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Blackmore's Night - Shadow of the Moon CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

3.21 | 105 ratings

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3 stars "Lalalalalalalalala" - Candice Night

Shadow of the Moon - Blackmore's Night - 1998 (Or 1377)

Rating : 10/15

Best Song: It's all the same, boys.

Well, he's gone and done it. After years of being in some of the most famous motown bands ever, such as Deep Purple and Rainbow, everyone's favorite marimba player, Poorie Whiteless, goes and makes an album that thrashes, smashes, stomps genial ass all over this place, and literally blows the whole damned world to kingdom come. That's right, it's... a medieval folk band? Yep, Ritchie Blackmore, revered fret-maestro and all-around rockin' dude gets himself married and makes for us a renaissance fair album. I'm sure it's what every fan wanted. No, I'm sure those folks can't stop salivating over their precious Made In Japan to even pay attention to what the hell sir Blackmore is doing, these days.

Wait, I lied there. Ritchie's no knight, and he defiantly casts out his hard rock tenacity for some good ol' cozy medieval folk rock. He's really more of a minstrel here, along the lines of Ian Anderson, or those fantastic guys in the computer commercials. And what we get is 70 minutes of hardcore, that's right, hardcore folk rock. It's derivative, it adds nothing new to the world of music, whatsoever, but I'll be damned if it isn't well performed.

There are sixteen tracks in all, and not a single one is poorly executed or outright bad, not by any means. But, there ain't a single one that really jumps out and squeezes my heart. There are pretty melodies, galore, but it's nothing most folks have never heard. Really, just imagine those nerds that dress up in leather tights and wear feathers in their hats in your local renaissance fair. Now, imagine what those guys would do, musically, and there ya go. What? You say you don't -have- a renaissance fair? I thought those were supposed to be all the rage, these days. I guess it's only in Ritchie's pompous head. Seriously, though, this stuff is predictable as hell, and very tame. It's quite the album for a relaxing evening whilst fletching some killin' arrows for the royal hunt, though.

Every song is the same, with only a couple highlights of truly invigorating melody to rise up and grab ya'. And there's so much material, it's overkill. No one needs 70 minutes of this stuff, and so much of it repeats itself in either style or melody, that half the album is redundant, anyway. So, I could easily live with cutting this grassy behemoth in twain, then the atmosphere might not wear so heavily on my longsword, ya know? This is nothing but solid, generic, pretty folk rock. It's all so similar, that talking about the different songs is rather pointless from where I'm standing, suffice to say that the title track is pretty damn thrilling, even if it's as bloated as everything else on here. Man, that asshole's ego has no bounds!

And for some fucked up reason, they decided to put a friggin' dance pop tune right smack dab in the middle. Yeah, Writing on the Wall, after the obligatory classically inspired string introduction, becomes a trippy dance number. Did the band expect people to be falling asleep halfway through? And they'd just toss this weird, horribly out of place sucker in as a means of telling everyone to wake up, get off your ass and dance a li'l. This is actually lively, though. It's sad that it has the most rocking guitar touches out of the whole album.

It's still way too much material, with way too little innovation or awe-inspiring beauty to be much use to the casual listener, although this music is best suited for casual listening, or as professionally performed background music to your favorite elfin sporting event. I will say that nothing's offensive, and in general, it's a very pretty collection of tunes. It's just too much, man. It's all just too much.

***1/2 Stars

Alitare | 3/5 |


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