Blackmore's Night
Dancer And The Moon

1. I Think it’s Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman cover)
2. Troika
3. The Last Leaf
4. Lady in Black (Uriah Heep cover)
5. Minstrels in the Hall
6. The Temple of the King (Rainbow cover)
7. Dancer and the Moon
8. Galliard (Instrumental)
9. The Ashgrove
10. Somewhere Over the Sea (The Moon is Shining)
11. The Moon is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea)
12. The Spinner’s Tale
13. Carry On… Jon (Instrumental)
DVD (Collector's Edition)
1. Dancer and the Moon (Music Video)
2. The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea) (Music Video)
3. Interview with Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night

Ritchie Blackmore (Guitars, mandolin, bass, renaissance drums, tambourine)
Candice Night (Vocals, pennywhistle)

Shadow of the Moon (1997)
Under a Violet Moon (1999)
Fires at Midnight (2001)
Ghost of a Rose (2003)
The Village Lanterne (2006)
Secret Voyage (2008)
Autumn Sky (2010)



Released 2013-06-11
Reviewed 2013-05-29



In 1997 Ritchie Blackmore and his fiancee Candice Night started Blackmore's Night as a folk rock project after Blackmore had left his rainbow project at rest. With their eight studio album they're continuing on the path on which they first set off and has walked ever since. It's a path of medieval sounds and plenty of acoustic elements and as with most previous albums we also get treated to some covers and a few instrumental tracks. The covers on this one are three for thee to enjoy and they come already from the opening track with Randy Newmans I Think It's Going To Rain Tonight. We also get a cover on an earlier Blackmore song, from his Rainbow days, in The Temple Of The King as well as Uriah Heeps Lady In Black. The instrumental tracks are a duo and all in all it's thirteen songs and a total of 53 minutes.

In 2008 this musical couple got married in an medieval ceremony but musically they haven't changed anything by taking this step - it's the same kind of music as before, played the same way and everything we get from 'Dancer And The Moon' are things we've had the pleasure to hear in previous encounters with this duo. Perhaps from a news perspective it's more interesting with a married couple, though? But from the musical point of view it's not positive to have too much of things we've heard before and if you've heard any of the seven studio albums or their christmas album 'Winter Carols' or the two live albums they've released… well, then I can't see you get any major surprises by 'Dancer And The Moon', which is a bit disappointing. I'm guessing you're thinking "so it's a boring album? Predictable? Perhaps unnecessary?" and maybe it is… but at the same time not too much.

'Dancer And The Moon' is a well made album, it's beautiful and peaceful with lots of harmony but also some higher tempo here and there. More or less all songs are between 2-5 minutes and fall in that Blackmore's Night-typical sound that this band has developed. There isn't plenty of bands sounding like Blackmore's Night and the very few we can relate to them don't really have enough significants. For that reason one might say that Blackmore's Nights can't really wear out their music, no matter how many albums they'll do, but perhaps one of the reasons to why they have this unique sound is because they haven't really explored the genre yet but instead continued doing the same album over and over slightly better each time? But perhaps the reason is because there just isn't any other bands that sounds like Blackmore's Night and not that they've just done different songs in the same way as last time… and the time before. Perhaps one of the reasons to why their albums are so similar is that Mr Blackmore and Mrs Night just are so proud of their music so they don't want to make major changes to their music. Either way it tends to feel a bit too recognizable at some points here.

I think the album starts pretty good with the Randy Newman cover I mentioned earlier, which - thankfully - isn't very similar to the original and ends up feeling like one of the best tracks on the album. Another top track is another cover, the Blackmore cover of his own song - The Temple Of The King - which has been completely restored and designed to go in line with the Blackmore's Night interior design. In the closing stages of the album we get a duo song, called Somewhere Over The Sea (The Moon Is Shining) and The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over The Sea) and these two also belongs to the top material on this album. However, as soon as the opening track has ended I think 'Danced And The Moon' starts to go very uneven in quality. The first couple of songs following the Newman-cover are mostly downhill then it goes a bit uphill when we get The Temple Of The King and after that the roller coaster really takes off. I don't think anything gets better from the fact that they play around with the tempo as much as they do with songs coming after each other that goes slow, then faster, then slower then faster again. I think the way they've set the tracklist now it's difficult to get a good flow in the album and maybe things would feel better if things had flowed more smoothly.

Technically then? Well, it's no secret that Ritchie Blackmore knows his way around the guitars and most of us would also be aware of the vocal qualities in Candice Night by now… however, I don't think they deliver their performances particularly well on this album. Blackmore really can't hold back enough on this album and tends to sneak in all kinds of tweaks and twists from his guitars, and Mrs Night - well, she also seems to force in some extra flare by adding a few levels of pitch difference when she goes from high to low or vice versa, as to show everyone just how good she is. Both do an impressing job, but just as impressing as this is it also takes away some of the quality in their performance as they sometimes quite literally ruin the songs by doing this. The overall impression had probably felt much better if they'd hold back a bit, at least on some occasions, and not just showed everyone how great musicians they are.

So here we are then, at the end of the path. And to be honest I still feel a bit divided about this album. At the same time as I know that people like my dad and the likes of him, that have the previous releases and love them, will love this as well - I can't help feeling somewhat disappointed. The reason why I do that is because it's basically just an updated 'Autumn Sky'. And then also because of the order the songs come on this album. Also, I'm disappointed for not feeling stronger for the album as a whole when there is songs that I like and that are good - so why doesn't the album go that way too? However, the biggest reason why I'm disappointed is because it doesn't feel exciting to play Blackmore's Night anymore. This album is more or less exactly what I expected to hear and because of that it feels a bit like a cover act or even caricature of their own band. Sure, it's still an album the fans will like or even love but it's not an album that'll have a central role in the history books… no matter how historical their music might feel.



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Iridio/Rainbow/
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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