Review Summary: Burn Lite4 of 4 thought this review was well written
As it turns out, releasing two albums within the same year didn't spell disaster for Deep Purple, but this album is still a fairly significant step down from the magnificent 'Burn'. They seem to have embraced the voices of Coverdale and Hughes in a more commercial way here. However, it still has some songs that not only stand out on this album, but within the entire Deep Purple discography.
One of these stand-outs is 'Soldier Of Fortune'; an absolutely beautiful ballad on par with 'When A Blind Man Cries' for its memorable melodies alluring acoustic guitar work conjoining to form a masterpiece. For something less artsy, there's the title track; an awesome heavy metal track in the vein of Judas Priest's 'Sinner' with its crushing riffs and dramatic lyrics dominating the song. Both of these songs are the highlights, as well as being the closer and the opener respectively, but nothing else apart from 'The Gypsy' comes close to the quality of those.
Songs like 'Holy Man' and 'Hold On' are good for what they are; catchy, radio-friendly material designed and executed simply. However, they don't feel like major songs. Instead they come off as filler-ish and aren't going to be in any “top 10 songs” lists for this band. One good thing about the song-writing on 'Stormbringer' is that there is a pleasant dose of funk injected into the band's sound, which is quite an entertaining diversion.
As this was the last Deep Purple album to have Ritchie Blackmore, his style on here may remind you of songs like 'Snake Charmer' or 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves' (which may make you wonder how the album would sound with Dio on vocals). For the rest of the members, it's business as usual; not much really much new to say here.
Overall, 'Stormbringer' would be a fairly disappointing listen after 'Burn', but it's still a stable album that may be more consistent than that album, considering that there is no '“A” 200' to drag it down. Unfortunately, after this album, things looked bleak for Deep Purple, as the departure of Ritchie Blackmore made for a difficult situation, as there wasn't really anyone else with his style around. Luckily, Tommy Bolin was found to make 'Come Taste The Band' with the rest of Deep Purple, but this was not going to be another comeback like 'Burn' was.