Spin (8/93, p.88) - Highly Recommended - "...this is the pure essence of prog rock, but in the best possible sense--stargazing, not shoegazing..."
Alternative Press (7/93, p.59) - "...vast, cavernous, explosive, reverb-drenched psychedelia that scrambles your senses...ten songs that put the sigh back into psychedelia..."
Melody Maker (1/1/94, p.77) - Ranked #29 in Melody Maker's list of the `Albums Of The Year' for 1993 - "...A STORM IN HEAVEN was the perfect title for the turbulent transendence Verve achieved here...."
Melody Maker (6/19/93, p.33) - "...Heave all that trad-rock back in the cultural dustbin it crawled out of and get into this. It's raining manna. Get wet, kids...."
NME (Magazine) (6/19/93, p.33) - 8 - Excellent - "...some of the prettiest noises to ever escape from amplifiers....At best, you'll believe a man can fly..."
NME (Magazine) (12/25/93, p.67) - Ranked #34 in New Musical Express' list of `The Top 50 LPs Of 1993' - "...Simultaneously freaked and focused, it's so high it gulps for air. Still, it's a great view from up here...."
Personnel: Richard Ashcroft (vocals, guitar, percussion); Nick McCabe (guitar, accordion, keyboards); Simon Clarke, Yvette Lacey (flute); Kick Horns (horns); Simon Jones (bass, background vocals); Peter Salisbury (drums, percussion).
Recorded at The Sawmills Studio, Cornwall, England.
The first Verve album, A STORM IN HEAVEN, was released in 1993, prior to some legal wrangling necessitating the addition of the definite article to the band's name. Appearing in the wake of the commercial success of the "shoegazer" trend in England, it successfully bridged the gap between the rock affectations of Ride's spectacular GOING BLANK AGAIN and Spiritualized's debut album, both early shoegazing cornerstones.
Building on the spaciousness of their first few singles, A STORM IN HEAVEN marries the Verve's psychedelic leanings to the sonic whirlwind of Nick McCabe's guitar heroics. Highlights include "The Sun, the Sea," which is peppered with massive, crunching rock sounds, even featuring some hyperactive horns toward the end. "Virtual World," with the addition of flutes to the mix, conjures Jethro Tull caught in an elaborate crystalline guitar sound sculpture. The real winner here, though, is the majestic and enveloping "See You In the Next One (Have a Good Time)," which tones down much of the histrionics that precede it in favor of a dramatic acoustic sound with echoing vocals and McCabe's understated piano.