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Live In Armenia
(Frontiers Records - 2011)
Uriah Heep are around for 4 decades and they are still alive and kickin'. Now Live In Armenia is released on CD / DVD and that explains why this is documenting a Wake The Sleeper show, even if in the meantime another studio album - Into The Wild - got out. So if you saw them at the Wake The Sleeper tour this will refresh your memories. If they would have only done a live CD they would have had it out more quickly, but preparing a DVD takes time. Unfortunately I only got the CD tracks and so can't tell you a thing about the DVD. But I saw them on that tour and the band sounded heavy and vivid - and they managed to capture this impression. You get guitar-keyboard duels, solo parts, sing along passages. Everything which makes a Uriah Heep show a Heep show. Sure, one can criticize that they play too many new songs, but hell everybody who's promoting their current release is adding a couple of new songs. And they have some classics like July Morning (extended version), Easy Livin', Look At Yourself and the bands biggest hit Lady In Black. It sounds like the Armenians were happy to see the band and welcomed every song they played - no matter if old or new. To get a slight idea what to expect, watch the trailer!
Into The Wild
(Frontiers Records - 2011)
The British outfit is a living legend, it will be difficult to find someone who has never heard their classic Lady In Black. The band just celebrated their 40th anniversary and now it's time for their 23rd studio album! It's called Into The Wild and it shows them quite heavy - like the extensive touring made them stronger and even heavier....
Songs like I Can See You capture the live energy of Mick Box and his mates. When they released Wake The Sleeper after several years without a new album they presented an album the fans would expect, no big surprises. Now they grow together on tour and it seems they are more confident now - and it shows in the songs. The songs are representing their own style, but heavier and more vivid then on their last studio album. At the title track Into The Wild they offer a keyboard / guitar duel, but also a memorable hookline. Producer Mike Paxman managed to give them a retro sound which is close to their live sound. One of my favorites is I'm Ready, a track with the Hammond sound, a catchy vocal line and great guitar play which again shows that Mick Box is still underrated. A bit Purple-ish begins Trail Of Diamond, a balladesque track which is ennobled by Bernie Shaw's vocals. After 2+ minutes they add some heavy riffs and epic sounds. The song is split into 2 parts - the balladesque first part and the epic melodic rock part. Later they return to the opening theme - for awhile. A sonic gem! Another masterpiece is the closer Kiss Of Freedom, a balladesque rocker with a melancholy touch.
Actually there isn't a filler at Into The Wild, so it's just a matter of taste which are your favorites. It's like a good whisky which gets better with every year, it's the same with Uriah Heep. Okay, their early releases are classics, but to deliver an album like this after being active for 40 years is remarkable! Any 2 songs can win you over!
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