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Uriah Heep - Sea Of Light CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.67 | 179 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I was sitting in a small deli in Copenhagen, having lunch with a much older cousin I hadn't seen for 19 years, and we discovered that we both liked Uriah Heep. I told him I loved their first five albums but even though I had several of their albums from the late seventies and early eighties, the music just wasn't as exciting. It was then he asked me if I had heard their latest releases "Sea of Light" and "Sonic Origami". I had not, I replied. He recommended both albums, saying they were very good. I filed that away in my brain.

Thirteen years later, I had become a new member of the Prog Archives and I was checking out Uriah Heep albums and their reviews and ratings and I read many words of praise for "Sea of Light". With its captivating Roger Dean cover, I decided the time had at last come to get this album home. I ordered it and loaded it into my music library and onto my iPhone and was set to prog and roll as I headed out the door to work one morning. The first song was a blast. The rest of the album disappointed me terribly.

I tried to get into it. I listened to it again and tried to give many songs a special listen. Nope. This was a rock album. A hard rock album. I could have named a couple of Whitesnake albums that feature as much prog.

I put off reviewing the album for almost two years because I really didn't want to waste my time listening to it from start to finish again, seeking out the missed highlight. But at last I gave in, let it run through its songs while I checked Facebook and thought about what I needed to do at work. Nothing. Two stars for this.

I went back to read the reviews. "The best album outside of the seventies!" "Slightly less good than 'Demons and Wizards'!" "Uriah Heep is back!" What was I missing? I read what people had to say about the songs. I went back and listened to parts of many of the songs again. Hmm. Perhaps there was something worthy of further inspection. I selected the songs most often praised and listened to them while on the commute home. And at last I felt the album was not quite so bad, even rather good at times, with a few (albeit insufficient) moments that could be associated with progressive rock.

My first impression had been that this was nothing more than a straightforward hard rock album. After the fist- pumping "Against the Odds", I felt most of the album was just cliché after cliché of hard rock. "Mistress of All Time" revolted me with all the overused phrases and descriptions, lyrically a cut and paste song with a beer hall vocalist attempting to sound passionate: "Dances across the o-SHUN!" Pul-leeeze! I totally missed the pretty synthesizer piano solo and fluty keyboards. And hard rock, yes, but actually with a lot of very exciting guitar riffs and some sweet solos courtesy of Mr. Box. Rousing vocal choruses that almost reminded me of mid to late eighties Bon Jovi until I found myself singing along to "Spirit of Freedom". And how about the very eighties- sounding "Logical Progression"? Actually not bad, but not nearly a good as the music in "Love in Silence". Ahoy! We have arrived in prog country!

Well, truth be told, the prog factor is still pretty low to my ears. I have awarded 2 stars to albums I love just because the prog detector needle failed to raise up very high. I try to consider what the experts are looking for. But the number of cliché or uninspiring rock songs is actually few. As it turns out, the rockers are rather enjoyable. Listening to the album became a pleasure as opposed to a chore. As a rock album, I would consider giving it nearly four and a half stars. However, as a prog album and an album by the band who gave us "Salisbury", "July Morning", and "The Spell" I can resolutely say that there is very little trace of that kind of music composition on "Sea of Light". So, having moved past my initial disappointment, I give this album three stars and recommend it to fans of the band and anyone who can enjoy a great hard rock album without too much in the way of adventurous music.

FragileKings | 3/5 |


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