Whoa! From a band whose keyboard player is now a great-grandfather I certainly didn’t expect such a heavy opener as on Uriah Heep’s new recording Wake the Sleeper. It is the first release in a decade and oh boy has the wait been worthwhile. Being the 21st studio album it is their first without long-time drummer Lee Kerslake. He had to withdraw from the band due to ill health.
It‘s not very often that you receive such an energetic album in your mail from such veterans as the guys from the Heep. Maybe it has something to do with the relatively young and new drummer Russell Gilbrook. Still, most of the songs were written by Uriah Heep’s only original member Mike Box and Phil Lanzon. After the strong instrumental opener, the album really begins with ‘Overload’, a very powerful song as well. This energy train really doesn’t stop until we find somewhat of a ballad in the form of ‘What Kind of God’. A song that was actually inspired by the Wounded Knee Massacre. Brief explanation: it was the massacre of native Indians by the United States cavalry that took place at the end of the nineteenth century.
Tightness and heaviness are keywords for this album. I hope Uriah Heep won't wait for another ten years to make another record. They deserve a big applause for their work on Wake the Sleeper. I could only wish that Judas Priest could make such a heavy album.