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Deep Purple - Stormbringer CD (album) cover

STORMBRINGER

Deep Purple

 

Proto-Prog

3.06 | 602 ratings

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TCat
2 stars Stormbringer was Deep Purple's 9th full length album, and saw the band move more towards a funky sound, but retaining the hard-rock, blues inspired sound that they had in 'Burn'. This was also the 2nd album to feature David Coverdale as the lead singer as he replaced Ian Gilian as the lead singer. Ian, of course, would eventually sign up with Black Sabbath for one album, 'Born Again' and eventually reunite with Deep Purple in 1984 for the album 'Perfect Strangers'.

Stormbringer ended up being a fairly successful album, though it was a bit weaker than previous efforts. The long, jam-like sessions of the past were gone and were replaced with songs that were more vocally heavy and more basic hard rock tunes. Even though it was early for hair metal (the album was released in 1974), it seems to take on that style more than the psychedelic rock of their earlier albums.

Even though the mainstays Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice and Jon Lord were still in the band, it seems their influence was heard much less on this album. The album seems to be directed more towards Coverdale's one-dimensional vocals, but at least Glenn Hughes' vocals were also used fairly extensively on many tracks, it helped give a bit more variety to the album. Unfortunately, for Coverdale, that variety didn't follow him when he left Deep Purple in tears after the release of their following album 'Come Taste the Band' which saw the downfall of the popularity of the band as they continued to chase the more accessible sound of hard funk, sounding more like Grand Funk than anything else, a bad version of Grand Funk that is. Of course, Coverdale would see success with Whitesnake in the 80s, as his hair metal dreams came true. But then, I've never really been a fan of Coverdale as he seems to turn bands he is involved with towards a more commercial sound that is as one-dimensional as his voice.

Stormbringer, however, isn't a complete wash. The other band members still have some chances to show off, like Lord's organ solo in 'High Ball Shooter'. But unfortunately, most of the tracks have Coverdale's annoying vocals (like in the awful 'The Gypsy') that end up making the songs of the album sound too much alike. One of the main reasons I liked Deep Purple was because of their heavy rocking instrumentals and psychedelic leanings. This album just about totally goes against that sound, and Deep Purple just sounds like every other mediocre hard rock band. What might have been a great album only becomes an average one. After the next album, the band would basically fall apart until finally in 1984, they come out of hiding and emerge from the dregs of hair metal to produce a better album with the return of Ian and the release of 'Perfect Stranger.'

TCat | 2/5 |

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