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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Blackmore's Night

Dancer and the Moon

Review by Gary Hill

I have followed Blackmore’s Night a little over the years. For my money, this album is really kind of a stretch for the band. It seems to move a bit away from the Celtic inspired music that’s such a big part of their sound and into more mainstream rock. This is arguably closer to Deep Purple than anything they’ve ever done. Of course, not everything here is a stretch in the right direction. There is a point or two where it seems to land near the more pure pop rock territory of Candice Night’s solo album. That said, that sound is great for her solo stuff, but I tend to hold Blackmore’s Night to a higher standard. Still, I think this is a great album and it has me excited to see where they go next.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
I Think It's Going to Rain Today

This isn’t really the kind of track I expect from Blackmore’s Night. In a lot of ways this is a pretty mainstream rock song. There are even some surprising hints of Deep Purple at times. There are some of the group’s usual Celtic links, but overall this is a definite change.

Russian folk music is the concept here. They bring it into a modern style and it’s a great piece of music. I’m reminded quite a bit of something from Renaissance (the band, not the historical period). This is energized and very tasty.
The Last Leaf
I can also make out some Renaissance on this. Well, at least, I’d say it’s in the same general musical territory. This is a pretty song. It’s intricate and powerful. It’s the best thing so far.
Lady in Black
I didn’t expect this. Here they cover the old Uriah Heep classic. This more organic progressive rock styled rendition of this tune is just plain awesome! It has some interesting arrangements shifts and changes and really just plain rocks.
Minstrels in the Hall
Acoustic guitar opens this and the sound is intricate and quite classical in nature. It’s about a minute in before other instruments start to enter. Even then, it’s only minor accompaniment. Essentially this is an acoustic guitar solo with a little accompaniment.
Temple of the King
There’s more of a rocking, bluesy sort of sound as this comes into being. This is a redo of the Rainbow song. No one will confuse the two, though. This is more of a progressive rock tune with a lot of organic elements. It does rock, though. The melodies work as well in this arrangement as they did in the original version.
Dancer & The Moon
The Celtic rock sounds of this tune are more in keeping with the kind of thing one normally expects from Blackmore’s Night. It rocks out quite well and is an effective, if predictable, piece.
This is a delicate old world song. It’s quite symphonic in nature and is an instrumental piece.
The Ashgrove
The vocals really shine on this intricate folk styled song.
Somewhere over the Sea (The Moon Is Shining)
Here’s another track where the vocals really sell it. It’s the kind of old world inspired rock music that Blackmore’s Night is known for doing. Musically it doesn’t really shine that much, but those vocals drive it home.
The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere over the Sea)
As the extended introduction plays through this feels like it might be heading to an overproduced modern pop music sound. They fire it out into some hard edged, driving progressive rock that really works well. This really rocks out later with some trademark Blackmore guitar playing.
The Spinner's Tale
Here’s a mellower, old time song. It’s good, but not really a standout.
Carry On... Jon
This killer instrumental has hints of Deep Purple, particularly in the organ solo. Of course, that’s by design as this is meant as a farewell message to longtime Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord who passed away recently. It’s a great tune to send off the album and to pay tribute to Mr. Lord.
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