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Uriah Heep Wake The Sleeper album cover
3.42 | 196 ratings | 19 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wake The Sleeper (Box/Lanzon) (3:33)
2. Owerload (Box/Lanzon) (5:58)
3. Tears Of The World (Box/Lanzon) (4:45)
4. Light Of A Thousand Stars (Box/Lanzon) (3:57)
5. Heaven's Rain (Box/Lanzon) (4:16)
6. Book Of Lies (Box/Lanzon) (4:05)
7. What Kind Of God (Box/Lanzon) (6:37)
8. Ghost Of The Ocean (Box/Lanzon) (3:22)
9. Angels Walk With You (Bolder) (5:24)
10. Shadow (Lanzon) (3:35)
11. War Child (Bolder/Gallagher) (5:07)

Total Time 50:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Bernie Shaw / lead vocals
- Mick Box / guitars, vocals
- Phil Lanzon / keyboards, vocals
- Trevor Bolder / bass, vocals
- Russell Gilbrook / drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Ioannis

CD Sanctuary Records ‎- 1767027 (2008, Europe)

Thanks to NotAproghead for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy URIAH HEEP Wake The Sleeper Music

URIAH HEEP Wake The Sleeper ratings distribution

(196 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

URIAH HEEP Wake The Sleeper reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Wake up! (Set your sights)

The album title is self evident, as Uriah Heep finally release their first album of the 21st century, some ten years after "Sonic origami". There is just one line up change to report, with Russell Gilbrook replacing Lee Kerslake on drums. Kerslake was recently granted voluntary early retirement on the grounds of ill health, having been with the band since the "Demons and Wizards" album was released in 1972. Apart from the change of drummer, this line up has now been together for over 20 years, displaying a stability the early versions of the band could only dream of.

The delay in recording "Wake the sleeper" was put down to long running contractual issues (i.e. finding one!). The album was actually recorded about a year ago, but further turmoil within the band's new record label meant it was delayed further so that the appropriate promotional effort could accompany its release.

The album has 11 tracks in all, the first eight of which are written by the long established partnership between guitarist/ founder Mick Box and keyboard player Phil Lanzon. Lanzon contributes one further track alone, while Trevor Boulder writes the remaining two.

The album opens with what is (if memory service me correctly!) the first ever instrumental by the band. Well actually it isn't, because this the title track features ah-ah vocals and a refrain of the title, but the focal point is the blistering guitar work of our Mick, whose trademark wah-wah sound ensures that there will indeed be no sleeping for the next hour or so! The following "Overload" is very much in the mould of tracks such as "Between two worlds", being an organ driven wall of sound number. The lyrics warn of the dangers associated with the digital age such as isolation and the inability to separate reality from fantasy. Phil Lanzon adds some really spicy keyboards here, his contribution overall being far more up-front than of late.

Successive tracks such as "Tears of the world" and "Light of a thousand stars" confirm that this is very much business as usual for Uriah Heep. The emphasis on multi-part harmonies, swirling organ and distinctive guitar solos is very much still the core value for the band.

Lyrically, "Book of lies" is interesting. There is a lot of anger and grief on the part of either Box or Lanzon about something which has been written about them. One can speculate that the culprit may be Ken Hensley, the only member of the classic line up not to get a name check in the sleeve notes, but such speculation may of course be wide of the mark. "What kind of god" is undoubtedly a highlight. This highly progressive number is lyrically an update on "Wake up (set your sights)", but builds majestically to an ah-ah backed guitar crescendo.

The first Trevor Boulder number "Angels walk with you" is really the first song to slow things down, and even then only marginally. The song has a bluesier, funky feel more in line with the Coverdale era Deep Purple style. Boulder's other composition for the album, "War child" closes the album by returning us to a powerful anthemic style number.

Those who enjoyed the relatively recent albums "Sonic origami" and "Sea of light" will not be disappointed with "Wake the sleeper". The difference here is not in the style, but in the quality of the songs and their arrangements. The band have used the inordinately long gap between albums to nurture the songs and to develop them into well crafted pieces. There is a confidence and a commitment to quality throughout this album which sets it apart from any other Bernie Shaw era release.

