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on 14 September 2010
If you don't know Blackmore's Night it is a band formed by former Deep Purple guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, and his wife Candice Night. Along with an ever changing line up of `minstrels' they play renaissance style music, and when playing live they perform in period costume at castles and the like. Very popular in Germany and surrounds which can offer a range of that style of venue, and is an excellent evening's entertainment. They have a formula, and as per the old adage - `If it ain't broke, don't fix it.', so this latest release is very similar to all of their others, and I for one applaud them for it.

Autumn Sky is a mix of traditional and self penned numbers, vocal and instrumental, with a couple from outside writers, which while good, are the weaker tracks on the album.

For some reason Europe and the US have different cover art work. The US got the better deal.

If you know and like the band's previous work it is more of the same. If you are new to Blackmore's Night this album is typical and as good a start point as any. Highly recommended.

Track by track for those looking for more detail.

Highland - Not the best choice of opener as it is the weakest on the album. One of those by outside writers. Over produced and what sounds like a drum machine. No, they wouldn't, would they?

Vagabond (Make A Princess Of Me) - Intro very similar to Purple's - Soldier Of Fortune. Goes into a lilting hypnotic piece and it is not just the lyrics that make it sound a bit like their song Queen For A Day.

Journeyman (Vandraren)- If this is not a drum machine then Squire Malcolm Of Lumley and the techs need to do something to stop it sounding like one. Features Ritchie's signature electric guitar tone. English lyrics by Candice Night but for some reason not included in CD booklet.

Believe In Me - self penned slow number, acoustic to electric as song goes on. Maddeningly familiar melody to the start of the chorus, but at time of writing can't place. Anyone help?*** Only quibble is that Ms Night at times sounds as if she has been taking elocution lessons to hide her native American accent behind posh English. The same is true a few times throughout the album and she is better without it.

Sake Of The Song - Another Blackmore/Night composition, mid tempo good guitar work as always. In concert I am sure the title line will be one for the crowd to shout out. This segues into...

Song And Dance (Pt II) - Full pomp instrumental version of above, booming drums and various pipes a bit like a fast Irish march.

Celluloid Heroes - The old Ray Davies/Kinks song. Good song done well, but just out of place with the other material, even if you are old enough to remember all of the people mentioned.

Keeper Of The Flame - Self penned up tempo, all the elements those familiar with the band will know, even one of Ritchie's favourite licks. A crowd pleaser.

Night At Eggersberg - One of Ritchie's `solo' gentle acoustic guitar pieces. I love them.

Strawberry Girl - Acoustic waltz time, lyrics of fields, meadows and sunshine.

All The Fun Of The Fayre - Up tempo, the instrumental section has a Middle Eastern feel which would be at home played on an oud. Another crowd pleaser with a space for them to shout Oy Oy. If you've seen the concerts you'll understand.

Darkness - A traditional song. Flutes and acoustic guitars. An unusually prominent male harmony vocal with Candice, and her own voice double tracked. Segues into ...

Dance Of The Darkness - Instrumental version of above, shawms prominent and the big drum sound again. Good electric guitar and a chance for the bassist to show his stuff, again no doubt with live performance in mind.

Health To The Company - With such a title I was expecting a rousing drinking song and was surprised to find a slow reflective acoustic piece. Traditional song but lyrically similar to Dandelion Wine from the Ghost Of A Rose album.

Barbara Allen - Traditional song but with an arrangement that builds up. This is the one song where the `elocution lesson' accent should have been used but wasn't.

*** Solved. It is The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern
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on 28 March 2016
Old country music at it's best Truly not to be missed... folk songs to please many tastes
young and old alike
Sorry but I am paying this album as I type this review and my mind is on traveling fairs
carnivals and gypsy caravans of old
Such wonderful music I can play Blackmore's Night album's all day long and not get fed up
one can truly chill out and relax to there sweet music just fantastic

It's truly got that touch of traveling minstrels of medieval times and travelling gypsies of old...
Sweet music that dream's are made of about folklore's and old tales from the past with old country
music with Flutes mandolins tambourines and violins

Sorry but once you start playing this album it just takes you... It's just awesome...
I only wish I could give this album Ten Gold Stars so it gets the full Five from me

