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Uriah Heep - "Demons And Wizards, 1972 (re-release)"
Sanctuary Records 2003

"Look At Yourself" defined the sound and style directions of a band. With "Demons And Wizards" they made commercial breakthrough. New record launched Uriah Heep among the supergroups. And this album gave Uriah Heep their eponymous hit single Easy Livin' built on riding rhythm drive - a strictly Uriah Heep invention.

So what happened? Guys strongly believed or let me put it this way, they knew that they are able to push their musical expression even higher. They were ready and willing to do it. And what's more, band faced very important substitutes that helped this to happen. Bass player Gary Thain and drummer Lee Kerslake entered the band. This was a missing piece of a whole puzzle. Fast handed Gary brought with his technical skills inside band's music enormous portion of "extra" melodies that were before he joined merely organ and guitar's job. Gary was innovative bass player, when you listen to his style it is amazing how this guy was brilliantly using his free space inside main themes. And Heeps really began to groove. Gary put all those little ornaments and finishing touches, which rarely repeat twice inside certain song. It looked as Gary was born to be a part of Uriah Heep. And this also fully concerns for Lee. Whole body punches were delivering high class alive drumming that brought even more life inside Uriah Heep sound. Band now sounded really heavy, whenever they wanted. With having Gary and Lee in band, rhythm section became strong engine that was completely equalised with the front line (vocals, guitars, and keys) and thus played important role for five-pieced team in searching for perfect balance. A point when everything lays in perfect equilibrium and where you won't find masters and slaves in band. All five sheared equal roles in creating a further story of Uriah Heep. This helped in creation of strong working chemistry and relationship. Those two replacements resulted as another quality step forward. Everything was set for Heeps to enter the most fruitful period since their existence.

This ambitious co-operation laid down a perfect record in all senses. The Wizard gently opens the album with (surprisingly) acoustic theme. Many would expect short heavy rocking piece. Song about piece and love is followed by Traveller In Time that actually is a short heavy rocking piece with great subtle playing and singing (in prechorus) involvement as in The Wizard. Subtle approach became even more magnified in band's whole musical expression. Songs are again diverse and close units. And David? When listening to him it is more than just singing. David was actually acting and you can feel through his soulful singing man's strong charisma and dedication to what he was doing. More self-confident than ever A true artist. Mick's style also got some unique shapes cause he began to use his vah-vah even more often. Heavy dashes provided real massive sound wall. Those well known doubled Hammond plus guitar drives radiated together with freshly renewed rhythm section, aforementioned David's solo involvement and famous five pieced choral singing amazing unrepeatable magic atmosphere that this line up was capable of. Faster and heavier parts could in next moment turn into gentle organ or acoustic guitar themes (Circle of Hands, Rainbow Demon) with David's vocals playing the centre role. Climax was waving real high. All vibrations and inputs from each musician in band were multiplying and that's why poetry and music along with what Roger Dean's amazing front cover artwork pictures is so convincible, so sincere and true. A kind of true magic.

Composition as Paradise/The Spell with amazing sad, sad middle part and marvellous slide guitar part that brings tears into my eyes every time I listen to it, is direct proof that Uriah Heep began to ride high in the sky and far beyond the sky. There are bands and bands, and there are records and records. And this one will eat your hear out. D&W line up accomplished it very simple yet on best possible way. They listened to the voices in their hearts.

Author:   Aleš

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