A falsely humble hypocrite, Uriah Heep is the unctuous villain in Charles Dickens’ novel, “David Copperfield.” No, I’m not doing the book review, that’s just where URIAH HEEP got their name. URIAH HEEP is a classic hard-rock and progressive band that have never shown signs of slowing down, no matter how many decades they remain in the scene (currently, they’re sitting at 50). With full power, they are marching out a new album, “Chaos & Colour,” on January 27th, 2023, via Silver Lining Music.
It may be their 25th album, but the band – led as always by Mick Box – are still as active now as they’ve ever been. With “Chaos & Colour,” they spent years exchanging ideas and raising the bar, resulting in their best work in years.
The opening track gives us a straight kick with the powerful, melodic “Save Me Tonight,” which is also the first single. The song describes frustration and helplessness when living through these unprecedented past couple of years while hanging on to a raging hope that we might all meet again. The same message is beautifully executed by their amazing playing as well. Hammond and guitar riffs are inevitable and a trademark of the band, thus, right from the start, they show all of their creative experience and provide the perfect platform to carry on the URIAH HEEP legacy.
As the listeners get warmed up with the powerful progressive first song, the next is a slower, earworm-y track called “Silver Sunlight,” which contains a catchy hook, leaving you wanting to come back for more. The joyful “Hail the Sunrise” and the upbeat tempo of “Age Of Changes” are both crafted to the detail, with Shaw’s vocals flying with ease over the instrumental melodies. They are absolutely timeless, with the frosting on the cake being each song’s remarkable musical fluidity and beauty.
“Golden Light” sprinkles listeners with electricity at the beginning, sounding suspiciously similar to DEEP PURPLE, though really… who came first? There are, in fact, a few moments of melodic riffing much like DEEP PURPLE to be found throughout the album. The song’s energy builds but never settles. The second long song on the album is “You’ll Never Be Alone,” which has exciting, slightly chaotic parts that barely hold together. The vocal part is somewhat flat, but in the end, it’s one of the best on the album. “Fly Like An Eagle” is more progressive; the vocals appear out of place at first, so it feels more like an experimental song with bits and pieces here and there.
As we are getting closer to the end, URIAH HEEP unveil the epic song, “Freedom To Be Free.” The playing gives more space for all the instruments to settle in. This song has everything: clarity and melody, yet chaos and color; you can even hear a bass solo – bassist Dave Rimmer continues to raise his level. Phil Lanzon’s Hammond parts are interesting despite repetitiousness, and he also shines with the piano. Russell Gilbrook continues to hit hard and create drum fills that resonate.
Finally, as the album reaches its conclusion, it feels like the final two tracks could be connected – first, you find the “Freedom to Be Free” and then you get “Closer to Your Dreams.” The latter track closes the record with a fast punch of energy and power in a style that is very characteristic of URIAH HEEP.
“Chaos & Colour” depicts the chaotic recent years of being locked down; the world changed drastically in every field, foundering chaos in every corner of life, and the only color people had was through art, among other almost forgotten meaningful but powerful things. “Chaos & Colour” is a collection of classic hard rock, which on many occasions steps through progressiveness and across the metal line, before pulling back with the sweet melodies that the band has always insisted surge through their releases.
Written by Peter Jerman
- Save Me Tonight
- Silver Sunlight
- Hail the Sunrise
- Age of Changes
- One Nation, One Sun
- Golden Light
- You’ll Never Be Alone
- Fly Like an Eagle
- Freedom to Be Free
- Closer to Your Dream
Mick Box – Lead Guitar / Vocals
Phil Lanzon – Keyboards / Vocals
Bernie Shaw – Lead Vocals
Dave Rimmer – Bass Guitar / Vocals
Russell Gilbrook – Drums & Percussion
Silver Lining Music