Sound — 8
As I was going through the bin at my local record store, I came across a record that had Ritchie Blackmores name on it. Knowing nothing about it besides the reputation of Blackmore, I bought it. It was plesantly surprising. The First surprise was the ammount of experimentation with generes. Ritchie Blackmore is known for a lot of things, mostly "Smoke on the Water", but on this album, Blackmore tries out a lot of different styles of music, from the Pink Floyd-esque "Catch A Rainbow" to the piano Rock n Roll on "If You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll" to the blues inspired "Self Portrait", Blackmore is experimenting with a lot of generes, but always to maintain his signature guitar riffs & solos. But this isnt just Ritchie Blackmore alone, I really enjoyed the drums on most of the tracks. I'm convinced they were stolen from other songs, but I'm putting faith in drummer Gary Driscoll. I love the cowbell intro to "Still I'm Sad."
Lyrics — 10
The second surprise was the vocals of Ronnie James Dio. His voice is still in the making at this point in his carrer, but on tracks like "Man on the Silver Mountain", the showcase of the song is Dio's pure operatic voice. Dio is one of my favorite singers of all time, and this album isnt a disappointment vocalwise. My only complaint is that the lyric topics aren't correlated. In one song goes from talking about a mystical man living on a mountain, to talking about how he is spiraling down in despair. it's just weird. But other than that, Dio has an amazing set of pipes, and it is nice to hear him at the beginning of his carrer.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a very experimental album, from two of the most influential artists in the buesiness. This album has a little bit of everything from blues, to psychadellia, to good old rock n roll, all with the Ritche Blackmore stamp of aproval. If Ritchie Blackmore was trying to get as far away from Deep Purple as posible, while still remaining in the genre, then he certainly succeded. This album is a true classic, and deserves more credit than people give it. This album defined how metal/hard rock should be sung.