What ever way you look at 2020 it’s been a tough one and if ever we’re all in need of some festive cheer then this year is that moment.
Five years on from their last studio release, ‘All Our Yesterdays’, and ahead of their eleventh studio album ‘Nature’s Light’ that is due to land next spring Blackmore’s Night come forth bearing musical gifts of the season.
Returning to the fold, with their festive four-tracker ‘Here We Come A-Caroling’, Blackmore’s Night – fronted by one-time rock god Ritchie Blackmore and talented songstress Candice Night – are set to bring some traditional renaissance folk flavoured rejoicing to one and all.
The EP opens with the title track ‘Here We Come A-Caroling’; a traditional carol, written circa 1850, that Blackmore’s Night have given a reworking that evokes images of Mike Oldfield at his best. Blackmore’s acoustic efforts work so well in partnership with Night’s crystal clear diamond voice that is so reminiscent of Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior.
Next up is a wonderful two-minute soulful recapitulate of Edmund Sear’s 1849 poem and carol ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’ with Night’s stunning vocal talents to the fore; the world should be still to hear this angel sing.
A most sympathetic rendition of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ follows with Blackmore’s six-string acoustic intro’ing stylishly before Night takes the front of stage in a heavenly manner.
Matters are concluded by saving the very best, in my book, to the last. Composed in 1818 ‘Silent Night’ was, remarkably, declared by UNESCO an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011.
By far it is my favourite carol and Blackmore’s Nights emotive interpretation does the song absolute justice. Night’s haunting vocal intro will get the hairs on the back of the neck standing for sure.
A few years ago I had the absolute privilege of listening to the choir of Ripon Cathedral sing this carol in practice; Blackmore’s Night have equaled this spine-tingling experience.
This traditional seasonal delight, to be released on 4th December, via earMUSIC, on limited edition 10” green vinyl, limited edition CD Digipak and digital.
Blackmore’s Night brand new EP “Here We Come A-Caroling” includes 4 festive tracks and will become available December 4th, 2020, on Limited Edition 10” Translucent Green Vinyl as well as a Limited Edition CD Digipak and Digital. You can pre-order it here: https://blackmoresnight.lnk.to/caroling
Review by Gary Spiller for MPM