Rock veterans still have plenty to offer

It’s good to know that some bands in the twilight of their careers can still be committed to creating new music, and it’s even better when that music is worth listening to.

Deep Purple may have been around since time immemorial, but they’re far from done yet. They may no longer have anything to prove, but they still have to lot to show off.

Perhaps bouyed by the success of previous release Now What?!, Deep Purple have truly thrown themselves into this album. Ian Gillan’s voice might lack the range of his youth but it still resonates with power and Steve Morse and Don Airey continue to uphold the band’s long-standing tradition of imaginative and dynamic trade-offs and interplay. Then there’s Purple’s strangely under-rated rhythm section, bassist Roger Glover who can drive a track as much as nail one down and the supremely gifted Ian Paice. A stroke last year has left no ill-effects on Paice’s drumming. He is all over this, as he has always been for 49 years, embellishing the quick-fire beats with elaborate snatches of drumming mastery.

‘Time for Bedlam’ kicks the album off with what sounds like some proggy sci-fi before diving into signature Deep Purple style pomp and swagger, swirling organs from Airey and tasteful Morse guitar licks. InFinite is an album that displays the range of Purple’s musical vision. A barrelhouse piano adds flavour to the stomping hard rock of ‘One Night in Vegas’, ‘Hip Boots’ is a rollicking boogie number with soaring leads from Airey and Morse. Album highlights are ‘The Surprizing’, a classic old-school prog rock saga and the psychedelic-flavoured ‘Birds of Prey’ where they could be channeling Houses of the Holy-era Zeppelin – through their own Purple filter, of course. The only real misstep is the uninspired and unnecessary cover of ‘Roadhouse Blues’ that sounds like it was phoned in.

Twenty albums into their career, Deep Purple could almost be forgiven if the whole album was like that, but InFinite shows these heavy rocking veterans still have plenty to offer.

1. Time for Bedlam
2. Hip Boots
3. All I Got is You
4. One Night in Vegas
5. Get Me Outta Here
6. The Surprizing
7. Johnny’s Band
8. On Top of the World
9. Birds of Prey
10. Roadhouse Blues