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Blackmore's Night - Under A Violet Moon CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

2.69 | 94 ratings

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3 stars "lalalalalalalalalalala" - Candice Night (On Morning Star)

This thing makes me feel like I've eaten salisbury steak each night for supper for the past three weeks.

Under A Violet Moon - Blackmore's Night - 1999 (1466)

Best Song : Shoot me with yer repetitive longbow, Little John!

Rating: 10/15

I guess it would be too much to ask of the poor fellow to actually go back to his roots. Naw, he's gotta go back to the roots of someone else, namely, King Arthur's court minstrel/lute master-supreme. Funny, it wouldn't be so entertaining if it weren't for how deadly serious these folks are. In 1998, Ritchie Blackmore teamed up with his woman, Candice Night, and they made a brutal death metal band that played on their names, releasing a gruesome batch of harmless derivative folk rock, stuffed to the needless brim. Now they're back, and guess what? It's all the same.

Blackmore's Flight (of fancy) are back with Under A Violet Moon. And, if you've heard their debut, this album is, regretfully, a very pointless creation. That's not to say it's inferior. No, it's just pretty much exactly the same as everything on Shadow of the Moon. There are some intricate differences, but none that matter in the overall atmosphere. It's still Renaissance Faire for the contemporary mind. But, in the grand scheme, there are a few differences that make me like this album a bit more than her predecessor. Firstly, there is a larger hint of subtlety in the mix. I'd say it's a regression from the in your face rocking Ritchie's been doing most his life. Maybe he just wants to eschew his moniker as rock god once and for all. Either way, he's doing a pretty good job of alienating his old Deep Purple fans (although most of them chumps probably don't even know of this band's existence).

Same as before, it's all well produced, well performed, strikingly professional medieval folk rock. It's also extremely faceless, and punishingly monotonous. I swear that each song literally sounds like a carbon copy of the last. Hell, this one is even more monotonous than the last record! The only reason this one doesn't get a lower score is because it was somewhat graciously shaved by about 10 minutes, which does a lot for my mental constitution, let me tell you. What drags this down, though, is how it has even fewer stand-out songs than before, and it's even less diverse and energetic. This is truly ambient music for hobbit 'lovers'. We all know Blackmore's relationship with Lord of the Rings has been strong (Rainbow, anyone?), but this is almost a little ridiculous. But, as negative as I am toward Under A Violet Moon, it's still a very solid recording, and they're at least kind enough to give us something pretty most of the time. It's all very pretty, and Candice Night's a promising singer, if perhaps her range is a smidge limited.

Another thing I noticed was the album's penchant for pop format. Thus making the effort even more repetitive and generic. It's professional, sure, but it's terribly generic. This is all been done, twenty years ago, and two centuries ago. We've all heard it, before, or could easily imagine the whole CD by just hearing the first couple tracks. And, even though it's been reduced in running time by approximately ten minutes, it still feels twenty too long. Did these guys really need to release so much material at one time? I'm sure most folks could just repeat the album once it's finished ( they'd have stronger will than I do). No need to copy and paste all those songs and give them differing titles. Come on, Ritch! Hey, can I call you Ritch?

Actually, if I have to pick a favorite song, one that stands out and actually intrigues me on a major level, it's "Possum Goes To Prague", which is this evocative little minute long instrumental guitar flourish. It's very succinct, and at the same time, flashy in the way we know Blackmore to be. Under A Violet Moon is a fine and dandy medieval folk pop record with no innovation, whatsoever, but with heaps of taste and prettiness, even if it's frustratingly overlong. When you get it, tell them Robin Hood sent you.

Alitare | 3/5 |


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