With Burn and now Stormbringer, Deep Purple has attempted to prove, firstly, that replacing the departed Ian Gillan and Roger Glover with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes has in no way weakened the highly successful and profitable D.P. sound and, secondly, that to continue to sell albums the band need no longer rely on the unique but overdone speedo-riff rock that made the five albums from In Rock to Made in Japan quadrillion sellers. While the two newcomers are just as competent as their predecessors (as witnessed on the title cut, one of the few real throwbacks to Machine Head days), the attempts that the band has made at diversifying its sound have been only partly successful. While the group-?? "Hold On" should rightly be considered one of the neatest, most accessible and rockiest songs they've ever done, slower paced stuff like "Holy Man" or the Uriah Heep-like "Gypsy" hardly rate above the commonplace. Stormbringer still exhibits a few points of flash — the occasional familiar Blackmore riff or Lord organ wail — but in total it's a far cry from the band's peak.
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