Demon's Eye - The Stranger Within

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Germany's Demon's Eye are 13-year veterans in the Deep Purple tribute game, and after a little cajoling from Jon Lord and Roger Glover they realised they had what it takes to try to make an original album of their own material. It took one play of their instrumental demos to convince former Rainbow singer Doogie White to provide vocals for what would become The Stranger Within (for which he has written all of the lyrics as well) and the result is arguably what Purple/Rainbow fans have wanted since The Stranger In Us All (the last original Rainbow album, which featured White on vocals). Demon's Eye haven't tried to shed the influence that inevitably permeates their style after so long playing Purple covers; instead they have embraced it and have arguably tapped the rich vein of the Purple sound to a more successful extent than Purple themselves have done in recent years. The basic upshot is The Stranger Within sounds like Doogie singing for The Battle Rages On-era Purple, with one or two exceptions. Evil Comes This Way shares aspects with Heaven & Hell's Bible Black and Heaven Again could come from any of the last three Purple records, with vocal melodies which, if it didn't say otherwise in the booklet, would have Ian Gillan's name attached to them 99% of the time, but otherwise the music here has that raw, meandering groove that early '90s Purple had, which always sounded like it was rooted firmly in the innovation of the '70s and all-too-rare forays of the '80s but added an extra level of confidence, recapturing the Ritchie Blackmore/Jon Lord trade-offs that fans miss. It would be impossible for Deep Purple fans to dislike this record, and perhaps that makes it impossible for everyone else to like it, but there's only one good reason to fit a mold, and that's when you create something of a high quality within it, and Demon's Eye can write good songs. On top of that they are masters of their instruments and with White's help they have created the album that the originators themselves have failed to provide fans with since Rainbow disbanded. This only has one market, but that market will be 100% sold.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quick.Play Reviews,

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