Blackmore's Night
Under a Violet Moon


4.5
superb

Review

by deslad USER (1 Reviews)
May 13th, 2015 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the best samples of modern Renaissance music.

Blackmore’s Night is synonymous with contemporary medieval music mixed with some folk/rock elements. They were formed in 1997, after Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night discovered that they both shared a passion for Renaissance music. Night is the band’s main vocalist, while Blackmore creates the soundscapes on which Night shines, mainly with his brilliant acoustic guitar playing.

Blackmore’s Night debut Shadow of the Moon is a vocal-oriented album that contains many traditional tracks from the Renaissance era. Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull also makes a guest appearance playing the flute on “Play Minstrel Play”. Their sophomore release Under a Violet Moon maintained the same musical style; however, they increased the number of musical instruments used. In order to achieve a “pure” Renaissance-like sound they used Renaissance drums, flugelhorn and hurdy gurdy on top of their other unique instruments such as mandolin, tambourine, pennywhistle etc. Blackmore displays excellent instrument handling since he alone plays the acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, bass, Renaissance drums and tambourine.

The name of the album Under a Violet Moon was inspired from the name of Blackmore’s mother “Violet” and the surname of his grandmother “Moon”. The album contains many traditional tracks, one of the most interesting characteristics being “Past Time with Good Company”, which was traditional by King Henry the 8th, also known as the “King’s Ballad”, the fairytale-like “Avalon” and the up-tempo “Spanish Nights”. Furthermore, there are a few instrumental songs on this album, such as the atmospheric “Possum Goes to Prague” and the nostalgic “Beyond the Sunset” which gives Blackmore an opportunity to display his magnificent acoustic guitar skills. The exceptional title track is a medieval-inspired story-telling song and there are also a handful of melancholic ballads, like “Catherine Howard’s Fate” which recites the story of Henry the 8th’s fifth wife, who was ultimately beheaded. One of Blackmore’s Night best known songs, characteristic of their early work and possibly one of their best, is the “Morning Star”, a medieval, heartwarming track with violin elements, remarkable guitar playing and captivating vocals. Also, a more melodic, acoustic version of “Self portrait”, a song from Rainbow’s first album, is also included on this album.

Its only drawback is its duration since it lasts approximately an hour and someone may feel that it contains some filler. Nonetheless, if you are into medieval folk/rock, that would not be a disadvantage at all.

All things considered, despite the fact that there are many different types of songs performed using a wide variety of musical instruments, they are all blended in very well together and with Night’s enchanting vocals and Blackmore’s outstanding musicianship, the overall outcome is a balanced, harmonic and generally uplifting album.


user ratings (39)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
deslad
May 13th 2015


645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my first review; I hope you enjoy it. Your comments are appreciated.



Album stream: https://play.spotify.com/album/7ABHTEqZ5mYVKN3yaKtVV5



manosg
Emeritus
May 13th 2015


12708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great first review, pos.



The last time I listened to the album I felt it was my favorite, slightly ahead of Fires at Midnight but I need to re-listen in order to rate. My only complain is that it's a bit too long for its own good as you mentioned.

deslad
May 13th 2015


645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks manos! Indeed it is rather lengthy, however it is well worth it imo. I am not sure if this is my favourite album from them, since I also enjoy very much Fires at Midnight and the Village Lantern. I'll have to revisit them to decide.

bnelso55
May 13th 2015


1445 Comments


Good job on the review! pos,d. This band seems like they should appeal to me, but I haven't liked any of their music that I've heard. I don't think I've heard anything from this album though. Would you say this is their best?

manosg
Emeritus
May 13th 2015


12708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Village Lantern is very good too, agreed.

deslad
May 13th 2015


645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you bnelso! This is definitely one of their top three and some of their most known tracks are on this album, so I would start with that.



@manos: Such a great album and does not even have a review!

bnelso55
May 13th 2015


1445 Comments


Thanks. I'll give it a go.

deslad
May 13th 2015


645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great man, tell me how you liked it.

linguist2011
May 13th 2015


2656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"The album contains many traditional tracks one of the most characteristics being"



For me this sentence would flow better with a comma, between 'tracks' and 'one'. Also, put an adjective after "most"-maybe 'compelling' or 'interesting'-to work with 'characteristics'.



"Furthermore, there are a few instrumental songs on this album as well"



Cut either 'Furthermore' or 'as well' here-One or the other does the job fine.



Apart from those two things, it's a great review of a great album, especially for your first.

deslad
May 14th 2015


645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you linguist for your recommendations and I am glad you enjoyed the review!

rockandmetaljunkie
July 15th 2016


9620 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Possum Goes to Prague is a fantastic instrumental. Blackmore's skills are unmatched on electric as well as on acoustic guitars.

manosg
Emeritus
September 14th 2016


12708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely. He just adds another dimension with his playing.

Itsonlyme
August 18th 2017


127 Comments


Nice review (and, in the vein of the music: polite! - and that is a compliment). For my taste Blackmore's Night is too smooth, too polished, too secure. But: Ritchie Blackmore is my all time favorite guitar player! pos'd!

deslad
September 3rd 2017


645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the positive vote and your kind words Itsonlyme! Ritchie is my favourite guitar players as well.



Subjectively speaking, indeed Blackmore's Night produces a rather polished and smooth sound. However, I have a soft spot for this band and I really enjoy that music genre.



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