For me, this is not an album which looks backwards though. While the songs here are undeniably through and through Uriah Heep, music has moved on a lot in the near 40 years since the band first upset the critics. This is without doubt music for 21st century. What unfortunately will probably not change though is that the commercial music press will remain stuck with their preconceptions when presented with a new Uriah Heep album.

Lyrically, there is far more emphasis than usual here in getting across various messages. Virtually every track has a moral or a story to tell. Musically, there are no real surprises, except perhaps the complete absence of anything soft or ballad like whatsoever. Right from the earliest days, there has been a policy of including at least one chance to pause for breath, but this album rocks from start to finish. In the fullness of time, I expect that this album will find its place in the history of the band well towards the top of any favourite album charts. The sleeper is well and truly awake!

The sleeve illustration is a wonderfully atmospheric picture of a female deity by the Greek born artist Ioannis (who now lives in the USA). Ioannis has provided covers for many bands including King Crimson and Deep Purple. The photo of the band on the back of the booklet is equally atmospheric, apparently portraying the members as Marlon Brando's official henchmen!

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

I am a huge fan of the early Uriah Heep era and the 2-LP Live is one of my favorite live albums, I love the energy, Ken Hensley his lush Hammond organ sound, David Byron (Freddy Mercury avant-la- lettre) his distinctive vocals and Mick Box his fiery, often wah-wah drenched guitarwork. A few years ago a dream came true when I witnessed an Uriah Heep gig for the first time in my life and thanks to fellow Dutchman Louis Rentrop (the # 1 UH fan in the world) I was even allowed to do an interview with my guitar hero Mick Box, I was in Heavy Prog Heaven! During that Uriah Heep gig I got impressed by the new line-up (I stopped buying UH records after the Return To Fantasy album from 1975, I was very pleased with singer Bernie Shaw and the creative work of keyboardplayer Phil Lanzon. So when I purchased this new UH album I was very curious, also because of the very positive words of fellow reviewer Easy Livin, known as a huge UH fan.

The first song Wake The Sleeper is a very exciting track with propulsive drumbeats by newcomer Russell Gilbrook, the distinctive vocal harmonies and fiery wah-wah drenched guitarwork, including a blistering solo. For sure "the sleepers are awake", what a heavy and dynamic atmosphere! Most of the other 10 songs are powerful rock songs (some with slow rhythms or a more dreamy atmosphere), loaded with Hammond organ (swirling solos in Owerload and the bluesy Angels Walk With You) and fiery, often wah-wah drenched guitar solos, topped with the pleasant vocals of Bernie Shaw. The element progressive has almost disappeared on this new UH album but the interplay between the Hammond organ and the electric guitar is still colouring the compositions in a very unique way (for sure not as "a poor man's Deep Purple").

In my opinion this is Uriah Heep their best album since Return To Fantasy, I even trace some of the early Uriah Heep magic!

Review by NotAProghead
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars Very 'eavy, very 'umble

''Sea of Light'' was a great Uriah Heep album, proved that current line up can write strong musical material. Very good ''Sonic Origami'' also had, like Bernie Shaw said then, ''soon to be Uriah Heep classics''. Magic of Heep music, lost in the 80s, returned.

And now, after 10 years of silence, new, self-ironically titled, studio album. The expectation bar was quite high, but ''Wake the Sleeper'' is rather a disappointment for me. I always loved Uriah Heep ability to create memorable songs (all their good albums contain songs which once heard cannot be forgotten) and beautiful contrast between heavy and soft parts. Unfortunately none of these things are found here. The album rocks, the first track can wake even dead ones, most trademarks like vocal harmonies, organ and guitar solos are here, but the magic is gone. Almost nothing to remember. The weakness is in writing.

