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Uriah Heep - Return To Fantasy CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.13 | 280 ratings

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3 stars Seen from the height of a thousand miles, the earth looks the same as it did. How is it we can fly faster than day but we can't find the things we need. Young man said the old man, Let the youth in your heart be at rest We may all be dead In a year or a day When the devil is put to the test . test . test ... "Test!" . JRENG!

Oh .. how can I switch to Uriah Heep music right after watching an awesome concert by Dream Theater on 27 January 2006 at Singapore Indoor Stadium? Finally, after a week post DT concert - where the whole week I could not play any CD but DT's CDs! - I could really put Heep's CDs at my player. Why Heep? Two reasons: First, the band would play at two cities in my country: Jakarta (12 February 2006 at Tennis Indoor Stadium) and Surabaya (14 February 2006 at Shangrila Hotel, Ballroom). So, I'd better get used to the music before the show after I have been so long baombarded my ears with Dream Theater songs. Second, there has just recently an excellent interview with the band by my collaborator colleague Bob McBeath at this site. So, I'd better focus on Uriah Heep CDs until the show at 12 February. Potentially, I would also watch the Surabay concert because I'd probably have an assignment there on 14th Feb. Well, it's not coincibence, it's an intention - because Heep was my hero during my "right"placed childhood man ..!!!!

"Return To Fantasy" has a personal meaning for me as I first got the album in the form of cassette (then was illegal) when I visited Jakarta (Then I lived in Madiun, East Java). The album blew me away at first listen as the cassette started the album with "A Year or A Day" song that originally was the last track of the album. Wow! This song is really excellent! It starts in an ambient nuance with a soft and long sustain keyboard work by Hensley followed brilliantly with a melodic singing line of Byron in an accentuated voice: "Seen from the height of a thousand miles ." oh . (I almost cry listening the tone of voice Byron sings here's so powerful - I call it "mbrebes mili"). What a memorable part here! The musical nuance even better when the lyrical part enters this one: "Can't we try to let the past go by. With it's lessons firmly settled in our minds. To our children one by one. And before the darkness comes. Let us leave a world full of light of a different kind..". Yeah . it's really killing! Why? The rhythm section that comprises acoustic guitar rhythm by Mick Box and soft keyboard make the music really melodic to my ears. Great composition, strong songwriting! This is one of my best favorite Uriah Heep tracks!

"Return To Fantasy" (5:52) was previously not a favorite for me. But after I watched the Magician's Birthday Party DVD (2002) where this song was featured I came to realize the power of this song. The Uriah Heep sound is presented neatly here in relatively fast tempo music. Gary Thain is one of the best Bass player in rock music. His bass playing reminds me to the style of Yes' Chris Squire. Ken Hensley keyboard punch is also prevalent here with his dynamic notes and specific sound. The musical interlude with organ solo is stunning. Byron's voice is pretty clear and powerful. He is also one of the best rock singers.

"Shady Lady" (4:46) is a straight rock music with, again, great singing style of Byron. "Devil's Daughter (4:48) demonstrates good combination of soaring organ sound and upbeat drum work by Kerslake with guitar rhythm at transition parts. A dynamic and energetic track with interlude showing a combination of keyboard and guitar solos. Great combination! Kerslake shows how he can play great and dynamic drum work. "Beautiful Dream" (4:52) is another favorite of mine as well, especially with Byron's singing line and Hensley stunning keyboard style. Why I say about Byron? Because he really delivers a very high note registers in this song. Really good!

I don't really favor "Prima Donna" (3:11) where the band includes brass-section in it. It's not the kind of music that Heep is good at. So, I always skip this track. "Your Turn To Remember" (4:22) is Uriah Heep's style of blues combined with a touch of pop music. "Showdown" (4:17) brings back Uriah Heep's sound with a combination of Box' guitar and Hensley's organ, typical of Heep sound. "Why Did You Go" (3:53) is a ballad pop rock song with a good melody and powerful singing style and some bluesy touch.

It's not Uriah Heep's best album but it's worth it as this is the last album with David Byron as lead vocal. Some tracks are really excellent. I would rate this album with 3+ as it demonstrates good composition and melody. Keep on proggin' .!

To Uriah Heep: Welcome to Indonesia!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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