Diamonds & Rust: Blackmore’s Night

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A long time ago, we used to have a regular column here at Rockpages called “Diamonds & Rust”. In this frame, we presented two records of one band; the good side (Diamond) and the bad or uninspired moment (Rust). So, let’s resurrect it by starting with Blackmore’s Night…

Quite honestly, I don’t think that there were many out there who expected back in 1997 that Blackmore’s Night would still be around in 2020 thus proving to be the most enduring outfit of all that Ritchie has founded through the decades. Yes, we were all aware of his passionate love of Renaissance and Medieval music but still…23 years is a long time, right?

DIAMOND

“Fires At Midnight” (2001): If we take aside the sensational debut album “Shadow Of The Moon” that took everyone by surprise, it was the band’s third album that sent all the rock fans to the…(Blackmore’s) Moon and back! You see, this was the record that featured so much electric guitar that we haven’t heard from Ritchie since the last Rainbow album (“Stranger in us All”, 1995). And the pleasant surprises didn’t stop here. It was the sheer quality of the compositions that “forced” every fan to regard this album as the last classic one (although, personally, I’d say that this title belongs to its successor “Ghost of a Rose”). The live renditions of the “Fires At Midnight” cuts were equally (or even more) impressive as they were captured on the DVD/CD “Paris Moon”. All in all, if you had to have one single record by Blackmore’s Night that would be “Shadow Of The Moon”. Up next is “Fires At Midnight”…and that says it all.

Highlight: “I Still Remember”, “Home Again”, “Fires At Midnight”

RUST

“All Our Yesterdays” (2015): What a disappointment. The careful and long time fan of the band must have already noticed a decline from a compositional standpoint even from the “Autumn Sky” days back in 2010. But here Blackmore’s Night hit (folk) rock bottom. Out of the 12 songs, three are really mediocre cover pop tunes, a few indifferent instrumental tracks while the rest of the bunch are below par. I don’t remember when it was the last time (if there was ever such a time) where Ritchie seemed so tired and bored. Even Candice doesn’t sing with her usual passion and conviction. This is definitely the lowest recording point of Blackmore’s Night (right beside the aforementioned “Autumn Sky”).

Highlight: “Will O’ The Wisp”, “All Our Yesterdays”

Sakis Nikas