Fires at Midnight
This was the first Blackmore's Night album I picked up based solely on Ritchie's previous work and the stuff I had downloaded from the band. Folk metal is really the only way to describe this band if there was such a thing as folk metal. As with all BN albums this album is half rocker, half medieval instrumental, with some covers thrown in to round it out.
Again, the really medieval stuff is fun to listen to every once in a while, but they really arent anything to write home about. The real strenghts of this album are the two sappy romantic songs and the uptempo fiddle boogie The Storm. The first romantic song, I Still Remember (aka my Yahoo Mah Jongg Solitaire jam) captures what Ritchie does best, writing songs about exgirlfirends (see any song by Rainbow). It combines a haunting guitar line with a hurdy gurdy rhythm section to make for something unique. If All Because of You--the other romantic song--had been released sometime in the mid eighties, it probably would have been a chart topper. Ironically the song did get some radio play, but only as a adult contemporary remix that deleted most of Ritchie's guitar work, most notably the little solo after the 2nd chorus that actually continues through to the end of the song, much like Chris DeGarmo's solo in Another Rainy Night. The Storm is just a fun little folkrock romp that shows of Ritchie's prowess with the acoustic guitar.
The covers on this album arent really anything special, Bob Dylan's Times They Are A Changin' gets morphed into a renassaince festival ballad. Nothing too exciting. Fires at Midnight is just a medieval folky song by a different European folk band.
Of course if you can get through the off key clunker Again Someday, you'll be treated to somehting Sara and I christened "the Fraggle Rock song." Sake of Song is a neat little ditty, that if you listen to it, and were born sometime between 1978 and 1984 you will immediately connect it with the Jim Henson kids show.