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Metal: Made in Japan - 100%

Ritchie Black Iommi, February 20th, 2012

Legend says that, during the finale of Child in Time's performance, a man decided to take his own life. There are two possible interpretations for this: He felt shame while he was listening crappy music or the exact opposite, he felt that after this, nothing could reach such a level of gorgeousness. My guess is that probably it's about the second option.

But, seriously talking, the point is this: what makes this album so bright, great and landmarker of what would come next in staging?

It's a difficult question and I won't refute the possibility that perhaps there is no good answer for it. And when there is no answer for explaining an event, yes, this thing is in the supernatural territories. Likewise, Made in Japan by that monstrous band, pioneer of metal music (alongside Black Sabbath), known as Deep Purple, is a record beyond human understanding. The only thing for sure is that nothing in the newborn world of heavy metal would be the same after this. If you have any doubt about DP and his belongings in the Metal Archives, this albun alone should fade them away. Those five classic-virtuoso guys planted the seed of the genre and gave the genetic information for the future generations to come. BS and DP sounded metal/protometal in their studios, but guys from Deep Purple had a plus: they were heavy metal PERFORMERS.

What would be heavy metal without melting away all the strings of the guitar? Pumping the keyboard til it breaks? Singing in every possible range available for the human throat? Firescorching the bass and the drums til everything burns out? A paradoxic answer would be... ┬┐hard rock?. Yeah. That's the difference between those genres (besides of the sound, riffing and beating style, of course). You cannot be a heavy metal band without being a gigantic force over the stage. While that overrated pop-rock band known as Led Zeppelin believed that they were the wise masters of the cosmic beyond and were doing stupid things in stage (that can be noted in DVD's and with the exception of John Bonham, who was a brilliant player) magnified by massive propaganda by people who knows nothing about metal, Tony Iommi started to figure out that Black Sabbath needed to improve their metal performances on stage (around 1973... ┬┐coincidence?) and figured out, slowly, that Ozzy Osbourne was not the guy for that.

But anyway, let's talk about magic, that would be Made in Japan.

The opening is so speed/power metal. Highway Star melt the irons and bangs every head around. Gillan singing was at his best ever. Nothing was impossible for him. The String Sorcerer alongside Maestro Lord was able to drive insane every people around only by playing a single note on his instrument. Paice and Glover reached the climax in the collaborative endeavor of providing the beat and rythm. Same happens with epic/progressive number known as Child in Time. Gillan slashes, Blackmore slashes, Lord Slashes, Paice and Glover slashes. Period.

The most known version of the most known riff in the history of metal (and even rock music) is from this album and even there we can listen to Blackmore trying to improvisate something. But this version of Smoke on the Water has some extra points by the keyboarding of Lord, which goes beyond usual reach. Is brilliant.

The Mule is from the underrated studio album Fireball. And, let's say, is one of the masterpieces of DP, specially if we can get some live performances like in Made in Japan. Ian Paice evolves to the metal god level (actually, all guys from DP MK II are metal gods) with such an inspired drumming. If you like to beat the hollows, listen to this. It might change your life. Strange Kind of Woman is always a blessing. Blackmore and Gillan have an ironic guitar-vocal battle there to be forever reminded. I love that song, actually.

Then Lazy and Space Truckin' to close the first part. Both are masterpieces from Machine Head (that means they are very known) and besides their known qualities, they give us a couple of beautiful and unforgettable improvisations and jams.

But when you were starting to think that nothing could be better than this, DP gives us the encores! Black Night, Speed King and a huge cover of Al Collins's Lucille. Dude, this is pure magic. Is impossible to know how they did it, what was into Blackmore, Lord, Paice, Glover and Gillan for doing such a masterpiece. There is no answer for this album. It's simply a masterpiece. Have it or die, dude.