“Deep Purple” InFinite- CD Review (earMusic Records 2017) by Adam McCann
Let’s face it, Deep Purple are a bit like going back to an ex-partner. After a while of not thinking about it, something reminds you of a different time, you get that warm glow of nostalgia and familiarity before remembering why you stopped in the first place. In the last 25 years, Deep Purple have adapted their sound due to various circumstances. Firstly, guitar legend; Ritchie Blackmore left in 1993 creating huge shoes for his successor in the shape of Steve Morse. Secondly was the retirement of the late Jon Lord from the band in 2002, Lord’s position filled by the one and only Don Airey and lastly was the march of time and strain on Ian Gillan’s voice.
Interestingly enough, most of the older bands that were written off by the media in the 90’s as dinosaur acts, that were bloated and had expired have been writing the albums of their careers, most of which are back and stronger than ever. Deep Purple are actually no different, they have been experiencing, well, how else do you put it? a purple patch. This began with 2013’s Now What?! album which was met with hugely positive reviews and this rolls over into Deep Purple’s most recent release; InFinite.
Just like the previous Deep Purple album, InFinite has once more been produced by esteemed legendary producer Bob Ezrin. It would seem that Ezrin has brought the best out of Deep Purple as InFinite has attained a sound that is classic Purple with a slight modern twist, this sound manages to hark back to the days when Deep Purple ruled the world, yet humbly shows everything which Purple have been forced to endure over the years.
InFinite begins with the first single from the album; Time for Bedlam, which starts with a spoken word introduction as Gillan’s soliloquy is phased through a mechanical/computer effect – a bit odd, but it works, before launching into the classic Deep Purple sound, a distinct Hammond Organ hammering along with a distorted guitar that instantly likeable as Deep Purple grind along to a song that brings back memories of Pictures of Home. In fact, Time for Bedlam wouldn’t actually be out of place on Machine Head and that alone shows the strength of InFinite. Time for Bedlam isn’t the only track that has this vibe, Get Me Outta Here and All I Got Is You have all the classic Purple swagger, the latter having a rising arpeggio into a crescendo before Airey delivers a cracking synth solo that would appeal to any fans of Burn. One Night In Vegas could easily be the spiritual successful to Strange Kind of Woman, however, the track would also fit in perfectly on Purpendicular, the only downside is that it is saddled with a pre-chorus that sounds a little too much like Junkyard Blues from 2005’s Rapture of the Deep.
The main reason why InFinite works is that it sounds like it was recorded in 1972 – a testament to not only the band, but to Ezrin too as both Morse and Airey sound as if they are using both Lord and Blackmore’s gear giving a sound that every Purple fan has been requesting for a very long time. However, there are a few downsides to InFinite, Gillan’s voice is nowhere near as powerful as his heyday and his lyrical worth has always been sub-par, but this is secondary to the music as it has always been with Deep Purple. As well as this, InFinite does tail off towards the end, Birds of Prey is not memorable in the slightest and having Roadhouse Blues finish the album is a ludicrous way to finish an otherwise decent album. Sadly, time is against Deep Purple with all the members in their late 60’s or early 70’s barring Steve Morse, it begs the question, never mind infinite, Deep Purple are now on finite time and if InFinite is to be their final album, then it is a good way to bow out. 7/10
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine