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Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 874 ratings

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Tull Freak 94
4 stars Not exactly a masterpiece of prog rock but definitely a masterpiece of hard rock. Let me just say that Ken Hensley is now one of my favourite Hammond organ players, he also plays a mean 'heavy metal' piano as proven in The Spell. Mick Box is better at the acoustic guitar than at the electric one in my opinion and he definitely shouldn't be allowed too many electric guitar solo. His style during a solo seems to be to play it as slow as possible and keep it simple, which isn't a particular problem (he is just showing he isn't a virtuoso) but after a while, they all seem the same and they get a bit tedious.As usual the lyrics aren't the strong point, but if you can kind of put these to the back of your mind and concentrate on the good stuff (Byron's vocals, the four-part harmonies, Hensley's keyboards and occasional slide-guitar, and the interplay of the band in general) this kind of cancels out the slightly iffy lyrics, doesn't it? The album starts off wonderfully with The Wizard with Box on acoustic guitar and it seems to be a nice subtle start, with a great middle part, where we first hear the vocal harmonies. Traveller in time is more of their traditional sound and again is a very good track. Easy Living is arguably their best known track and it is definitely a majestic song: very short but very fast and it's a thrilling ride. Poets justice doesn't seem quite as excellent after that excellent track but it's still more than average. Circle of Hands is another majestic track and is very well put together, the most progressive track on the album. Some reasonably good lyrics as well. Rainbow Demon is my favourite track on the album though. Just love the way it builds up from the scratchy organ intro, then introducing the vocals and then introducing the rhythm section after the second verse. Byron's voice sounds great here too. The only slight problem is there is an unnecessary (and characteristically slow) guitar solo near the end. All my life is a mediocre track, its like a wannabe Easy Livin' and it doesn't come anywhere near that track. The ending medley Paradise/The Spell is not as good as some would have you believe. The main problem is that the two songs together are too long, and this is because there is a guitar solo in the central section of the Spell which makes me feel as if I want turn the song off which is a shame considering their instrumental sections are usually so awesome. Paradise is alright (good acoustic guitar and relatively good lyrics). So overall the album starts slightly better than it ends although it's relatively consistent throughout.

PS I have the deluxe edition but I havent really got much to say about the bonus tracks except that Gary Thain's bass on Why is excellent and he takes a lead role for part of it.(or is it Gary thain on this track? I've just noticed that apparently he didn't play on this track. Anyway whoever it was, the bass playing is great!) PPS I am soon going to get the Uriah heep live 1973 album and will review it as soon as I have a good idea about how much I like (or dislike) it!

Tull Freak 94 | 4/5 |


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