URIAH HEEP: Sonic Origami: CD


Originally released in September 1998, Sonic Origami was recorded by the line-up of founder member Mick Box on guitar, drummer Lee Kerslake, Phil Lanzon on keyboards, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw and Trevor Bolder on bass. This remastered version now features a bonus track, an edited version of “Heartless Land” and  features a brand new essay from Classic Rock and Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome based on brand new interviews with the band members, as well as famed producer Pip Williams.

The album kicks off with the song “Between Two Worlds”, a track dedicated to former (and departed) former HEEP members Gary Thain and David Byron. This high energy song opens with soft keyboard, then gets into a fast tempo followed with powerful vocals and combines heavy rhythm at the beginning followed with slower rhythm where Shaw sings melody and is backed with guitar fills that make this not just a great opener, but a fantastic tribute to their fallen comrades. “I Hear Voices” is a rocker with a distant vocal style and tasty rhythm section with soft guitar riffs, and has a great guitar solo. “Perfect Little Heart” is a catchy straight forward rock song with excellent keyboard playing and vocals. “Heartless Land” is an acoustically driven track that .has a very uplifting sound. This is a nice blend of hard rockers and gentle acoustic tunes (with a dash of symphony) mixed perfectly together without ever growing tiresome. Some other songs that stood out were, “In the Moment”, “Change”, “Everything in Life”, “Across the Miles” a cover by SURVIVOR, “Feels Like”, and “Sweet Pretender”. The bonus song “Heartless Land” is just a shorter version of the album track.

Another great HEEP album that mixes up the rockers with the quiet songs and sounds great turned up loud. Get yourself some new HEEP albums, you can’t keep listening to the old stuff, you need to get this and hear how good they’ve stayed after all of the years they’ve been together.

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URIAH HEEP: Spellbinder: CD

Originally recorded in concert in Koln, Germany for broadcast on German radio in 1996, Spellbinder was URIAH HEEP’s fourth official live album, and was recorded by the well established line-up of founding member Mick Box on guitar, drummer Lee Kerslake, Phil Lanzon on keyboards, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw and Trevor Bolder on bass. This version features two studio bonus tracks “Sail The Rivers” and “Across The Miles (Radio Version),” as well as featuring a brand new essay from Classic Rock and Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome and has brand new interviews with the band members included.

The performance on this album is first-rate, with classic HEEP songs trotted out for the punters, but there isn’t anything new on here, they knew what the fans wanted to hear and they gave it to them in spades. Some of the older tracks, such as “Devil’s Daughter” and “Rainbow Demon” had not been performed live for many years before this and “Circle Of Hands”, “The Wizard”, and “Look At Yourself” are included, all still sounding remarkably fresh for a band with only one original member. They include the new at the time song “Words In A Distance” that is titled “Words In The Distance” on the Sea Of Light album that came out two years after this was recorded and the crowd gave a really positive response to it. The band is definitely having a great time and the love for their craft is on display here with performances filled with energy and excitement, that you can almost feel. The bonus song “Sail The Rivers” from the Sea Of Light album is a great mid-paced rock song that deserved to have been included on the album, but at least it’s on here for our listening pleasure. The last bonus song is “Across The Miles (Radio Version)” from the 1998 album Sonic Origami and it’s a slower song that has beautiful vocals that are heartwarming and the playing takes the song into the stratosphere.

Yes I know, another HEEP live album, but it really is worth getting, for the performance, the excellent remastering job and the two bonus songs. Get this and play it loud, get out your denims and relive your younger days with a pint or three and ‘ear the ‘EEP getting ‘eavy!

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URIAH HEEP: Sea Of Light: CD

Sea Of Light was the nineteenth album by URIAH HEEP, the album cover was created by legendary designer Roger Dean, who had previously painted the LP jackets for the classic URIAH HEEP albums Demons And Wizards and The Magician’s Birthday. The album was recorded by the line-up of founder member Mick Box on guitar, longtime drummer Lee Kerslake, Phil Lanzon on keyboards, fronted by lead vocalist Bernie Shaw and Trevor Bolder on bass. This version now features the two bonus tracks “Sail The Rivers” and “She Still Calls His Name” and a single edit of “Dream On”. This remastered release features a brand new essay in the booklet from Classic Rock and Metal Hammer’s Malcolm Dome, commissioned for this set and based on brand new interviews with the band members.

“Against the Odds” has a great operatic vocal and a catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head, the song is very uplifting, fantastic and rocking guitar work, dynamic drumming that compliments the great bass playing and the keyboards that fill out the sound of a song that should have been a hit single and is in another dimension. “Sweet Sugar” is a gritty rocker with a bluesy feel at times that would make for a great air guitar battle with your friends. “Time of Revelation” is a bouncy hard rocking song with fantastic vocals and musicianship that truly needs to be heard to appreciate the beauty of a band enjoying what they do. “Mistress of All Time” is a great ballad with impassioned singing by Shaw and inspired keyboard playing from Lanzon that fills you with emotion and makes you want to hug that special person tightly. “Universal Wheels” has more of Lanzon’s great keyboard playing, and the band brings a captivating sound to the song that would be awesome to hear in a live setting. “Fear of Falling” starts of with frenetic playing that grabs you and makes you want to shake your head along to it, “Spirit of Freedom” is a mid-paced rocker that would have been huge on MTV back in the day and would have people playing the hell out of it, and “Logical Progression” is a slower song that has great vocals and the band’s playing with feeling all makes for a powerful song that is very anthemic. “Love in Silence” is another ballad with more of the passionate singing from Shaw, the inspired keyboard’s from Lanzon, the tasteful bass from Bolder, the powerful guitar playing by Box and the incredible performance on drums by Kerslake. “Words in the Distance” is a great AOR song with the feel of a classic track from the mid ’80s, “Fires of Hell” (Your Only Son)” is a hard rock song that you need to throw the horns to and bang your head along to, and “Dream On” is an acoustic track with beautiful vocals and guitar playing. The bonus song “She Still Calls His Name” is a powerful rock song that has the band playing with passion and the keyboard playing takes this up a notch, “Sail The Rivers” is a nice AOR song that goes at a medium pace, but has a ton of things going on, the keyboard fills, the guitar solo, the fiery leads, the pounding drums, the thick bass and vocals all made this one of my favorites, and last bonus and track on the album “Dream On (Single Edit)”, is around one minute shorter than the album version and was a nice end to the album.

Overall, this album was excellent. For those who have liked the band since its inception, would find that this album still offers the HEEP sound with its unique multi-vocals singing and rocking songs. If you want a taste of a great band that came back with one of its strongest albums ever, this is for you, so go out and grab this one and make the HEEP part of your music heap.

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