Coming full circle to their source, the Minstrel and the Damsel color the day in auburn to save it from the cold.
Well into the second decade of their journey, this band continue to inhabit a rarefied air avidly breathed by those who want The Man In Black to get hard again and those who, enchanted by his lady, fail to see the humor of it all.
Dallying with the past and the present has taken the Transatlantic family unit in many directions, although they’re progressively gravitating Eastward, Europe-wise, and paint different patterns along the way. One is nocturnal: “Moon” might be the surname of Blackmore’s grandmother, the one who reportedly loved a ballad called “Deep Purple,” but it also figured on his latest ensemble’s first couple of albums and reappears here, as the titular song picks up the hypnotic, trance-inducing swirl of its predecessors. The other is traditional, Night’s accent on the hilarious, up to ludicrous, “Troika” pitching it in the wake of two Russian songs the band covered on their previous records. Of course, on the troupe’s debut was also Tchaikovsky’s fragment given a house groove, which is now located in the Czech tune-based “The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over The Sea)” that sparkingly turns its gentle counterpart “Somewhere Over The Sea (The Moon Is Shining)” inside out if only to remind the listener where exactly the seriousness of their path lies.
This time the group begin with a new, uplifting foray into the modern American songbook, Randy Newman’s finely orchestrated “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” following earlier reading of Dylan, yet it’s nothing more than a mood-setting piece to outline a slyly hidden, and slowly revealed, concept for the delicate wind to blow from “The Last Leaf” into “Lady In Black,” BLACKMORE’S NIGHT’s first-ever attempt of reimagining a composition by an other hard rock collective than those the guitarist played in. Candice’s reeds and Ritchie’s mandola bring rustic veneer and undercurrent to the URIAH HEEP classic, but back to his own domain, Night softens the original, Dio-woven magic of RAINBOW’s “The Temple Of The King” that takes its rhythmic bedrock from instrumental “Minstrels In The Hall” to give Blackmore an opportunity to get electric instead of erstwhile acoustic texture.
Most vividly the veteran goes heavy, though, in closing “Carry On… Jon” dedicated to his old telepathic partner, organist Lord, whose roaring Hammond is replicated once the famous, so familiar guitar stops its wail which resembles Max Middleton’s “The Loner”: and that’s the aftertaste this dance leaves in its frail trail. Indeed, in such a rarefied air, nothing comes between the dancer and the moon. Looks like a new phase is looming for BLACKMORE’S NIGHT.