Uriah Heep – …Very `Eavy…Very `Umble (US import )
This album was the debut of Uriah Heep, an English band that would become one of the Titans of the ’70s heavy metal sound. Despite their eventual hard-rocking reputation, Very ‘Eavy… Very ‘Umble finds the band trying on different stylistic hats as they work towards finding their own sound. At this juncture, their music falls halfway between the crunch of heavy metal and the dramatic arrangements of prog rock. When this style jells, the results are quite powerful: “Dreammare” blends psychedelic lyrics and a complex vocal arrangement with a stomping beat from the rhythm section to create an effective slice of prog metal fusion while “I’ll Keep on Trying” presents a head-spinning, complex tune with enough riffs, hooks, and tempo changes to fill three or four songs. However, the album’s finest achievement is “Gypsy”: this heavy metal gem nails the blend of swirling organ riffs, power chords, and leather-lunged vocal harmonies that would define the group’s classic tunes and remains a staple of the band’s live performances today.
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