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SEA OF LIGHT

Uriah Heep

Heavy Prog


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Uriah Heep Sea Of Light album cover
3.67 | 123 ratings | 13 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side A
1. Against The Odds (6:12)
2. Sweet Sugar (4:43)
3. Time On Revelation (4:02)
4. Mistress Of All Time (5:33)
5. Universal Wheels (5:39)
6. Fear Of Falling (4:38)
7. Spirit Of Freedom (4:14)
8. Logical Progression (6:12)
9. Love In Silence (6:48)
10. Words in The Distance (4:46)
11. Fires Of Hell (Your Only Son) (3:56)
12. Dream On (4:26)

Total Time: 61:09

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mick Box / guitars, vocals
- Lee Kerslake / drums, vocals
- Trevor Bolder / bass guitar, vocals
- Phil Lanzon / keyboards, vocals
- Bernie Shaw / lead vocals

Additional musicians:

- Piet Slielck / additional keyboard recording
- Rolf Kohler & Pete Beckett / additional backing vocals
- Pete Becket / string arrangement on "Love In Silence"

Releases information

1995 UK: HTD LP 33 / HTD CD 33
CD / SPV 085 - 76952 / 1995

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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OutsiderOutsider
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URIAH HEEP Sea Of Light ratings distribution


3.67
(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
10%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
48%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

URIAH HEEP Sea Of Light reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "The innocent join in fighting so easily, who knows what they're fighting for?"

A sudden and welcome return to something approaching form for the band. With the line up now fully stabilised as the one which would become the longest serving to date (and indeed which is still in place at time of writing), the band wisely decided to move back towards the style and sound which had produced such classics as "Demons and wizards" and "The magician's birthday". With only Box and Kerslake still present from the line up which recorded those albums, and the main song writer of that time (Ken Hensley) long since moved on, it could be suggested that "Sea of light" is, as Roger Waters said of "A momentary lapse of reason", a pretty fair forgery. While such a suggestion has some validity, and it is fair to say that the current line up has become something of a tribute band to the early line ups, there is still much to enjoy and plenty of originality contained on the album.

The delay between the previous album "Different World" and "Sea of Light" was a lengthy one, mainly due to the band's desire to only enter into a new recording contract once they were sure the record company would be fully committed to them. They had however recorded a number of tracks in the interim period to present to prospective labels.

The vibes are good from the outset, with the sleeve bearing one of Roger Dean's classic paintings. "Against the odds" opens the album with echoes of "Bird of prey" from "Salisbury", while "Time of revelation" borrows slightly from "Easy livin'" Both are in the classic Heep mode, complete with ah-ah's, and a trademark Mick Box guitar solos.

The highlight tracks are "Mistress of all time", and "Love in silence". "Mistress..." is an acoustically based piece, with flute like keyboards by writer Phil Lanzon, and a highly infectious closing hook. At first the track sounds deceptively simple, but after a few listens it weaves its magic. "Love in silence" is effectively the title track, in fact "Sea of light" would have made a better title for the track than the rather mushy one it bears. It's one of the best tracks Heep have recorded for years, and also one of their most progressive. There's a symphonic feel to the track, which rises and falls through orchestrated instrumentals and highly melodic vocal passages. If I have a criticism of the track, and I hate to say it, but Mick Box's contribution on acoustic guitar sounds out of place, and slightly irritating. This is one track where co-writer Lanzon would have been better left to demonstrate his keyboards talents alone.

"Fear of falling" is something of an oddity, as writer Trevor Boulder takes lead vocals. The difference is all too clear, but in truth, he would have been better allowing vocalist Bernie Shaw to fulfil his role. Boulder redeems himself with the closing track, "Dream on" on which Shaw sings. It's another softer track, with lush harmonies.

Many of the remaining tracks are fairly run of the mill rock tracks. Ken Hensley said after the first "Magician's birthday party" that the current line up's weakness was in their song writing, and some of the tracks here lend support to that view. They are impeccably performed, but the shortcomings of the compositions, aside from the tracks I have highlighted, do tend to detract from an otherwise good album. Overall though, the good far outweighs the average.

Uriah Heep took another giant leap back to form with "Sea of light". It includes some of their best works since their halcyon days.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#31395) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 20, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the best of the post-70's URIAH HEEP album that I have heard. The opener "Against The Odds" is a very powerful song, and it has great vocal chorus parts resembling their older heydays. There are also other good songs here, but also dull fillers like the basic rocker "Sweet Sugar" which lower the overall status of this CD. Wonderful Roger Dean covers have to be separately mentioned! Recommended to the fans of this band.

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Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars There has been an intense discussion in one of mailing lists that I've participated as member since five years ago, m-claro, about "Time of Revelation", the third track of this album. Basically we discussed about how rocking this track is and how the band delivers heavier music - i.e more metal - even when the members of the band are no longer young. Yeah, this album represented the band's 25th anniversary in rock music business as it's penned clearly at its CD sleeve. For me, I purchased the CD when it was released due to the cover: it reminded me to the band's Magician's Birthday album in the seventies where the design was done by Roger Dean. As the sleeve puts it: Design by Martyn Dean; Painting and Logo by Roger Dean 1995. So I was expecting the music would be alike. In fact, I never regret having this album on my CD shelf. It's not truly prog but it's an excellent album. Overall, this album consists of good and excellent tracks which some of them I give my views as follows:

Against the Odds (6:12) kicks off the album in a very uplifting mood and fast tempo style as demonstrated by a rocking guitar work by Mick Box at the opening of the track. Lee Kerslake who looks after drums set enters his dynamic drumming to provide solid beats, overlaid by guitar solo but still maintaining the opening guitar work through rocking repeated chords. Bernie Shaw's clean voice enters the scene energetically and brings the music in an upbeat tempo with hard driving rhythm section. The keyboard part by Lanzon provides his role at rhythm section filling the gaps accompanied by floating bass lines. Structure-wise it's a straight forward rock music. However, there are many interludes the band has created that makes this track is wonderful. This is the kind of music you want to play very early in the morning to fire you up. The guitar solos are really stunning man .Rock on!

Time Of Revelation (4:02) is another rocking tune with a beautifully crafted composition. It reminds me to the band's previous creation "Return To Fantasy". Yes, it has some similarities in melody, even though they are not the same. It opens with great guitar solo on top of drums and bass lines in relatively fast tempo. Again, Mick Box demonstrates his virtuosity in filling guitar sounds through nice solo in between segments. Bernie Shaw's vocal quality reminds me to David Byron; he has a very good vocal quality that matches Uriah Heep's sound. The interlude part is filled with great guitar solo. Excellent!

Mistress Of All Time (5:33) is basically a ballad rock tune that I found it very interesting when the band played it live in one of the band's live DVDs in 2000. It starts with ambient soft keyboard sound by Lanzon. Bernie Shaw brings his voice at this quiet passage wonderfully. As the music moves with bass lines and drums, the rhythm section is taken over by acoustic guitar with keyboard filling some melodies during transition pieces. The interlude part is filled with nice piano sound.

Universal Wheels (5:39) opens with bass guitar solo in spacey keyboard sound followed with fast tempo music to feature voice line. It's basically a straight hard rock music in upbeat tempo with sort of symphonic keyboard work that gives a rich texture in the song's composition. It's a very nice part when there is people's dialogue in distant voice with short keyboard solo. It's an enjoyable song.

Spirit Of Freedom (4:14) is a nice track performed in medium tempo reminiscent of the band's traditional style. Through this track, Trevor Bolder's bass lines are obvious, augmented with keyboard and short guitar solo. Melody-wise, this is not the kind of song that produces catchy segments.

Logical Progression (6:12) is definitely a thought-provoking title. It opens with a good combination of guitar fills at background and soft keyboard solo at front, followed with medium tempo music. Bolder's bass lines provide the main rhythm section combined with guitar and keyboard work. The chorus is filled with nice bass solo followed with vocal part.

Love In Silence (6:48) brings the music back to ballad style opened with a segment where bass guitar demonstrates its dominance with piano and acoustic guitar at the back. Yes, through this track the band seems to give a chance to Bolder in forming the basic rhythm section. The music flows smoothly in medium tempo with Shaw's voice line. There is some light orchestra involved in this track. The interlude part demonstrating bass lines, orchestration and keyboard work is excellent. You may consider that this album has some prog elements.

Dream On (4:26) is a very nice acoustic-based track with excellent voice lines and guitar work. It's a ballad track, so it would favor a wider audience as the music is nice and accessible to many ears.

Overall, this album has an excellent composition. For those who like the band since its inception would find that this album still offers the Uriah Heep's sound with its unique multi-vocals singing line especially with the segment that sings "Aaaaa .. Aaaa . aaaa .aaa" (well, you know what I mean). Even some tracks remind me to the tagline melody / textures of old Uriah Heep. It's really a good album to have. Rating 3 ½ out of 5 stars.

Progressively yours,

GW

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Posted Sunday, April 10, 2005

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Same line-up for the fourth album in a row. It is almost a record ! I hope that this album will be somewhat more intersting than the two previous one. There shouldn't be a lot of reason for that but who knows ?

Even if the opener "Against The Odds" is 100% hard-rock oriented, I think it is the best number since "Night of the Wolf" from "Equator". A very strong composition with a band playing at unison. Vocals are great and Mick is just wild on the guitar. Shall I be pleasantly surprised ? Unfortunately, my joy won't last for long since "Sweet Sugar" has nothing sweet to propose. Uninspired hard-rock again. The demons of their previous two albums come back. I only had hoped that other demons (and wizzards) would appear...

The band intelligently rebounds with "Time of Revelation" : an incredible and great number. Hard-rocking like hell. What a difference between those two last numbers : from boring to brilliant ! How comes ? A mystery for me. The Heep keeps on with good material with "Mistress Of All Time". A very nice rock ballad in which for the very first time since he joined, one can appreciate the subtle piano play from Lanzon.

Back again to the heavy numbers with "Universal Wheels". Still, the rhythm is very strong and the vocal part is rather good (except the narration with reminds me Jeff Wayne in "The War Of The Worlds". Again, Lanzon's work is very good here : he is pumping his keys almost like Hensley in the good old days ! I must be dreaming !

The Heep keeps on rocking with "Fear Of Failing". Well, if they keep on like this, there won't be any failure, but pleasantly a very good album. Great Box on the guitar. The bass and drumming are very powerful. Like the Heep ought to be. Long ago. It is a pleasure to listen to such tracks. A rebirth.

The introduction of "Spirit of Freedom" is very catchy, with another great (alas too short) guitar solo performed here. But the song turns out to be a bit too pop-rock oriented. Still, I prefer to listen to such songs than what the Heep has released before with the same line-up. It took them four years to release this album but it was well worth to wait.

This album also features longer songs. Five of them clock at almost six minutes which allow to investigate a bit more and deivate from the simple verse-chorus structure.

"Logical Progression" is another very good rock song. The mood of some numbers from "Conquest" (which I reasonably liked) is present here. Rock music like I was to desperate to hear on their two previous albums. "Love In Silence" is the longest song of this album. Although one could have anticipated another strong number, this one is rather weak in comparison with most of the songs during its initial section. After 2'30", it evolves into a good instrumental part (almost prog).

The first AOR song (but it is the tenth track) and not so interesting one is "Words in the Distance" and "Fires of Hell" sounds similar to what the band has achieved previously, which means a bit boring. The album closes with the acoustic ballad "Dream On". Somewhat syrupy to my taste. The last four number are a bit weak in comparison with the first part of the album. Even if the band took four years to release this album, it seems that it was difficult for them to hold the same good quality throughout this long album. Maybe a bit too long...

If you except their first five studio albums, this one might well be the best one the Heep has produced. I would have liked to rate it seven out of ten. Upgrading it to four stars seems a bit too high since several numbers are no real highlight. So, three stars for this good effort.

There won't be much more studio albums to come. Most will be live ones. Since this line- up performed quite well in this genre (I am referring to "Live In Moscow"), I guess that we'll still have good musical moments.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#118959) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A real nice surprise! although I knew Heep“s line up with Bernie Shaw was their best since the Byron years, they were basicly a live band and their two previous studio offerings (Raging Silence and Different World) were very disappointing (like almost all of Heep“s 80“s output, in fact). So I was not willing to hear this release until I read some reviews in PA. Based on that, I decided to give them a shot. Boy, am I glad I did it.

