Uriah Heep: Bernie Shaw (vocals); Mick Box (guitar); Phil Lanzon (keyboards); Trevor Bolder (bass); Lee Kerslake (drums).
Recorded at Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire, England in 1998.
Personnel: Jim Hughes (guitar); John Welch (keyboards).
Liner Note Author: Malcolm Dome.
Recording information: Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire, England (1998-02-03_1998-04-27&1998-).
Photographer: Vincent Lagana.
Arranger: Uriah Heep.
Originally issued in Japan in 1998, Sonic Origami was released in the U.S. a year later with the bonus track intact. The album has a grand, epic tone throughout that doesn't always match Uriah Heep's journeyman-sounding prog-tinged hard rock, and some songs' lyrics sink under the weight of their pretension or sentimentality. But for diehard Heep fans those are minor quibbles; while the group's sound may not be devastatingly original anymore, they are definitely quite committed to their performances, and the occasional overreaching is part and parcel with this sort of classic AOR pomp-rock (and, in fact, constitutes a not insignificant part of its appeal). So ultimately, it's difficult to criticize Sonic Origami too harshly, because it is a solid entry in its chosen genre. And -- especially given that Uriah Heep has put out more than their fair share of lifeless crap over the years -- it's actually pretty admirable that the band is continuing to release respectable records this far into their career. Classic rock fans will probably enjoy this without reservation. ~ Steve Huey