Rapture of the Deep

Studio Album by released in 2005

Rapture of the Deep review

Rapture of the Deep is an amazing return to the bands hard rock roots

Despite being together 37 years, and despite numerous line-up changes over the years, Deep Purple continue to thrive and create classy, memorable hard rock. 2005 sees the arrival of Rapture Of The Deep, the second release of the line-up of Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Steve Morse, and Don Airey. Rapture Of The Deep is an amazing return to the bands hard rock roots, easily on par with 1996's Purpendicular, and as focused and rocking as classics like Machine Head, In Rock, Fireball, and Burn. Deep Purple in the twenty-first century are very much like Pierce Brosnan's James Bond – a suave, charming and elegant composite of the best bits. During the last ten years Deep Purple has managed to sound fresher and more innovative than they did in the 15 years or so after that legendary first decade. On Rapture Of The Deep this is no different. There's plenty of fire left in this beast; Ian Gillan sings with more power than he has in years, and even throws in some of his trademark screams, Steve Morse rips on guitar like only he can, Don Airey has settled into his role nicely with plenty of blazing Hammond and synth work, and the rhythm duo of Glover and Paice are as solid as ever.

Steve Morse’s six-string wizardry makes Rapture of the Deep an impressive rock album

Rapture Of The Deep opens with a solid four song run in Money Talks, Girls Like That, Wrong Man and the mystical tones of the title track. They answer that run with another four pack later that contains the albums best rocker Don't Let Go. Bracketing these is two great ballads, an art form that the band has made a habit of over their careers. Everyone can name the bands staple rockers like Smoke On the Water and Knocking At Your Back Door, but how many can name all the great ballads the band has written? Well you can add Clearly Quite Absurd and Before Time Began to that list. Clearly Quite Absurd is delivered so soulfully from Gillan that it is an instant classic, not unlike Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming from Purpendicular. The interplay between Morse and Airey cements the experience. When Steve Morse joined in 1994, the band couldn't have wished for a more accomplished guitarist, short of Blackmore himself. It's his six-string wizardry – which ranges from metallic (Money Talks and Wrong Man), to bluesy Don't Let Go, to southern fried Allman-Brothers-style rock (Back To Back and Junkyard Blues), to languid Clearly Quite Absurd, to his trademark scale-busting solos (Before Time Began and everything else) – that makes Rapture Of The Deep an impressive rock album.

The album's got a definite live feel to it

Deep Purple spent five weeks recording Rapture Of The Deep. This fact becomes very evident when listening to the album. What we have here is a collection of songs that sound as if they were born in a jam situation, with five guys in a room together bouncing ideas off of each other. The album's got a definite live feel to it. This is surely one of the most welcome releases of the year. You can tell from this record that this is a band that enjoys playing with each other is just having a lot of fun at this point in their career and we listeners get to reap the benefits of that. Rapture Of The Deep is another excellent effort by Deep Purple and above all, proves once more that the guys are quite some time removed from their retirement. In fact there simply are no other bands around that have lasted as long as Deep Purple have and still manage to come up with great, worthwhile and relevant studio outputs and sublime live performances in the way they have. Rapture Of The Deep is what Deep Purple fans have been waiting for, for a very long time. While the other albums of the Steve Morse era have been strong, this one really hits the mark. Perhaps now the hardcore Deep Purple fans can finally close the book on the Blackmore era, and embrace the band as it is now, which is a rip snorting fire breathing dragon.