Sea Of Light is their best studio work in a long, long time. Of course it“s not a classic like Demons and Wizzards, but I was not expecting anything like that either. In this CD UH seems to finally decided to do a good Heep album, and they did it very well. All the trademark UH sounds are here: heavy guitar riffs, great bass lines, soaring hammonds, good backing vocals and so on. At the same time it“s not a nostalgia CD. they mixed very well the old with the new. The resulting is an album that sounds like UH and still bears all the modern traits of a new band. The songs are all between good and very good. The arrangements are great and Bernie Shaw again shows that he was the right choice for the group: His vocals are the closest you can get from David Byron and still sound his own. Well done!

On the whole, a new and refreshing Uriah Heep, sounding convincing and powerful like they haven“t done for a long time. I was having trouble to rate this album, somewhere between 3,5 and 4 stars. But I“ll round it 4, because although not as strong as their classic period, this CD represents a fine comeback from a band that I thought had nothing more to say. I“m glad I was wrong and looking forward to hear Sea Of Light follow ups. With a right production, no fillers and a lot of energy, this is a pleasant surprise for all UH fans. So happy to see you back in form.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#175139) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Excellent addition to my prog music collection

One of the best Uriah Heep's albums, no doubt. Much better than last 4-5 albums, with more consitent pieces and i might say a well return to the glory days. Now the band is in good shape delivering some outstanding tracks like: Mistress Of All Time, Universal Wheels and Logical Progression , the rest are also good. The band sounds so strong maybe because is the same line-up like on the previous 2 studio records, and now they are more confident on their abilities as a whole band. Here the music is a combination of hard rock with some pregressive leanings but very well done and performed. I can give to Sea of light 4 stars without hesitation, because is among the best albums they ever done so far. This album rocks from A to Z and is recommanded not only for UH fans but to those who are open minded and don't consider UH just another band these days.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#180766) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 25, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A great band has always came back! And Uriah Heep proves it in smashing way! Sea of Light returns us to the time, when Uriah Heep had been in its element. This album is very good one, without imitating the classic sound of the band during the 70s. It comprises its own sound, typical of the middle of the 90s - a period with a couple of very good albums made by classic rock bands (the other being Rainbow - Stranger in Us All and Deep Purple - Perpendicular).

In my opinion, Sea of Light is memorable work, mainly, because of its variety. When you listen to this album three of four times you already know the half of the songs. Almost all of the songs are quite much memorable. Interesting for me is the fact, that the album is divided on two different ideological parts in terms of the mood they carries. The first one is situated between first and sixth song. The second part - between seventh and twelfth. The first one brings smashing feelings. The second one is more... questionable! It contains slower songs with philosophical nuance. It's very often, when I want to listen to some song from the first half; next time, contrariwise. But for sure, all of them are memorable. This reveals the high-class quality of the album.

Against the Odds, Time of Revelation and Universal Wheels are hard-rocking and progressive pieces with great musicianship and songwriting. Sweet Sugar is soft rock/rock & roll song. Mistress of All Time - power ballad with interesting parts. Fear of Falling - very interesting song with lead vocals by Trevor Bolder. This song is the first alternative rock approach for the band. Now, let begin with the second part... But the truth is - all songs here are philosophcal, except Fires of Hell which reminds me Sweet Sugar in terms of genre.

Overall, very good work with memorable songs and two different parts. One of the best post-70s' albums for the band (along with Wake the Sleeper and Conquest) with deserving 4 stars mark.

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#192005) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 06, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars It is a bit of a challenge to rate this album since it includes some of Uriah Heep's very best songs ever, but also a couple of quite average ones. Notably, the two worst ones are written by bassist Trevor Bolder who gets to include as much as four cuts on this album. Still, it is worth pointing out immediately that this 1995 album, despite its few weak moments, easily was Uriah Heep's best album since the 70's.

The line-up involved here consists of Bernie Shaw on vocals, Mick Box on guitars, Phil Lanzon on keyboards, Trevor Bolder on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums. This particular band had been together since 1986 (and remained unchanged until recently when Lee Kerslake was replaced, but the others are still going strong today!). This is by far the longest standing Uriah Heep line-up, but also, in my opinion, the best! The voice of Bernie Shaw is distinctive and emotional and gives this band an identity and self- confidence that they rarely had before in their long history. The band is in top form here with guitars, keyboards, bass guitar and drums all being played very well. And not to forget - the vocal harmonies! The two previous albums by this line-up, Raging Silence and Different World, had been very weak and the expectations for this follow-up were not very large, to say the least. In that perspective 1995 really was a time of revelation (to paraphrase one of the song titles), since Sea Of Light showed a strongly re- energized Uriah Heep.

