Uriah Heep

Spellbinder: Live

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Spellbinder is a live album recorded during Uriah Heep's 1995 tour to support Sea of Light. Perhaps the best-sounding of several concert discs in the group's mammoth discography, the record features plenty of old favorites. Naturally, the classic rock gems "Stealin'" and "Easy Livin'" are both included. Considering the many wholesale lineup changes that occurred after David Byron exited the U.K. metal outfit, these '70s tracks are practically cover songs. But the performances (especially the lush vocal harmonies) are first-rate. The exclusion of Abominog hit "That's the Way That It Is" and a few more Sea of Light picks is disappointing, but the producers of Spellbinder can't be blamed for their wariness of newer material. Vocalist Bernie Shaw does a fine job with the old songs, but fans who have been around long enough to remember will miss Byron's smooth delivery. A solid and professional set, Spellbinder is best suited for that tiny subset of fans who prefer the Shaw-era Uriah Heep to the more famous '70s outfit.

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