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Deep Purple - In Rock CD (album) cover

IN ROCK

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

4.30 | 812 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I discovered Deep Purple by way of Rainbow, and even then I was in no way prepared for how hard n' heavy In Rock hit me-- from the very first second this album rocked my socks off.

In Rock is a destructive force of nature, huge, heavy, ballsy, and almost reckless with intensity. "Speed King" starts things off with a powerful, bottom-heavy intensity, led by aggressive guitar riffing and a first-rate rhythm section-- saying nothing of Gillan's vocal excess. The energy is outstanding, and the fact that it doesn't let up for a second throughout the album is very impressive. The signature track, "Child in Time" needs to be experienced to be believed.

While superficially this album is pretty much straight-ahead hard rock in the vein of Led Zepplin, there is a lot more going on beneath the surface that makes it fit very snuggly into PA's Proto-Prog category. First, is the instrumental performances. Blackmore plays a mean guitar, with his riffing and soloing coming across as being very experimental and creative; furthermore, the vintage feel to Lord's keyboards lends a sensation of classical nuance and charm which almost steals the show in a few songs. The songwriting is also a step above the hard rock norm, with many songs featuring tempo and dynamic changes more at home in true prog than in FM classic rock stations, though they're not nearly as diverse or ambitious as prog bands of the day. Gillan's vocals are a load of fun, but are topically and intellectually pretty banal, though his enthusiasm and non-stop wails keeps that from being anything especially bad-- they're certainly not filled with Robert Plant's trite "Oooh baby, baby, baby" repetitions.

The thing I am most impressed by is the sheer weight of In Rock. It'll crush you with its speed and heaviness, and you'll come back for more.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |

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