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Well, put the "tr00 Rainb0w" debate to one side for a minute. This can be seen as a continuation of what was done on Rising, as it is by far more consistant that the variety of styles on the debut and less commercial that the tat which followed it. A hark back to the debut is made in the form of Rainbow Eyes, a severely mellow song comparable to Catch The Rainbow in terms of being long, slow and severely mellow. A beautiful, emotive piece of music to some; a dull, wimpy pile of poo to others. Take your pick.
The other epic of this album is The Gates Of Babylon, which is definately more Rainbow's forte. Some classic keyboard/guitar experimentation (read: arty-farty effects) and severely atmospheric - think of something like Nomad by Iron Maiden for the Eastern feel. It's all here.
The rest of the songs are straightforward rockers with varying degrees of quality. The title track and Kill The King are generally regarded as favourites, and rightly so, for they are probably the most rousing and anthemic songs on the album. Lady Of The Lake and The Shed show Ronnie James Dio's apptitude for slippery, shifting lyrics that twist and turn with their rhymes. The former's outro and the latter's intro are, funnily enough, the highlights of each song. The Shed also shares are funky beat with L.A. Connection. This leaves Sensitive To Light, a cheery upbeat song which, in my opinion, is about the only bum song on the album. There is little in here to really stand out compared to the rest of the songs.
While perhaps more consistent than Rising, it generally lacks the soaring highlights of that album and its fantastic displays of musicianship (which is not to take away from the musicianship on this album). The keyboards are also a lot less prominent on this album, but where they are, they are made to count. Overall, definately worth a place in any Rainbow fan's collection.