"Now What?!"

By Dark Starr

I definitely would not put every Deep Purple album in progressive rock. This one, though, certainly qualifies. It’s also one of the best albums the group have ever done. I know there are those who will find that sacrilege since the guitarist these days is Steve Morse rather than Ritchie Blackmore. I have to stick with that assessment, though. This is an incredible album. The quality is at a level that I never anticipated when I put it into my CD player.

The band really stretches themselves further than they have in a long time. The song structures are more advanced and making use of more elements, hence the prog tag I place upon it. But there is still plenty of that hard rocking classic Purple sound to go around. Every track really has its own identity and shows a different facet of the band. "All the Time In the World" is classic oldschool Purple meant for the diehards.  "Uncommon Man" has some very beautiful melodies and is almost reminiscent of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. "Weirdistan" throws a feeling of Yes into the standard Purple template. And what can you say about final track "Vincent Price"? Who is not going to like a song called "Vincent Price"? The power and diversity here is stunning. This thing is probably going to wind up on my “best of 2013” list because it’s that good.