For those of us who like our rock of a certain vintage, 2011 promises to be a rather exciting year. In a few short weeks, Uriah Heep’s new album, Into the Wild, hits the shelves, following up 2008’s excellent Wake the Sleeper. Mick Box has hinted that the latest offering ploughs a similar furrow to its predecessor, which is welcome news for yours truly; while the Bernie Shaw-fronted Heep has delivered many riches over the last twenty-five years (notably 1989’s AOR masterpiece Raging Silence, and 1995’s Phoenix-like resurgence – and diehard fan favourite – Sea of Light), Wake the Sleeper was, to my mind, the band’s most fired-up opus since Abominog (1982), and perhaps their most satisfying and cohesive fusion of contemporary stylings with the signature sound of their seventies heyday.
Following the same time-frame, Journey are soon to deliver their second album with Arnel Pineda, Eclipse, following up 2008’s Revalation. Their super triple-header extravaganza with Foreigner and Styx hits UK shores early in the summer, promising a night of AOR heaven for those lucky enough to have the readies for tickets.
Meanwhile, everybody’s favourite new supergroup on the block, Black Country Communion, are already preparing to deliver their sophomore effort – while Steve Morse has stated that Deep Purple will finally hole themselves up in the studio to begin work on their first new platter since 2005’s Rapture of the Deep.
‘Appy Days indeed, as Mick Box might put it.