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Uriah Heep
Wake The Sleeper

Company: Universal Music Group
Release: 2008
Genre: NWOBHM, traditional
Reviewer: Raising Iron

  • The Heepsters have graced us with a regal album



  • One of hard rock/progressive metals greatest legends returns after a ten year reticence with Wake the Sleeper, a powerful master stroke sure to please those looking for the Uriah Heep of yore. Granted, the only remaining original member is guitarist/founder Mick Box, but three of the four other musicians have been entrenched in the band for 20-25 years now, so this current lineup is solidified to say the least.

    From their requisite debut, to the pop-oriented late 70s output and on into the NWOBHM inspired classics Abominog and Head First, a retooling of sorts took place in the mid-80s which in turn produced nothing of much relevance until 1998s resplendent Sonic Origami. Fast-forward 10 years and here we are with their current barnburner, which is far and away their best output since the aforementioned Abominog.

    The indispensable organ tones open the album up with a classic large choral movement which will send you right back to 1972, only with todays modern production values. From here, the album never lets up, offering up ten true hard rockers that cull the best ideas of the bands first 2 decades of existence. A solid mix of the NWOBHM and progressive styles for which the band is known is on display here, yet the songs are decidedly pared down to straight ahead 4-5 minute rock constructs without any excessive interludes, bridges, arias, or instrumentally spanning segues. Mick is playing with the fire of a guitarist half his age, and Bernie Shaws vocals are quite reminiscent of original singer David Byron. The only striking dissimile to be found is the modern recording and mixing tools now at the bands disposal, for the production is rich, warm, and quite unlike what Im used to hearing from these guys after several hundreds of spins of their early output over the years!

    All in all, the Heepsters have graced us with a regal album, and anyone whos enjoyed their earlier output over the years will do themselves well to pick this one up.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: URIAH HEEP
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Wake The SleeperUriah Heep
    2008
    Raising Iron2/9/2009


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