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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 | 53 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alitare
3 stars More salisbury steak, ma? Hey, maybe this band should become a cover band, and I'll tell you for why...

Ghost OF A Rose - Blackmore's Night - 2003

Rating : 11/15

Best Song : DIAMONDS AND RUST, or WAY TO MANDALAY

Finally! Finally, that pretentious, uncompromising Ritchie Blackmore starts to spread his wings and attempt to expand his new project's sound. Which is, and has been for far too long, a professionally perfomed medieval folk rock troupe, featuring the ex-metal hero and his girl, the reasonably skilled vocalist, Candice. I just thought of something. Maybe the only reason Blackmore started this ridiculously out of fashion project was to appease his mate. Heehee, Ritchie Blackmore is pussy-whipped.

But let's talk about the music, friends. With 15 new tracks, and 60 bulk minutes of "new" material, you're sure to get a massive dose of sterilization and repetition, especially from our favored duo of generic folk-a-roll-extraordinaire, but in a way, this is both a progression and a regression for Blackmore's Night, and the disheveled sprawl is just enough to up the intrigue factor of their music a notch or two. There are more wholly traditionally folk melodies, paired with a more progressive rock structure, especially on the fantastic album opener, Way To Mandalay, which shows them with a vitriol I've yet to see on one of their other records. This just so happens to be followed up by the touching cover of Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust, and I must say, it does the song justice, unlike the pallid, hollow attempt they made on Dylan's Times They Are A-Changing.

Now that we've got the highlights out of the way, I can safely say that everything else is typical Blackmore's Night, from the mid tempo folk-a-rockers to the mid tempo folk-a-ballads, all the way down to the authentic orc blood on the bottom of your shoes. It's all been done a trillion times, before. But it ain't been done any better, at least not by this particular band, so in a way, this could serve as the quintessential Blackmore's Night album. It's got all sorts of artfully crafted generic goodness, with a couple of rousing highlights to make the discerning consumer (that's me) actually give a damn. It has all the faults, like having too much material to be easily consumed in one sitting, being way too repetitive to deftly hold your attention, especially with material that's not the least bit innovative in the first place. This stuff can grate on your nerves if you pay much attention to it for long enough (about half a playthrough does it for me, each time).

It also has all the positives, such as professional playing and how nothing is without at least a dollop of prettiness. It's even got a bit more energy than their typical material, yet, like always, there are absolutely no surprises awaiting you. No synth pop dance tunes, no new wave ambient smashes, and certainly not anything hard rock related, even if this is one of their least wimpy recordings. All the melodies have been made so many times, I can barely remember anything but a couple tracks when I listen to the whole thing from beginning to end. Like with their three previous releases, it's more rousing background music to your basement Dungeons And Dragons excursions. Don't let that scare you away if you despise that swords and orcs stuff with a passion, because this is easy listening music for most anyone, and nicely fits into most daily activities, even if it isn't true ambient. Hell, at least Ritchie isn't doing adult contemporary!

***1/2 Stars

Alitare | 3/5 |

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