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First studio set in 10 years, and a gatefold sleeve as well!

Running to a dozen tracks, the Heep’s latest offering simmers down somewhat for the final third, hence its near-perfect, but not quite perfect scoring. The preceding eight tracks, however, are a veritable treasure trove of visceral melodic hard rock that will have fans salivating and should by rights convert many more. Bernie Shaw’s vocals and Mick Box’s guitar work rarely sounded so authoritative and on the money, while new drummer Russell Gillbrook (Iommi) powers the galleon along with precise and impressive power. The opening title track is a statement of intent – a tour de force like MSG at their early 80s best – while Overload, a Gillan-like belter with burbling keys and crescendo of drum and guitar fury, says it all. Tears Of The World lollops along with aplomb, Book Of Lies scales the heights again, and so does Ghost Of The Ocean. Despite the denouement thereafter, a striking set indeed.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Universal | 1767027

Reviewed by Tim Jones
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