URIAH HEEP – Into The Wild [Japan ed.] (2011)

URIAH HEEP Into The Wild Japan edition (2011)

includes bonus track

For over forty years, Uriah Heep have been peddling their quirky brand of high quality melodic pomp rock.

Now they are back again with “Into The Wild” and thankfully they still manage to inspire respect, but mostly awe for the passion that burns inside them, the energy they are unleashing during their live shows, and the inspiration that allows them to release great albums to this day.

With the exception of Lee Kerslake who had to be replaced due to ill health in 2007 by Russell Gilbrook, the line up has remained unchanged since 1986: Bernie Shaw (vocals), Phil Lanzon (keys), Trevor Bolder (bass) and Mick Box (guitar) to complete the current Heep line up.

The new album reflects power, emotion and intensity, with everyone’s contribution being shunted right to the forefront, especially Lanzon’s Hammond organ warbling that are always a joy to hear.

Bernie Shaw is in top form with his powerful classic rock voice that carries the music, and Mick Box certainly knows how to write and play some top notch riffs.

For me, Uriah Heep are at their best when they put the pedal to the metal and just go for it, and on “Into The Wild” they do just that several times to great effect.

The grooving opener “Nail On The Head” has a catchy refrain with a more contemporary feel than the rest of the album. This is a great stadium track with killer guitars and big sound.

“I Can See You” -a singalong melodic monster- , the thrilling “Into The Wild” and the feel good rocker “T-Bird Angel” (with an 80’s Hair Metal vibe) mix power, melody and big ass Hammond organ sounds like Deep Purple did at their best, and if you count ‘Highway Star’ as one of your favourite tracks, then you should really dig there. Seriously.

Elsewhere, there’s the usual big riff tracks that crunch along nicely, plus plenty of high end guitar playing from Box, who can still pull off a killer solo when he needs to.

There’s no real ballads on the regular release of this album (read below), but the epic “Trail Of Diamonds” show band’s ability to slow things down with class, this is a delicious, haunting number.

“I’m Ready” has tons of energy and melodic free spirit, like the band was just jamming and having a good time.

Shaw is particularly impressive on anthemic rockers “Believe” and “Kiss of Freedom” (with a very classical Uriah Heep feel) and can surely lay claim to being regarded as the definitive voice of the band.

Japanese bonus track “Hard Way To Learn” adds justice to this brillant CD. This is a ‘real’ ballad, powerful, emotive. Shaw shines again and the guitar work is terrific. It’s a shame that this track isn’t placed on all editions. Definitively a highlight.

“Into The Wild” is what a modern album from a classic rock band should sound like. Plus, it’s just great to see a band that’s been around as long as Uriah Heep still making great rock n’ roll albums and having some fun doing it.

The perennially underrated Mick Box delivers some first-rate guitar work here. Vocally, Shaw offers some nice variation and keeps the songs interesting. The drums and bass never over power the guitar and the wonderful keys are always clearly heard.

Add into the mix Mike Paxman’s spot on production and you have another top notch release from a band that has rarely disappointed throughout the years.

Uriah Heep has managed to make an album that will gain them new and younger fans at the same time as the old ones will remain very happy.


01 – Nail On the Head

02 – I Can See You

03 – Into the Wild

04 – Money Talk

05 – I’m Ready

06 – Trail of Diamonds

07 – Southern Star

08 – Believe

09 – Lost

10 – T-Bird Angel

11 – Kiss of Freedom

12 – Hard Way To Learn (Japan bonus track)

Bernie Shaw – Vocals

Mick Box – Guitars, Backing Vocals

Phil Lanzon – Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Trevor Bolder – Bass, Backing Vocals

Russell Gilbrook – Drums, Backing Vocals



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