''Wake the Sleeper'' is not a bad album, it could be an improvment after pale ''Different World''. But now it is the way back, not forward. I love UH and hope the next album will follow sooner than in 10 years and will be much better. 2.5 stars rounded to 3.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When Classic Rock magz previous edition featured Uriah Heep's llatest album "Wake The Sleeper" by saying that this legendary band is now more Purple than Purple, I was truly astonished and proud! Oh yeah . this is one of pioneer bands that I listened to the first time I knew the term "rock" music when I was a child. In the past people said that this band was in between Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin even though I disagree with this dictum. And I tell you what .! When I spun the Summer of Rock CD from the magz I find that Uriah Heep "Overload" is truly different than usual Uriah Heep music especially in the way Mick Box plays his guitar. So . I did purchase the CD from Amazon UK and it arrived last week.

I's good to be back!

The opening track "Wake The Sleeper" is really a big surprise for me because this is what I would say: "Uriah Heep's respond to Dream Theater". Well, this is basically a power metal track with fast tempo. One thing that Heep has never done in their entire career and this is the fastest tempo - I think. It has no lyrics but the choirs only and the music really remind me to power progressive metal. I think the new drummer Russel Gilbrook brings this new kind of style into the band's music horizon. I am really happy that Uriah Heep plays this kind of music. Next track "Overload" is another excellent track which has new sound of Mick Box guitar work combined with the band's legendary sound. "Tears of The World" still present the heavy side of Uriah Heep music like the first two tracks. This track reminds me to the tune "Love Machine" of Look AT Yourself album, the band's classic. It has all the energy and dynamics of the oldies of Heep. Bernie Shaw's vocal is excellent back with great choirs, the unique characteristic of Heep sound. Box also demonstrates his guitar solo as past days style.

"Light Of A Thousand Stars" brings the music down into medium tempo while "Heaven's Rain" starts off with a music where the organ reminds us to the days when Ken Hensley was still in the band. Unfortunately, this is just a mundane stuff, nothing special about it. "Book Of Lies" tries to bring the music up but it does not really have a good melody or riffs to attract me. "What Kind Of God" is a mellow track with good lyrics. I like the drumming at approximately minute 3:52 even though it does not help elevate the attractiveness of the whole song.

"Ghost Of The Ocean" is quite energetic especially with great guitar solo by Box and the overall music brings me back to the band's "Return To Fantasy" album. Again, Bernie demonstrates his good quality of vocal here. The song has a good interlude as well. "Angels Walk With You" was written by Trevor Bolder in ballad style. It has good opening track in mellow style and it moves into riffs-based music with good combination of guitar and organ work. "Shadow" is a riff-based song with very nice intro and it moves in a good flow through the vocal of Bernie. The album concludes nicely with "War Child" which combines melody and riffs. It's interesting to close the chapter. The interlude part with guitar solo is nice.

Overall this is a very good album and there are excellent tracks as well. If Heep can maintain the excellent tracks in the middle of the album as they demonstrate at the first three tracks as well as last tracks of the album, it can be considered as excellent album. I salute the band can still make a music which carries its past identity. Keep on progging!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars Uriah Heep is one of my favourite 3 bands(along with Pink Floyd and Deep Purple).But they are one of the most underrated bands of all time.Wake the Sleeper is something new and fresh.This is the best Uriah Heep album since the 70s.It is also better than the half of the albums produced during the 70s.When I heard Mick Box to tell this release is in top 3 of the band I didn't believe him,but now I'm wondering about that. The songs are relevant,the structure of the album is pure.Guitar solos are incredible,the keyboards have the classic dungeon sound of the 70s.The listeners also fall in upon the classic 4-person harmony backing vocals - the biggest trademark of Uriah Heep.In my opinion this is future classic Uriah Heep album.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Ten years after their last studio album ("Sonic Origami") which was far from being a jewel, the Heep is back with some new material. But what can we expect from it?

Well, actually a good trip back in time for several songs. Indeed, the heavy sounds are clearly dominating this album. Good rhythmic, pleasant vocal harmonies. The Heep trade mark?

It is of course hard to write anthems as they ought to do some forty years ago (well, almost). What we get here are pleasant rock moments. Nothing prog of course (but they have never been prog to my sense) but solid and excellent rock music (especially "Overload").

