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Uriah Heep - Demons And Wizards CD (album) cover

DEMONS AND WIZARDS

Uriah Heep

 

Heavy Prog

4.07 | 750 ratings

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Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars One of the stronger albums that Uriah Heep ever put out, among the ranks of "Look At Yourself" and "Salisbury", "Demons and Wizards" is a collection of 8 solid heavy prog tracks. The album contains just about everything anyone would ever want from a Uriah Heep album. Fantasy lyrics feature on most tracks and David Byron's operatic vocal style and extensive range are put to good use. Heavy distorted guitar and Hammond organ riffs dominate on tracks like "Traveller In Time", "Easy Livin'" and "Poet's Justice". "The Wizard" is a very good acoustic- based ballad and is one of my favourites in the band's catalog. What really sets this album apart from other Uriah Heep albums, though, is the band's decision to venture into more progressive territory with the epic "Paradise/The Spell".

Along with "Salisbury" and "July Morning", "Paradise/The Spell" is probably one of their stronger works. "Paradise" is reminiscent of "The Wizard" in terms of music but the lyrics instead speak to deception and a failed romance. This is hardly typical pop break-up material, though, as "The Spell" develops on Byron's contempt for his former lover into something of epic proportions. The acoustic ballad fades into an uptempo shuffle that starts innocent at first but gradually grows more violent, aggressive and melodramatic before Byron finally erupts, giving way to an instrumental ballad. A somber, emotive section, Mick Box takes center stage with a powerful, haunting slide guitar solo backed by equally chilling operatic vocals. Even though I've grown a little tired of much of the material on this album over the years, this instrumental section still stands out as a definite "goosebumps" moment, and certainly makes the album worth listening to. When the next verse begins, David Byron matches Mick Box's same mood until the song picks back up an uptempo shuffle conclusion.

"Demons and Wizards" isn't perfect from start to finish, and isn't necessarily an album with exceptional staying power, but it certainly reflects some of Uriah Heep's best work. A 3 star album featuring plenty of good Uriah Heep fare and a particularly standout slide guitar solo.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 3/5 |

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