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Blackmore's Night - The Village Lanterne (CD)

Blackmore's Night
The Village Lanterne
by Grigoris Chronis at 06 March 2006, 5:26 PM

The change of direction for Ritchie Blackmore in the mid-90's was the 'talk of the town' in the ranks of rockers, hard rockers and metallheads, I can recall. The six-string flag of pioneers Deep Purple, putting aside his electric guitar equipment, decided to make a turn in his musical quest for something more 'medieval' or 'cinquecento', getting - over again - relative sensation \[chronically similar, ex-Warlord master Bill Tsamis creates the 'darker' medieval/epic Lordian Guard project, releases 2 ½ substantial albums with tiny success and I wonder what he's up to now…].
When 1997's Shadow Of The Moon was released, the anticipation was more than high. Thus, the excellence of this debut - let's get real - proved that, since Blackmore decided to occupy himself with a different 'field', he could definitely harvest (again) towering hopes. This, of course, would not be that difficult for such a composer, bearing in mind Blackmore's efficiency in 'injecting' new ideas to e.g. Baroque harmonies to his personal songwriting mode. Still, the matter was of one kind: who the minstrel would be.
Candice Night: the moon's velvet, the breeze's sweetness, the simplicity in beauty. Ritchie Blackmore's 'leathal weapon' (and, also, life partner) holds - in my poor opinion - the scepters to each and every one of the band's success. The perfect performer to Blackmore's notions, a rather mystical/theatrical princess, Candice left here soon-to-be-grand modeling career to turn into more creative forms of art, such as writing and - eventually - music. Meeting Ritchie Blackmore (then in Deep Purple) on a soccer field (Night requested Blackmore's autograph at a Deep Purple football match), the building of a dream had already started. Helping both Deep Purple and the short-lived 90's 'form' of Rainbow (do you remember 1996's Stranger In Us All album?), Blackmore's Night was a matter of time to take shape. In her own words: Blackmore's Night music really opened a door into the past. In it I am able to absorb the Renaissance times, the romance and chivalry, the mystery and the fantasy.\[…] The sounds are incredible - a whole new dimension… And the journey goes on…
Three years after the 2003 excellent release Ghost Of A Rose, the renaissance duet returns with a soon-to-be Blackmore's Night killer album. The Village Lanterne features fourtneen tunes - an expected 2CD deluxe edition will add 3-4 more cuts, one of them of great interest. Not much is to be said in terms of music. Except one thing: maybe the most 'renaissance Rock' album of Blackmore's Night to date, The Village Lanterne finds Ritchie in his most creative period, where he reaches an even higher level as an instrumentalist, while he does not seem to forget some of his rockin' years. Listen to tunes like I Guess It Doesn't Matter or St. Teressa (a strong Rainbow vibe lurks in there) to get it. Otherwise, his 'typical' songwritng is perfectly illustrated in imposing tunes such as The Messenger, Village Dance, World Of Stone and Windmills.
The highlights: A 'resurrected' version of the ultimate Deep Purple classic Child In Time is now 'driven' with a good result, while another classic - the Rainbow mid-tempo Street Of Dreams - is featured, putting me into thought 'bout its 'look'. Anyway, Street Of Dreams is the interesting 'deluxe edition' bonus mentioned above, since it features original singer Joe Lynn Turner on vocals. Not in the promo copy I obtained, can't let you know.
There might be - some day - a music festival featuring Blackmore's Night, Mike Oldfield, Enya and Loreena McKennitt. We'd all love to be there, lay back in the moonlit forest warmth and travel, travel, travel…The Village Lanterne, for this kinda Blackmore fans, is a must have. Otherwise, it's a should have. Your soul will accept it, no worries.

3 Star Rating

25 Years
Village Lanterne
I Guess It Doesn't Matter
The Messenger
World Of Stone
Faerie Queen
St. Teresa
Village Dance
Mond Tanz / Child In Time (Deep Purple cover)
Streets In London
Just Call My Name
Olde Mill Inn
Street Of Dreams (Rainbow cover)
Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar, Bass, Drums, Mandolin & Tambourine
Candice Night - Vocals

Guest Musicians:
Bard David of Larchmont - Keyboards, Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Accordeon & Pipe Organ
Lady Madeline - Vocals
Lady Nancy - Vocals
Squire Malcolm - Percussion
Sir Robert - Bass & Vocals
Tudor Rose - Multi-instrumentalist
Record Label: SPV Records


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