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Uriah Heep - Return to Fantasy CD (album) cover

RETURN TO FANTASY

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

3.01 | 186 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rushlover13
3 stars Though there are some excellent songs on here, this is definatly lopsided. First side is amazing, and the second side is filled with, well, fillers. They returned to fantasy with the first part, but it fantasizes me how they could screw up the second side. This album also marks the absence and death of former bassist Gary Thain, who is replaced by the very experienced John Wetton, who is always present, though maybe not as melodic or as powerful as Gary was. We get the whole package here, David Byron's theatrical vocals, Mick Box's powerful guitar playing, Ken Hensley's distorted hammond organ, Lee's forceful drumming, and John Wetton's skilled bass playing.

"Return to Fantasy" is excellent, it's a very scary sounding song, and a great opener at that. The organ is loud, as with the soaring guitar, crunchy basslines, and the drumming up to par. The lyrics are very good, and are very different from the second side, because it's much more of a poem that makes sense. The vocals are amazing, and are very haunting, the only way that David could do it. "Shady Lady" continues that darker kind of sound, but it's not as heavy metal as the last track. The guitar is playing melodic lines, and the basslines are distorted and are very crunchy, nice Percision Bass tone. The drumming by our very own Lee is great. The lyrics aren't great, but the emotion that David Byron gives more than makes up for that. "Devil's Daughter" might be a bit like Van Halen to my ears, at the opening riff. The riff is very nice, but it's much more metallic sounding than I am used to. The organ after the guitar intro is very good and it gets me into the groove. The bassline is excellent and is very loud, as with the whole rhythm section being loud and forceful. The lyrics are very nice, and, again, David adds that emotion that only he can do. I get a little less of that because there aren't as many vocal harmonies on this one. "Beauiful Dream" features a strong mini-moog and strong organ type of sound, with excellent drumming. It's alot darker than the last two songs, but it's dark in the sense of the first song, for some reason, I just think of halloween when I start to listen to this song, and I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but I like it so I guess it's good. It's got a different vibe because of the haunting lyrics and excellent vocal harmonies. When David goes in falsetto, it just makes me laugh. It's just something about his falsetto. "Prima Donna" is a terrible song, it just sounds terrible next to a very scary song like the last. The lyrics are terrible and are much different from all the other stuff that is on the album. It reminds me of a few songs on one of the last albums, Sweet Freedom, and not on the good songs. "Your Turn to Remember" is alright, it's a much slower song than that of the last, and it's much better. It seems like a song that would be played at the bar in a hit movie, when someone is look at some people in love, and they realize that they don't have love. The vocals don't have the spark, and the music seems a bit dry. It's good, it's just too slow and lacks dynamic to be a favorite of mine. "Showdown" isn't great, because it drags a bit. The song sounds a lot like some of their older songs to me, but with some much better guitar. The bassline isn't amazing or dazzeling in my ears, and David's spark is definatly gone. The vocals are just so boring and so normal, like going through the motions type of sound. The rhythm is laid down fine, though. "Why Did you Go?" is an excellent ballad, the only good song on the second side of the album. The vocal intro is excellent, and you can tell that David just has that passion and that drive to keep going. The guitar solo's in the beginning remind of something that would be playing a bit on country stations at the time, but it works a bit better with the vocals I think so. "A Year or a Day" is okay, not a great closer, but I just have nuetral feelings for it, mostly because it bores me a little bit and I could never get through the whole thing without realizing I can just skip it and get on to the next album. The lyrics are good, the music just seems uninspired, giving a boring performances.

There are some great songs, but there are a lot of fillers on the second side. A solid 3 stars, nothing more nothing less, for a half good album and a half boring album.

Rushlover13 | 3/5 |

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