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Blackmore's Night: Autumn Sky

Autumn Sky is the eighth album from Blackmore's Night since the band was formed in the late '90s by Ritchie Blackmore and his then girlfriend Candice Night. Since then the band has been putting out quality albums of renaissance inspired folk music and the new album is no exception. It is perhaps a little mellower than their 2008 release Secret Voyage but still very enjoyable nonetheless.

Blackmore's Night continues their tradition of combining traditional and modern instruments well suited for the modern age. Besides Blackmore and Night other members include Bard David Of Larchmont (keyboards, backing vocals), Gypsy Rose (violin, harmony vocals), Earl Grey Of Chimay (bass, rhythm guitar), Squire Malcolm Of Lumley (percussion, drums) and Albert Danneman (renaissance woodwinds, vocals).

The band does not break any new ground with Autumn Sky but that does not take away from the album's endearing qualities and melodic sensibility. If you have heard Blackmore's Night before you pretty much know what to expect uplifting music with lilting melodies and the enchanting vocals of Night. Blackmore's guitar is of course always present, but do not expect Deep Purple or Rainbow style riffs here, although his Stratocaster does get fired up occasionally. His playing is remarkably restrained and subdued and his acoustic moments are as poignantly beautiful as ever. That said, there are moments where Blackmore unleashes some fiery guitar solos like in the up-tempo folk rock of "The Journeyman", showing why he is still a guitar God. In the hauntingly beautiful ballad "Believe In Me", Night's soothing vocals and Blackmore's lovely acoustic and briefly soaring electric leads makes one wish he would let loose a little more. In "Keeper of the Flame" Blackmore's sizzling lead guitar and Rose's violin are highlights as well as Night's Lana Lane-like vocals. Another highlight is the whimsical "Night At Eggersberg", a short ditty where classical and folk elements are linked by Blackmore's tasty acoustic guitar.

One of the album's biggest surprises is a reworking of Ray Davies' "Celluloid Heroes", one of The Kinks' best songs. Blackmore's sensitive acoustic guitar and Night's lovely vocals really puts their own spin on the Kinks' classic.

Autumn Sky is another strong outing from Blackmore's Night and a nice introduction for those new to the band. Longtime fans should also be pleased. As a nice touch, the album is dedicated to the couple's baby daughter Autumn Esmerelda, born 2010.

Track Listing:
1. Highland (5:49)
2. Vagabond (Make A Princess Of Me) (5:23)
3. Journeyman (5:41)
4. Believe In Me (4:25)
5. Sake Of The Song (2:46)
6. Song And Dance (Pt II) (2:03)
7. Celluloid Heroes (5:27)
8. Keeper Of The Flame (4:42)
9. Night At Eggersberg (2:15)
10. Strawberry Girl (4:05)
11. All The Fun Of The Fayre (3:55)
12. Darkness (3:21)
13. Dance Of The Darkness (3:35)
14. Health To The Company (4:19)
15. Barbara Allen (3:39)

Added: March 28th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2223
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Blackmore's Night: Autumn Sky
Posted by Richard Higgins on 2011-03-29 09:01:18
My Score:

They keep getting better. This is my favorite Blackmore's Night album.

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