Heaven & Earth – A Taste Of Heaven

Heaven & Earth - A Taste Of Heaven
Released 2004 (Black Star Records)

Track List:
01. Screaming For Redemption
02. Heaven
03. Nasty Piece Of Work
04. It’d Be True
05. Dreams Of Desire
06. When A Blind Man Cries
07. Heaven & Earth
08. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

Paul Shortino – vocals
Stuart Smith – guitar
Dave Chamberlain – bass
Richie Onori – drums
Scott Warren – keyboards

Additional Musicians:
Richie Sambora – vocals (6)
Joe Lynn Turner – vocals (7)
Glenn Hughes – vocals (8)

Produced by Dave Jenkins.

Bluesy rock with gritty yet soulful vocals is what Heaven & Earth is all about. Metal fans will recognize vocalist Paul Shortino for his days fronting Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot, so try to imagine his voice dueling with a Stevie Ray Vaughan type guitar. A Taste Of Heaven is a showcase EP featuring four new songs and four tunes from the debut album that featured guest appearances from some of rocks finest voices.

  Right off the bat I have to say that I’m enjoying the new recordings the most, as the band rocks on the first three tracks. Guitarist Stuart Smith seems completely at ease dishing out killer guitar riffs over the rhythm section while Shortino has one of those whiskey-soaked voices that just scream with passion. “Screaming For Redemption” takes some cool tempo changes while the guitars and keyboards feed off of each other. “Heaven” (my personal favorite) will have you singing along in no time while “Nasty Piece Of Work” is closer to a traditional hard rock song with its galloping guitar leads.

  The remaining (older) songs tread closer to straight-up blues-rock with Joe Lynn Turner‘s contribution on “Heaven & Earth” being the standout – although I can never get enough of Glenn Hughes taking his voice to the limit. If this is only a “taste” of what to come with the upcoming release called Screaming For Redemption, the main course should be a gourmet feast. The EP, as well as sound samples, can be found at www.stuartsmith.com.

Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, August 2004.

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