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Demons and Wizards

Uriah Heep

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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 lead-off 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 '70s update of classic '60s 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 Ken Hensley. 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. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Uriah Heep

Was in my formulative years in the late 60's early 70's.
Had anything that was and is still magnificant to listen to, 40 years ago at my disposal.
Collected albums out of the ying yang, then 8 tracks, reel to reel as well, then cassettes, then cd's, now iTunes and the likes.
After I had a lesson from my 12 year old on the new tech, it's addicting. However, I must point out that the very first purchases I made after redeeming a gift card was Uriah Heep. I cannot believe what I have missed since the album went missing a few decades ago.They were without a doubt lightyears ahead of their time. They are story tellers with leading edge tech and great vocals. Call me lost in the past, but I am happy to buy their music again as opposed to the formulated and corporate driven crap of today. Please understand that I was there for the initial releases of Jimmy, Jim, Janice, Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Savoy Brown, Santana, Stones (please don't hate me, buy I do not get them), Pink who I love, Faces and Rod ( Gasoline Alley is great) etc etc. My point here us that I went immediatley to Uriah Heep and I do not regret it for a single second. They still make the hairs on my arms stand up when I crank it. Demons and Wizards and Magicians Birthday you cannot go wrong. Later stuff be careful. One piss off is not being able to get July Morning as a single. The single best basement blacklight (wink wink nudge nudge) song - period.

way ahead of its time

This band set the groundwork for decades of bands to come. What an awesome voice. Bluesy, metally, psychedelic.

one of a kind among the bests of progressive rock!

Great story telling, magical voice intellingent blend in the making, for a true progressive rock album. In the same league than King Crimson!

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....
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