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Blackmore's Night
The Village Lanterne
(Special Limited Edition)

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Click here to e-mail reviewer


CD Label: SPV


  Ritchie Blackmore and his partner Candice Night have reached new heights on their latest release The Village Lanterne. I just read an article in Classic Rock Magazine bemoaning the fact the we have lost one our most beloved rock gods to tights and frolicking acoustic guitars. That is rubbish, Ritchie still rips off some amazing licks on the electric guitar, and he actually does so more frequently on this new release compared to previous outings. He has mellowed and changed direction, however with great success; just ask the legions of fans worldwide. Blackmore has carved out yet another niche in musical history with a series of superb recordings. I have covered every release, and absolutely loved them all. I know I probably say that every time I have an opportunity to do a review and probably always will.

Now for the die-hard Deep Purple fans, including me, Blackmore decides to reach back to his past with a different slant. He provides a very exciting tribute to the music of his past. "Mond Tanz / Child In Time" is the perfect blend of Blackmore today, reaching back to the classic lineup of Deep Purple; he gives all of himself for this song and satisfies the old and new fans all in one take. His playing is just as fierce and compelling as it ever was, with one big difference, the spine tingling voice of his partner Candice Night. What an incredibly effort this track is, it gives me chills every time I hear it. Then Rainbow gets the nod twice, first on the disc one version of "Street Of Dreams," which is absolutely haunting, the guitar playing is masterful and Night does a great job with tune, making it her own. And to top that off the bonus disc features Joe Lynn Turner, the vocalist that originally recorded the song with Rainbow. Turner does a duet with Candice, renewing one of his best performances with the compliment of the elegant vocalist to sweeten the pie. That turns out to be an instant classic as well. There is more where that came from. Those that have followed this band over the years have reason to remain faithful as ever. They do not disappoint at all with great tunes such as "25 Years," "St. Teresa," which features some blistering blues-rock from Blackmore, and "I Guess It Doesn't Matter Any More," which is destined become a fan favorite at their live outings. There is one very short instrumental titled "The Messenger," and it is extraordinary. Blackmore proves again that he is equally adept with the acoustic strings and his respect shows for classical music. Blackmore's typically fluid playing is ultimately a great tribute to the masters of the past.

These songs are so joyous in spirit yet the album as a whole is somewhat darker than anything they have ever done before. "Windmills" is a good example of the darker more intense side of the songwriting; it gives you goose bumps in all its regal old time glory with subject matter around a character that fights the good fight to the end for his freedom.

This is a great album, in fact, there is not a track on the album that is not memorable, and it is a perfect 10 as far as I am concerned. The only thing that I have to complain about is the bonus disc, the two tracks were great, but the bonus video did not work for some reason. I received the special German edition and the video is in PAL however, my PC does play this type of disc so I am baffled as to why I cannot view it. That was a disappointment but it did not deter me from listening to the best ever Blackmore's Night album so many times I have lost count. Keep up the great work Ritchie and Candice, you have a lifetime fan here that will always look forward to any music you release.

Note: On CD2 of this German version "All Because Of You (Radio Edit)" is replaced with a CD Extra Part-Village Lanterne Interview & Castles and Dreams DVD trailer.



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