For their 20th studio album Infinite, legendary hard rockers Deep Purple once again have enlisted producer Bob Ezrin, who did such a fantastic job on their previous album What Now? and they obviously wanted to strike while the iron was hot. That album was easily their strongest in years, the band fully embracing their hard rock, prog, and blues roots to full effect, and Infinite goes down a similar path, possibly even being their heaviest album in years. Once again, the line-up here is comprised of Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums), Steve Morse (guitar), and Don Airey (keyboards).
Right from the beginning it's quite apparent that the band wanted to rock out a bit more on Infinite, with "Time for Bedlam" busting out of the gate in menacing form, Gillan snarling over heavy grooves and plenty of scorching guitar & Hammond organ. "Hip Boots" is a little more lighthearted but no less heavy, Morse & Airey once again putting on a clinic. For "All I Got is You" the prog element is turned up a bit, with complex arrangements and a potent Gillan vocal, another barnburner to start off this album, Purple showing that they mean business and are no mere nostalgia act. The band go for more of a blues feel on the upbeat "One Night in Vegas" complete with honky tonky piano and sultry organ, while Paice's nimble drum work kicks off the crushing "Get Me Outta Here", a beefy hard rock tune that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Fireball, Gillan spewing his venom over massive grooves, commanding Hammond, and plenty of savage Morse solos.
Synths and a moody atmosphere provide the foundation for "The Surprising", another prog number here that slowly builds in intensity, Airey and Morse laying down some jaw-dropping instrumental brilliance and Gillan putting in a more restrained vocal performance. Morse's gritty guitar riffs and Glover's thick bass grooves drive the catchy hard rocker "Johnny's Band", and the guitar wizard again unleashes some torrid licks alongside Airey's blazing Hammond on the fiery "On Top of the World", another savage hard rocker that sees the band once again delivering another tune that proves how much fire they still have left in them. That fire breathing dragon comes out one final time on the album for "Birds of Prey", complete with lethal Hammond organ and crunchy riffs, the rhythm team of Paice & Glover working overtime underneath some intense prog arrangements. That would have made for a perfect conclusion to Infinite, but unfortunately the band decided to spoil what would have been a 5 star album with the ill-fated cover of The Doors classic "Roadhouse Blues". For one, it doesn't fit in with the vibe of the album, the band deciding to take a laid back blues lounge approach to this song, and Gillan's vocal comes across as forced and lazy. Perhaps they figured it would make a fun addition to their live set? I hope not, as it pales in comparison to everything else on this album.
Despite that throwaway cover, Infinite is a towering achievement, Deep Purple & Bob Ezrin once again delivering magic together in what will ultimately be one of 2017's best hard rock albums. While the band are set to embark on 'The Long Goodbye' tour, most aren't sure what that means for the longterm future of the band, but if they want to ease back on the touring and continue to crank out albums like this every few years, no doubt plenty of loyal fans will be waiting patiently.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) "Time for Bedlam" – 4:35
2) "Hip Boots" – 3:23
3) "All I Got Is You" – 4:42
4) "One Night in Vegas" – 3:23
5) "Get Me Outta Here" – 3:58
6) "The Surprising" – 5:57
7) "Johnny's Band" – 3:51
8) "On Top of the World" – 4:01
9) "Birds of Prey" – 5:47
10) "Roadhouse Blues" – 6:00 (The Doors cover)