BLACKMORE’S CASTLE – A Tribute to Deep Purple & Rainbow, Volume II

BLACKMORE'S CASTLE - A Tribute to Deep Purple & Rainbow, Volume II


Lion Music
Release date: March 15, 2005

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The cover tune: that quirky rendition of some timeless gem given the breath of new life by different musicians; when one of your favorite bands pulls out a borrowed tune from their peers, you feel almost privy to their early beginnings. Watching Iron Maiden’s Behind The Iron Curtain, where the band ends up as guests at a Polish wedding and standing in on the wedding band’s gear playing “Smoke On The Water,” you feel a sense of intimacy as you realize that they (the band) too are fans.

Dream Theater have made it part of their repertoire to throw someone else’s song within their set list. Iron Maiden can almost certainly be counted on to release a cover tune as the B-side to their singles, and many artists have built their entire careers by remaking someone else’s songs. Ugly Kid Joe, for example, had Harry Chapin’s “Cats In The Cradle,” and Quite Riot scored their biggest singles with two Slade classics “C’mon Feel The Noise” and “Mama We’re All Crazy Now.”

In recent years, there seems to be a flood of cover albums released called “tributes.” The tribute album usually consists of many different bands coming together to pay homage to their favorite artist by re-recording their sacred works. Blackmore’s Castle, Volume II is just that sort of recording, only the focus is on one man, Ritchie Blackmore. Blackmore, if you don’t know, is the legendary guitar player who helped form two legendary Hard Rock outfits in Deep Purple and Rainbow.

With Lion Music releasing a second installment to the retrospective look at this Strat-slinging icon, there is a broadened look into the vast catalog of Blackmore’s works.

Not surprising on this disk are songs like “Stormbringer,” “Kill the King,” and “All Night Long” — all standards contributing to the legend of “The Man in Black” — but the inclusion of “Mary Long” and “Maybe I’m a Leo” really offer a glimpse at some of the deeper cuts originally overshadowed by the album’s more popular singles.

However, a funny thing happens on the way to the point of the album … it gets lost. What really ends up happening is an almost note-for-note rendition of the original songs played in a mere melancholy fashion. The focus seems to be who can sound more like the singer of the original; at some point on this cover-version you would almost swear Ian Gillian, Joe Lynn Turner, David Coverdale, and Graham Bonnet all dropped in to re-record their works. It becomes distracting and irrelevant all at the same time. If you wanted to hear the songs as originally intended, you could just listen to the original songs, right? The creative process stops when the tape starts on this collection of tunes, and you can’t help but think dollars drove this project and not a real passion to honor the amazing career of a man who brought the neo-classical melodic minor scale to the forefront of rock.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and you can be sure Ritchie Blackmore would be honored by this release, but you have to think the artist inside him would be disappointed at the lack of personality that any of these tracks present. This may work as an introduction to what Blackmore’s bands were about; but it in no way can this serve a replacement for those original albums. If you really want to pay tribute to Ritchie Blackmore, go out and buy those Deep Purple and Rainbow albums. You won’t be disappointed.

Tracklisting & Artists

  1. Domain – “Stormbringer”
  2. Michael Harris – “Lady of the Lake”
  3. Dogpound – “Mary Long”
  4. Orion Riders – “Burn”
  5. Daniel Flores and Friends – “I Surrender”
  6. Baltimoore – “Kill the King”
  7. Rolf Munkes/Gerald Kloos – “All Night Long”
  8. Man on Fire – “Maybe I’m Leo”
  9. Chris Catena – “Mistreated”
  10. House of Shakira – “Lady Starstruck”
  11. Takara – “Can’t Let You Go”
  12. Chris Heaven – “Soldier of Fortune”


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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