VARIOUS ARTISTS - Blackmore's Castle

Various Artists - Blackmore's Castle

13 songs
72:39 minutes
***** *


As the name lets you already guess, Blackmore's Castle is a tribute to Ritchie Blackmore, former guitar player of Deep Purple and Rainbow. 12 relatively unknown bands are playing 13 songs in very different versions.

The opener by Mister Kite is a perfect start because they play Bloodsucker in a contemporary nu metal version. I also like Perfect Strangers by Transcendence who convince with a bombastic modern rock version of this 80s classic by Deep Purple. Arabesque play Stargazer and are one of the two bands with female vocals on this tribute CD. Singer Katia Salemi has great vocals which makes this another highlight. Unfortunately the album gets worse after such a promising start. While playing Self Portrait, Lars Eric Mattson just doesn't seem very motivated. And his song is much too slow. Reign Of Terror's Sixteenth Century Greensleeves annoys with a long and boring intro and their retro song is sounding too much like the original. My favourite Rainbow song is still Gates Of Babylon. Although I was looking forward to listen to Iron Mask's version, I was disappointed because their interpretation is just too fast. Headline are the other band with female vocals and they present a more progressive version of Battle Rages On. Well done! Condition Red got the award for the worst singer on this compilation. Although the folky arrangements are ok, I prefer pushing the skip button on the CD player. Space Truckin by Torben Enevolden is an excellent timeless rock song. Very curious is Eric Zimmermann's Man On The Silver Mountain. Voices and instruments are very distorted, wrapped in a bizarre Amiga sound. I think it's cool, but probably even the smallest Blackmore fan will call this a blasphemy. At this point, you could stop listening to the album. Winterlog's Highway Star is sounding absolutely uninspired, a one-to-one clone of the original. Then there are two boring and superfluous instrumentals: Lazy by Jason Richardson and Still I'm Sad by Condition Red.

My conclusion is that this album has many ups and downs. It will certainly be for every consumer a difficult decision to buy or not to buy it.

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