BLACK STAR RIDERS: ANOTHER STATE OF GRACE
CD / DL / stream
Released 6 September 2019
The band who have long since thrown off the shackles of their emergence from the spirit of Thin Lizzy return with an absolutely belting rock album.
However, it has to be said that it is that very spirit of Thin Lizzy that makes BSR so special. Their fourth album sees further line-up changes yet with Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick at the core, it’s still Black Star Riders. If anyone’s taken time to view Ricky and Robbie Crane chatting online about the album will acknowledge their claims that “The playing’s great, the riffs are great, the melodies are strong, the choruses are huge.” Indeed it’s exactly what they say about being “An album that will put a smile on your face.”
Christian Martucci is the new kid on the guitar block replacing the ‘big boots to fill of Damon Johnson. “I’d never met him before we started rehearsing for the album,” says Gorham, yet the leap of faith proves worthy as he combines perfectly on that signature twin-lead sound. There’s a familiar Celtic influence that recalls Black Rose and is becoming a bit of a calling card for Black Star Riders, that adds a swing to the title track. It’s a rabble-rouser of an anthem that recalls the days of Emerald as well as being typical of the big, dense riffs and rhythms that saturate the record.
While the guitar lines at the start of Ain’t The End Of The World sound vaguely familiar, the variation comes with Why Do You Love Your Guns which is Warwick’s protest song; one that conjures up some reminders of his solo acoustic work with the chorus providing a heavier counterpoint to the low key verses. “Love is the only thing in this world for what it’s worth” he sings before a scorcher of a solo hits the bull like an arrow and with In The Shadow Of the War Machine, there’s a hint that some more topical issues are raising their ugly heads.
Peral Aday (daughter of MeatLoaf) turns up again after co-starring on Testify Or Say Goodbye from Heavy Fire. She adds her tones to What Will It Take which offers a more easy-paced and acoustic-based alternative that shows how Black Star Riders are sitting comfortably in their own skin. With the promise of more in the tank and the spirited refusal to kowtow to any particular musical God, the soulful, powerful evolution of Black Star Riders is getting stronger and it almost feels like the good old days.
Watch the video for the title track: