It was back in 2017 when Heaven & Earth’s latest longplayer ‘Hard to Kill’ hit the shelves. After four years, Stuart Smith and bandmates return with a new longplayer, simply entitled ‘V’. The new album also marks the return of the band to Frontiers Music who already released the debut in 2000.
The fifth Heaven & Earth longplayer offers twelve songs and almost one hour of very well-crafted rock music. The band is the brainchild of Stuart Smith, a guitarist whose musical roots are in classic rock and progressive rock. A song that reflects this imprint very well is ‘Never Dream of Dying’. The song shows some crosslinks to progressive rock band from the 70s as well as it has the melodic approach from AOR which makes the tune to a little treat.
To provide a great flow, the next song shift gears. ‘Ship of Fools’ is an up-tempo track that is in contrast to the previous ‘Never Dream of Dying’. Rainbow and Deep Purple are bands that come to my mind when listening to this thunderous anthem. The roaring ‘Flim Flam Man’ takes a similar route with George Barabas’ warm keyboard sound amplifying the classic rock vibe. ‘One of a Million Men’ is rooted in AOR and a bit too pop-oriented, followed by the heavy pounding ‘Little Black Dress’.
‘Running From the Shadows’ belongs to the weaker moment of the album, not igniting the rock’n’roll firework. However, there is enough good stuff on the album, including the fulminant closer ‘At the End of the Day’. Heaven & Earth placed an epic song at the end of this longplayer. Six minutes of emotionally driven power and feel is what this song reflects. This highlight, as well as the other tracks on the album benefits a lot of the great voice of frontman Gianluca Petralia. His vocal range and the ability to connect emotions to a song make him to a crucial asset of Heaven & Earth and to a great vocalist.
Fans of classic rock and well-crafted melodies should have this longplayer on their shopping list. Heaven & Earth manage to combine sophisticated music with an ease. Nothing feels forced on this album. Everything is in a flow which makes listening to this longplayer to a very joyful experience.
- Never Dream Of Dying
- Ship Of Fools
- Flim Flam Man
- One In A Million Men
- Little Black Dress
- Big Money Little Man
- Running From The Shadows
- Nothing To Me
- At The End Of The Day
Label: Frontiers Music
Genre: Classic Rock
Release Date EU: July 16th, 2021