By Doug Walker
Deep Purple. One of the founding fathers of heavy metal. I don’t think there’s much about them that hasn’t been said thousands of times over. They are one of the quintessential pioneers of what would become heavy metal, and later, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The band has been through many line-up changes over the decades, they’ve broken up a few times… but it always comes back together. Their latest offering is “Infinite”, and the press release that goes along with is it full of hyper-philosophical self-discussion about the meaning of it. My eyes glazed over as I read it. Unfortunately, the record didn’t do much to cure that sensation.
The best Deep Purple records are roller coasters. They usually go from some bland songs to something as mind-blowing as ‘Speed King’, or ‘Highway Star’. In my opinion, they don’t have a solitary record that is amazing start to finish, but when they have their moments, they are unbeatable.
When I listened to ‘Infinite’, I kept waiting for the next song to start, hoping it was going to be the one that got my pulse racing, but it never really happened. That’s not to say that this is a bad record. It’s got some great playing on it, and some pretty cool ideas, but it’s kind of a really good blues lawyer record.
There’s some pretty high end production going on, but it sounds like they spent a lot of money to try to sound like they didn’t spend a lot of money. The guitars sound like they were recorded underwater, and don’t really have much bite to them. The solos are tasty, but, really, at no point do they cross into the land of wizardry. Steve Morse isn’t Ritchie Blackmore. Nobody is. So again, it’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it doesn’t measure up to the standard the band set for themselves in the last century.
Ian Paise’s drumming is one of the saving graces of the record. He still has his chops, no doubt about it. Ian Gillan does a great job of staying in the middle of his range and not taking any real risks with notes. It makes for a solid performance with no real dynamic to it. Don Airey is probably doing some cool stuff on the keyboard, but the amount of delay and reverb that gets put onto his track end up making him sound like note-soup a lot of the time.
There’s two ways to listen to this record for the first time. You can fold your arms and say “Yeah, OK. Top ‘Machine Head'” and be completely disappointed, or you can think, “Hey that’s cool, they made another record” and be mildly entertained. Unless you’re a blues lawyer. In which case buy this thing like yesterday.
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Record Label: earMusic
Release Date: April 7th 2017
01. Time For Bedlam (4:35)
02. Hip Boots (3:23)
03. All I Got Is You (4:42)
04. One Night In Vegas (3:23)
05. Get Me Outta Here (3:58)
06. The Surprising (5:57)
07. Johnny’s Band (3:51)
08. On Top Of The World (4:01)
09. Birds Of Prey (5:47)
10. Roadhouse Blues – The Doors cover (6:00)
Total Duration: 45:37