Uriah Heep
Demons and Wizards


5.0
classic

Review

by Daniel Dias CONTRIBUTOR (37 Reviews)
April 5th, 2015 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Without a doubt, Uriah Heep's all time best album.

"People often ask me what my favorite Heep record is and, though it's impossible for me to have one absolute favorite, 'Demons And Wizards' will always be special to me. It was a time of great creative harmony in the band" - Ken Hensley

"That was a really important album for us, as it really did put us on the world stage. 'Demons And Wizards' was our first visit into the world of fantasy lyrics and that seemed to capture everyone's imagination. Along with the Roger Dean inspired artwork, we felt for the first time we really had the total package" - Mick Box

As Uriah Heep's popularity continued to intensify and as Look At Yourself quickly climbed the charts, obtaining silver status in the United States, the boys rushed back to the studio and, in March 1972 began writing Heep's fourth studio album. However, more adversity seemed to be in Uriah's path. In conclusion of touring for Look At Yourself, founding member and bassist Paul Newton parted ways, amidst some disarray, and drummer Ian Clarke followed his footsteps. What seemed to be a demoralizing situation, however, turned out to be a blessing for Box, Hensley and Byron. One night, Mick Box saw a certain band named Keef Hartley performing in a club around Brentwood, Essex. That's when he met a young New Zealander bassist named Gary Thain. The rest is history, as Thain, now a part of the infamous "27 Club", played a huge part in helping Uriah Heep define its classic sound. Add in Lee Kerslake to take up the drums and you have perhaps Heep's most talented and definitely the most accomplished lineup.

The said lineup steadily recorded in one month Uriah's definitive album. Not only does it feature the "classic" lineup performing for the first time on studio, but it also marks the first time they entered the world of fantasy lyrics, which now represents a trademark for Heep. It's funny how that happened almost by accident, as Mick Box contacted Roger Dean, known for his artwork in various Yes albums, to create an album cover for Demons And Wizards, being given absolute creative freedom. His fantasy inspired artwork, alongside songs such as The Wizard, The Spell and Traveler In Time linked the band to mystical themes, although there wasn't a conscious effort to create such themes. However, the amazing success of the album inspired Mick Box and Co. to further explore the fantasy territory. In Demons And Wizards, every little aspect about Uriah Heep's classic sound seems to fit in, combining for probably the most memorable album of the band.

From the Zeppelin-inspired, acoustic driven opener The Wizard to the epic progressive rock closer Paradise/The Spell, the album sets itself as a truly amazing experience from start to finish. The mellow and simple but beautiful acoustic riff of The Wizard is an amazing way to start off, accompanying Byron in a spectacular vocal delivery and resulting in one of the band's most timeless and beautiful songs. Yet, it's only an indicator of what's still to come. From the psychedelic-infused festival Traveler In Time, showcasing Box's dirty guitar sound, to the hard rockers All My Life and Easy Livin', the latter being one of the band's most successful and recognizable songs of all time, demonstrating Hensley's sublime organ playing and vocal harmony alongside Byron's powerful touch, to the progressive masterpieces Circle Of Hands, immortalized by Thain's breathtaking, melodic bass performance and Byron's delivery of the classic line "Today is only yesterday's tomorrow", resulting in a classic outro, and closer Paradise/The Spell, which puts out the best of everybody in the band, to even touches on proto metal on the classic Rainbow Demon and Poet's Justice, Demons And Wizards is Heep's most versatile and diverse album ever, and one of the most accomplished ones.

Words can't do it enough justice. Demons And Wizards is a classic album in every sense of the word. Even the bonus tracks are simply outstanding, Why could've easily made it onto the official release, showcasing a memorable performance by Gary Thain, and Home Again To You isn't in the same level, but it is also a great number. Everything about Demons And Wizards is just so amazing that makes it an absolutely essential listen for any fan of the genre, showcasing every member of the band at its creative best. Astounding musicianship, amazing lyrics, great instrumental sections, it's become an extremely influential album, it's that good. Uriah Heep's masterpiece.



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4.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2015


11519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Happy Easter everybody!

MrSirLordGentleman
April 5th 2015


10793 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

avg went down to 4.2, da fuk's wrong with this community

NeroCorleone80
April 5th 2015


34316 Comments


cool review

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2015


11519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice one.

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2015


13570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

only UH album I've heard methinks



pos

Digging: Doof's Mom - Genuinely Memorable Cover Art

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2015


11519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Fripp. check salisbury hard tho.

MrSirLordGentleman
April 5th 2015


10793 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Salisbury's as good as this, Look at Yourself is pretty inconsistent though

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
April 5th 2015


11519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah sort of.

ButteryBiscuitBass
April 5th 2015


11173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet review. Album is extra.

MrSirLordGentleman
April 5th 2015


10793 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Why should've been on the original tracklist. One of their best songs

Let
April 5th 2015


1598 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review man, can't say I'm a fan though

tempest--
April 5th 2015


20469 Comments


This record is so awesome. Heep don't get much better than this.

TheSpaceMan
April 5th 2015


9030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is my favorite heep from what i've heard, sweet review

PsychicChris
April 5th 2015


259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rainbow Demon is pretty awesome. Pos for you, good sir.

Ryus
April 5th 2015


15120 Comments


nice review

Digging: Fredo Santana - Fredo Kruger 2

Veldin
April 6th 2015


2955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Prog on! Pos'd.

TheSpaceMan
April 6th 2015


9030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

he told me tales and he



drank my wine

BeneaththeDarkOcean
April 6th 2015


687 Comments


Correct rating and review. Classic album.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
April 6th 2015


11519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks a lot everyone

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2015


10453 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Daniel, pos.



As much as I love this album, I prefer the first three. That would probably change though if "Why" was included on the original release.



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