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There isn't much I can tell you about Uriah Heep that any true Hard Rock wouldn't already know. What I will say is that after being around for nigh on 45 years they are still releasing fabulous new music and 'Outsider', the bands 24th studio release, is a very timely reminder that you don't need screaming and blastbeats every five seconds to make a statement! This is also the first album since the very sad passing of bass player Trevor Bolder (R.I.P), but they have found a superb replacement in Davey Rimmer and main man, the wonderful Mick Box, is sticking to his guns and doing what a lot of 'classic' bands fail to do these days, and that's keep writing!

From the outset, 'Outsider' is a joy to listen to. Yes, there have been plenty of lineup changes over the years, the loss of vocalist David Byron probably been the most recognised, but one thing remains and that is they ALWAYS sound like Uriah Heep. Vocalist Bernie Shaw, who has been with the band since the 1980s is an absolutely cracking singer, in the studio and live, and handles the older material perfectly, and his voice shows no signs of diminishing. Keyboardist Phil Lanzon, who has also been around since the 80s, laces the whole album with Heep's signature sound of 'The Hammond Organ' and it works a treat. And, of course, Mr Box plays the riffs and solos like his life depends on it and has always been terribly underrated as a guitarist. There is no doubt that 'Outsider' rocks.

Honestly, every song here has brilliant melodies and such catchy choruses, as well as being 'Eavy'. It's a beautiful summerís day as I write this and the windows are wide open, I'm soaking up everything, and 'Outsider' is the icing on the cake. Opener 'Speed Of Sound' will rock your foundations as does 'Rock The Foundations' funnily enough! 'Looking At You' is modern but steeped in those wonderful late 60s and early 70s vocal harmonies, something which Heep have always done brilliantly; the title track is loaded with double bass drums, courtesy of Russell Gilbrook (don't ever be fooled into thinking Heep just do ballads); and my favourite song on the new album, 'Jessie', has a chorus so ridiculously catchy, thousands of bands would have killed to write it - the bass work may not be complicated but it kicks you right in the nether regions!

Uriah Heep may well have reached their commercial peak in the 1970s but, with album sales well in excess of 30 million, there is absolutely no stopping them and I, for one, am extremely pleased about that. 'Outsider' shows a band totally at ease with their sound and with a great production. I'm already looking forward to album number 25!
Frontiers Records
Review by Rick Tilley
6th June 2014
1) Speed of Sound
2) One Minute
3) The Law
4) The Outsider
5) Rock the Foundation
6) Is Anybody Gonna Help Me?
7) Looking At You
8) Can't Take That Away
9) Jessie
10) Kiss the Rainbow
11) Say Goodbye
"Yes, there have been plenty of lineup changes over the years... but one thing remains and that is they ALWAYS sound like Uriah Heep."