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Well, it's finally here. There's a little merchandise slip in the pack and you can buy a Wake The Sleeper alarm clock. I did find that a bit strange but hey, I'm a bit slow. ( WAKE THE SLEEPER...DUH!) The pack itself is very well done and band photos are brilliant. (spotted one typo in the words of Angels Walk With You...11th line)
Anyway, the production of this cd is excellent, so well done Mike Paxman. The one thing that pervades the whole cd is the maxim that less is more and it works very well.
Bernie.....This is, in my opinion, him at his very best. He just sings and is not trying TOO hard. He is not trying to stand out, he becomes another instrument within the songs.Brilliant.
Phil....... Busy and competent throughout.Good interplay with Mick.
Trevor.....Same as Phil. His songwriting is very, very good.
Russell.....With a tip of the hat towards The Bear, this guy rocks your socks. There are not enough superlatives to describe......etc etc
Mick.....Mr Box. Yes, the wah is on and it doesn't always work for me, I'm afraid. (not a huge wah fan) When it does tho', it is sublime. Some of the high points on WTS are when it's not only off but when he goes for a completely simple and different sound like on What kind of God for example. It shows off his competence much better.
Generally, the band are very much playing as a unit on this. They were totally up for this and it shows.
I'm going to score as we go through the CD,
10...... So good, you'll wet yourself.
8  ... Excellent
5 ....OK
2 ...Crap
1. Wake The Sleeper...... Where the f*** did they pull this one from?I thought I had a faulty cd cos there were no vocals except ahhs and the Wake the Sleeper chant.
I put the headphones on my wife and started it and when it did start, she physically jumped.LOL This is different, this is absolutely fantastic. Guys, you are going to wet yourself when you hear this ,it is that good.Mick excels himself here with Russell being a complete animal. This just rocks and throws down the gauntlet. Tubular bells banging away, high speed wah (which works)   SCORE.....10 (at least)
2. Overload...... I've already heard this one from the freebie Classic Rock cd, but it's strange in that it sounds different put into the overall context. Good guitar intro. I like Bernies vocals on this as well as the understated hammond.  SCORE............8
3. Tears of The World....... A sort of standard Sea of Light type start to this one. My foot tapped along and the chorus sticks in your mind. Yes, one of those.It picks up in the 2nd half. Phil is mega busy on this one.Not a bad song, but one that I suspect will grow on subsequent hearings.Not a favourite at this stage but it's ok. SCORE..............7
4.Light Of A Thousand Stars....... You'd know it was Heep from the start and my initial reaction was...ohh, more of the same but after a few bars when the guitar and hammond join together just before the vocals start and we have an interesting track. I liked this one a lot. Again, one that will continue to grow on you, but it does enough to grab interest even on the first listen.Phil is great on this one.SCORE.....8
5. Heavens Rain..... Uninteresting and boring start. It stops and in comes Bernie and the band and it comes alive thankfully. This develops into a well constructed song and Mick turns off the wah and it works beautifully, then he turns it on again and it still works. This is a cracking song. I like it.SCORE.........8 (nearly a 9)
6. Book of Lies.....Mick and Phil play off each other brilliantly on this one.Mick starts the riff and Phil joins in, then again.Another one that is good on first listening and will continue to grow. Trevor is good on this one.  SCORE ......8
7. What kind of God......Sorry guys, this may not be a hard rock, foot stomping,testicle exploding song but it IS a masterpiece. Mr Box turns off the wah and plays guitar...respect. Bernie sings beautifully on this one.Phil is great.They just ALL do themselves justice on this track. One of those songs that your ear focuses on something different each time. Mick, that guitar sound is fantastic.Mr Bolder...great playing.
The wah does come in at some point but in a judged way and again it works. I just wet myself. This is great, exactly why I am a Heep fan.(not the wetting bit, the music) Great finish too. SCORE..........10
8. Ghost of the Ocean.......This is so typical Heep on the intro. Nice hammond lines but to this listener, a totally underwhelming song.It's ok and picks up in the second half. If I had listened only to the second half, I'd have been excited.It will grow on me but at this stage......Yawn (ish)  SCORE...... 5
9. Angels Walk with You....... The first song written by Trevor. This is a very interesting song. It's very different and I like it. This will draw in new fans.
The guitar is brilliant on this.Simple, good riff. This is just very good. Well crafted, well thought out.  SCORE.........8
10. Shadow.......... An ok start. One of those songs that sticks in the brain because of the chorus. Again, it's fine. Good Hammond lines, heavy thumping bottom end.Good song. SCORE.............6
11.War Child.........Another Trevor song and again,different and very very good. Bernie excels on this. Good stuff, full of drama. I like the drumming on this.SCORE.............8
Difficult to compare with other albums because the band and I were at different stages in the journey with every one.
Do I like it? YES
Is it one of my fav albums? YES
Will it draw in new fans? Yes, I think so.
Should the guys be pleased with themselves? Yes
Will it change the world? Probably not.
What will it do for their popularity? It will certainly not damage it and will only have a positive effect.
Who knows what will happen. People hear some high points and it gets their interest and they then buy the cd and off we go.
I do think this is the best thing they have done with Bernie at the front.
I hope it does brilliantly, it deserves to.
The sleeper has awakened indeed
This is a well crafted, well written, well produced and well performed rock album.
I commend it to you.
Well done Bernie, Mick,Phil,Trevor, Russell and the Crew.

Jim Ferrie






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