URIAH HEEP "Chaos and Colour"
By Dr. Abner Mality
How do they do it? How? In operation almost continuously for 50 years, how do URIAH HEEP continue to sound so dynamic and fresh, like they do here?
The answer is pretty easy. Songwriting, duh. Consistently strong melodies and songs that stick in the head. It doesn't hurt that it is still performed at an amazingly high level. Listen, I come from the heavier side of metal and am no stranger to the extreme. But URIAH HEEP hook me just about every single time because of the qualities mentioned above. It's not studio trickery, either....I saw them open for JUDAS PRIEST on their 2019 tour and they were totally on point on stage. Do people still believe that their only good material was in the 70's? Bullshit claimed by idiots, is what that is. Bernie Shaw is the best singer this band ever had. I hate the cliche, but fight me on it.
With "Chaos and Colour", we have HEEP doing what they do best...melodic British hard rock with emphasis on the keyboards. Phil Lanzon is a wizard all across this album and not just with the trademark HEEP Hammond organ, either...he adds tons of color with pianos and synth. Everybody cooks, but Lanzon's work dominates. A shout out should also go to rock solid drummer Russell Gilbrook, who never misses a beat.
Here we have more great HEEP rockers like thunderous opener "Save Me Tonight", fast and snappy "Hurricane" and "Fly Like An Eagle" and the soaring "Silver Sunlight". "Soaring" is a word that can be used often with the band's music and it's best heard on longer epics like "Hail The Sunrise", "You'll Never Be Alone" and the best of the lot, "Freedom To Be Free". These songs give the band extra space to paint the sonic canvas and they link back to their prog roots. There's even a great dreamy ballad "One Nation, One Sun", where Shaw urges us all to "rest our weary head" and the music makes you feel like doing exactly that. Not many bands can carry such a song off so well.
I'm hoping I can maybe turn some new ears onto this fabulous band. URIAH HEEP fans already know what to expect and they get it in in spades on "Chaos and Colour".