While the fans are still hoping and waiting for a new Deep Purple studio album, most of the current band members release solo stuff or team up with other musicians for album projects: Ian Gillan joined forces with Tony Iommi to record two songs under the “Who Cares”-banner, Steve Morse teamed up with singer/songwriter Sarah Spencer to form “Angelfire” and Roger Glover revivied the Guilty Party to release “If Life Was Easy”.
Don Airey, not only playing on several third party albums also finished “All Out”, his second solo release since the latest PURPLE output “Rapture of the Deep”.
While “A Light In The Sky” used travelling through space and time as theme, “All Out” does the travel music-wise. The songs capture the mood, sounds and feelings of different points in time - the instrumental “Estancia” reminds of a modernized Emerson, Lake and Palmer while the inclusion of Bernie Marsden on “Running From The Shadows” brings some Whitesnake memories. “People In Your Head” offers another special guest - this time it’s Joe Bonamassa (trying to break Dons “albums I played on” record) who adds a Black Country Communion feel to the song. Two songs however fail to convince: the first is the Jimmy Hendrix cover “Fire” where the organ just doesn’t fit the overall picture while “Tobruk” gets lost somewhere within its ten minutes.
With most songs sounding different than their neightbours, “All Out” offers a lot to discover but also leaves a feeling of being “just a bunch of songs” instead of something more monolithic. A good rock album - nothing less and nothing more.