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Blackmore's Night
Secret Voyage

Company: Steamhammer
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Raising Iron
Genre: Traditional, medieval
Rating
4



  • Another platter of beautiful and unique music



  • Our favorite prolific purple minstrel and his lovely partner have returned, taking us on another beautiful journey back to the days of fireside sing-along's, choral tavern tapestries, and other medieval traditions. Hard to believe, but "Secret Voyage" is Blackmore's Night's seventh studio since their first release, "Shadows of the Moon", back in 98 (including their 2006 Christmas album: Winter Carols).

    Ritchie continues to mine his vast quarry of feudal melodies, and "Secret Voyage" shows no signs of the supply of riches drying up. Candice's vocals continue in top form, her beautiful tones carrying each and every refrain to all corners of the inn in which they reside. The song selection is absolutely wonderful this time out, offering a greater variety than found on their last outing, "The Village Lanterne", which languished and meandered in more of an insistent "new age" territory. This is a nice return to the varied stylings found on "Ghost of a Rose" and "Fires at Midnight". There's the instrumental opener, "God Save the Keg" (love that title!) which carries into the upbeat melodic rocker "Locked Within the Crystal Ball", Ritchie recalling his hard rock past with wonderful electric guitar soloing. "Toast to Tomorrow" is a middle-aged tavern sing-along that catches you be the seat of your tankard, tipping and dripping it while the chorus spills into the damp night air, leaving you smiling and content to be with good friends. There's also a re-working of "Rainbow Eyes" from Rainbow's "Long Live Rock n' Roll", which is *gasp* better than the original?! The Elvis hit, "Can't Help Falling in Love" is also covered, a questionable choice to say the least, but they've spun it into an upbeat, medieval dance, this being the best version of the song these ears have ever witnessed, making it at least passable. Elsewhere, there's pleasant, quiet, introspective tales via "Sister Gypsy" and "Peasant's Promise", where Candice's sweet timbre carries the song, instruments minimal and spaced.

    As was posed earlier, there isn't a lot of that "new age" feel to this one, as it sits closer to their roots and earlier musings, with a few bits of "world music" thrown in here and there. There really isn't anything ground-breaking here, the band giving us what we expect from them, nothing more, and nothing less. Ritchie and Candice continue to delve deep into the traditional, medieval, and classical styling they know and love so well, offering up another platter of beautiful and unique music, something that very few others have been able to accomplish at this level. So, invite over some friends, put a log on the fire, tap the keg, and take a "Secret Voyage" to an earlier time.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BLACKMORE'S NIGHT
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Secret VoyageBlackmore's Night
    2008
    Raising Iron8/8/2008
    The Village LanterneBlackmore's Night
    2006
    Heather O'Brien4/21/2006


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: BLACKMORE'S NIGHT

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: BLACKMORE'S NIGHT
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