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Uriah Heep - Demons And Wizards CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 751 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars After the progressive Salisbury and the more straightforward hard rock of Look At Yourself, Uriah Heep came up with this one. The material is pretty strong here and the Roger Dean artwork (though looking a bit unfinished) contributes to giving this album a conceptual feel. The presence of acoustic numbers like The Wizard and Paradise completes the sound that Uriah Heep has become most remembered for.

Still, this is far from the masterpiece it is sometimes claimed to be. The production is far from perfect with the sound coming of as muddy at times. The vocals are very problematic; David Byron cannot comfortably reach the high notes he aspires to and some passages are quite painful to these ears. The lyrics are often rather childish and na´ve, as are some of the arrangements. But the lyrical simplicity actually contributes something to the charm of the album. Indeed, this album might even be partly responsible for the association of hard rock with fantasy-themes like wizards, rainbows and demons.

The strongest aspect of the album is its apparent consistency. Only All My Life stands out as really weak and this song also features David Byron's unbearable out-of-tune- screams. But this low point is better hidden on this album then the worst songs on many other Uriah Heep albums.

The high point of the whole album for me is the extended slide-guitar solo on The Spell; Uriah Heep almost never came closer to Symphonic Prog than they did here. This is hardly Steve Howe, but it has something of his style.

Demons And Wizards could have been a great album with better production and more effort in the vocal department. Still it is something of an unpolished gem, though a much unpolished gem.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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