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Blackmore's Night - Autumn Sky CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

2.67 | 51 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Time to get our medieval boots out again! Yes, it's the latest album from the outfit formed by former axe God, Ritchie Blackmore, and his wife, Candice Night, that outfit initially abandoning all facets of hard rock guitar and playing instead a mix of medieval folk and prog related stuff.

The band has proved to be remarkably resilient, in spite of the almost overwhelmingly hostile attitude of the rock press, with many of its journalists deeply unhappy with what they see as a "sell out" by Blackmore.

That attitude always was nonsensical, and, actually, in recent albums, Blackmore has shown a willingness to revisit classic rock songs, including his own, and utilise the electric guitar as much as the acoustic and mandolin.

This album is no different, and, in fact, it is true to state that this represents everything you have come to expect of this outfit in every bit the same way as recent outings. That is not necessarily a bad thing - I love the band and they have given me a great deal of pleasure. The point I am making here, though, is that this new album represents absolutely no progress whatsoever on its immediate predecessors. Perhaps that is to be expected from a band heavily influenced by traditional and classic folk, I don't know.

The band has, of course, become a huge vehicle for Candice Night, virtually unheard of before she hooked up with Blackmore. She is one of those singers who you will either love or hate, nothing in between. It is, to me, arguable whether she would have had any success without the Blackmore tag attached to her, but I actually like her voice, which is quite unlike any other in the genre at the moment. Her sensitive performance on Believe In Me, backed by a lovely orchestral arrangement and understated Blackmore guitar, is powerful in its melodic portrayal..

The album offers up its usual mix of traditional arrangements and classic rock. Journeyman is a good example of this, the opening of which is a traditional folk arrangement, which is replaced by quite the most exceptional Blackmore electric guitar solo as the track builds to its conclusion.

There is a cover of Ray Davies' Celluloid Heroes, written for the 1972 Kinks album Everybody's In Show Biz. As with the best Davies lyrics, the track still has clear resonance and relevance in the modern day, and I think that Night handles the lyrics with aplomb, whilst the band backs her to great effect.

I would strongly recommend this new work to all who have enjoyed the band's output before. I would also recommend it to all Blackmore fans who might not be able to consider their idol playing anything else other than Stargazer or Smoke On The Water. You will be pleasantly surprised. On this album, and all others in the project, he proves yet again that he is the finest rock or folk guitarist of his generation, barring none.

It's not essential. Actually, that damning word "nice" comes to mind when listening to this, but that's not a crime.

Three stars for this. The album cover, by the way, is worth five stars - it's phenomenal.

lazland | 3/5 |


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