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Blackmore's Night - Dancer And The Moon CD (album) cover

DANCER AND THE MOON

Blackmore's Night

 

Prog Folk

3.05 | 19 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Lady In Black

After the disaster that was 2010's Autumn Sky, I was somewhat reluctant to give my attention to this new album by Ritchie and Candice. But something about the sleeve picture intrigued me enough to give it a chance and it turned out to be a vast improvement over its immediate predecessor. Indeed, I would say that Dancer And The Moon is definitely one of the better albums from the group's 15 plus year career.

The album opens with a couple of rather typical Blackmore's Night numbers. These are not bad, but unimpressive. From the third track onwards, however, the album is consistently enjoyable. Two tracks that are bound to catch the eyes of Prog fans are the interconnected Somewhere Over The Sea (The Moon Is Shining) and The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over The Sea). It is not exactly Prog, but it is closer than what we can normally expect from this group and there are electric guitars and even hints of Rainbow.

There are three instrumentals in The Minstrels In The Hall, Galliard, and the closer Carry On...Jon. The first of these is a typical medieval style melody played on the lute (I think). The second is a bit more symphonic, and the third is, I assume, a tribute to the recently deceased Deep Purple-keyboardist Jon Lord. The sound here is indeed somewhat Deep Purple-like (in their most laid-back and bluesy moments), dominated by Ritchie's electric guitar and backed up by Lord-like organ. A fitting end.

A few of the song titles are bound to sound familiar including Lady In Black which is a cover of the well-known Uriah Heep number. It is somehow nice to see Blackmore pay homage to a group that (partly) competed for the same musical turf as Deep Purple in the 70's. Unlike many other covers recorded by Blackmore's Night, this one really adds something of value to the song. It has acquired a medieval flavour here to great effect. Another classic song covered here is Ritchie's own Temple Of The King that originally appeared on the first Rainbow album. I love the original version sung by Ronnie James Dio (who also passed away recently), and it would be impossible to improve on that, but the present version is not bad.

I've never been a big fan of Blackmore's Night, but Dancer And The Moon was a pleasant surprise

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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