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


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.86 | 603 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I always thought Uriah Heep could have been one of the great prog rock bands. According to many things I have read about them, their management steered them towards more accessible hard rock and let Ken Hensley dominate the songwriting. Much of their early stuff hinted at great prog rock such as "Wake Up, Set Your Sights", "The Park", "Salisbury" and Shadows of the Grief" among others. To many people, this is their quintessential album. I think its good but a step back from the three previous albums.

"The Magicians Birthday" is a great title and the Roger Dean artwork is excellent. It is just that most of the music doesn't match the proggy title or cover. This is their second album with their "classic" line-up and they implement a lighter approach with mixed results.

"Sunrise" starts of the album with a bang. One of their best songs. 100% of it's time, a total '70's anthem. A perfect mixture of early 70's metal and art rock.

"Spider Woman" is a bland rock song with corny lyrics that did not age well at all. Decent slide guitar though.

"Blind Eye" is a good song that is acoustically driven with nice lead guitar harmonies that could have influenced Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden.

"Echoes In The Dark" another highlight on the album with a cool theremin sound creating an eerie effect.

"Rain" I think this is a terrible song. It sounds like a band trying to do a ballad that doesn't really know how. David Byron's voice doesn't suit it and the lyrics are lame.

"Sweet Lorraine" is a straightforward rock song with some annoying synthesizer sounds that have aged badly and ultimately ruin the song. Take away the keyboards and you have yourself a decent song.

"Tales" is another acoustic guitar driven song with a really cool delaying effect on the slide guitar. Great song with nice mellow mood.

"The Magicians Birthday" Don't let the length of this song fool you, It's not really prog. It is more of a long hard rock song with prog leanings. It has the multi parts, some synth effects and a wild hard rocking extended guitar solo with some excellent drums behind it. It's a good tune. I just feel like it wasn't the big song that the earlier albums hinted towards.

ster | 3/5 |


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