"Into the Wild"

 By Dark Starr

Whenever someone reviews an album by a band like Uriah Heep with a rich back catalog, comparisons to that catalog are obvious. Generally, those comparisons, at least by Yours Truly, are designed to inform fans of how the new music is similar and how it is different from the stuff they know. That, to my mind, is the true purpose of a review, explaining what something sounds like by comparing and contrasting it to something the reader has heard. In this particular case, though, with a few songs the movement away from the traditional Uriah Heep sound is a weakness. That’s not because the band is stretching out beyond their earlier territory. It’s because the direction they are taking it in  is not as interesting as the traditional Heep sound.For example, opening cut "Nail on the Head" is a rocking metal cut that somewhat lacks the traditional Heep feel. In contrast, next cut "I Can See You" leans more towards the poppy side than Heep usually does. Those tunes are both good, but the title track is a better example of the unique sound of Uriah Heep

For most of the album, though, the band manage to pull the best of that classic sound and bring a modern sensibility to it. Isn’t that really what the growth of a band should be about, taking the strengths from the past and adding new elements to keep it fresh? "I'm Ready" is a perfect example of the timeless Heep sound merged with something fresh and new. Overall, this album should please long time fans of the band. It’s a great disc with just a couple tracks that fall short of that mark.