Album Review: Uriah Heep- Chaos & Colour

Aaron ConnAlbum Review, MusicLeave a Comment

Uriah Heep Chaos & Colour

Uriah Heep Chaos & ColourDespite the COVID pandemic, Uriah Heep have been able to celebrate their 50th anniversary over the the last few years. Now almost five years after the release of 2018’s Living the Dream, the legendary prog rockers have released a new studio album. The album, Chaos & Colour, is the band’s 25th studio effort. Produced by Jay Ruston, the album is packed with 11 new songs- all ranging in different styles of the Heep sound. Chaos & Colour is a consistent effort and a nice entry in the band’s catalogue.

The album opens with the heavy and melodic sounds of “Save Me Tonight.” Right off the bat, the band are firing on all cylinders. What makes Uriah Heep so unique from other prog rock bands is their ability to crossover to other genres such as hard rock and heavy metal. With “Save Me Tonight,” you can hear all of it within this one song: a heavy yet melodic rocker, topped off with splendid guitar riffs from Mick Box and keyboard drones from Phil Lanzon.

The ten following tracks from the album range from different variations of the Uriah Heep sound. You want more hard rockers with some killer harmonies? Look no further than “Hurricane” and “Hail the Sunrise.” The former is a hard-hitting meteorological based tune while the latter is almost the spiritual sequel to “Sunrise” from 1972. If you’re looking for your fix of old school Heep, you’ll find it in the form of songs such as “Golden Light” and “Closer to Your Dream.” Both songs utilize in the “Heep shuffle/march” that can be found on classic such as “Look at Yourself” and “Easy Livin’.”

For each of their 25 albums, Uriah Heep almost always feature several key things. One of those things is an epic song, or something over the 6 minute mark at least. For Chaos & Colour, the band has provided their fans three new epics. Of the three, “You’ll Never Be Alone” might be the strongest of them. Lyrically, the song tells a story about a little girl discovering a magical fantasy world. In its near eight minute runtime, the song goes through several time changes and paints a vivid picture. The way the story is told is similar to that of Heep’s other story songs and production wise, it has the feel of the band’s material from the 1970s material. While the story itself might be a tad bit corny and/or sappy, it is nevertheless a highlight from the album.

The other two epic songs, “One Nation, One Sun” and “Freedom to Be Free,” are also strong tunes. The former is a military-themed ballad while the latter is the peak of one of the albums’ themes:  positivity. Typically with progressive rock, it’s usually associated with songs about wizards and mystical beings. While Heep are no stranger to those topics, there is a sense of positivity on most of the band’s albums. Take a song like “Circle of Hands” or “Look at Yourself” for example: they’re songs that plead to fans about unity and self-reflection. Almost all of the songs on Chaos & Colour have a sense of optimism. Coming out nearly three years since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s safe to say Chaos & Colour is an album from the collective heart of Uriah Heep.

Overall, Chaos & Colour is a solid effort from Uriah Heep. While a good album, it isn’t without some downsides. With a runtime of nearly an hour, Chaos & Colour is one of the band’s longest albums to date- right behind 1995’s Sea of Light and 1998’s Sonic Origami . Along with this, the album doesn’t feel as consistent as some of the other albums released by the band from this century. Even then, Chaos & Colour is a good Uriah Heep album and should leave all Heepsters alike feeling very ‘eavy and very ‘umble.

 

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Aaron ConnAlbum Review: Uriah Heep- Chaos & Colour