Review

BLACK STAR RIDERS Heavy Fire

Album · 2017 · Hard Rock
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4.5/5 ·
Kev Rowland


Back in 1978, at the tender age of 15, I parted with my hard-earned money to buy my first ever hard rock album, ‘Live and Dangerous’. I was soon in trouble with the headmaster at school as when I found a lesson too boring I used to practice drawing the Thin Lizzy logo onto desks. Like many I was shocked at the early death of Phil Lynott, but was incredibly pleased when a decision was taken to get a version of the band back together again and hit the road. Of course, the band were so very well received that thoughts turned to recording an album of new material, but could they do that under the Thin Lizzy name and still be true? Discussions were had, and the result is Black Star Riders, who are here with their third album. Thin Lizzy still tour, as frontman Ricky Warwick and guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson play in both bands, but for the near future it is going to be all about the new album, as it is superb.

Like many metalheads of a certain age, I remember Ricky first playing with The Almighty, but he has always been a performer of great death, and I urge those who haven’t heard it to seek out his solo album ‘Tattoos & Alibis’. Of course, Scott was Phil’s left arm from the time he first plugged in with the boys back in 1974, and in Damon he has found the perfect foil as they recreate the twin guitar sound that first brought Lizzy so much attention in the first place. I keep talking about Thin Lizzy as this is a classic Lizzy album in so many ways, it doesn’t feel or sound like anyone else. Apart from the production, which is so much better than it was in the Seventies, then this could be the missing link between ‘Bad Reputation’ and ‘Black Rose’. It certainly has a more classic Lizzy feel to the album than ‘Thunder & Lightning’, the last release of the original band.

I haven’t heard their last album, but I do remember enjoying the debut, but this is just so much more than that, in every single way.

The final words are from Scott himself, and if you ever loved the original band as much as I did then this is essential. “I don’t think there’s another band out there doing what we’re doing,” he says. “And I think there’s a value to what we do. If you stood where I stand night after night, looking out at phenomenal crowds losing their minds to a rock ‘n’ roll band, it still looks like rock ‘n’ roll has something to say, and a big part to play in people’s lives. I was lucky enough to be in a great rock band with Lizzy, and I’m fortunate to be part of another great band with Black Star Riders. We’ll always have a debt to our past, spiritually and musically, but this is a band focused very much on the future.”
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UMUR wrote:
3 months ago
Great band this one. I just recently reviewed both predecessors (reviews not posted yet), and look forward to listening to this one.

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