Magic spells, time-traveling futurists, sword-bearing horse riders, mountain-residing sorcerers, possessed journeyman, ominous warnings: Demons and Wizards lives up to its title as a collection of fantasy-based narratives rooted in dreamy, gothic-minded arrangements. Universally recognized as the finest effort of Uriah Heep's four-decade-plus career, the 1972 LP also perseveres as a prog-rock landmark that influenced countless of bands ranging from Metallica to Styx. And now, it sounds better than ever on this extremely cool green-vinyl gatefold pressing from Wax Cathedral.
The first album on which founding members Mick Box, Ken Hensley, and David Byron are joined by staple drummer Lee Kerslake, Demons and Wizards captivates by way of taut songwriting and instrumental execution. Rather than function as the primary attraction, make-believe lyrical themes augment a formidable assembly of folk-derived melodies, sharp medleys, and powerful hooks. Acoustic guitars weave webs of finite textures through which crackling, church-like organ passages and space-conscious bass lines maneuver. Songs come across with an ethereal, powerful feel.
Glowing with old-fashioned tube-amp warmth, concise and punchy fare like ''The Wizard,'' ''Traveler In Time,'' and the hit ''Easy Livin''' touch upon garage-rock basics. Epics such as ''Circle of Hands'' and ''Paradise/The Spell''-a multi-part sonic excursion whose choral grace and spiritual glide evoke distant lands, misty cloud forests, and peaceful eternities-cling to a sensitivity underscored by deft piano touches. No wonder Uriah Heep spent the remainder of its lifespan trying to again capture such a balance.
Don't miss out on this special colored-vinyl collector's edition!