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WAKE THE SLEEPER URIAH HEEP

By Dave White

I won't go into a track by track commentary - we'll leave that to the masses who we hope will take the time to write.

Wake the Sleeper is titled aptly, as regardless of what you are doing, the title track WILL wake you up !

The album is some serious Uriah Heep with all the Heepy trademarks in there you could ever want and some new ones that will become part of Heep's sonic arsenal.

Marvellous full bodied harmonies surround you in a wall of Uriah Heep - this sucker really fills the sonic spectrum and you WILL close your eyes and back up again and again.

Phil Lanzon - A return to a more prominent Hammond is in this release which at times growls and swirls and Phil's B3 mastery is very evident with some outstanding emotive solos and slides that take you up to crashing sections of these songs that envelope you in all things Heep.

Mick Box's guitar is explosive - there is definitely an edge that as Louis mentioned takes you to the live Heep on stage. At times wild, at times delicate and at times holding a very tight rhythm section, he is exploring some new territory here - I think you will love all of it. Don't worry tho - it's got lots of Wah Wah, but there are some new tricks up Mick's sleeve as well.

Bernie Shaw continues his poignant vocal style on this one - he leads you into songs that you will think about what he sang long after you stop listening - his voice has matured since Sonic. I think it's perfect. Lots of vocals on this one. A great series of performances from Bernie

Trevor lays down trademark bass lines with a vengeance - if you've seen him play live, you can imagine him playing these songs on stage..it's going to be terrific !  A slightly different sound from him than I am used to in some of the songs sometimes, but nevertheless great, great stuff. He just never misses a beat and continues the melodic and commanding "Bolder" style we love.

Russell Gilbrook ... I can imagine the excitement in the Heep camp when they thought about making this album... he is amazing - his influence to the arrangements is evident and obvious in places, and the results are outstanding - live, he is a powerhouse, and that comes across on WTS and it's welcome ... He really shows his stuff throughout the album.

So...could I go on and on and on ?

Sure - it's been in the car, been on the stereo, been in headphones and it just keeps getting played. The songs have great hooks and they stay with you - you'll find yourself hearing them in your head.

Wake the Sleeper is not a return to anything in my mind - it's just Uriah Heep doing what they do - and they are REALLY doing it on WTS.

There are quiet moments, there are extremely powerful moments, there are moments where you just don't want the song to end, and there are moments where the hair will stand up on your arms and you will simply smile because you can "feel them" playing on it.

The production is really well achieved - I found myself going up to the website to look at the pictures made during the recordings...

I will venture to say that "What Kind of God" will become my favourite but the others aren't far behind - it's really a great CD from the band.. start to finish - there isn't a weak spot in it.

BRAVO !

Dave White
 


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