Black Star Riders: All Hell Breaks Loose (Nuclear Blast Records)
CD / DL / LP
Every music fan going will have heard of Thin Lizzy. Black Star Riders is the new project of said band’s Ricky Warwick, Scott Gorham, Damon Johnson and Marco Mendoza. So how does it stand up to their other bands output? Louder Than War tells all.
The quartet, joined by Megadeath drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, has decided to embark on what is being hailed as the “next step in the Thin Lizzy Evolution”. Whilst Thin Lizzy may make future appearances, Black Star Riders has become the new full time band the guys will work under.
When you emerge from as big a brand as Thin Lizzy it’s hardly surprising that this new movement has been met with as much awkward anticipation as it has excitement.
However, the time has come to pass judgement on Black Star Riders debut and the verdict is a promising one.
It could easily be argued that ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is picking up where Thin Lizzy left off had they gone along the route of a heavier sound. It could be argued that this heavier sound comes from the input of DeGrasso himself – after all he has worked with several heavy metal gods; including Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne, although the band themselves would argue recording the album live in the studio also had a great effect.
The question that everyone will be asking is if ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ is a Thin Lizzy rip off. The answer is no, in its own right the album is an experimentation that allows the band to try new directions that Thin Lizzy never permitted. The album is however typical of five musicians who have worked in acts from times gone by; Black Star Riders are a good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll band.
Newest single ‘Kingdom of The Lost’ offers an interesting insight into the band when you consider that its Celtic riff was written by Alabaman based Johnson. Title track ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ should have been the band’s first single as it packs a punch and represents everything the band stands for. However it’s ‘Hoodoo Voodoo’ which perhaps promises the most as it’s as far from Thin Lizzy as you can get.
Some critical eyes will be upon Black Star Riders over the coming months especially during their November tour, but until then this debut is an encouraging start.
All words by Sheryl Willis. More of Sheryl’s writing on Louder Than War can be found in her author’s archive.