Friday, February 29, 2008

Ex Uriah Heep Ken Hensley Takes A Journey Through The Past With 'Blood On The Highway'

Ken Hensley
Blood On The Highway

Review by Nightwatcher

Legendary former Uriah Heep/Blackfoot keyboardist Ken Hensley weighs in on his most personal release yet with 'Blood On The Highway,' an autobiographical telling in song of his life while coming to superstar status with the English legends during the 70's. Featuring guest vocal appearances from Glenn Hughes, ex Masterplan/Snakes' Jorn Lande and another former Heep band mate John Lawton, this is a solid release which not only will appeal to fans of Hensley's former band but also to fans of quality hard rock in general.

The companion to his autobiography of the same name, the album follows the rise, the optimism and rush which accompanies such an initial ascent, following the dissension and fall which can come about afterwards, with "well meaning" family and friends fueling the fire. Although not too heavy handed, it adds up to an intriguing look into the mechanics of what was all too often a familiar tale among many huge bands of the 70's.

Musically speaking, in many cases befitting the time period covered, it remains true to the Heep aesthetic, being blues based hard rock, with several moments of AOR styled balladry popping up throughout to add variety and emotional impact to the surroundings. Jorn Lande, Glenn Hughes and John Lawton all turn in fantastic performances, with Lande appearing on 5 tracks, sounding even more like David Coverdale than Cov himself sounds these days. Hughes still shows the immense talent vocally which earned him the moniker 'The Voice Of Rock', and Lawton still impresses, showing that if you loved his work in Heep or Lucifer's Friend, he still has the pipes over 30 years later to power a heavy rock song, as he does quite admirably on "It Won't Last". Everyone involved is at the top of their game both musically and vocally, and Hensley besides showing the talent that made him one of rock's top keyboardists, also does an admirable job in singing three songs, acquitting himself well in relation to the powerhouses he's brought on board for this outing.

At this stage of the game one can expect a certain amount of reliability musically speaking from an artist such as Hensley and with 'Blood On The Highway', he delivers with a solid collection of songs in the time honored rock tradition of the 70's and 80's. If you grew up during that time, or are a recent convert to classic rock, there's much to be savored here. While personally speaking I would've loved more Hammond organ solos, what's here is quite impressive and you'll feel quite satisfied after parting with your hard earned cash for this one. Buy without reservations. 8.5/10

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...