Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night have returned to take their fans on a Secret Voyage of wonder, imagery and mystery.Blackmore’s Night has now passed the ten year mark in their history as a group. I am actually amazed that Blackmore has remained committed to this project given his history, but Night’s allure may prove that even an old rocker like him can be bewitched.
Secret Voyage breaks no new musical ground. They continues to produce their fusion of rock ‘n’ roll and renaissance music. Their sound remains unique and Blackmore’s night is extremely popular is Europe and Asia. In The United States, they have a small but rabid following. Secret Voyage topped Billboard Magazine’s New Age Album Chart so they have now officially moved into Enya territory.The album continues the group’s history of rotating ballads and up-tempo dance party songs. Throw in a old Rainbow song and add some classic rock, in this case an Elvis Presley tune, and you have a typical Blackmore’s Night album.
They have found a successful formula of creating a mood and transferring it to their listeners. Blackmore’s prowess on the guitar and other stringed instruments and Night’s charisma and ethereal vocals combine to make their music memorable.The beginning of Secret Voyage presents them in microcosm. “God Save The Keg” is an instrumental overture with brass and strings augmenting their renaissance sound. It is wonderful background music and serves the purpose of calling the faithful. “Locked Within The Crystal Ball” is the first step on the journey. This eight minute opus is a mystic journey filled with imagery and wonderful performances. “Toast To Tomorrow” is a typical Blackmore’s Night party song that asks the listeners to hoist a few in celebration.
Ritchie Blackmore proves he still has his guitar chops with a cover of the old Rainbow song, “Rainbow Eyes.” “Prince Waldecks Galliard” is an instrumental that finds Blackmore just with his trusty acoustic guitar. “The Circle” encompasses all that is good about them. It combines ancient mythology and fantasy but is accessible and will no doubt be presented as an interactive dance and party song in concert.
The only real miss on the album is Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Candice Nights voice is made for this song but somehow they stray from the original and not in a good way. Blackmore turns up the guitar volume, but worse, they increase the tempo and present it as a full rock song with less than stellar results.Blackmore’s Night has found a niche in the music world which it fills well. Their base continues to expand as new fans find or encounter them. It is doubtful if Blackmore’s Night will ever change or evolve which is fine as they cover the old ground so well.