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


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.84 | 541 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Though undeniably a pleasant listen, Uriah Heep's The Magician's Birthday doesn't quite measure up to the high standards of the run of albums leading up to it. The soaring, fantastic atmosphere of Demons and Wizards occasionally peeps in here and there, which saves the album from total mediocrity, but the glorious heights reached on that album are nowhere to be seen here. Simply put, doesn't really have any truly memorable standout songs that remain with you after listening - something every Heep album from Salisbury to Demons and Wizards offered in spades. Simply put, I could listen intently to the album and then an hour later I couldn't remember what most of the songs sound like aside from Sweet Lorraine - something which certainly isn't true of Salisbury or Demons and Wizards.

Although the band do seem to be trying to evolve their sound here, as they have for their previous albums, this is the first time that to my ears that evolution results in a dead end rather than a fruitful avenue for further exploration. The attempt to dial back and present a quieter and more sedate Uriah Heep on several of the tracks is particularly bizarre, given how successful the heavier portions of Demons and Wizards were.

Worth it if you were bowled over by Demons and Wizards and don't mind that the artwork manages to be closer to the spirit of that album than the music a lot of the time, but The Magician's Birthday marks the waning of Heep's classic period in my view.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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