Ritchie Blackmore is a staple in rock music’s vast history and along with his involvement in acts like DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW, the guitarist is most praised for his incredible songwriting. Formed in 1997, BLACKMORE’S NIGHT has been another outlet for him, leaving the world of rock music behind, BLACKMORE’S NIGHT (which features his partner Candice Night on vocals), has combined pop, rock music, and renaissance sounds masterfully. The duo have released a brand new album, “Nature’s Light,” on March 12th, 2021, via earMUSIC.
The duo’s eleventh studio effort opens up with the incredible “Once Upon December,” a wintry track that explores hauntingly beautiful folk melodies. While the arrangements are incredibly beautiful, it’s Night‘s voice that is the most powerful in this track, as the song feels as if she is telling a story. “Four Winds” continues in a similar manner, although it loses the storytelling aspect a little bit in the lyrics and in general, feels a tiny bit more poppy perhaps.
The more folky “Feather in the Wind” takes a bit of a turn, focusing more on rhythm, while still maintaining that core BLACKMORE’S NIGHT sound. After the first chorus, Night focuses on atmospheric vocals which truly lift up the vibes in this song to the maximum. The versatility of this album is underlined with “Darker Shade of Black,” which starts off with dark organs and bass. It then transitions into a beautiful instrumental ballad with a beautiful violin melody along with eerie atmospheric vocals. As it progresses, the song turns out to be one of the many highlights of this record, it gets stronger and more anthemic by the minute and in the end, might even surprise Blackmore‘s more rock-oriented fan base, as the guitarist inserts some well-executed solo work.
The album then takes a turn again with the waltz, “The Twisted Oak,” which is simply a beautiful folk song. The cinematic title track’s intro feels as if the king and queen of a country far, far away have come to town and are welcomed by a group of plebeians all trying to get a glimpse of them. While “The Twisted Oak” focused more on singing a story, the story is told here by the many instruments and beautiful folk melodies that sound vaguely familiar. The instrumental “Der Letzte Musketier,” focuses more on a bluesy sound, which refers again to Blackmore‘s history as a famous hard rock guitarist. The track fades out and we’re welcomed by the emotional song “Wish You Were Here – 2021,” a song that could be the soundtrack to COVID-19 times where we have to miss out on so many things and so many people.
If we’re talking about soundtracks, “Going to the Faire,” reminds me a bit of Ted Mosby of the TV-hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, visiting renaissance fairs. The song is a fun change after the emotional lament and ends on a more positive note. Finally, BLACKMORE’S NIGHT wrap up their album with the midtempo “Second Element,” a light poppy track to end the album with incredible force.
In conclusion, “Nature’s Light” is a fun album that has the power to brighten up the dark days that we are living in right now. There are plenty of great momemts for both musicians, but most memorable are of course the narrative-infused vocal delivery by Candice Night and the guitar wizardry by Ritchie Blackmore. Even though these songs don’t really call for that DEEP PURPLE-esque sound, there are plenty of moments that are blues-infused and where the legend plays excelling solos, but they never override the sound of BLACKMORE’S NIGHT. Altogether, “Nature’s Light” is an incredibly versatile album that will warm even the darkest of hearts.
01. Once Upon December
02. Four Winds
03. Feather In The End
04. Darker Shade of Black (instrumental)
05. The Twisted Oak
06. Nature’s Light
07. Der Letzte Musketier (instrumental)
08. Wish You Were Here (2021)
09. Going To The Faire
10. Second Element
Ritchie Blackmore – guitars, mandolin, domra, hurdy-gurdy
Candice Night – vocals, chanter, cornamuse, shawm, rauschpfeife, tambourine