The good surprise is still present with "Tears Of The World". Just a pity that the whole just sound heavy and that it is difficult to hear each of the individual instrument (even if the guitar play from Mick is quite convincing). It is another excellent song from "Wake The Sleeper". One of my fave. The whole album is full of good songs. Not great but pleasant ones like Light Of A Thousand Stars".

Of course, it is difficult to compare this album with the legendary ones and actually, one shouldn't try to do so. The greatest Heep albums were released ages ago. "Wake The Sleeper" has to be considered for what it is: a good heavy rock effort. At times, the pumping organ play may lead you to a fellow we all know well.

Still, the importance of Mick is enormous and can easily be compared to the one of Iommi within Sabbath. He IS the glue that has hold the band together for so many years. And his killing riffs are always a pleasure to listen to. Shadow being the archetype of the heavy rock genre and another good song fromp this album.

IMHHO, Wake The Sleeper is worth three stars. Indeed, a good album but the first first half is definitely better than the second one.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a gap of 9 years Uriah Heep are back with Wake the Sleeper, the sleeper in question being of course Uriah Heep. What a fantastic return too! Heep have produced an album to rival and even better much of their classic seventies output. They play with an energy and vigour normally reserved for bands half their age. Wake the Sleeper is classic heavy rock the way we were served it in the seventies; driving guitar riffs drenched in Hammond organ, thunderous bass and drums overlaid with strong vocal melodies.

The album kicks off with the title track which despite a few repetitive lines of the title and harmonised ahs is pretty much an instrumental. It's a great way to kick off too, the song being really driven along by new drummer Russell Gilbrook with his rolling double bass drums. He even gives the Prog Metal guys a run for their money when he doubles up the speed of them to a frantic pace at 2 min 30 into the track. Mick Box it has to be said is brilliant here, playing like a man possessed.

The quality doesn't let up as we go into Overload, another slice of driving rock and I'm reminded what a great singer Bernie Shaw is and I love it when it changes pace for a fantastic Hammond solo courtesy of Phil Lanzon.

Tears of the World is a bit of Heep boogie with trademark harmonies well intact and not 1 but 2 wonderful Box guitar solo's. As Light of a Thousand Stars kicks in I'm starting to wonder how long they can keep up the sheer quality of these songs. I needn't have worried, Heaven's Rain and Book of Lies continues the excellence though the pace comes down a bit. I can't stress too much how strong the melodies and hooks are on all these tracks; instantly memorable.

What Kind of God sees a change of tack, it appears to be about the plight of American Indians at the hands of the white man from the Indians perspective. A military style drum beat present much of the time until the pace picks up with a Box wah wah drenched guitar break. Excellent stuff!

The last 4 tracks continues the trend of powerful driving rockers and an honourable mention goes to Trevor Bolder whose solid bass work never falters, along with Gilbrook making an enviable rhythm section for any heavy rock band.

I can honestly say that every track on this album deserves a place, no fillers whatsoever. Heep don't write the epics these days like The Magicians Birthday or Salisbury; only one track breaks the 6 minute barrier but with Wake the Sleeper they have a produced an album of driving heavy rock that their seventies contempories can only dream of - no names mentioned. A must for any fan of the band.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars It was about time for Uriah Heep to wake up from their ten year long sleep. As a studio band, that is. As a live band they have been very much awake during the time since the last (and great) album - Sonic Origami. I have seen them live twice during this time and I own most of their (many!) live concert DVD's, and it is now clear to me that - at least when it comes to live concerts - the line-up which had been together since 1986 was not only the longest standing Uriah Heep line-up, but also the best. Indeed, for us who were born in the 80īs it is easy to forget that there ever was any other. For this album, the line up remains almost the same. The only change is on the drum stool, where Lee Kerslake left space for younger blood. As a studio band, however, this line-up's output has been uneven; Raging Silence and Different World had been very weak, Sea Of Light was great but a bit uneven, but Sonic Origami was really great. Indeed, some of my all time favourite Uriah Heep songs are on those two latter albums. Wake The Sleeper, on the other hand, lacks any real standout tracks. It is not bad, only not up to par with the previous two. Indeed, far from it.

