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
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.