Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

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Album Review: Uriah Heep – Outsider

2 min read

Legendary British hard-rock band Uriah Heep have released their 24th studio album Outsider. The band have been gracing stages for 45 years, releasing 18 live albums in addition to those 24 studio efforts in the process. It would appear the fire still burns within the group to create, especially after the unfortunate passing of bass player Trevor Bolder.  However after a break of two years, the band roped in the talents of bassist Dave Rimmer while the writing and recording process of Outsider was in full swing, leading to the new line-up being born. Outsider is to be a “rock album in the true Heep style” to quote lead guitarist/vocalist Mick Box, so lets delve in and see how it turned out.

UriahHeep-OutsiderFrom the word go, it appears the bands vision for Outsider was met wholeheartedly. Immediately, album opener Speed of Sound drives the album into fifth gear and sets the tone for what’s to come. It showcases an anthemic chorus and good use of the rock organ that compliments the driving guitar riffs well. And riffs are in abundance here – The Law and Rock the Foundation both especially show the band still has an ear for straight up hard rock guitar lines.

The Heep are able to move away from the confines of down-the-line rock and roll from time to time. Is Anybody Gonna Help Me moves into that heavy ballad territory, utilising a thumping wall of sound to drive the song along. However, for the most part it is as Uriah Heep wished – a straight-up rock album. The sound never strays too far from its surroundings, from its comfort zone. It sometimes becomes a little familiar, but over the years the band knows where their talents lay.

They are the ones who hold the recipe for success for this brand of music, as they have done for nearly half a decade and they continue to use it well. Sure, the latest production technologies will always give the album a slightly modern edge to proceedings, but its classic Heep all over. How many new fans the band will gain with Outsider is anyone’s guess, but you can be damn sure the current fan-base will be glad to see a continuation of the writing style that they fell in love with in the first place.