With 25 studio albums under his belt after forming Uriah Heep back in 1969, Mick Box is not your average 75-year-old. While it is a travesty that Uriah Heep are left in the shadows of their contemporaries, such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, the consistent high-quality of Uriah Heep’s albums puts them up with the aforementioned bands.
Chaos & Colour (Silver Lining Music) is an unbridled joy from start to finish, perfectly balancing Heep’s signature retro rock with the warmth of the Hammond organ and singer Bernie Shaw’s harmonic vocals. Opener ‘Save Me Tonight’ starts the album as it means to go on, full of life and colour but with a hint of chaotic (but controlled) frenzy. The song was written in collaboration with Jeff Scott Soto, and lyrically is centered around the frustrations of living through the pandemic.
The bombastic swagger continues, with ‘Silver Sunlight’ with Shaw’s vocals soaring over groove-laden guitars. It is ‘Hail the Sunrise’ and ‘Age of Changes’ where Phil Lanzon’s smooth melodic keyboards take charge, while ‘Hurricane’ offers vintage 1980’s classic rock with toe-tapping riffs and Shaw’s joyous vocals. ‘One Nation, One Sun’ is a piano-driven power ballad while ‘Fly Like an Eagle’ offers a psychedelic hard-rock edge reminiscent of early nineties alternative rock discord. The album closes with ‘Closer to Your Dreams,’ a buoyant hard rock tune that instantly makes you want to put the album on again.
Chaos & Colour is the culmination of Uriah Heep spending fifty years perfecting their craft. With the ever-familiar Heep-ness fans know and love, coupled with a heavier, more urgent element that is sure to attract a newer audience. It simultaneously harkens back to rocks yesteryear, but at the same time adds a frantic modern edge that proves why Uriah Heep are masters of their craft.
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8 / 10