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Demons and Wizards (Expanded Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

This is the album that solidified Uriah Heep's reputation as a master of gothic-inflected heavy metal. From short, sharp rock songs to lengthy, musically dense epics, Demons and Wizards finds Uriah Heep covering all the bases with style and power. The album's approach is set with its leadoff track, "The Wizard": It starts as a simple acoustic tune but soon builds into a stately rocker that surges forth on a wall of sound built from thick guitar riffs, churchy organ, and operatic vocal harmonies. Other highlights include "Traveller in Time," a fantasy-themed rocker built on thick wah-wah guitar riffs, and "Circle of Hands," a stately power ballad with a gospel-meets-heavy metal feel to it. Demons and Wizards also produced a notable radio hit for the band in "Easy Livin'," a punchy little rocker whose raging blend of fuzz guitar and swirling organ made it feel like a 1970s update of classic 1960s garage rockers like the Electric Prunes or Paul Revere & the Raiders. However, the top highlight of the album is the closing medley of "Paradise" and "The Spell": The first part of the medley starts in an acoustic folk mode and slowly adds layers of organ and electric guitar until it becomes a forceful slow-tempo rocker, while the second half is a punchy, organ-led rocker that includes an instrumental midsection where choral-style harmonies fortify a killer, Pink Floyd-style guitar solo from Mick Box. All in all, Demons and Wizards works both as a showcase for Uriah Heep's instrumental firepower and an excellent display of their songwriting skills in a variety of hard rock styles. As a result, it is considered by many fans to be their finest hour and is definitely worth a spin for anyone with an interest in 1970s heavy metal. [The 2003 reissue of Demons and Wizards on Sanctuary truly lives up to the oft-overused moniker "Expanded Deluxe Edition." The package includes the original liner notes, new reminiscences from group members Ken Hensley and Mick Box, liner notes by Uriah Heep expert Dave Ling, good documentation of the bonus tracks, and printed lyrics. The real bonus for fans is the inclusion of five additional tracks: a previously unreleased extended version of "Why," a previously unreleased single edit of "Rainbow Demon," "Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf" (an outtake which Ken Hensley re-recorded and included on his solo debut), and two demos, "Home Again to You" and "Green Eye."] ~ Donald A. Guarisco & Tim Sendra, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Uriah Heep's Best Ever Album

I discovered Uriah Heep in the late seventies when my good mate would play it flat out in his Torana. Their was no escaping their music in a car this small. I was hooked. I bought every album they had. This one is their best album they have ever done. Every song is a classic.

Nostalgic

Loved the Album when I was a 15 year long haired lout and still do @ 52 and grey

Biography

Formed: 1969 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Uriah Heep's by-the-books progressive heavy metal made the British band one of the most popular hard rock groups of the early '70s. Formed by vocalist David Byron and guitarist Mick Box in the late '60s, the group went through an astonishing number of members over the next two decades — nearly 30 different musicians passed through the band over the years. Byron and Box were members of the mid-'60s rock band called the Stalkers; once that band broke up, the duo formed another group called Spice....
Full Bio