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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing blend of all that has come before...
If you are a Blackmore's Night fan, you will not want to miss this album.

Firstly, the sound of this album seems to be a combination of the previous ones ~ I can hear elements of all 5 other studio albums, and I mean that in a very good way. There is a 'darkness' to it ~ a mix of "Shadow of the Moon" and "Village Lanterne" (especially a flavour of 'Child In...
Published on 1 July 2008 by Kathryn Sinclair

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Enough
Good stuff to listen to while going up in an elevator or sitting at the dentist with just a couple of eyebrow raising moments.The first eyebrow raising moment was just how good "Locked Within The Crystal Ball" is and the second one was just how badly they`ve mangled "Rainbow Eyes".All the rest of the tracks sound like they`ve came from a Robin Hood film.

Ok i...
Published on 18 Mar 2009 by D. Burkinshaw


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing blend of all that has come before..., 1 July 2008
By 
Kathryn Sinclair (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
If you are a Blackmore's Night fan, you will not want to miss this album.

Firstly, the sound of this album seems to be a combination of the previous ones ~ I can hear elements of all 5 other studio albums, and I mean that in a very good way. There is a 'darkness' to it ~ a mix of "Shadow of the Moon" and "Village Lanterne" (especially a flavour of 'Child In Time').

Some of the songs on this album seem more introspective and 'deep' in places ~ Candice has come back to earlier themes with her lyrics, but it is as though she is looking at these subjects from a different perspective.

God Bless the Keg :
It starts off with a harpsichord sound, and seems rather 'French Revolution' in tone, and then the rest of the orchestration comes in. Just when you think it is finished, you are left with this beautiful, dark, deep organ (reminds me of Bach), and there's also what appears to be Gregorian chanting right at the end. Track 1 runs straight into track 2 ~

Locked Within the Crystal Ball :
A wonderfully powerful song {just over 8 minutes long} ~ I can almost picture that ship from the front cover being tossed on the waves, hear the thunder and see the lightning! The sound is rather like 'Just Call My Name' and 'I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore', because of the drums. There are two slightly lighter instrumental breaks, the first one reminds me rather of 1980's era Clannad... until Ritchie's guitar comes back in! And the second one is much more renaissance in style ~ *very* nice. Another nice little touch is that the lyrics very briefly reference track 7 : 'The Circle'.

Gilded Cage :
Similar in style to both 'No Second Chance', 'Castles and Dreams', and, slightly, 'Ghost of a Rose'. Lots of lovely violin on this one :)

Toast to Tomorrow :
A cross between Mary Hopkin's 'Those Were the Days', and a Jewish wedding! Oh, and 'Home Again'! Very much like a German drinking song ~ the sort of thing to get everyone clapping and singing along. Thankfully, it's much more 'All For One' than 'Olde Mill Inn' {I'm afraid I just couldn't stand 'Olde Mill Inn'}.

Prince Waldecks Galliard :
A lovely instrumental. I can only describe it as a blend of these previous pieces, but also with something unique about it : 'Minstrel Hall', 'Memmingen', 'Fayre Thee Well', 'Village Dance'.

Rainbow Eyes :
I hadn't gotten around to listening to the original, but because of the let-down I felt when I heard the original of 'Sixteenth Century Greensleeves' AFTER hearing BN's amazing live cover {on "Past Times with Good Company"}, I thought I'd better hear it first.
Okay. The original is *GLORIOUS*! That guitar work! That vocal! That flute! You can clearly see {hear?!} the direction Ritchie was destined to head in...
Now, the BN version...
Well, they've given it a more 'rock' sound, but they are using a nice renaissance style drum for the beat, so it is more in their 'folky' style.
Another one with a hint of 'No Second Chance', and a dash of 'Way to Mandalay'. It is beautiful (though the original is still outstanding) ~ I'm sure Rainbow fans won't be disappointed with it :)

The Circle :
The lyrics to this are very inspiring. A very nice bass-line, lots of chanter and {possibly} hurdy-gurdy. There's a hint of 'Under A Violet Moon' and '25 Years' in there, and 'Way to Mandalay' and 'Cartouche'. And maybe a little hint of that 'sway' from 'Village on the Sand'!
This is one of those 'introspective' songs I was refering to...

Sister Gypsy :
Slightly similar to 'Ocean Gypsy' {which was a cover of a Renaissance [Annie Haslam's band] song}, and rather like 'Renaissance Fair'. The drum-beat and tambourine is rather like in their version of 'The Times They Are A'Changin''.

Can't Help Falling In Love :
Despite what some other reviewers have said, I think Elvis would approve!
Very much a 'rock' interpretation, but it sounds so good! Though I can't think of any of their previous songs that this reminds me of...
The band say this cover came about when they were having a sing-song in the pub!