The almost Celtic-sounding What Kind Of God is the best and most interesting track, but I cannot help but feeling that it would have made an excellent first part of a great epic song, but since part two never comes it leaves the song a bit flat in the end.

My biggest problem with this album, though, is the serious lack of variation. All the songs rock quite hard in a high tempo and there are no proper ballads like The Question and Heartless Land from Sonic Origami. The very best songs from previous albums had been the ballads after all! And the balance between hard rockers and ballads had been the strongest point of these earlier albums. I recently rated Deep Purple's Bananas album and comparing these two it seems as if the two bands almost have exchanged formulas with each other. While Bananas was one of the most varied Deep Purple albums ever, Wake The Sleeper is hard rock non-stop in classic Deep Purple style.

Uriah Heep fans might not be disappointed with this album. For them, this is highly recommended. This is indeed far, far better than the worst of Uriah Heep's many albums. But for the average prog fan, this album is not really recommended. At least not until you have the previous two studio albums and the excellent live DVD's Acoustically Driven and Magic Night.

Good, but too much of it at one time without breaking it up with slower, softer pieces is a mistake.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Whether Heep's putting new studio album is actually useful or even needed is a bit of a debate on which I won't spend much time. Unlike their arch-rival DP, they haven't been regularly putting out new album, and like DP, none have really been worth it, but then again, the same goes for AC/DC or WA. With guitarist Box being the only original member for more than two decades, but with now long-time member bassist Bolder, Heep's new line-up is certainly as apt as the historic and classical formation, with the possible exception of Lanzon in filling Hensley's boots, Shaw being a credible replacement in the line of Byron, Lawton, etc..

With a Buddhist artwork, and some indication from the song title, Heep is probably in a more pacific mood than with Abominog (the last studio album I've heard from them), but this is most likely just scratching the surface of the issues. Musically the group sounds like themselves, but not far away from Purple either and in some case even the dreadful Perry-era Journey (yiiiikes!!X(, courtesy of Shaw's vocals and sometimes the songwriting (What Kind Of God or God Of Ocean). While absolutely no tracks are standing out aurally or qualitatively, but there are no weak ones either. But does it ever feel good to the ears when the laser goes back ti its resting place!!

Unless you're really a Heep fan, I'm afraid that most curious classic rock fans might well pass up on this one, for lack of useful purpose and save space on their shelves. For the more dedicated fans, this will be a good but non-essential , but it's nothing to write home about

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Whoa ! Picked the CD used after giving a listen to first few songs. Uriah rises back to the top of the heep !

My enthusiasm did diminish as I played the album a few times at home. Not because it's a bad album, just that , as with most Uriah Heep releases, the songwriting varies from great to filler. If anything, I would compare this album to Uriah Heep's Sweet Freedom & Wonderworld period, with some of Return to Fantasy.

Wake the Sleeper opens the album scorching all out, full tilt guitar and organ leading the way. Tears of the World instantly brings to mind the best of the Lawton years such as Sympathy. Shadow strikes me as if the group had finally honed Walking in your Shadow's riff to what it could have been.

But then the overall weakness of the album - songs that are middling at best, like Overload, which comes across as Uriah Heep reclaiming riffs that Spinal Tap took from them. War Child and What Kind of God are good & heavy. But along with most of the others, I end up thinking about the lesser known lights of the 80s pop metal brigade and the formulaic approach to songwriting that many took.

Light of a Thousand Stars , Book of Lies reminds me of nothing else than the kind of second rate material that filled Whitesnake albums pre - Slide It In. Decent, and you can see the band knows its' craft well. But the they have no staying power.

If you're a fan, then this one's worth it. I would bet, though, that you already have it. For others, it's best to think about the mid 70s albums and how you like them. If the great & good songs were enough to overlook the mediocre, then you'll find enough here to make you happy.

For me, Uriah Heep, even at its' peak was a band whose releases were well worth combing through for songs to make an anthology. But this album doesn't have many, and the best ones have been done better by the group & many an 80s metal band.

