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Can you Believe This?? - 98%

Ritchie Black Iommi, May 11th, 2012

No matter how many times you listen to this, there isn't anyway to feel boredom or melancholy. As a matter of fact, Rainbow Rising is one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) album ever made in the history of heavy metal. There is nothing that can reach such a virtuoso and technical atmosphere without entering in the pretentious world (i.e. Dream Theater or the late Rush) being at the same time catchy and ponderous. Yes, this is it, the cumma sum laude moment of Ritchie Blackmore, maybe the most talented guitar player of the heavy metal world, the moment where he finally realized the full power and energy he could produce from a music band. With Ronnie James Dio (say no more) and Cozy Powell on the drums, there isn't absolutely nothing to complain here, only loving and tenderness can be the feelings towards this piece of magic.

The opening theme for "Tarot Woman", that dreamy atmospheric keyboarding that leads us slowly into the universe of Rainbow, is beyond reach. Not even Jon Lord's rubato theme for Knocking at your Back Door, nor any other keyboarding intro from whoever you want to name can do the thing this intro does. And when this slowly fades away, giving place to that very known Fender Strat, well, we are simply witnessing the rise of a major force, something beyond reach, beyond imagination. Cozy, as usual, delivers the best and Ronnie James Dio, the most loved vocalist in the metal realm shoot us with one of his finest performances ever. (And, to make this clear, we have a technical draw between this song and the next five ones from this same album, because in Rainbow Rising, Dio shows us why he is the total god of metal singing). Can you believe this?

Just after that witchcraft made by Blackmore and colleagues, we get a near-4 minute epic. Can you believe this? A kinda-short epic? Yes, and bloody hell it is a good one. I'm talking about "Run With the Wolf". Traditional metal with a touch of doom and the lyrics are moody and totally medieval with the most of the simplicity, Blackmore and crew roll it away while Dio slashes us with his unique voice. Another masterpiece.

The usual heavy bluesy formula by Ritchie has place here once more. "Starstruck" has a funny chorus, easy lyrics and maybe one of the most lick-y and aggressive riffs by Blackmore. A high score here for Cozy, who blasts it all away "metallizing" the song with his drumming. Then, we receive the catchy and more friendly sound of "Do You Close Your Eyes", even if may sound weak in the whole album, it never gets pale and actually, is a nice way to prepare us all for the cataclysmic rage that's about to come. An enjoyable filler, there is not much to say about it.

Cozy Powell, one of the pioneers in modern metal drumming, gives us a powerful solo which prepares us for the coming thunder. An outrageous headcutter and from-beyond riff by the String Sorcerer (though with some similarities with the one featured in Deep Purple's Stormbringer) mixed with the bass lines and the keyboard-filling chords provides the field for another out-of-Earth song by Rainbow with Dio swallowing and dropping everything away like the vortex of a tornado. "Stargazer", with its lyrical theme shaped in medieval moods, is an eight-minute asskicker, the song that every metal band would have liked to compose. Heavy-doom-power, you name it. A major piece in the history of the genre. Can you believe this?

And if you thought that was it, babe, the greatest closer song of all times reaches your ears and propels them to another galaxy once more - "A Light in the Black". Ritchie Blackmore, oh my sweet lord, with his magic fingers can do the impossible without doing impossible things. The main riff for the song is not quite difficult but in the same time has such a tremendous power and feeling that you can only sigh and admit that this guy is a total guitar god. And let's not even talk about Blackmore's complexity when we are in the soloing moment. Cozy is gorgeous once again, as well as the rest of the band and, oh Dio, the vocals are fresh, powerful, slashing and totally metal. Another epic masterpiece in the same album, can you believe this?

Yes, you may have noticed. There is a great question in here. Can you believe this? Can you believe in such a brilliancy in the same place? Yeah, of course, only six songs. That's why I can't give the perfect rating for this record. It leaves you craving for more. But believe me, young metalhead, these six songs are more worthy than the whole discography by, say, Metallica. Do I believe this is the finest album in the history of heavy metal? My answer would be that, at least, it's in the top five ever. Even the art of the album is so majestic and mighty, so there is nothing you can do about it. If you don't like this thing maybe you should enter in YouTube and look for Justin Bieber's highlighted videos. You are not worthy of the Rainbow Rising!