HEAVEN & EARTH – V
Heaven & Earth was not a musical entity that I had encountered previous to receiving a promo copy of their latest record "V" in the mail, but I must say that I find their take on good old fashioned hard rock with prominent blues vibes to it quite charming. What immediately caught my eye when glancing at the writing credits in the booklet and studying the line-up was that powerhouse drummer Simon Wright (Dio, ex-AC/DC) appears on the album, which suits me just fine as I love his charismatic and lively way of playing.
In terms of style, tone, and mood, Heaven & Earth are not that far removed from what Rainbow, Deep Purple, and early Whitesnake were doing back in their heyday, which has to do with the way in which the keyboards provide textures and complement the fiery riffs and also the slightly melancholy, blues-infused nature of the melodies that are present on the disc.
The sound and production of the LP also harkens back to the days of old and is neither sterile nor lifeless by any stretch of the imagination; it simply feels a more organic, warm, and vibrant than countless other similar-sounding releases that are being pumped out these days. Having said that, there were a few instances where a bit more energy and grit would have added a nice touch and where I felt that certain parts and sections ought to have been delivered with a bit more force and bombast. Also, the guitars could have been slightly sharper and rawer now and then. Regardless of those minor issues, this is a strong, potent, and utterly confident output where the musicianship is great, the songs themselves are catchy but sufficiently layered to warrant repeated listens, and pretty much every track except for "Poverty" offers something interesting and memorable.
We are talking quality hard rock here and fans of the aforementioned Rainbow, Deep Purple, and Whitesnake definitely ought to give this one a number of spins. Actually, if you are into acts such as Demon’s Eye and Purpendicular, "V" ought to be on your music shopping list too. The more I immerse myself in this finely crafted opus, the more I love it.
Make sure you give the songs "Little Black Dress" and "Big Money Little Man" a proper listen as they rule.