Blackmore's Night - Under A Violet Moon

Year of Release: 2002
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Catalog Number: 7241
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:00:00

Keith reviewed three titles in one review - Shadow Of The Moon, Under A Violet Moon (1999/2001), and Fires At Midnight; these are entered separately in the database and this is the first of the three. -ed.

I was introduced recently to Ritchie Blackmore's latest stroke of musical genius called Blackmore's Night. Their live album titled Past Times With Good Company is a 2 CD set that highlights all three of their studio albums. After hearing this fantastic and magical display of medieval rock-world music, I was destined to be under their spell. Of course, now I wanted hear all of the studio recordings! I put that out there in the universe and like a wish come true; I received all of the CDs in the mail. I felt it appropriate that I talk about all of these albums in one review, as I could not stop listening to this mesmerizing enchantment. With undeniable pleasure, I listened to all three albums in succession.

Although slight, there are some differences in each recording. The basic premise is to build upon a foundation that stems from a minstrel's point of view in a medieval setting that is set firmly within the music's makeup. Blackmore's guitar work is something special, but do not expect the super charged blues-rock guitar hero fireworks that you have been accustomed to hearing. An occasional flourish from the old Ritchie comes through to serve as a reminder of the old days when he was with Deep Purple and Rainbow, but don't get used to it. Get ready to become bewitched like you never have before by the multi-talented Candice Night with her silky smooth delivery (reminiscent of Stevie Nicks minus the hoarseness) whilst their band of merry men and women sing and dance with their instruments to make it a renaissance faire of musical delights. It is no wonder Ritchie fell in love with this woman, she is beautiful and talented with a voice that will make you melt like butter.

This music really does something special to me. It takes me back to another day giving me exhilaration and fond pleasures all in one single song. It is truly a magical thing that is beyond what words could possibly describe. Since I love all of this music without exception I am not going to discuss any particular song, I would like to talk about the music in its entirety. This is something that is an entity unto itself, more than musical. It is like a functioning unit that lives, breathes and grows inside itself, a self-perpetuating experience. This music is worthy of that type of description. All the elements of the genres that are present in these CDs blossom within this musical flower and it comes at you in different paces. Fast and highly energetic rollicking tunes or reflective passionate compositions that show a gentle and deep thoughtfulness and spirituality that is a rarity in today's commercialized music instantaneously bring you into a real world that once was. Think of medieval, world, rock, new age, middle-eastern, and a touch of the blues lingering around the edges and you have what this band's sound encompasses. For the band and their longtime fans the meaning of this music is a way of life, for the newly initiated like me it is a revelation to find such beauty and connection with music.

This is the most complex progressive music that Blackmore has ever played. It is an outstanding mixture of traditional folklore, rhythms and song with a modern infusion of guitar wizardry. Only someone of Blackmore's caliber would be able to handle such diversity and intricacy in a composition. If you look closely, the credits for each album will show you names that you may be familiar with and others that you are not, but soon will be. I want to bring your attention to the many talents of Mr. Blackmore and his lovely fianc?e Candice. Candice plays harp, penny whistle, shawm, and electric bagpipes while providing lead and background vocals. Ritchie plays acoustic and electric guitar, bass, mandolin, drums, and has a critical role as an arranger and producer of each album. This does not take into account all of the equally important additional talent that the wondrous couple has so intelligently put in place for support.

I highly recommend this music to all music fans and particularly to lovers of progressive rock. Take heed and listen to this music my friends, it is amazingly different and original.

Under A Violet Moon (4:23) / Castles And Dreams (3:33) / Past Times With Good Company (Henry VIII/Traditional) (3:24) / Morning Star (4:40) / Avalon (Traditional) (3:02) / Possum Goes To Prague (1:13) / Wind In The Willows (4:12) / Gone With The Wind (Traditional) (5:23) / Beyond The Sunset (3:44) / March The Heroes Home (4:39) / Spanish Nights (I Remember It Well) (Traditional) (5:22) / Catherine Howard's Fate (2:34) / Fool's Gold (3:31) / Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus (2:31) / Now and Then (3:11) / Self Portrait (3:18)

Ritchie Blackmore - bass, guitar, mandolin, arranger, drums, tambourine, producer
Candice Night - vocals, penny whistle
John Ford - bass, vocals, background vocals
Jeff Glixman - keyboards, producer, engineer
Joe James - string arrangements, pre-production
Jens Johansson - keyboards
Roy McDonald - keyboards, producer
Mark Pender - trumpet
Kevin Dunne - drums
Jost Pogrzeba - percussion
Thomas Roth - bagpipes, vocals
John Gould - background vocals
Miri Ben-Ari - violin
Mike 'Metal' Goldberg - drums, engineer
Scott Hazell - background vocals
Mick Cervino - bass
Jason Chapman - trumpet, flugelhorn
Peter Rooth - bass, engineer, drum programming
Des Geyer Schwarzer Haufen - bagpipes, vocals
Christof Heus - trumpet
Mrs. Heller -hurdygurdy
Mr. Heller - hurdygurdy

Shadow Of The Moon (1998)
Under A Violet Moon (1999)
Minstrels & Ballads (2001)
Fires At Midnight (2001)
Past Times With Good Company (2002/2003)
Ghost Of A Rose (2003)
Home Again (2003)
Beyond The Sunset (2005) (CD/DVD)
The Village Lanterne (Special Limited Edition) (2006)
Winter Carols (2006)
Paris Moon (2007)
Secret Voyage (2008)
Autumn Sky (2010)
A Knight In York (2012)

Castles & Dreams (DVD) (2005)
A Knight In York (DVD) (2012)

Genre: Progressive Folk

Origin UK

Added: February 23rd 2003
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1183
Language: english


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