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Blackmore's Night - Shadow Of The Moon CD (album) cover

SHADOW OF THE MOON

Blackmore's Night

 

Prog Folk

3.21 | 95 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Warthur
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Blackmore's Night is a project which seemed to inspire a bit of cynicism when it first emerged. After all, you have Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Rainbow fame teaming up with his much younger partner, Candice Night, to play some folk rock in a medieval-ish sort of Renaissance Fayre style which they're clearly both quite keen on. All the signs of a vanity project are there - and yet, the signs prove false, because as far as medieval-tinged folk-rock goes this is actually pretty good.

Blackmore's guitar work and the backing of his fellow musicians are solid through and through - naturally, thanks to his illustrious career and extensive connections, he's able to bring together a team who really buy into the project, including a guest appearance from Jethro Tull's own Ian Anderson. (Part of me yearns for some sort of joint Blackmore's Night-Jethro Tull concert, perhaps concentrating on material like that on Minstrel In the Gallery or Songs From the Wood on the Tull side of the equation - how magical would that be? Either way, Ian is an apt choice of guest, because if your fancy is tickled by Tull's occasional trips into medieval and renaissance aesthetics this project might speak to you)

However, it's Night herself who is the real revelation here. Any sexist assumptions people might have had - "she's just a pretty face", "she's just a trophy wife", whatever - are blown out of the water here, because she reveals herself to be a more than capable frontwoman whose grasp of the material is shown in her performance The album includes a cover of Renaissance's Ocean Gypsy which Night absolutely nails, for instance - and which also sits very naturally with the rest of the material here.

Not content to merely regurgitate traditional-sounding material in a traditional style, the group experiment here and there with working electronic elements into the mix, an experiment which is startling on first hearing but seems strangely natural afterwards. On the whole, this is an extremely strong debut album and a great statement of intent for the project. It's cheesy as hell, though, and though it stands up to repeated listens better than their subsequent albums that isn't really saying much.

Warthur | 3/5 |

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