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Uriah Heep - The Magician's Birthday CD (album) cover

THE MAGICIAN'S BIRTHDAY

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.81 | 408 ratings

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Rushlover13
5 stars Another one of Uriah Heep's awesome proggy adventures, featuring Roger Dean on artwork, again. The mix of heavy metal, progressive rock, and hard rock is still present, but this album is much more on the prog side of everything because of the lyrics being a lot more thoughtful and much more well thought out. The excellent rhythm section is still here, Gary Thain pumping amazing basslines, and Lee's forceful drumming is always present. Lets not forget the amazing David Byron on vocals, Mick Box playing guitar, and Ken Hensley playing the hammond organ as forcefully as he can.

The opener "Sunrise" is a fairly proggy adventure, though slightly short considering. The lyrics are excellent, kind of on the same page as "July Morning" from the Look at Yourself album, but it explains everything much more clearly. The music overall has excellent guitar, amazing and pumping bass, and theatric vocals as usual. The organ and drum intro is haunting, dark and mysterious. "Spider Woman" is a little more of the usual, two minute rocker. The guitar is excellent throughout the song. The vocals are amazing, but the lyrics seem to be a little lazy considering the last proggy song. It's a very fun song to play though because of how upbeat and crazy it seems to be. "Blind Eye" is more of a western song, with acoustic guitar and pumping bottom end coming from the bass. The guitar harmonies on the solo part at the beginnning are really excellent, reminds of Iron Maiden a little bit, but about seven years before them. The lyrics are excellent, as well as the vocals coming from David. Not that many vocal harmonies though, but the ones that do come are excellent as usual. Not a favorite, but still listenable. "Echoes in the Dark" is alright, has good use of some wierd effect at the beginning, but this one just seems to be filler material. The guitar, as usual, is very nice with it's rocking solo's from our very own Mick Box, work well with the bass. I just seem to lose intreset in it because it's more of a boring ballad type, not my favorite. "Rain" is another ballad type of song, with piano like the last song, but it's performed with much more soul and much more passion and it dosen't seem to be filler. The lyrics are thoughtful, and David always seems to add that extra emotion to the song. A sadness that makes you feel like a real person when you listen to this song. "Sweet Loraine" goes back to full on rocker. Cool guitar at the beginning, and the bassline is always awesome. That high pitched noise at the beginning is pretty cool. The lyrics are awesome, though not as thoughtful, but has a good use of interesting words, which can make anyone interested. The vocals are amazing, with it's vocal harmonies being awesome as the par for any Uriah Heep track. "Tales" is a pretty good song, with some nice acoustic guitar and some nice keyboards. David sings amazingly, but that is nothing different. I think this one might be the weakest because it just dosen't really seem to go anywhere, at least from my standpoint. Filler. "The Magician's Birthday" is one of the band's last epics, and it's a great one. The lyrics are interesting, and the overall music is excellent. David sings very good on this one, but he seems a bit bored, but it works well with the music overall. The drums are amazing, and seem to just be uplifting. The guitar riff at the beginning is great. The organ isn't as prominate as some of their other songs, which seems to be interesting. There is an awesome guitar solo, which lasts for about three minutes, and it's the most intense of them all. The drums are so fluid. This epic is worth it, and brings this album up in rating.

Containing one of my favorite heavy prog epics, besides "2112" and "Hemispheres" by Rush, this one is not to be missed. The musicianship is amazing, as with all prog rockers, but this one has a special feeling to it. 5 stars for a masterpiece.

Rushlover13 | 5/5 |

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