Blackmore's Night — Fires at Midnight
(SPV 085-72432 CD, 2001, CD)
by Jim Chokey, Published 2003-08-01Guitar legend Richie Blackmore (yes, the guy from Deep Purple and Rainbow) has gone medieval. Under the name Blackmore’s Night, he and his fiancée Candice Night have released several albums of folk-rock that draw heavily upon medieval and Renaissance traditions. Fires at Midnight is their third, and in my opinion, their best release so far. Night’s piping soprano and Blackmore’s acoustic guitar are the primary voices on the disk, although there’s plenty of folk instrumentation to back them up: hurdy-gurdy, recorder, mandolin, fiddle, etc. Orchestral instruments are also used, including a delicate oboe part on “Midwinter’s Night” and baroque trumpet fanfares on “Waiting Just for You” and “Crowning of the King.” Still, there are enough keys, drums, bass, and electric guitar that no one could mistake this for pure folk; at times, the disk really rocks. The title track, for instance, begins slowly and mystically, but gradually turns into a mighty medieval-rock anthem with thundering drums, wailing bagpipes, and smoldering electric guitar solos. For comparison, think of 70s Tull with female vocals, but with a bit more major-key cheer and a few touches of ethereal musical mysticism. Some of the melodies on this are so catchy that they almost sound like commercial jingles and the drum work on most tunes is extremely simplistic— but as a whole the disk works extremely well. Readers who enjoy medievalesque prog-folk, expressive acoustic guitar, and sweet-sounding female vocals will love this.
Related artist(s): Blackmore's Night
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more