Against All Odds opens the album and it immediately becomes clear that the band is back in business again. But we are a bit let down already by the second track, the Bolder-penned, generic rocker Sweet Sugar. Time Of Revelation picks up the pace and is the first great track of the album with a strong melody and great harmony vocals. Mistress Of All Time follows and this is the only number written by Lanzon on his own, with all other tracks (apart from the four Bolder compositions) being co-written by Lanzon and Box. It is surprising that such a poignant composition could be found on a Uriah Heep album. Mistress Of All Time instantly feels like a classic song. It could have been even better with genuine flute instead of keyboards sounding like flutes, but this is minor criticism.

Universal Wheels is another powerful hard rock song, good but not great. Fear Of Falling is the second Bolder composition and this time the lead vocals are not handled by Bernie Shaw. I suspect that it is Bolder himself singing, the album credits don't say. There is nothing wrong with his vocals, but the song feels a bit out of place here.

Spirit Of Freedom brings the album back on track yet again. This is another piece that somehow feels like a classic already the first time you hear it. Logical Progression has a title that makes you believe that it is a progressive track, which is quite right. It has some nice keyboards, some very good bass guitar and a strong chorus line. But the best is yet to come; Love In Silence is one of my favourite Uriah Heep songs ever. July Morning seems uninspiring compared to this excellent composition. But I must point out that I strongly prefer the more powerful live version on the Magic Night DVD where Heather Finlay of the band Mostly Autumn sings this as a duet with Bernie - what a powerful moment on that great concert! This DVD is highly recommended, by the way. Again, Love In Silence has great bass guitar and very strong vocals.

Words In The Distance is yet another good rock song, albeit with very simplistic lyrics. The album ends with the remaining two Bolder compositions and luckily these are far better than his first two. Fires Of Hell (Your Only Son) being a fierce hard rock song and Dream On an acoustic ballad with some very nice guitar play and harmony vocals. Bolder is not at all a bad song writer after all!

Overall, this leaves Sea Of Light as a bit uneven, with some great moments and some not so great moments. Not until we had the follow-up Sonic Origami could we finally say that this line-up had made their triumph in the studio. But, Sea Of Light is still very good. Indeed, together with Sonic Origami this is one of the best ever Uriah Heep albums. And it has a very nice cover art too by none other than Roger Dean.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#195287) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008

Latest members reviews

5 stars Wow, I didn't know that Uriah Heep could pull such and aewsome stunt right after the absolutly terrible Different Worlds. There were some signs in about two of the songs on the previous album, but this one is just full blown heavy progressive rock that will really blow your mind. The sound q ... (read more)

Report this review (#258699) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A very nice album, probable the best Heep produced since the 70's, and certainly more progressive than what they did between the 70's and this album. The vocals and music reminds me very much of the better albums of Queensrh’che (especially the vocals remind me of Geoff Tate's). A good albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#94426) | Posted by tuxon | Friday, October 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Uriah Heep is one of my favourite band of all time. I'm in love with their music from the very very 'eavy and 'umble beginning. But after their "Different World" album, I thought it was over and the all magic was gone. Thanks God I wasn't right. After few years they released "Sea of Light" and ... (read more)

Report this review (#31398) | Posted by | Saturday, April 09, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Seeing the extatic reviews this album got I am, to say the least, a bit surprised. OK, it's better than I did expect, but not that much better. There are no oustanding songs here although there are not any bad songs either, but to compare this with the bands best work does simply not sound rig ... (read more)

Report this review (#31393) | Posted by | Friday, October 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well! If it is a ressurection in the Rock scene, so This is one! This album is absolutely KILLER and it Rocks from the beggining to the very beautiful end (Ballad Dream on). Shaw“s voice is interesting here, personal and at same time evoking many other great singers.. Bolder“s bass emerges her ... (read more)

Report this review (#31391) | Posted by fredfontes | Tuesday, June 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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