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Uriah Heep - "Salisbury 1971 re-release"
Sanctuary Records 2003

Debut's successor opens with blasting drum beat that captures terrifying horror ambient. You can easily imagine a bird made of steel that terrorizes the land with it's grabbing claws and sharpened bill. I can't find out what beat background was chosen in first bridge (pause) where multiplied "Aaaaahs" are flyin' for the first time. Was it metronome or damped (hi-hat) cymbal? A song with nice fluid turnovers and a special boogie fade out. Heep opened another chapter in their evolution. With six songs that offer six different stories. The Park is a real counter weight to Bird Of Prey. The softer you play it, the stronger it gets. I will dare to say that it has typical ethno main theme, with David in center spot surrounded once again with vocal harmony layers that altogether provides incredible sad feel. That's when you hear the angels cry. Join the children playing in the park. And soldiers please lay your weapons down!

Time To Live contains mid tempo heavy straight riff with David's completely different approach on vocals. He's angry, desperate and all alone here. This song actually doesn't contain clearly divided chorus from the main riff, but has a fantastic follow up theme with amazing decoration of Mick's vah solo. I will provoke a bit here. After twelve years since "Salisbury" release, one of the NWOBHM pioneers used very similar rhythm beat and main riff pre-chorus line in one of their songs. I'm thinking about Iron Maiden's Revelations. Well, I know that this might be pure coincidence (I fuckin' don't believe in any coincidence), but just go ahead and compare Heep song with Maiden one and both main riff lines and tempos of the beat.

Lady in Black could mean at the same time death and a birth of a new life. Mind's transformation I suppose, a man's rebirth or a new insight. Vocals were done by Ken Hensley. According to his words he had a vision on a cold November morning when he was watching the snow fall through the window. He faced the apparition. It was lady that wore black. This isn't coincidence and it was meant to happen. Ken served as a media to carry on her massage. This is direct proof that confirms Ken's strong spiritual site. Cold freezing ambient is caught here. This is not just "a simple" hit song. It is lyrically and musically strong composition built on just two chords (Am and G).

Salisbury, the title song. Sorry, I'm listening to it and wanna jump out of my skin! When everything just claps together on the best possible way you could imagine. Classical arrangements for brass and windwood meet rock and roll. This is what I call an absolute victory. When I listen to this orchestra masterpiece, it always reminds me so much on Miles Davis playing trumpet on Gill Evans arrangement of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranujez (from "Sketches Of Spain", 1967). A whole climax, that special feel caught inside the song is very familiar.

Diverse motives run fluidly and build incredible high atmosphere. We got a bunch of variable moods and themes that follow through entire track. Its grand feel doesn't fade nor for a single moment. This is a song where you'll be always exposed to find something new when you listen to it. It is hard to imagine what ran through Ken's genuine creative mind in time of song's evolution. He was (and still is) a free media, a pure genius, that simply conducted his own mind's thoughts perception through music. "Salisbury" was a direct challenge not just for the Uriah Heep but for whole musical scene. With this song band confirmed their great talent, uniqueness, growing self-belief and once again that Uriah Heep was sincere invention of five pieced mind and not a record label high selling trick. Debut successor made a giant and very brave step forward.

Author:   Aleš

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