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TAKARA ‘Taste Of Heaven’ (Lion Music 2002, originally released 1995)

The band’s second album with the line-up of - Jeff Scott Soto (vocals/keys), Neal Grusky (guitars, Carl DeMarco (bass) and Robert Duda (drums), with Bob Daisley making a guest appearance on bass for a couple of tracks. This contains more melodic rock songs of the highest order, with opener ‘When Darkness falls’ and ‘Days Of Dawn’ laying down some great riff laden music. ‘Your Love’ starts acoustically and builds nicely into a hook filled chorus with great harmonies on the chorus. There is harmony overload on the start of ‘December’, before the track kicks into a slow blues based track with a very tasty guitar solo. Journey come to mind with the ballad ‘Last Mistake’, especially in the vocal harmonies and again there is a superb guitar solo midway through the song. ‘Save Me’ and ‘2 late’ are okay but still ahead of many band’s in the genre in terms of quality of musicianship.

Two bonus acoustic tracks round off this re-release. First up, ‘Again Your Love is Mine’ is a short but sweet tune, with Soto’s vocal talents on display here. ‘Restless Heart’ is no great lyrical masterpiece but is a pleasant enough tune.

Again, fans of melodic rock bands like Giant, Journey, Ten, etc. will like this album and there are two bonus acoustic tracks on this release as well. Highlights are the vocals of Jeff Scott Soto and guitarist Neal Grusky, who combine so well on the songs.

Related>> Blind In Paradise
Eternal Faith
Eternity The Best 93-8



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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