a lesser extent Trevor Boulder, is a key member of the band in that area.

"The golden palace" has more of a prog structure, with excellent acoustic guitar backed vocals from Bernie Shaw, and some fine orchestration by Lanzon. Once again, the track has a great hook for the band to exploit in a live situation.

The rest of the album is a fine mixture of up tempo rock tracks, and softer harmonious pieces. The move back towards prog initiated on "Sea of light" has to some extent been put on hold for this album, but don't let that put you off. This is one of the finest albums to bear the band's name for many a year.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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