URIAH HEEP — Demons And Wizards (review)

URIAH HEEP — Demons And Wizards album cover Album · 1972 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Uriah Heep's 'Demons And Wizards' is a hard rocking melodic excursion into fantasy and whimsical landscapes of castles inhabited by wizards.

The Roger Dean cover spells out the concept from the outset but as far as actual prog material, this album does not deliver. Having stated that fact it is still great melodic rock and highly memorable and one of the best of the Heep. It deserves 4 stars on a metal site.

It begins with 'The Wizard' which begins with a melancholy acoustic three chord structure sand then the distorted guitars and organ take over. A great track with iconic lyrics and remains a live favourite to this day.

'Traveller in Time' is essential Heep and a definitive highlight. The killer riff is classic Sabbath, Purple or Zeppelin; in other words classic rock. There is a delicious keyboard solo over scorching guitar riffs and the lyrics are downright fanciful but somehow appropriate.

'Easy Living' is the legendary single that always appears on compilations as quintessential Heep. It just motorvates at a quick tempo and drives headlong with grinding organ and guitar riffs. Absolutely wonderful and the first track I had heard from the band. I am sure many people would have only heard either this or 'Free Me' as they are the most recognisable singles. Every Heep fan knows this track and it is great to sing along to.

'Poet's Justice' is perhaps a lowlight and is quite forgettable though it does feature a great walking bassline and organ riff.

'Circle of Hands' is a more progressive song than the previous tracks with irregular beats and a great organ driven sustained motif. It is a strong track and one of the longest with a credible lead break that takes the song in a new direction.

'Rainbow Demon' is definitely one of the better tracks with a slow paced hard driving guitar and organ riff and a catchy chorus. I always found this to be a strong track and a perfect side two opener.

The next two tracks are rather forgettable but they are sandwiched with the wonderful closing track, 'The Spell'. This track has become a concert closer too in a medley with 'The Wizard' to good effect.

Overall this album is a great rocking delight for the Heep fan. The band would do better with albums to follow but this is still full of highlights. Very 'eavy and not very 'umble, it is still an album that is bombastic enough to confirm the hype surrounding it.
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