So sadly, as I like to see groups like this able to maintain a respectable career - I rate it a 2. Though I will be playing it for a few old friends before I trade it back at Spin-It.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After decade of silence UH released their new album. And it rocks! I really like few their early heavy keyboards based albums, including live recordings. They crossed few decades, missed bigger part of original line-up, released myriad of very average albums.

This work is unexpectedly strong. Main their strong side there is rock energy. Plus some melodic moments. Weak points are short straight hard-rock ( circa '78) compositions, AOR and faceless pop-rock moments. The band is far from their short innovative period ( far - I mean almost 40 years, no jokes!),so this work is mostly oriented to old fans searching on new release of the music they loved when they still didn't were grandfathers. This release partially fulfills their expectations.

Music is hard and energetic , what is not very usual for bands with such long history. Another thing, that in fact there you have a brand name, not really same band as in 70-s. But who cares! Negative side is there are no more long Hammond based melodic compositions some of us remember all these 40 (!) years. But there are something, what reminds its. So, you can listen your old LP's at home and listen modern UH version on (small) stadiums. But new release at least will confirm for many that they still can rock!

So, if you're UH fan, you possibly will enjoy this album. Far from their best works, album is still good enough to remind you your young years (and grass was greener). Hardly will attract new listeners, however.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars You are probably not prepared for just how fast and hard this album will hit you. Maybe it's just me-- who goes in with low expectations whenever sampling an aging prog band's newest "comeback" album. Or maybe it's the fact that this is probably the heaviest, ballsiest, most consistently hard-rock album Heep has ever produced.

The album opens to the crashing power of the title track. Upbeat and relentless with it's instrumental assult, "Wake the Sleeper" arrives like a frieght train with crashing drums and the raging wail of Box's guitar. This song alone rocks harder than most classic rock, and especially hard when compared to the music band's from the '70's put out today.

Amazingly, the energy and intensity of this song is kept up through the entire album, with "Overload" and "Tears of the World" following up the gauntlet thrown down by the opener. The band is playing wonderfully here, with Box cranking out heavy guitar jams and solos while Gilbrook's drums are strikingly good-- in fact, the whole rhythm section is exceptional, helping turn somewhat ordinary hard-rock tunes into something special. Lanzon's keys aren't given much to do beyond filling the background with organ tones, but the effect is one which brings back some of the old Heep sound.

Songwriting throughout Wake the Sleeper is hit and miss, though even when off the tunes are catchy and fun, thanks in no small part to the excellent vocals of Bernie Shaw-- who's voice may be getting better with age. It's unfortunate though that the group doesn't strive for more in its compositions... it's not like these hard rock tunes will see any radio play, so who are they trying to please with the conventional feel to most of these songs? A quibble, maybe, but enough to keep this Heep album from the top of the pack.

Overall, excellent-- the feel and playing on Wake the Sleeper was a wonderful surprise. Realistically this is a three-star album, but I am bumping it up because I was so impressed by the go-for-broke energy of the band. Finally a prog comeback album that doesn't dissapoint!

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Wake the sleeper was released in 2008 after almost a decade pause of this legendary band. I'm a fan of the band and a big one, have all their albums, saw them live twice in 1992 while promoting Different world album and second in 2008 promoting this album, and was quite an experince keeping in mind that all members has good over 50 in age. Anyway this is a good album in Uriah Heep tradition , comnining hard rock elemnts with more heavy prog arrangements. The guitar is good, Mick Box is one of my fav guitarists ever and here he done no wrong, the voice of Bernie is excellent, all is well done. But, there is a but while is a good record , some passages are only usual, nothing excellent or groundbreaking, and for that this album is more only for UH fans. A good come back, ok the band was not disbanded they took a break only. 3 stars for this one, their next one Into the wild is much better, is even one of the best of the band in last 20 years. Someting to add, the legendary drumer Lee Kerslake is not present here because of some healt problems, the place is taken by Russell Gilbrook who dome a good job for sure and integrated perfectly in the UH sound. All pieces are ok, nothing more nothing less.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3,5 stars.

