Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Uriah Heep - Sea Of Light CD (album) cover


Uriah Heep


Heavy Prog

3.64 | 207 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this URIAH HEEP review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.