COME TASTE THE BAND is (or should I say was?) a Norwegian DEEP PURPLE tribute band that has been around for more than twenty years. In their early years they released two albums with DEEP PURPLE covers and in more recent years they toured with former DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW members such as Glen Hughes, Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White. In the last couple of years guitarist Jo Henning Kaasin started writing songs with Doogie White and this collaboration led to “Reignition” being the band’s original material debut. Doogie White sings on seven tracks while Joe Lynn Turners handles the remaining two.
The album’s style revolves mostly around the sounds of DEEP PURPLE‘s Mark III and Mark IV lineups. It’s no coincidence the band was named after the album title of DEEP PURPLE‘s Mark IV only release in 1975. So it’s basically a 70’s hard rock album with a few soul and funk vibes. A little bit of WHITESNAKE (check “Black Rose” with Doogie White on vocals) and RAINBOW (check “Don’t let me bleed” with Joe Lynn Turner) is also thrown in.
As one would expect, the musicianship is high level. The music has a nice groove and is rounded out by lots of guitar and keys solos. White’s vocals somehow resemble Hughe’s characteristic style of singing, while Turner retains his trademark hard rock style. I’m not really fond of DEEP PURPLE‘s “Come Taste the Band” album so I enjoyed the tracks that were more straightforward hard rock. Opener “Not that kind of man” goes in that direction borrowing themes from “Burn”. “Black Rose” as I already mentioned goes into WHITESNAKE territory, imagine something from the “Ready ‘n’ Willing” era, but White’s vocal sounds a little bit out of place. Both Turner songs placed in the middle of the album are quite enjoyable. “Tied Down” sounds like something RAINBOW would do around the “Down to Earth Period”, a nice feel good rocker. “Don’t Let Me Bleed” reminds of songs like “Tearing at My Heart” from the “Straight Between the Eyes” album, definitely the best song on the album. Turner is past his prime but he still manages to deliver in the studio. The albums closes with a beautiful ballad, “So Long Old Friend”, a chance for White to prove he’s a really fine singer too.
COME TASTE THE BAND have gone a long way to make an album that fans of DEEP PURPLE and all related bands can enjoy. It’s not something mind blowing but it has it’s fine moments. And it serves as a decent alternative if you wish for some new songs with that good old sound.
P.S.: You might want to check out another retro-Purple-loving band Doogie White is involved in, DEMON’S EYE and their spectacular 2015 album “Under the Neon”.