The hugely talented Norwegian outfit that is Come Taste the Band are perhaps primarily known as a Deep Purple tribute act (and a VERY good one at that!), but this marvelous collection of songs entitled "REIGNITION" consists of original material. As if that is not exciting in and of itself, seven of the compositions feature Doogie White (Rainbow, Demon’s Eye, Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock) on vocals while two tracks on the record feature Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Sunstorm). Intrigued? You fucking well should be!

In many ways, "REIGNITION" brings to mind the Deep Purple masterpiece that is "Burn" (1974) and Rainbow’s "Long Live Rock  ‘n’ Roll" (1978), but some of the riffs and melodies present on CTTB’s opus also remind me of Purple’s "Perfect Strangers" (1984) and even the underrated "House of Blue Light" (1987), which is obviously a great thing. However, "REIGNITION" is first and foremost rooted in classic 70s hard rock with a progressive vibe to it, and I can promise you that this magnificent thing of beauty rules. The tunes are memorable and riddled with catchiness and yet they are sufficiently layered and textured so that one can keep listening to them over and over again. One keeps discovering new nuances and details all the time and how can you not love something like that? Each instrument is awarded plenty of space in the overall mix and the dynamics are to die for. The aggressive album opener "Not That Kind of Man" is infectious, "Under Your Skin" is groovy as hell, "Slave for Your Love" is as heartfelt as they come, and "Black Rose" is a rumbling beast of a song. "Tied Down" is nothing short of stunning and is the greatest song Rainbow never wrote. The only track that does not quite manage to capture the imagination is "Fools in the Night" – the rest are all killer. The melodic solos are also gorgeous and deserve praise.

Doogie’s strong and charismatic voice is as good as it ever was and he infuses the song material with depth and passion. The same can be said for the versatile Joe Lynn Turner. Obviously, White’s vocals conjure up lovely memories of Rainbow’s brilliant "Stranger in Us All" album (1995) whereas Turner’s remind me of just how much I love the Rainbow albums that he cut with the legendary outfit back in the 80s and the sadly underappreciated "Slaves and Masters" (1990) by Deep Purple.

I absolutely love and cherish the warm and organic sound of the album; one gets the impression that it was recorded back in 1974 with the entire band playing together in the same room. As it turns out, that is exactly how Come Taste the Band went about recording this one; playing live together in the studio, which accounts for why it comes across as downright massive in places. The interplay between the musicians is inspiring and you can tell that these dudes have been at it for years and are seasoned pros. There is absolutely no lack of confidence here, folks.

Any fan of stellar 70s-inspired hard rock with progressive and bluesy undertones to it ought to invest in "REIGNITION" the very minute it hits the streets in January. Whether you are a fan of Deep Purple, Rainbow, early Whitesnake, or even Uriah Heep, this album is for you. Those of you who reside in or around Oslo can catch the band live on stage in early February at the Rockefeller venue.