8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Heep show their subtler side shock,
This review is from: Salisbury (Audio CD)
I agree with the previous reviewer on the overall quality of this album, without agreeing entirely on the detail. First, the cover: I've always found this quite striking, if irrelevant to the music. Second, 'Bird Of Prey': an ordinary composition, but rocked up well, particularly the fast sections. My real beef, though, is about David Byron's attempt at combining vibrato and falsetto. Here, it's clear he's finding it a strain and to me it sounds excruciating. There's a strong case for claiming that he's more suited to the softer stuff. 'The Park' also features falsetto, but this is beautifully done and the acoustic guitar and organ textures add a wonderfully eerie atmosphere. On 'Lady In Black', we again have acoustic guitar and one of Ken Hensley's many epic tales. Byron sings it straight, and you wonder why he doesn't do this more often.
There are two other rockers of standard duration, both, in my opinion, far better than 'Bird Of Prey'. Mick Box is on top form as he meanders through the chunky 'Time To Live' and the band as a whole go gonzo on 'High Priestess'. The sixteen-minute title track features a neatly-crafted if unremarkable build up, accompanied by brass and woodwind, in true 1970s spirit. It gathers momentum, though, and once the band get into their stride they turn it into a treat.
'Salisbury', like most of UH's albums, seems to have been largely forgotten. It's actually a vibrant and imaginative album that, for the most part, belies the band's poor critical reputation.