Review Summary: Fallen Heep.
"Fallen Angel" was Uriah Heep's 12th studio album and it was released in July 1978. The previous year, "Innocent Victim" had been released and that album alienated many of the traditional Heep fans, that disapproved of the band's sudden change of style. Despite having to deal with harsh criticism, the band rushed to get back to the studio and quickly came up with the successor "Fallen Angel". Perhaps unsurprisingly, this one sounds quite similar to "Innocent Victim". The unprecedented success of "Free Me" was probably incentive enough for the band to repeat the formula in the next record.
And probably because of this, the record sounds quite repetitive and monotonous. The songs sound noticeably more mellow and have a clear pop structure, production is more glossy and polished than usual, the band just takes a mellower approach than usual, combining in a rather strange album. Almost as if this sound didn't suit the band at all. A big issue with "Fallen Angel" is how formulaic it all sounds. A lot of the songs sound quite similar to one another, and out of all the singalong choruses and pleasant little instrumental breaks that this offers, few really stick to mind even after repeated listens. Songwriting in general feels more restrained instead of free flowing. "I'm Alive" is one of the few moments where the album seems to pay off, Lawton's commanding vocals and Box's wailing guitar leads propel the song. Otherwise this album lacks the power that tunes such as this one carry, making for an incredibly dull listen.
Overall, "Fallen Angel" is an album of underwhelming proportions. After the critical and commercial failure of this album, Lawton and Kerslake were quick to jump ship, leaving the band in dire need of quick replacements. In search of a strong frontman and a skilled drummer, and with a label contract in question, the future looked uncertain for the band.