I think that Blackmore Night are tops for their medieval style music they will truly take some
thing to beat...
I only hope you get to enjoy this music as much as I do.... from
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on 17 December 2014
I've been listening to Blackmore's Night for a few years now and really like their stuff. However in my opinion this is one of their weaker offerings. It's very commercial but seems to be a bit derirative and recycled.
The first track Highland is very upbeat and a good foot tapping number but I have to say it sounds a bit like the final track of a movie soundtrack, the sort of movie with a happy ending where all the characters end up quaffing ale round a big table or dancing off into the distance. Celluloid Heroes is the sort of track they might play of asked to appear on a US chat show and immediately makes me hit the next button on the CD player,awful nauseating stuff.
The rest of the songs are ok but I have to say that some of the instrumental hooks and links seem to be exactly the same as on previous albums as do many of the tunes.
So all in all a good album to start with if you've never heard them before but you'd be better off with Ghost of a Rose or Secret Voyage.
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on 9 October 2010
well what can isay,probably the worst release of blackmores night since their first brilliant release,it gets slowly boring to here the same sound every album ,sorry does nothing for me,been a big fan since beginning but slowly the songs and music are getting a bit yawny,hopefully the tour will be better,and maybe bringing back the sisters of the moon would help.ok thats it sorry to all u hard fans who disagree, but blackmores night have become stale,and the recycling paper is nearly being used more then quo lol
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on 16 November 2011
I hate to give a poor review to this great band, but I don't think Ritchie and Candice really had their hearts in this album, distracted as they were by Candice's pregnancy. I read somewhere that it was mostly recorded by them alone in a tiny studio and that's exactly how it sounds. The comments by some about drum machines are almost certainly on target. Teamwork from great musicians is part of what BN is about and dropping the band is a bit short sighted. As for the songs, some of them are disappointingly repetitive, with little development or variation. It is almost as if Ritchie was working to a deadline and said "That'll do". Not good enough. The dearth of violins is a real mistake, and there's too much of the bagpipe-style sound (sorry don't know the name of the instruments). That said, the best tracks that I always play are Journeyman, Keeper of the flame (brilliant) and Health to the company, the last of which shows off Candice's mature voice, the meld of New England and olde England, and brings tears to my eyes. Sadly most of the rest is disposable. Never mind, onwards and upwards.
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on 8 September 2010
It's fair to say that Blackmore's Night are quite lucky. They have the option and ability to create the quietest of ballads, yet totally rock out when the mood takes them, a far cry from most other renaissance/folk inspired bands out there.

The Village Lantern & The Secret Voyage (their 2 previous albums), had notably harder rock sounds, but this seems more in vein with Ghost Of A Rose era where the music seemed more mainstream and lighthearted. Whether this is a good or bad thing I suppose depends on your view of this direction Ritchie Blackmore has taken.

Heavy or soft, makes no difference to me however. I have greatly enjoyed all their albums so far and this is no exception. It may be a little 'samey' in some instances (I feel I've heard songs like Vagabond many times before) but they are still enjoyable and pave the way for some interesting and satisfying songs such as Journyman and Highland.

Don't miss!

(I still prefer the American version of the album cover to the UK one thought.)
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on 11 January 2015
Blackmore's Night are an incredible band with other-worldly/-timely music & Candice Night has a beautiful voice. I love this band & if you like fantasy, or anything Celtic or medieval-themed, you may, too!
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on 10 January 2014
I've listened to Blackmore's Night snippets many times, 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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on 9 July 2011
My husband is a huge fan and was really looking forward to this album. Whilst there is nothing really wrong with it, it does not match up to previous albums. I have to agree with him. Only about three songs will make it on to the iPod. Come on - we want better next time!
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on 5 September 2011
I had got completely the wrong idea of Blackmore's Night, I always considered Ritchie Blackmore a bit of an eccentric! and when I heard of this project I got the impression of a group dressed in medieval costumes doing medieval music, this was'nt helped by a similar impression given by friends.

This was therefore definately not the sort of music a fan of Motorhead, Doro, Axel Rudi Pell, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, UDO etc might be expected to go out and buy.

Wrong! its nothing like Ritchie's Deep Purple and Rainbow stuff and is definately not a showcase for his guitar talents, but it really is very good music, I suppose it could be classed as 'soft rock'??!! It certainly has a medieval flavour to it.

Candice has a good strong voice, I'm sure I read somewhere she worked as road crew or backing singer for Rainbow, in fact the music is really more of a showcase for her voice.

Being a fan of Deep Purple and Rainbow I eventually bought this album out of curiosity, really expecting to listen to it once, think 'oh, so thats what Richie Blackmore's doing now' and never listen to it again! I was really surprised and impressed and bought secret voyage as well, its not my favorite music but its well up there and gets a fairly regular listen.
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