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Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards CD (album) cover

DEMONS AND WIZARDS

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

4.01 | 504 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Arguably the British group's most cohesive and consistent effort, 'Demons & Wizards' was Uriah Heep's fourth overall release, showcasing the group's fondly-remembered 'classic' line-up during that great prog year of 1972 operating at pretty much the zenith of their powers. Issued in the wake of some pretty strong predecessors - 'Salisbury' and 'Look At Yourself' both spring to mind - 'Demons & Wizards' actually beat them all, shifting an impressive three million copies worldwide and turning Uriah Heep into minor rock stars. Featuring the classic line-up of Ken Hensley(vocals, keyboards, guitar), Mick Box(guitar), David Byron(vocals), Gary Thain(bass) and Lee Kerslake and the necessary Roger Dean artwork, this is undoubtedly a great album thanks to its glut of excellent tracks, though the real trick here is the Heep's insistence on exploring a fairly wide range of styles. As a result, 'Demons & Wizards' runs a razor-sharp line between anthemic AOR and organ- doused progressive rock, all the while adding dashes of folk, tinges of blue and a generous helping of fantasy- inspired mysticism. It also, like many great albums, features some serious heavy moments - by heavy I mean great - with the acoustic-strummed opening of 'The Wizard', the grinding, organ-soaked power chorus of 'Rainbow Demon' and the chundering, good-time stomp of 'Easy Livin'(a big hit in the Netherlands) just some of the classic moments that have helped make 'Demons & Wizards' one of the classic progressive albums. Virtually always found in progressive rock 'best of' lists, this is one of those rare albums in which almost every individual track shines bright. Lowlights are prevalent - the almost doomy ambience of 'Paradise' may be a bit too downbeat for some; the seven-minute closer 'The Spell' flirts aimlessly with psedo-symphonic aspirations - yet for the most 'Demons & Wizards' is the sound of an inspired and confident group. Many groups are defined by a key album; for Uriah Heep look no further than this hard rockin' power-prog set. STEFAN TURNER
stefro | 4/5 |

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