Band: Uriah Heep
CD Title: Living the Dream
Label: Frontiers Music (2018)
Rating: Just enough Proggy-ness to be a satisfying guilty pleasure!
OK, I know some of you are saying, but, Uriah Heep isnít really a Prog band. Well, I guess if there ever was a place for the term ďProg-RelatedĒ this might be it. But letís go back for a minute, Uriah Heep came on the scene in the late sixties, early seventies and their first six albums, culminating with the Roger Dean covered ofDemons and Wizards and The Magicianís Birthday really did put the band in good stead with the Progressive Rock community. It was after that, that they became ever more mainstream and hard rock oriented. Then in the late nineties, they started to stretch out again and that brings us here to the bandís 25th release Living the Dream. This is ten tracks, fifty-two minutes of hard-rocking, Hammond organ dominated, Proggy inspired music. Three of the tunes are over six-minutes with one being a little over eight and as you might expect these are the tunes that offer the most structural moving around from one sound style segment to another. But even in a few of the shorter tracks we get a bit of dynamic variation. But all that aside what I was struck with while listening is how much this new album hearkens back to the bandís glory days. It really sounds like a classic Uriah Heep album. Great rocking guitar riffs are supported by the growling Hammond organ all punctuated by a pounding rhythm section. These are songs full of great hooks, anthemic choruses and everything is embellished with just enough proggy-ness to make Living the Dream a satisfying guilty pleasure. This is a band coming up on celebrating fifty years together and that surely counts for something. Iíd say this is their best album in a good many years, I quite enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Worth checking out.