Peasants Promise :
This opens with a beautiful acoustic guitar, and a vocal that reminds me a
little of 'Faerie Queen'. It's an acoustic song, but quite busy ~ it's very renaissance / medieval in sound. If you've got {and I hope you have!} the b-side track 'Sake of Song' {from the 'The Times They Are A'Changin'' single}, it's a *little* like that. They've used a renaissance drum (which sounds a bit like good bodhran playing), violin, chanters, mandolin, shawms, tambourine, and various other similar instruments. It's very addictive, and very much a song to lift the spirits and get everyone dancing :)

Far Far Away :
A similar sound to 'Be Mine Tonight', crossed with 'Castles and Dreams'. This is one of those songs to just lay-back and drift-away with...

Empty Words :
This one has a slight similarity to 'Waiting Just For You', and 'Once in a Million Years'. A very nice song to end with...

Although a few of the tracks on this album could certainly be described as 'weaker' (particularly the last two), they are still good, and for me this is the only BN album other than "Ghost of a Rose" where I can honestly say I like (though not 'love') every song. I will be critical and admit that it is not their best album, but there are 5 excellent tracks (1, 2, 6, 7, 10) which make it well worth buying (and merit the 5 stars!).

I only hope Candice and Ritchie will soon be giving us a few b-sides or live performances {or both} to go with it...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is a Ritchie Blackmore side project overdue?, 13 Sep 2010
By 
This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
Having been a Ritchie Blackmore fan from the early seventies until he quit the rock genre in the mid-nineties, I tried and failed to appreciate the early Blackmore's Night stuff and whilst Candice Night's vocals added something special to the music, I just didn't get it; until now. It was way too big a departure from what I was used to hearing from the guitar maestro.
I spent the nineties and noughties listening to melodic rock music, particularly European power rock bands such as Delain, Sonata Arctica, Edguy, Masterplan, Nightwish etc and I came across Candice Night again after hearing her superb duet with Helloween on their power rock ballad `Light The Universe'.
An internet search brought me to the video of Locked Within The Crystal Ball and after saying `wow' a few times I went straight onto Amazon to immediately buy Secret Voyage. Their superb version of Bob Dylan's The Times They Are a Changing on the Fires At Midnight album led me to buying all of their albums and there's quite a few gems amongst the otherwise strange mix of styles they load onto their cd's.
Secret Voyage is again an eclectic offering and quite limited from a rock viewpoint as there's only two songs you could call anywhere near rock and one of those is an Elvis cover that's pretty well done.
On a song by song basis they are all excellent individually but I can't fit the album into any specific genre as the pop-rock stuff isn't `renaissance' or `new-world/age' and the harking back to essentially barbaric medieval times as if they were good days doesn't match up with the pop-rock.
The fact Ritchie still occasionally writes in a rock style leaves me with some hope that he'll maybe one day give his millions of abandoned rock fans a full-on rock album as a side project without leaving what he has created with Candice Night.
Anyway here's some comments on each song;
1. God save The Keg; a good instrumental intro and also the same melody as the last song Empty Words.
2. Locked Within The Crystal Ball; Brilliant pop-rock and by far the best song on the album. At 8 minutes long I'm always left wishing it went on for another 8 minutes.
3. Gilded Cage; First of the excellent ballads with good acoustic guitar work.
4. Toast To Tomorrow; Russian folk-dance style pub sing-a-long. I can picture the Wurzels adding this to their set if they're still alive.
5. Prince Waldeck's Galliard; Excellent short classical guitar instrumental piece which Ritchie was always brilliant at.
6. Rainbow Eyes; The best of the ballads having the melodic rock slide guitar filling between vocals and there's an impressive solo. I love it when he picks up that Stratocaster!
7. The Circle; Thought this was going to be a return to the bag-pipey folk sound but builds nicely to a crescendo and Candice giving it large on the vocals. The vocal harmonies are particularly impressive. There's a good eastern flavour to the middle and the Strat appears again here to push it into a nice rock guitar section up the end.
8. Sister Gypsy; Someone probably said "aren't we supposed to be a renaissance band?' which resulted in this ¾ time old fashioned waltz. Way out of place.
9. Can't Help Falling In Love; Elvis Presley ballad rocked up and which really shows Candice's under-used rock credentials. And a cracking guitar solo with Ritchie switching those pickups all over the place. Fantastic!
10. Peasant's Promise: Ah, back to the folk genre. A bit of acoustic guitar gymnastics to start it off and then it's into an eastern influenced style on the drums. All really well done.
11. Far Far Away; Back to the ¾ beat old time waltz for a nice song that my mother would love. Still a nice tune that builds vocally and with good string accompaniment.
12. Empty Words; It felt familiar and it was only when I put the cd on to play again that I realised it was the same melody as the God Save The Keg intro with vocals. A nice end to the album.
Despite my earlier whingeing about a lack of rock guitar, this is really an incredible album, full of technically proficient musicianship that is made to sound simple. Candice Night's voice added to all of this makes this what I now think of as one of my all-time favourite albums.
