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Blackmore's Night - Ghost Of A Rose CD (album) cover

GHOST OF A ROSE

Blackmore's Night

 

Prog Folk

3.28 | 52 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I confess that when I bought this album a few months ago I still was a complete ignorant about the nature of this band. After all, the "Blackmore" name made my mind harbor ideas of fast guitars, heavy riffs and amazing solos. I read and I learned with surprise that this music belonged to the "folk" genre. But until I actually heard the record, I didn't know how "folk" it really was.

And it's definitely a folk album more than a rock album. Most, if not all of the songs, are based on melodies and rhythms that sound like they come straight from ages long behind us. The music has a decisively medieval flavor, at times sounding like the music one would've heard in a little village centuries ago, in the Middle Ages or maybe in the Renaissance. The themes have a distinct Celtic/British folk taste, and the instrumentation only adds to the effect, as woodwinds, percussion and violins take center stage alongside the usual drums and guitar.

In fact, one of the biggest surprises for me was to hear how little Blackmore really gets to show-off in this album. There are practically no fast solos to be found, with the exception of a couple of tracks, and even then they're not really what people usually have in their mind when they think of the legendary axe-man of DEEP PURPLE. His performance here is subdued, delicate, mostly limiting himself to the acoustic or electro-acoustic guitar or to electric-guitar with almost no distortion at all.

In this music, the star is really Blackmore's wife, Candice Night. Her voice is beautiful, yet discreet. She never tries to show off any special skills or range, but she sings all the little lovely melodies with utmost grace. In the background, a great group of musicians provide a rich canvas for her colors.

For me, the album gets a little repetitive halfway through. After an excellent (and quite rock) first track, "Way to Mandalay" (which, to newer listeners more used to other genres, may sound a lot like AYREON's music, with that minstrel vibe typical of his music), and a few memorable ones, the record gets lost in a myriad of little tunes that, while pretty and lovely seen individually, get a little tedious after listening more than a few of them in a row. There's not enough rock here, not at least for my tastes, and the dominant "folk" element is not interesting enough, as it doesn't offer much in the way of textures, rhythms, variation, or at least pure raw energy.

Lovers of this genre should add an extra star to the rating, although I'm quite sure even they won't find the record to be perfect. For me, it's an OK experience that's less enjoyable than I would've liked it to be. Especially when one of the great masters of the guitar is not only on board, but also in the band's name.

One thing is certain, though: Blackmore shows us he's definitely a versatile guitarist. And that only adds to his already-fantastic reputation.

The T | 3/5 |

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