U.K. hard rock legends URIAH HEEP have signed a new, exclusive worldwide recording deal with Sanctuary Records. The band will go into pre-production rehearsals in February. Recording sessions for the HEEP's 21st official studio album will take place during March/April with producer Mike Paxman. The follow-up to 1998's "Sonic Origami" will feature at least ten new tracks and is scheduled for release late summer.Commented URIAH HEEP manager Simon Porter: "We thought very carefully about the new deal before deciding that Sanctuary is the natural home for the band at this moment in time. They know the band well and have done an extremely good on marketing the back catalogue. More importantly, they are extremely enthusiastic about the band and can't wait to get their teeth into a new album. I also believe that Mike Paxman will add a 'back-to-basics-with-a-21st-century-twist' approach to the recording process which will result in a welcome return to the classic HEEP sound from which the success of the band was originally built." Added URIAH HEEP's Mick Box: "We are very pleased to be able to make this announcement as we have been waiting for this as much as the fans. There is much excitement in the Heep camp and we hope to put an 18-month world tour planner around the new album. We are pleased to have Mike Paxman wear the producer's hat as he has a varied producer's record which we think will benefit our music. He has already spent some time with Phil and I going over the songs already written and there is a good buzz with what we have thus far and we have been exchanging ideas to get the best out of each song. Trevor is presently finishing off the building of his home studio and will bring his songs to the table too. I am presently in Australia and then will be moving on to New Zealand on a much-needed holiday with my family. I return mid-January and Mike and I have arranged to meet up and make the important choice of studios we want to use. He has investigated this already and we have had discussions about this but we just have to find the right studio we feel will help us get the results we are looking for and then book it. So you can see there are exciting times ahead and I want to thank each and every one of you reading this for your continued support and faith that in the end we will have a new CD." Sanctuary Records' Jonathan Richards commented: "Sanctuary Records are delighted to continue their association with URIAH HEEP and are very much looking forward to releasing their brand new album in 2007. It has been both an honour and privilege to work with the band and their rich recorded legacy over the years and we're eager to continue our partnership into the new millennium with new music from one of the U.K.'s greatest hard rock bands."