Nowadays, it is quite common for a band can take a hiatus from recording/touring for a couple of years. Back in the day, a year away from the studio or off the road was a recipe for disaster. But guitarist Mick Box went against the norm in 1982 and Uriah Heep roared back onto the scene.
The band had spent several years trying to reinvent itself while keeping an ambitious recording/touring schedule before calling it quits in 1980. But Box used the time off to plot a sustainable course for the band, which included the return of drummer Lee Kerslake – who brought bassist Bob Daisley from their stint with Ozzy – along with vocalist Peter Goalby and keyboardist John Sinclair.
Five of the 10 original tracks are covers, but the unbridled “take no prisoners” approach to the sound brings back fond memories to the gothic metal from earlier albums, but with the drive that was looking to the future. Box shines on the top cut – Too Scared to Run – while Sinclair takes the reigns on Chasing Shadows and Hot Persuasion fits neatly in the harder-edge AOR sound that was finding airplay on FM radio. The best cover is Prisoner (lyrics by D.B. Cooper/performed by Sue Saad and the Next), with That’s the Way That It Is (Paul Bliss/The Bliss Band) very close behind.
The album cover may be chilling for some, but the music inside – bolstered by six bonus tracks – sizzles. This was a tremendous comeback by a band that had imploded in 1980.