Sound — 7
This Album would stand as the last to feature the famous Mark II line-up. The material recorded here is quite interesting: very raw, wild, dark, progressive, bluesy, and almost heavy in some parts. To be more specific, I'll make a song per song review:
01.The Battle Rages On: the opening track. It holds some arabic riff inspiration by m.r Blackmore, and apocaliptic lyrics delivered by Gillan. It's surprinsingly effective. (9)
02.Lick It Up: a song that seems taken from the 70's. a solid main riff, and a catchy chorus. quite intrascendent for such an album. (6)
03.Anya: highlight from the album. The intro has a beatiful feel, and reafirms the classic Lord-Blackmore duo. a truly new classic that deserves recognition. (10)
04.Talk About Love: man, pure energy here!. classic purple at it's best. (8.5)
05.Time To Kill: about organising the time of life. well, there is not a lot to say about this one, but it's enjoyable after all. (7.5)
06.Ramshackle Man: another important Highlight. Each member gives a thunderous playing, over a bluesy feel. I really missed listening to Big Ian playing the harmonica, and singing as the young star he was. Marvellous. (10)
07.A Twist In The Tale: entertaining. About an unexpected "change in the story". This is one of the few songs where m.r Paice brights, as he's an experimented drummer, with almost no place to show his ability in this record. (8)
08.Nasty Piece Of Work: weird. Experimentation with voice sounds. the keyboard executes a very dark instrumentation. Blackmore is almost left aside from this one. it's strange to hear this in deep purple.lyrics are atrocious. (7)
09.Solitaire: it's possible to analyse this track as a synthesis of the whole album, as it contains many elements previously described: dark, heavy, and a touch of sadness. Lord is the main attraction here, but that's just a personal opinion. (8)
10.One Man's Meat: original riff, delivered by a flanger guitar sound. I don't understand why did they decide to make this the closing track, as it's a bit obvious the structure of this song: intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, solo. I guess they should have place this song in the middle. But it's not boring, anyway. (6.8)
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics deals with peace and war, survivance of human beings, mature aspects of life, society and their thoughts, and many more. Let's say Ian Gillan has historically been the hard rock's singer by excellence, and during that time, he was still in the top. Deep Purple never focused in depth around the lyrics, as the musical aspect is their speciality. another important point, is that Gillan reworked much of this stuff, as it was previously written by the infamous Joe Lynn Turner. I guess the music fits pretty well with the lyrics, and I couldn't expect less from my favourite band.
Overall Impression — 9
It's possible to compare this album with some of the 70's stuff, as the In Rock album, fireball, or even the glorious Machine Head. Anyway, frictions in the band during the time of the recording where evident. The album tittle might be an ironic way of showing the band interactions, as Blackmore was furious about sharing time with Gillan, his enemy. Steve Morse would later reveal, that it was possible for purple to survive without ritchie's ego.
To sum up, I love this record, and if it were stolen or lost, I would definately go to the nearest music shop to adquire it again, as it's an album that all purple's fan should collect.