This is the band's first studio record in 10 years, after the release of "Sonic Origami". The general mood of the album is hammond-drenched powerful rock (from mid to fast paced tempo) without real slowdowns. Hence the album's evocative title. A hard tour-de-force.

Propulsive thumping drumbeats open the way for exciting interplays between organ and electric guitar. Melodies are top-notch with the traditional vocal choruses (also multi-part harmonies) adorning the eleven compositions. "Tears of the World" and "Book of Lies" are suitable examples of this sound. A little bit updated, to be honest (and it couldn't be otherwise), but still very recognizable. It's certainly worth it if you're into classic (I mean 70s, i.e. Purple and UFO) hard rock. And it's very important in its own right for it lays the foundations for the Heep's contemporary sound.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Uriah Heep is one of those bands that I have not followed that closely through the many years they have been together. Sure I appreciated their classic albums "Demons and Wizards" and "The Magicians Birthday", but other than those albums, I have only snuck into their history here and there with a few albums, hoping that they come back to that near perfection they had in those days, hoping that they had improved on their sound, but only finding out that they seem to go backwards most of the times that I have checked them out. I purchased albums like "Fallen Angel" and "Abominog" only to be mostly disappointed. I even went backwards in time and tried out "Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble", and, except for a few tracks, didn't really hear anything that interested me.

"Wake the Sleeper" interested me because it was their return after a 10 year hiatus and the cover was nice. I figured it was time to try them out again. Well, they did update their sound some, and after hearing the first two tracks, it sounded like they still retained the heavy organ sound along with the heavy rocking tracks. But they still reminded me of a poor-man's "Deep Purple". "Tears of the World" has some impressive guitar solos, but other than that, there's not a lot of change from the first 2 tracks.

By the time you get to "Light of a Thousand Stars", you are hoping that you might get some variety, but instead you get a mediocre song that sounds like an attempt at a single. This same mediocrity continues through "Heaven's Rain" and "Book of Lies". The songs just get more and more lackluster and emotionless. "What Kind of God" is a slower song with a good point to make, but the emotion that should be there for the lyrics and the subject is sorely lacking. The best part is the instrumental that starts at the 4:50 mark and continues to the end. Not a bad song, and at least it's a little different from the sameness that precedes it, but it still doesn't really justify buying the album.

After that, the music returns to more mediocrity with "Ghost of the Ocean" and continues to the end. Overall, this album just doesn't have the spirit of the band at it's peak, even if Uriah Heep was never the amazing band they hoped to be, they came really close to it early on, but then they tried too hard and then fell victim to the corporate machine. You get a bunch of songs on this album that have no progressive value to them at all, and the songs just sound too much the same and they also lack emotion. To me, it's just another run of the mill album. Oh well, I'll keep hoping that they come up with something interesting someday. Who knows? Maybe their newest album?

Latest members reviews

5 stars Wow ,there was a lot of hype surrounding this release ,did it live up to it ? Absolutely - in spades ! While we had to wave goodbye to beloved drummer & founding member The Bear Lee Kerslake,who also w/Bob Daisley wrote most of Ozzy's first 2 albums - but that discussion's for another time - jus ... (read more)

Report this review (#180951) | Posted by nordwind | Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Heep is back! When I first heard about this album and saw the artwork I just wanted to get it right away. Somehow I knew it would be great, and I was not dissapointed, many say this is thier best in many many years and I believe them. This is just as good as old Demons and wizards era Heep almos ... (read more)

Report this review (#178067) | Posted by Zargus | Thursday, July 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Great expectations are come true! Sound seems like truly Heepiest from their best albums of 70th. A lot of positive energy is on this album. The powerful start of this record keeps on the next tracks and finishes on the pleasant note. Imho the most memorable songs are Tears of the World, What Ki ... (read more)

Report this review (#175028) | Posted by ssudak | Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Heep is back. A 10 year wait that , in the end, was worth it. I liked very much SOL and Sonic but for a Heep fan it was kind of a let down, there was something missing. With this album, everything has fallen into place. The early Heep sound is back on about all of the songs, and yet when you get ... (read more)

Report this review (#173355) | Posted by shagal | Monday, June 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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