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4.7 out of 5 stars
Heaven In This Hell
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2013
I first became aware of Orianthi when she was announced as Alice Cooper's new tour guitarist in 2011. After seeing her play live, I bought her previous album, Believe. Whilst the guitar playing was fantastic, the songs and production all seemed a little too commercial,'poppy' and Avril Lavigne-esque.
Heaven In This Hell is a very different animal!

Produced by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics it has a much more raw, yet refined sound and the song-writing is more mature. Ori's voice is much stronger too, probably due to rocking out with The Coop for the past 18 months. Blues-rock is the overall genre but there are some harder rock, like the title track and Frozen, and a couple of tracks with a country feel them, no doubt inspired by being mostly recorded in Nashville. This is the real Orianthi and I think she's made a record that SHE wanted to make, rather than her record company.

After the first listen, there wasn't one track that had be thinking 'hmmm, that needs a few more listens' and after multiple plays, it just gets better. Listening to it through some decent headphones reveals some lovely textures that you don't hear when it's blasting out through speakers.

This isn't just about Ori shredding on every track, she plays some lovely 12-string accoustic, banjo and there's even some violin and harmonica thrown in.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Orianthi, interesting name and even more interesting as a recording artist. Churlish to pigeonhole the lady in any specific genre. On this latest 11 track offering there are shades of Blues Rock for sure but also some alt country, raucous rock and some soulful grooves. The result is an album that is never anything less than interesting.

Orianthi has something to live up to having been a respected and loved member of a certain Alice Cooper's band and now being mentored and produced by the taskmaster and genius that is Dave Stewart. Has to be said early doors that this is a relationship that has enormous potential, especially when you look at the song writing credits. The two are clearly in sync here. Stewart's production is razor sharp, tight and spacious allowing Orianthi to shine both vocally and musically, equally the rhythm section is given room to breathe.

Rather than give a track by track breakdown I've focused on tracks that demonstrate the diversity of styles that sit so well together.

If you want rock then the opening salvo of the title track, Heaven in This Hell will sure as hell please. It quite literally explodes from the speakers, a chugging driving riff sitting under a raw angry vocal delivered at great pace but then right at the end a wonderful little cameo of acoustic bliss. You Don't Wanna Know follows in similar rocky vein with a wrenching impassioned six string solo. Just when you think you have it sussed, Orianthi pops up with a catchy little melody on the Banjo, joyous!

The alt country feel is certainly to the fore on Rock, very laid back, very melodic, light and airy and for me, reminiscent of the Lady Antebellum sound.

The soulful sounds feature on the sublime How Does That Feel where Orianthi almost recreates that unique Nile Rogers Chic sound, funky, tight but spacious and the sting in the tail is the climactic searing and soaring solo.

The album also contains a couple of terrific ballads, where vocally Orianthi hits the heights I associate with Beth Hart, here the lady is at her impassioned best, laying bare heart, soul and emotion. Another You is a quite beautiful, moody love song where vocal and instrumentation dovetail perfectly. However, in terms of ballads, the best is saved til last with album closer, If You Were Here With Me. This is a haunting number that brings the pace down and allows some super keys to underpin the torn vocal but Orianthi lifts the song even higher with another superbly free style solo. Perfect end to the album.

So what of the bluesy numbers, very high quality and enough to satisfy the harshest critic of contemporary Blues. Three tracks in and Fire delivers the first bluesy sounds, a vocal with a strong echo, pulsating bass and drum sound and that unique squally almost metallic sound redolent with so much of the Blues. However, for this dude the hightlight of the whole album is penultimate track, Filthy Blues, that is one apt title because this really is filthy bad ass Blues in the finest traditions. This is locomotive on greased rails for you, metronomic riffing, short sharp chops and another giant slab of rhythm. The mid song double switchback from riffing to featherlight 12 string acoustics then back to a truly brutal solo is awesome. I can imagine Stewart directing operations here to capture the mood!

My first aural experience of this young lady, certainly not my last!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Orianthi is one of the best guitar players I know, and if that matters she probably ranks as the number one girl in that domain. This is her third solo album, although she played with luminaries like ALice Cooper, even Michael Jackson etc. As i said in a review of her previous album, this sounds like Avril Lavigne with a hard edge, because underlying all (very poppy) songs is this guitar work, flashes of 6-string lightning that suddenly blind you with their dazzling brilliance. Her voice is really good, and the songs addictive. She could make a guitar shredding opus, she could make any sort of formidable guitar album, but so far she's been making nice melodic songs, most with a sharp guitar edge. I love it, and this is highly recommended from me.
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on 30 October 2014
Superb!!! Found this artist by chance & so pleased i did. Hands down the best female guitar player i've ever heard & it makes me wonder how she stands up to the men... quite high, i'd say!! An incredible voice also, to go with her playing also. This is her best album so far & one i would highly recommend. She can play a lot of different styles which is evident here & a joy to listen to! Perhaps we have the next Hendrix, Slash, Santana rolled into one?....
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
Yet again Orianthi proves why she is among the top guitarists in the world and not just a top female guitarist. I thought her last album "Believe" was going to be hard to beat but she has blown it away. There isn't one song on the album I would grow tired of listening to. If you like Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Malina Moye, Nancy Wilson then you will love this album.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2013
Orianthi , is quickly proving she is worthy of the title " great guitarist " and this much awaited album is yet another testament to this fact, and the good thing, is she cannot be tagged, she plays and sings it all ROCK, TRAD R&B, BLUES and a little bit of soul and its all here, apart from the fantastic title track,HEAVEN IN THIS HELL, tunes like FIRE, and FROZEN stand out for me, that said there is not a track I do not like this is a 10/10 album buy it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2013
Orianthi , is quickly proving she is worthy of the title " great guitarist " and this much awaited album is yet another testament to this fact, and the good thing, is she cannot be tagged, she plays and sings it all ROCK, TRAD/R&B, BLUES and a little bit of soul and its all here, apart from the fantastic title track,HEAVEN IN THIS HELL, tunes like FIRE, and FROZEN stand out for me, that said there is not a track I do not like this is a 10/10 album buy it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
This girl deserves more recognition than she gets at the moment. This is a natural progression from her previous Albums. A great guitarist, all are excellent tracks on this and it's been well produced by Dave Stewart (Eurithmics)
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on 16 September 2013
Top notch album. Excellent, fluid playing, astounding technique and really great songs, with good production from Dave Stewart. Her best album to date.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2013
very good great and quick delivery. such a great cd a great listen if your a fan of paramore's voice with hendrix style guitar
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