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Uriah Heep - Demons And Wizards CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 751 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wizards at work

Masters of the heavy and humble, Uriah Heep return after their masterpieces Salisbury and Look At Yourself with this superb offering. Heavy on the guitar and voice, this is a piece of prog best described as heavy. Though it may go through changes in pace and mood it certainly is an album best described as upbeat and as many others have noted, magical. David Byron's voice mixes well with the acoustic and electric guitars with his shrill shrieks and otherwise high-pitched singing as he belts out the fantasy flavored lyrics that power the music. Propelled often by rocking and memorable riffs, other times by pressing or floating keys the music gives off quite a catchy feel. This is rock and roll taken to a heavier side with an extremely large dose of progressive leaning.

It's very easy to see where this band would inspire later and heavier acts to pick up their axes and get out there to travel time, the music is invigorating with a heavy victorious feel thanks to the winding riffs and upbeat feel mentioned before. This is not an album to listen to if you're looking for something dark and evil, because this is an album that while heavy, is certainly for the people who like a story over top of their guitar solos. Organ and keyboards also lend heavily to the mood of the album during the more dark moments of the album which really help to add that progressive feel to the album.

In terms of music there's a nice variety to the tracks. Tracks like the hard rocking keyboard and very distorted guitar driven Easy Livin' inspires head banging (despite it's laid back name) while others such as the opening The Wizard and the later Circle Of Hands are a bit more directed towards the soft acoustic. The tracks segue incredibly well as the band seems to have an ear for placement since there's never a time where the momentum slows down, even during the more mellow tracks.

The final two tracks on the album are the ones that dominate. Paradise/The Spell can be taken as one song as suggested by the cd version of the album which combines the tracks into one. Like most prog behemoth tracks, this one encapsulates the entire album in one song. Starting with a slow acoustic bit the song makes good use of the vocals until the song picks up coming into The Spell segment of the song when the guitars start to get heavier and then the keys come in to wipe out the dark feeling and replace it with that upbeat tempo that we've been used to on the album thus far. Vocals reach a new high (pitch wise) and the organs just keep driving the track. Very well done.

A very good track from a band which any heavy prog fan should check out. Heck, anyone who likes a heavy and upbeat album with a fantasy feel will just be delighted with this release. Highly recommended, this is certainly a great release which, if the band's style appeals to you, you'll be sure to listen to at some point. 4 stars! Excellent addition to your collection.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |


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