Shadow of the Moon
O.K, was it Deep Purple that was once labeled “world’s loudest band,” and Ritchie Blackmore its guitarist? Remember those monstrous riffs from “Smoke on the Water,” “Black Night,” and such metal classics? The same Blackmore has gone as far away as possible from metal and made a totally unexpected, diametrically-opposite move in this album: with his wife-to-be, Candice Night, on vocals, and Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) playing flute on a few tracks, RB has composed some serious Renaissance music for this new effort, Shadow of the Moon. Since RB has been constantly identified by his metal-guitar playing, this album might not be received well by his fans. But if you could set aside that image, you would find this album to be very much listenable and enjoyable.
Almost the entire album is performed on acoustic instruments. (Exceptions: “Writing on the Wall” has a Deep Purple-sque, hot lead guitar/solo. The “real” side of Blackmore surfaces shortly in “Wish You Were Here.”) Blackmore soaks up the album with Elizabethan style of music, covering a good range of Renaissance variety, from minstrel to folklore. A consort of trumpet, French horns, cello, viola, and violins adds more grace to the album. Ian Anderson, as usual, is impressive on flute in “Play, Minstrel Play”!
The resulting collection is just about the best you could expect from Ritchie Blackmore!