Heaven & Earth - Dig

Heaven & Earth
Quarto Valley Records
Heaven and Earth, were a band that Stuart Smith always based around himself and a bunch of musicians he shared musical horizons with like Ritchie Onori, Chuck Wright and Arlan Schierbaum that he found after some trial and error obviously… but also Kelly Hansen (Foreigner), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) and Kelly Keeling (King Kobra), all fronted the band at various junctures. Guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), singer and bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Country Communion), and drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) have each contributed their extraordinary talents to the music of Heaven & Earth.
Steve met current H&E singer Joe Retta while touring as a guitarist with an incarnation of Sweet, during the past few years that Retta joined in 2008. When it became apparent that Sweet weren’t going to record any new music, both the disgruntled guitarist and vocalist left to join up with the remaining line-up from the previous reincarnation of the band to resurrect it.
“Dig”, comes across as a modern yet very classic and urgent amalgam of Purple/Rainbow, Bad Company (mostly 2nd era) and the Zeps. Classic Rock at its absolute best!
“Victorious” starts with a playful eastern flavored riff and goes through with some nice heavy verses all minor, psychedelic and funky at the same time… very Rainbowesque… about I suppose eastern fighters of some sort…
“No Money, No Love” which has a very titillating video and came out as the first single is more of a JLT, sorta tune, flashier, all about “love on the meter” – (the video itself takes place inside a Victorian brothel so go figure…)
“I Don’t Know What Love Is” is a BEAUTIFUL ballad. Think… of Dio’s “All the Fools Sailed Away” good... but without the “sudden outburst”... magical. I never thought, that song’s like this could be written anymore…
“Man & Machine” is a really sleek rocker with a nifty riff and the obligatory mouth-piece effect... it’s pretty good, because it changes the tempo and doesn’t let things settle down.
“House of Blues” however, slows things down again, indeed, being a bluesier number, but in the UK sort of blues rock, sense of the word... as Whitesnake, would define it... it’s sweet… (excuse the pun)
“Back in Anger” is faster again and it ain’t too bad, taking a stab at all the “evils” that plague the world today... nice lead – right there in the middle too... but these exchange of slow-fast-slow-fast songs, is getting a little too predictable at this point... sequence wise.
And at this point the band makes a bit of a difference by putting forth a mid-tempo soft-rocker. “Waiting for the End of the World” is relaxed but it sort of does’t drop gear THAT much. It also is somehow bizarrely exactly 4:55 minutes long, exactly clocking as long as “Back in Anger”!
“Sexual Insanity” is weird, because for a while it is very soft, almost like a gentle touch of a lover… then suddenly it erupts into a feverish climax… quite superb really!
“Rock ‘n Roll Does” celebrates Rock ‘n Roll... the band actually admits that they got the inspiration from “Long Live Rock ‘n Roll” to do this... they wanted to come up with something similar in feel and message – a hymn – to rock ‘n roll and that’s what the song is! Well not as lofty as catchy as “LLRNR” but then again, not too bad, either...
“A Day Like Today” is a soft piano and guitar laden track (typical ballad sort of) not even strictly love themed, that contrasts nicely with the rest of the songs on the album.
“Good Times” is a nice up-tempo song with interesting percussion, that’s guaranteed to get you up and get you dancing… ! A Really – feel good song, if I’ve heard one lately! Yihaw! Lol! (at the danger of sounding a little hillbilly – even though we don’t have that sort of thing in Greece!) Rocking!
Last but not least “Live as One” is a beautiful hands in the air – preferably with lighters and not effing mobiles, sort of anthem, like they used to make them back in the day! Another superior song... among a multitude of other great ones... it’s hard to pick one... as “Dig” is very solid from start to finish and wasn’t done in a hurry, just to grab some cash... this is an album that is a testament to the art of rock, not some silly mass produced “product” marketed by a company and given favorable reviews by people that haven’t even “listened to it”… (it had so happened a few years ago that a certain reviewer in a metal mag had reviewed an album “before” he had even heard a single song, because it was coming out on a big label and the review should have been “POSITIVE/GOOD” lol! He was found out and was made a fool)…
Heaven and Earth should be very proud of this awesome album, which really celebrates ROCK and, places the band among the elite of the hard rockers of today, without even breaking a sweat. Bravo. Hard work pays.