Deep Purple - Rapture of the Deep

Music. It's a funny business. In the industry we hold so dear to stand a loft nowadays seemingly requires far less talent than ever before. Cynical marketing men are to be found lurking in the shadows of every genuine musical movement ready to re-create second hand scenes with second hand bands while truly freethinking and original artists don't get a look in (and we all wonder why no one wants to pay for music anymore).

There is, however, another niche within which bands transcend such fraught boundaries to continued success, that being longevity. The likes of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath have been through a renaissance in the past few years, their popularity and record sales soaring, but while the argument exists that despite such success these 'classic' bands cannot be truly relevant in a modern context, what is true and almost slightly ironic is that it is with a breath of fresh air that a new album by one such monster of rock is greeted...

...Enter Deep Purple and their new studio album, 'Rapture of the Deep.' Nigh on four decades, one hundred million album sales and more than a few dodgy haircuts seem to have done little to blunt the drive of a band now devoid of classic members Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, so it is with trademark, near cheesy, Hammond riffage that album opener 'Money Talks' begins, a song setting the mood for the entire album.

Thankfully 'ROTD' never sees Deep Purple stray too far from the rootsy rock that they played a massive part in creating, the band largely choosing to cater to the music and to the fans that made them, 'Junkyard Blues' a perfect example in it's texturing of all of the classic Deep Purple elements. Elsewhere, 'Quite Clearly Absurd' is a ballad, while unlikely to be played at any local indie disco, is a song put together with the craft of a band 40 years in the making.

When they do try something new (ish) on title track, 'Rapture Of The Deep', an almost Arabic tinged power ballad, things do start to go wrong but on highlight 'Don't Let Go' the blues are back, Ian Gillians' vocals resembling Chris Cornell, the music not altogether unlike a lighter Audioslave.

Quite clearly with 'Rapture,' Deep Purple are unlikely to force any Pete Doherty fans to decamp to all things classic-rock, they quite possibly might not attract any new fans at all but what they do and what they have done so well for forty years is more than evident and it would be not much surprise to see Deep Purple continue to do it for another forty (okay ten) more years.