I'm now not sure about the new album Autumn Sky though....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One little mistake, but still matchless, 11 Jun 2010
This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
If you listen to all the Blackmore's Night albums you can hear a steady progression, greater sophistication, greater confidence and a growing surety of purpose. But what I haven't seen anyone else mention is the growth in Candice's voice. The mature power of her voice in this album is streets ahead of the first two albums, especially the weak Under a Voilet Moon. Secret Voyage is pure quality, though like a diamond, it has one flaw: that dreadful Elvis crap. The covers on BN albums are all a bit of risk but this is the only one that falls flat on its face. For listeners new to BN this would be a great first album to buy (just a little ahead of Ghost of a Rose and Village Lanterne). When's the next album coming? (Though you try buying it in the UK High Street - no chance!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blackmores Fantastic Night., 9 Jun 2011
By 
Barry (Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
I am a long standing fan of Deep Purple and Richies Rainbow ,in fact everthing I own is Rock .This is the very first (Cd) I have ever purchased or ever heard of ,
Blackmores Night .This album is absolutelly BRILLIANT ,since I bought this its never been out of my (Cd) player ,Candice's vocals are lovely to listen too and shes's gorgeous too,( YOU LUCKY MAN SIR BLACKMORE!)I am now a Fan and will be buying everthing on (Cd) and (dvd)of Blackmores Night ,they have opened a whole new world for me ,Candice brings tears to my eyes when I listen to the music ,Richie has always been a brilliant guitar player ,This album is a superb piece of work,
I can only review this album ,as at the moment its all I have of 'Blackmores Night,
So I recommend this most highly ,I have a lot of catching up to do ,BUY IT YOU WONT REGRET ,Thanks Richie and Candice ,love you both ,from a new Fan .Kind regards Barry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... a new artist and are swept up in their amazing music. I'm so glad I discovered Blackmore's night, 20 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Secret Voyage (MP3 Download)
Every now and then you stumble upon a new artist and are swept up in their amazing music. I'm so glad I discovered Blackmore's night. The best description I can come up with for them is 'folky rock' - songs that you could imagine being sung in some inn or round a campfire, yet with a great blend of instruments. My favourites were 'God save the keg', 'Locked within the Crystal Ball', 'A Toast to Tomorrow', 'The Circle', and 'The Peasant's Promise.' With the exception of the first (which I could visualise walking down the aisle to ;) ), these songs are lively, powerful ones that are guaranteed to get you dancing.
A great album for a very cheap price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Great, 6 Sep 2010
By 
K. M. Smith "gpaudit" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
We absolutely love this group they are fantastic, the music is so different to what Ritchie Blackmore has produced in the past. We love a whole range of music mainly rock but these are fantastic and create some fab albums and are great live. Would definately recommend a listen and be prepared for something special.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another lovely CD from Blackmore's Night, 7 July 2014
By 
RJP the Book Boy "Book boy" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
Another nice easy listening CD from Balckmore's Night. Lots of excellent singing and playing. I am so glad I discovered this band while searching on YouTube.
If you like well produced, catchy and well played easy listening music then Blackmore's Night is well worth a look.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic voyage, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
I've listened to Blackmore's Night snippets many time, and now decided to collect them all. I admire Ritchie Blackmore, his unique talent, musical visions and feels. I adore Candice' wonderful vocals which has similarities with ABBA's Agnetha and Anni-Frid, and then some Stevie Nicks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful working, 12 Mar 2013
By 
S. Allison (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
Bought this a while back and guess I wasn't in the mood to hear it at its best- but having taken the time its shown itself to be a quite remarkable and inspired album (as other reviewers have stated the inclusion of the 'Elvis song' is a little ropey but not worth taking a star off for - its a crafted guitar solo- but probably best kept for live shows). However in an age of Xfactor-oke tribute bands retreading past glories, Mr Blackmore's current approach (albeit many albums now) is fresh, brave, unique and quality. One past glory brilliantly reinterpreted here is 'Rainbow eyes' with a glorious slide tone - sadly we'll never see a duet with Ronnie but it suits the singer perfectly. I've grown to love John Renbourn's LP over the years and some of the instrumentals show the versatility of Blackmore in a similar vein.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical, magical awesome guitar playing, 16 Feb 2013
By 
Foxi Rosie (South Coast, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Voyage (Audio CD)
This album and band are about more than music, they're food for the soul. New age/indie rock with a difference.
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