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Rock 'n' roll preacher, not Sunday school teacher - 90%

jdmunyon, July 17th, 2015

While no song on this album can stand up to the title song on Burn (probably the greatest metal song from the 70s by any band), I probably like this album as much as Burn, just for different reasons. Whether Blackmore and Lord are running the show with the new guys just following along (Burn), or the new guys are taking the reigns and influencing Blackmore's near future decision to quit The Purple (Stormbringer), this band just simply makes interesting, varied music that needs to be heard and enjoyed by any fan of 70s heavy metal and hard rock.

This album has it all: aggressive songs (Stormbringer, Lady Double Dealer), introspective, soulful, melodic pieces (Love Don't Mean a Thing, Holy Man, Hold On), funky shit (You Can't Do It Right), and a soft ballad to close things off nicely (Soldier of Fortune). Hughes and Coverdale just have excellent voices on this album, often harmonizing for these amazing choruses (Hold On). It really just makes you want to sing along, even if you can't sing worth a damn. It must be admitted that Lord and Paice have a smaller presence on here than on Purple albums before, with Paice's drumming simply keeping time in many of the songs, and Lord really only shining on the title track, and particularly on High Ball Shooter, in the sense of having one of his amazing Hammond solos (think back to the end of Might Just Take Your Life on Burn, or the middle section of Flight of the Rat on In Rock). Otherwise, he blends into the background, often to the point of being hard to even particularly pick out. In the end it's just a tradeoff, and trust me, you'll enjoy a vocally-led, blues/soul/funk influenced, melodic, "soft" Purple just as much as the metal-pioneering Purple of albums before.

I listened to Come Taste the Band once, and it seemed as though Purple had moved too far away from what they were good at, and I recall an album filled with rather boring, plain rock songs. That is NOT the case on Stormbringer. Outside influences are used to perfectly compliment a somewhat "restrained" Purple sound, and it's just a fact that it produces nine amazing songs, all of which can be enjoyed, and all of which are worthy candidates to fit somewhere on a carrer-wide highlight reel for the band. It's a shame that Ritchie's loss of creative control on this album made him feel up to quitting the band, but this album shows that Purple had other amazing songwriters and contributors.

Check out Stormbringer right away. You'll love the title track if you love Burn, with it's aggressive lyrics, metal attitude, and slightly "cheesier" Lord textures that still sound badass. Then give yourself a little bit of time to let the rest of the album sink in. It may take a few listens, but this may very well end up as one of your favorite Purple albums. Check out the lyrics on the album too: equally introspective, soulful, and telling some interesting stories and ideas which, while not traditionally "metal", are still awesome.

"Stormbringer coming... TIME TO DIE!"