Artists / Bands, Culture, Metal / Hard Rock — June 24, 2013 at 10:02 am

REVIEW: Blackmore’s Night – Dancer and the Moon

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Artist Name: Blackmore’s Night
Title Name: Dancer and the Moon
Label: Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Fabio Marraccini

 

After many years of success with legendary bands Deep Purple and Rainbow, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore set course of his time machine to the 16th century and dedicated his talent to explore his ongoing passion for Renaissance music. This was obviously fuelled by his partnership with female singer Candice Night who he met when he was still in Deep Purple and shared interest in the same sort of music. Many fans wrote this off as just a stint, hoping that Ritchie’s days of hard rock would not be over. Well, after 16 years, this folk rock/pop ensemble reaches their eight studio album, which is far more that some incarnations of the aforementioned bands managed to release – albeit not with the same seminal impact they had. 

Dancer and the Moon follows the trend of their past three or four albums: folk and renaissance acoustic still reign strong, but pop influences and some electric guitars were thrown in the mix here and there. “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” is a slow starter as it is a pleasant tune, but more of a filler if compared with what comes next.

“Troika” nods respectfully to Russia and its unique folk music, and is an invitation to dance. “The Last Leaf” is finally your typical Blackmore’s Night song, a magical ballad to be heard under the full moon, next to a campfire, and with the person you love. But what really shines here is the exquisite cover of Uriah Heep‘s “Lady In Black” – in my humble opinion, one of the best folk ballads of all time. “Minstrels in the Hall” bridges the gap between that and the cover of Rainbow‘s “Temple of the King” – another one of the top of my list of unforgettable ballads – a discrete tribute to the late Dio

The single “Dancer and the Moon” follows and is a cheerful, danceable and happy tune that sets the course into a different direction for the remainder of the album which sounds more like traditional folk and renaissance music, closer to their earlier releases. The opus end with a sad, inspired, emotional instrumental homage to the legendary Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord, deceased in 2012. 

A few more great original songs would propel this album to a higher place in my list of Blackmore’s Night favourites. But when one chooses to cover two of the best ballads ever written, everything else in the album pales in comparison. Nevertheless, a great collection of songs that shows that this time machine of a band – and this quintessential guitar player – still have a lot to offer.

 

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 Dancer and the Moon - Blackmore's Night