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~As the title suggests, this is the sixth in the series of official Uriah Heep bootlegs from earMUSIC which have been released in recent years and, once again, it provides a great listen, this time from The Rock Of Ages Festival in Germany 2008, and proof that 'The Heep' are still at the top of their game, even after nearly 45 years. Of course, some fans will never really see past the David Byron era but, bar the departure of drummer Lee Kerslake in 2007 due to ill health and the very sad passing of bass player Trevor Bolder (R.I.P.) in May this year, this has been the most consistent and longest serving lineup in the band’s history (since 1986) and they continue to release fantastic studio albums, as ever under the watchful eye, and seemingly boundless energy, of Mick Box.

'Volume Six' contains fourteen songs, the full headline set from the festival, and is a mixture of old and new; new, in this case, being based around the release of the 2008 studio album 'Wake The Sleeper'. I have always loved Bernie Shaw's vocals and remember thinking back in 1986 what an inspired choice he was to be the new vocalist. In a live setting he really sets the bar high and dispatches classics such as ‘The Wizard’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Easy Livin’ and, one of my all time favourite songs, ‘July Morning’, with consummate ease. However, he also brings a much harder approach to newer songs, such as the excellent ‘Overload’ and he is one of the main reasons why Uriah Heep are still a force to be reckoned with. Sound-wise, this CD also stands up very well, essentially it is a 'real' live performance (hence the bootleg tag). Uriah Heep record many shows and if that recording is a good one it will be released, therefore trying to give you a taste of what it was like to be in a particular audience at a particular time. I think it is also correct to give much credit to artist Ioannis who has overseen and designed all the cover art for the bootleg series and he has not only successfully captured the feel of Uriah Heep and their music but, also, each individual gig and the country it was recorded in. Indeed, if you collect all of them, the CD spines will form a picture when you put them together!

I have amassed a pretty good collection of Heep vinyl and CDs over the years, without being a completely rabid fan, and this is a nice addition as it is my first from this particular series (even though I've never been completely sold on the tag 'Official Bootleg'). There are, however, a huge amount of compilation and live albums out there, not all of them official, so unless you are a complete diehard, the question remains; how many live albums by one band do you want in your collection? Looking at the track listings, many of the songs are duplicated on the other volumes so even though this is beautifully performed and packaged it is only going to appeal to a select audience. If you do pick this up, though, you will be treated to a band in full flow who don't need studio trickery or overdubs to provide a fantastic live experience. Uriah Heep, unfortunately, have always been and always will be tremendously underrated, but here's hoping they are around a little while longer yet!
Review by Rick Tilley
21st July 2013
1) Overload; 2) Cry Freedom
3) Falling in Love
4) Words in the Distance
5) Tears of the World
6) Between Two Worlds
7) The Wizard; 8) Free Me
9) Shadow; 10) Sunrise
11) Gypsy; 12) July Morning
13) Easy Livin'
14) Lady in Black
"...proof that 'The Heep' are still at the top of their game, even after nearly 45 years."