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Deep Purple - The Battle Rages On... CD (album) cover

THE BATTLE RAGES ON...

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

2.74 | 230 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars "What are a couple of nice tracks like you doing in a place like this?"

After the disaster that was Slaves And Masters which had seen Joe Lynn Turner join replace Ian Gillan, Gillan returned once more to the band for The Battle Rages On. And indeed, the battle rages on here quite literally! That is, the internal "battle" between Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan. They were at each other's throats constantly, or so I've understood. Still they managed to make one last album together. After this one, Blackmore would leave the band for good to be replaced by Steve Morse who is with the band to this day.

Anya is definitely one of my all time favourite Deep Purple songs of all time and the title track here is also excellent! These two songs are easily up to par with, or above, anything from the strong Perfect Strangers album released almost ten years before this one. Solitaire is a decent song too, but the rest is rather mediocre or at least very middle-of-the-road, Deep Purple by-the-numbers. Anya reminds me of the similarly excellent Rainbow song Ariel that would be featured on Rainbow's last ever album Stranger In Us All before Ritchie would leave the world of Hard Rock forever to form the Folk Rock/Pop band Blackmore's Night with his wife Candice Night. The acoustic intro is wonderful. The title track is a Perfect Strangers-like song with a strong, heavy riff.

Compared with Slaves And Masters, this was clearly a major improvement and The Battle Rages On still stands as one of the best Deep Purple albums recorded with both Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan present after the classic period of the 70's and, I would say, it even competes with some albums from that era! Still, there are shortcomings that put this album well behind the Perfect Strangers album.

Tracks such as Lick It Up, Talk About Love, Twist In The Tale are unimaginative both musically and lyrically and leave me wondering if they were really running out of ideas rapidly.

I think that we can safely conclude that Gillan and Blackmore are better off apart. Another chapter of Deep Purple-history is closed.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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